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gaffer
10-22-2000, 11:31 PM
Not exactly clear as to how it happened but I ruined the hard drive in my computer by screwing up the MBR according to the computer repair shop. As far as I know there is no physical damage to the drive. My question: Is there a way to repair a drive when this is done? Buddy of mine says there was once upon a time shops that would take a drive apart and redo the disk(s) restoring everything to original. If this is so where is/are such shops? Any replies would be greatly appreciated!

Jerkymom
10-23-2000, 12:40 AM
I may be way off base here, and someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought you could restore the MBR by booting from your startup floppy disk and typing fdisk /mbr at the A:\> prompt. If there's no physical damage to the drive, why would it need to be taken apart and restored? Are you trying to save the data that was on the drive without re-formatting and reinstalling your programs? There are data recovery companies who do that, but it's quite expensive. Unless there's more to it than just a corrupted MBR, I don't understand why the repair shop is telling you your drive is ruined. At worst, all you would need to do is format the drive after booting to the startup floppy, and then reinstall your OS and applications. Can you post more info on what exactly happened and we'll try to help you figure it out... http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif

Kim

Paleo Pete
10-23-2000, 01:45 AM
I'll agree with Kim, boot to a Start Up disk and type
fdisk_/mbr placing a space where I used the underscore (_). That should rewrite the Master Boot Record. It will seem like nothing's happening, for a few seconds, and you'll get a command prompt again. When the command prompt reappears, reboot, and the MBR should be fixed.

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gaffer
10-24-2000, 10:06 PM
Jerkymom and Paleo Pete:

Thanks for your immediate responses to my inquiry about hard drives! I wrote a response to this forum discussion but received an error message saying my password was incorrect?!? This be a test to see if I'm getting through. Is there a limit to how much one can write on this forum?

Robert

P.S. I spent an hour and a half typing it out only to lose it because of my inexperience!

[This message has been edited by gaffer (edited 10-24-2000).]

Paleo Pete
10-24-2000, 10:41 PM
Don't know what the problem might be with your password, but watch the caps lock key when typing passwords. They are case sensitive. You can also easily hit the key beside the one you want and never realize it. And it doesn't help that you can't see what you type in the password field...

As far as how much you can type, I've seen some pretty long posts, been responsible for a few myself, and haven't run across a limit yet.

Hang in there, you'll get better at it...

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If you had everything...Where would you put it?

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

gaffer
10-24-2000, 10:59 PM
Jerkymom and Paleo Pete:

Redoing letter of explanation. Bought a new PC earlier this year. Purchased from Milwaukee PC. Unit has AMD 750mhtz processor, 128mb RAM, had a 20gb hard drive( replaced with a 30gb), which had Win 98SE installed on it. Also installed on unit was Symantec/Norton/Ghost V5.1D ( a demo version? ) program which mirrors your basic operating system and is hidden on a partitioned drive. My problem is that I wanted to install Partition Magic and Boot Magic that was on the cd. Please bare with me as I am not familiar with all terminology used by those who are expertise in computers. Buddy of mine tells me that I don't need to have Boot Magic installed to partition my drives. So I decides to remove the later. Problem begins! I use a program I have called Uninstaller by CyberMedia to uninstall Boot Magic instead of Add/Remove by Windows. In the process of uninstalling with said program I think I remove shared files. After shutting down I had problems booting up. Dialogue box or window at boot up keeps asking for a certain file in Boot Magic program that I know nothing about. I have no files of any value on hard drive so I decides I would use Symantec/Norton/Ghost disk to boot up with and it results in the computer aborting my attempt. Second step, I decides to use Win 98 startup disk and the computer aborts this attempt. Tried these two steps several times with computer aborting each time and got desparate and called my buddy who is much more knowledgeable than I am. Over the phone he directs me through fdisk but the computer aborts this attempt too!!! Spent quite a few hours trying everything he knew how to do over the phone but to no avail. In frustration, I took the computer in to Milwaukee PC wherein the tech there spends two hours trying what he knows and then comes to the conclusion that I boogered the drive up with Partition Magic and charges me two hours shop fee plus the new drive. Due to my inexperience I accept his expertise in the matter and that there can be no one to fault except myself. Which leaves me doubting what little skills and abilities I have in this field. Which is why I come here. Conclusion on my part: The computer is a very exact machine. Your communication must be precise and you must be very careful of what you install and uninstall/ or delete. Read everything! So what can I do with this hard drive, use it for a boat anchor? It was an expensive lesson unless one of you experts can help this old boy!!!

Chow for now,
Robert

Paleo Pete
10-24-2000, 11:37 PM
The original problem seems to have stemmed from removing the Boot Magic program, what you did was unknowingly remove shared files, which another program needed. Expensive lesson, I'm sure you learned it well...always leave those shared files. It leaves the possibility of useless info still on the drive, but reduces the possibility of the kind of problems you ended up with.

Second problem was then not booting with a Windows Start Up disk. But the results later are what I don't understand. No matter what shape your hard drive is in, the machine should boot to the Start Up disk anyway. If you have the boot sequence in BIOS set to A;C and the start up disk is not corrupted and is virus free, then it should boot to that disk.

I would try booting to an emergency disk that comes with your virus scanner and see if it comes up with anything. Somewhere along the way the possibility does exist that this drive picked up a nasty bug that trashes the MBR. If you don't have one, check around with friends, and make one from someone's computer, or make one from your virus scanner, most have an option for it somewhere.

I can't think of anything else, if fdisk /mbr won't work, I would start looking for a virus.

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If you had everything...Where would you put it?

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)