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XP woes - "MBR Error 1. Press any key to boot from floppy"


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#1 Sheilasnuts

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 01:29 PM

Hi
 
I’ve had this problem for a while now… When I turn my PC on, it comes to a black screen saying “MBR Error 1 - Press any key to boot from floppy”. For months it was not much bother as within a few hits of the reset button Windows would load. But then it got to a stage where I’d have to hit the reset button more and more. So for the last few months I’ve just been keeping my PC on….
 
…. I went on holiday in October and switched off while away. It took several hours of hitting the reset to get Windows to load. Then, a few weeks back, I stupidly switched my PC off by accident. This time it took a whole 24 hours to get Windows to load! I reckon at least 300-400 reset presses! 
 
Anyhow, I’m using this as a calling to update to a more modern OS. But seeing as I have got spare hard drives, I would quite like to keep my current OS as is in case I need to come back to it for whatever reason. So I wondered if anyone knows how to fix my problem? 
 
I did try some stuff a while back but none of it worked. This included FIXMBR and FIXBOOT. I’ve got screenshots from the time if they might help? I’ve also got a BSOD from around the time and another screen with various ISOLINUX messages. My memory is hazy as to what I did exactly though.
 
One other thing… When I went through the 24 hour resets, I went in to BIOS a few times and the OS system HD was not showing in BIOS. TBH, I thought it was dead. I knew it worked mechanically because I could hear it. But I must admit I was pleasantly shocked when Windows loaded after circa 400 resets!!! 
 
Any help very much appreciated.
 
Cheers


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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:33 PM

Sounds to me like a failing hard drive.

I would err on the side of caution and back up your data the next time the system boots.

 

Run CHKDSK /R from a command prompt as outlined here

https://neosmart.net/wiki/chkdsk/#From_Command_Prompt


In the beginning there was the command line.

#3 Sheilasnuts

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:54 PM

Hi Eyesee

 

OK, thanks for the reply and the warning... I'm fully backed up on that drive. That's just my C drive, so all I back up from there is app settings and what not. All data is kept on a separate drive completely. 

I did wonder if the drive might be on the way out. It is about 10 years old after all so it has not done too badly. The thing is though, once I get pass the resets and Windows finally loads, it's all good for weeks/months. The only thing that makes the problem return is shutting down. Even if I restart through Windows everything reloads with no issue. It's only on a proper shut down that the problem occurs. Does that still sound like a failing HD? 

I'll look into CHKDSK /R, thanks. Are there any other utilities such as HDTune, GSmartControl, etc that I can use as well? 

Cheers



#4 Eyesee

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:14 PM

Other than CHKDSK /R (which could take hours and hours) the only other diagnostic tool I would use would be the one from the drive manufacturer.


In the beginning there was the command line.

#5 Sheilasnuts

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:40 PM

Hi

Back with a few updates.

I ran CHKDSK /R on the drive. Well, actually, I chose C which is one of three partitions on the drive, so I'm not sure if that matters? Anyhow, there were 5 stages. For the first 4 it said file verification completed. The fifth flicked passed so quick I wasn't able to see what it said. But I ended up at a screen which said "The volume is clean. Windows has finished checking the disc." 

I also ran some other tests and checks, including the Western Digital utility, as recommended... SMART results seems ok. The HDTune benchmark looks all over the place though. Also, I am just finishing up a HDTune Error Scan and so far it has found 4 damaged sectors. What's weird though is that it is taking an age! Getting towards the 24 hour mark soon and it is still not done. I'm sure it has never taken that long before. I've got results from a 2TB drive I error scanned a while back and that took 5 hours. And it is 4 times larger! So I don't know if the slow error scan signifies a problem or if it is just because it is a different model.

I'm stabbing in the dark a bit tbh, so if anyone more knowledge is able to comment on whether these results point toward or away from the HD being on the way out, that would be fantastic. I'll post the Error scan result when it has finished. 

Many many thanks

 

Attached File  Attributes.jpg   138.56KB   0 downloads

 

 

Attached File  Error Log.jpg   43.89KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  HDTach 2017-12-21 - Quick Bench.jpg   82.76KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  HDTach 2017-12-21 - Long Bench.jpg   89.66KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  HDTune Test1 (OS Drive) 2017-12-21.png   29.68KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  Quick Test.jpg   61.31KB   0 downloads


Edited by Sheilasnuts, 22 December 2017 - 02:18 PM.


