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MBR repair in WIN2K


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#1 wuzzo

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:54 AM

Hello,
I'm trying to repair my WIN2K installation but the Repair Console offers me ' What installation would you like to repair ? and the command prompt cursor only allows one character ! Any ideas ?

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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:44 AM

That would be 1, or 2, or 3 ... the number you see beside the Windows installation.
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#3 wuzzo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:49 AM

I only have one WIN2K installation and that isn't listed on the Repair Console screen.

However, I got to the Repair Console by way of the WIN2K installation disc but that avenue is now blocked by a ' Disk read error ' on bootup. That's the same message for any disk . Any ideas on how to get past this ? The suggested ' Cntrl-alt-del ' scenario just presents a loop to the same ' Disk read error ' message.
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#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:07 AM

A disk read error occurred.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

This message is produced by the VBR (Volume Boot Record) and indicates a problem there.

You wrote: "... the same message for any disk"
What exactly do you mean by this?
  • What disks are you referring to?
I think your best chance of getting any useful help is to describe the problem you are facing as fully as you can, along with the history of this problem (what was happening on the system when the problem first arose) and what may have caused it if you have any ideas, what you have tried already, and some system details.

I'm sorry, but I don't expect to be available to assist you for the next few (3?) days, so it will be up to someone else to chime in to this topic.

Good luck.
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#5 wuzzo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:38 AM

I mean that the same message appears irrespective of whether I boot with a WIN2K CD, an XP CD or no CD at all.

I started with a fully functional WINnN2K installation across two 150Gb partitions, one for backup. The remaining 200Gb was a formatted primary partition. XP failed to install on it. Message was akin to ' Unmountable boot ' . I aborted and attempted to boot back into WIN2K but the ' Disk read error ' message occurred. I was able to advance to the Repair Console screen via the WIN2K installation disk but unable to implement any repair as pressing ' Enter ' at the command prompt reboots the machine.
Now I can't use the WIN2K disk as the ' Disk read error ' message appears on boot.

Thanks for your help to date.

Edited by wuzzo, 14 January 2013 - 05:50 AM.

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#6 wuzzo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:20 AM

Update;
Out of desperation I changed the drive boot sequence in BIOS and burned a fresh copy of my installation disk. Fortunately, this has got me past the ' Disk read error ' screen and back into the Repair Console. I'll see what I can do from there.

Regards.
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#7 wuzzo

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:38 AM

OK, a bit of a disaster really. Fixboot could not identify any partitions and fixmbr ran but didn't solve the problem. Now my bootup message is ' Invalid partition table ' Can I recover from here ? If not, is it possible to extract my files from the HDD ?
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#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:28 AM

Hello wuzzo,

I have a little time now. Let's see if I can help you: It does seem to be a resolvable issue.

I suggest that you create a bootable Linux CD/flashdrive and boot to the Linux operating system:
  • You can retrieve copies of your files to another device.
  • I would like to get a look at the MBR (Master Boot Record), which includes the partition table.

:step1: On a working computer, please download the latest version of PartedMagic:
Write (in the appropriate manner) the downloaded .iso file to either CD or USB/flashdrive:
Boot the problematic computer from the PartedMagic CD or flashdrive:
  • At the first menu with Default settings (Runs from RAM) selected, press <ENTER>.
    Be patient while PartedMagic loads into memory, and then displays its Desktop.
Success? Let me know if you can successfully boot to the Desktop of PartedMagic, and whether you are using a bootable CD or a flashdrive.

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The Desktop of PartedMagic (version 2012-08-09)


:step2: At the PartedMagic Desktop, open a terminal window:
  • Locate the black screen/monitor icon (ROXTerm) along the bar at the bottom of the Desktop screen (third icon from the left-side edge).
  • Click on the ROXTerm icon to open a terminal window and at the prompt, type:

    fdisk -l

    Note: There is a space between "fdisk" and "-l".
    That is a lower case L as in Llama and not a ONE.

