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"Bad PBR" Message During Startup


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#1 Whitney Arruda

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 10:43 PM

Today I was going to see if I could restore my desktop computer to factory settings, or “flatten” it. I recently did this on my Windows Vista Laptop, and there was a hidden partition on my hard drive, and to access it I needed to push F8 or something during startup to restore the computer. Assuming I needed to do the same thing for my Windows XP, I searched for how to reset it or get to that menu. There was something about hitting “Ctrl F11” during start up, and I did not read the forum through thoroughly (I know I should have and I feel like a complete idiot now, please don‘t bash me for this).

So, while I was starting up my Windows XP Desktop Computer, I pressed “Ctrl F11” to see if I could get to the system restore. I assumed there would be a control panel type thing that would be displayed like my Vista, and even before resetting the computer, there would be warnings and everything.

...So I pushed the two buttons, “Ctrl F11” and this came up on a black screen:

Loading PBR for descriptor 3...done.
Bad PBR


And now my computer won't start up past that. I don't know what the heck I did, but I did not back up my files because I wanted to see if there was a way to do it without a disk before I loaded everything onto the external hard drive… So I am clueless here. My main questions are:
  • What the heck did I do!?
  • How do I fix it?
  • Are all of my files GONE forever?


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 03:27 AM

You most likely corrupted your hard drives PBR which stands for Partition Boot Record.

Loading PBR for descriptor 3 Done! Means it is loading a 3rd partition from the drive.

Bad PBR means the PBR is damaged or corrupted.

You never mentioned your computers manufacturer or model number, so please post that inforamtion. But is this by any chance a Dell computer?

I have seen your problem posted before and there are a lot of hits on Google describing your problem, but a lot of bad advice being given, I see plenty saying do not use fixmbr as an option, so we might want to avoid trying that for now, however using chkdisk as been recommended in most cases from what I have seen.

This problem seems to involve Dell computers where the OS installation files are stored on a hidden partition and then there's another partition which stores the recovery files, so we are speaking of 3 partitions on one drive here.

I am trying to find you the best solution how-ever. So for now don't try too many fixes as you might lose your data.

Here is one solution I found amusing but seemed to work take a read http://support.bicestercomputers.co.uk/sho...p?p=699#post699

Or try this link http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-94562.0.html

Edited by MrBruce1959, 24 April 2010 - 04:22 AM.

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