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disk error on startup even after new mbr write


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#1 student at tmcc

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:48 AM

I have a dell latitude d820, running xp service pack 2. It worked fine until last night, when it was placed in hibernate mode. When I went to start it up today, It barely turned on and displayed "disk error". I became worried, as I know this to be one sign of a failed hard disk. I got out my Dell recovery cd, and booted from the cd-rom drive. I was able to go to the repair console and perform a FIXMBR, and then a FIXBOOT command, and then upon exiting the repair console, windows booted with no errors. I then shut down, and restarted the machine.....and my Disk Error returned. I think I have a boot sector issue, but that should have been resolved after writing a new MBR? Could a BIOS problem be causing this drive not to start? Should my laptop be running a POST, because it doesn't? Because I can boot the system from the recovery media, I can run any diagnostics, or gather any system info that may help. Thank You for any assistance.

Edited by student at tmcc, 12 November 2010 - 01:49 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:50 AM

What is the exact wording of the error message?

You might take a look at http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/latc810/en/ug/error.htm .

FWIW: The fixmbr and fixboot commands...only deal with specific problems. They do not repair the hard drive if the drive is the problem.

Louis

#3 student at tmcc

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:25 PM

The exact error is "disk error". The hard drive cannot be the problem because I can boot the drive with no errors, no loss of performance, or any other noticable difference, if I boot it from the windows cd. The hard drive simply will not boot like it should....but if I first boot the cd drive and load the repair console....then it boots my os with no problems.
Thanks for the tips.

#4 student at tmcc

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:31 PM

for clarification.....if I do not boot from the cd drive with the windows xp disk.....then almost instantly....as soon as I push the power button....I get a flashing cursor....and the "disk error" message in the upper left corner of the screen. It doesn't even perform any kind of memory or post test before displaying the error. As if the computer is not even signaling the hard disk to start?

#5 hamluis

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 11:20 AM

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812492

If the boot files are not recognized...I'd say that you either have a partition/NTFS problem...or a hard drive problem.

I would check the connections to/from the hard drive, but I would not be overly optimistic.

If the system boots after running fixboot and/or fixmbr...and then loses the capability for booting...well, I'd be prepared to do a clean install of the O/S after running the appropriate hard drive diagnostic to confirm the fact that the drive is worthy of the effort.

Outside chance that the CMOS battery may be weakening...but my experience with that indicates a variety of varying BSODs, not just the situation you have thus far described.

Louis

#6 student at tmcc

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 12:05 PM

The cmos battery is my problem I think.....because the machine recently sat dormant for six months....and it has a very weak battery pack as well.




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