#6 hamluis

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 05:02 PM

Run the long test from the WD diagnostic tool.

 

As previously opined...I believe the drive is failing.  No need to post screenshots, just tell us whether it's pass or fail, just like school :).

 

Louis



#7 Sheilasnuts

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:24 PM

Hi hamluis

 

OK, I'll run that overnight....  

 

The HDTune error scan finished with 4 damaged blocks.  The reason it took an age was because it was running at 3.8 MB/sec.  

 

I'm not sure why, but I decided to run another HDTune benchmark:

 

Attached File  HDTune_Benchmark_WDC_WD5000AAKS-65YGA.png   27.72KB   0 downloads

 

Sorry - I know you said no need for screenshots but I couldn't resist!  It struck me how different this was to the one above.  It was only later that I noticed the scale and that the maximum transfer rate was 3.8 MB/sec (previously 87.4MB/sec).  Is this a sign that the HD is close to dying?  Or could something else be causing it?  



#8 hamluis

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:50 AM

I don't think that you realize...if the drive is failing, every scan that you run on it...may move it closer to failure.

 

Louis



#9 ranchhand_

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 03:30 PM

10 years is a looooooong time for a HDD, I would replace and give it a burial with military honors. I just hope the new SSD drives that everybody has now will last that long! Only time will tell.....


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#10 Sheilasnuts

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 07:21 AM

Many thanks for the replies.  So, I'm going to make sure I've got everything I need from it and then retire it.  I've got a spare, and I want to move on to W7.  It would have been nice to have this drive working **just in case** I need to go back to it for anything.  But never mind, I'll just have to make sure my backing up is very thorough!  
 
Incidentally, I bought three of these drives when I built the PC and the other two seem just fine to me.  They have given zero issues or signs of failure, and when last tested they passed with flying colours.  I want to keep using them as I HATE throwing things away unnecessarily...  But do you think I should let their age (10 years) do the talking, or their performance and test results (all good)?
 
@hamluis.  No, I did not realise that at all.  Thanks for letting me know.  It certainly would explain why the results were getting worse!  I'll stop tests now while I get the rest of the info I need from it.  For future reference, could you please confirm if this is just the case with a failing drive?  Is it ok to run tests on drives that are old but not failing?
 
Thanks again for the help :)

Edited by Sheilasnuts, 27 December 2017 - 07:25 AM.


#11 hamluis

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:21 AM

Drive failures...occur for many reasons, are not necessarily predictable...and afflict just about anyone who has had a computer for any lengthy period of time, IMO.

 

When a drive is first suspected to be a problem...that is the time to try to pull all valued information off the drive, if not already backed up properly.

 

Hard drives...as opposed to SSDs...are electro-mechanica devices, with moving parts.  As such, they are also subject to normal errors inherent in any man-made product/artifact.  Moving parts mean wear/tear any other possible situation which can be imagined when movement is altered/stopped and the device is dependent on proper movement to perform specified function reliably.

 

I have drives which I purchased in 2006...which still work properly in 2017-2018.  On the other hand...I 've purchased drives more recently...which have come and gone from my index of "reliable drives" that I can use for storage.  It's a crapshoot, with every hard drive and the reality is that this gamble cannot be mitigated or anticipated for any hard drive.

 

SMART values...and hard drive diagnostics...cannot accurately predict failures.  But...they can provide the best efforts of hard drive manufacturrers and others...to provide "warnings" or "indicators" on which users can use to try to diagnose/overcome situations that occur when using computer hard drives.

 

As Eyesee stated...it's an intelligent move to err on the side of caution when dealing with suspected hard drive issues.  Considering the relative value which each of us attaches to our personal data kept on a system...the cost of replacing the drive before it fails...pales in comparison with the time, energy, and personal frustration likely to follow a failed hard drive situation which...has not been prepared for.

 

I'm no tech of any sort, just a 21-year computer-user who opines a lot but really knows very little about computing.  I just try to be practical and logical in my approach to problem-solving and the fundamental element of such is...avoid the problem, rather than having to overcome the problem.  That is the essence of backing up...the premise that disaster may be just around the corner for you and your computer system.

 

Reported Data does not suggest that hard drives can be assumed to work properly...tomorrow...for any of us.

 

Why Do Hard Drives Fail?

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 27 December 2017 - 08:29 AM.





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