  • ... and press <ENTER>.
  • Drag your mouse over the output to select it all.
  • Right-click somewhere in the area selected > Copy
    (In the next step, you will paste this in a reply.)
Open Firefox (the Firefox icon is on the Desktop:
  • Hopefully you will have an internet connection already.
  • Go to www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums, sign in and find your topic.
  • Paste the output of fdisk -l in your reply.

:step3: At the PartedMagic Desktop, open a terminal window:
  • Click on the ROXTerm icon to open a terminal window and at the prompt, type:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1

  • Note: Leave a space between the following:
  • dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
  • if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
  • of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
  • bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
  • count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
  • It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
[*]... and press the <ENTER> key.
A file named mbr.bin will be saved to the system in the "root" directory.
Note: This file is saved in memory only and will no longer exist when PartedMagic is shut down.
[/list]At the PartedMagic Desktop, double-click the File Manager icon (on Desktop):
  • A new window will open.
  • In the "root" directory you will see the file that you just created called mbr.bin.
  • Right-click on the mbr.bin file > New > Archive.
  • Under "Archive Format", choose the format .zip from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Save.
  • You should now see the zipped file, mbr.bin.zip in the root directory along with mbr.bin.
Please attach the mbr.bin.zip file to a reply to this topic.


:step4: Backup your files.

At the PartedMagic Desktop:
  • Double-click the File Manager icon on the Desktop.
  • In the window that opens, you will see listed the partitions of the hard drive (sda1, sda2 etc).
  • Locate the partition from which you wish to copy files.
  • Copy your files to another device (flashdrive, internal or external hard drive).
    Let me know of any problem you encounter and the detail of any error messages that you see.
[/list]The easiest way to go about copying data is to open two separate windows (using File Manager):
  • One window displays the folders/files that you intend to copy (the source).
  • The second window displays the location that you intend to save the folders/files (the destination).
Arrange (drag) the windows so that they are both visible (wholly or partially) on-screen at the same time.
  • Then, simply drag-and-drop folders/files from one window to the other.
    Note: Multiple folders/files can be selected to be copied at the same time.
  • Use the <Shift> key to select multiple consecutive/adjacent items with the mouse.
  • Use the <Ctrl> key to select multiple separate items with the mouse.
Let me know if/when you have been able to complete backing up all your files to another device.

Edited to add: I will likely be able to check on you in 24 hours.

Edited by AustrAlien, 15 January 2013 - 05:06 AM.

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#9 wuzzo

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:57 AM

Thanks for your help to date.

Firstly, the route to download Infrarecorder is blocked by a host of other application ads. Do you have a direct link to it ?

I'm following your schematic closely but I'm having to do it between work commitments so please bear with me.


EDIT; OK, I've got one
http://infrarecorder.org/?page_id=5

Edited by wuzzo, 15 January 2013 - 05:59 AM.

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#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:05 AM

Go here to download Infrarecorder.

ImgBurn is a good alternative ....

If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
    Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image

    When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.

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#11 wuzzo

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:14 AM

OK, PM is loading to RAM on the problem machine. I'm using the burned CD.

OK, I'm at the PM desktop.

Edited by wuzzo, 15 January 2013 - 06:15 AM.

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#12 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:20 AM

:thumbup2: I've made one last coffee before I go off to bed. Let's see if we can make some progress before I leave you for the night!
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#13 wuzzo

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:22 AM

OK, ta. Here we go then;

Welcome - Parted Magic (Linux 3.6.10-pmagic)

root@partedmagic:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500106780160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976771055 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x69205244

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 ? 218129509 1920119918 850995205 72 Unknown
/dev/sda2 ? 729050177 1273024900 271987362 74 Unknown
/dev/sda3 ? 168653938 168653938 0 65 Novell Netware 386
/dev/sda4 2692939776 2692991410 25817+ 0 Empty

Partition table entries are not in disk order
root@partedmagic:~#


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#14 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:34 AM

:scratchhead: Looks like a mess!

Waiting for the MBR (mbr.bin zipped).
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#15 wuzzo

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:37 AM

Ok, sorry for the delay.

I just spent three months in Gerroa. Fan-bloody-tastic.

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