Lost Boot Sector

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flybynight

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Joined
Dec 19, 2001
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51
I tried to boot my old laptop the other day, and received a blue screen saying there is an unmountable boot sector. Turns out my harddrive lost the boot partition. It will not boot, windows recovery doesn't reconize the drive, so I can't repair it that way, and I have some files that I'm not keen on losing. Is there any chance of restoring the boot sector without any damage, and reloading XP? I am currently trying Bart PE, but am not very experienced with it, so not having much luck.

I do not know what caused the problem, but my guess is that the harddrive is old, and just gave up. However the disk scans I've run aren't showing any problems. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

jrbuergel

Jim
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
808
Try booting to a floopy or the XP CD, or here is a link for a good bootable CD; right here it is
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ Or your best bet may be to take it in to your local area computer repair store for the real experts to fix it.
 
Joined
May 21, 2004
Messages
303
flybynight said:
I tried to boot my old laptop the other day, and received a blue screen saying there is an unmountable boot sector. Turns out my harddrive lost the boot partition. It will not boot, windows recovery doesn't reconize the drive, so I can't repair it that way, and I have some files that I'm not keen on losing. Is there any chance of restoring the boot sector without any damage, and reloading XP? I am currently trying Bart PE, but am not very experienced with it, so not having much luck.

I do not know what caused the problem, but my guess is that the harddrive is old, and just gave up. However the disk scans I've run aren't showing any problems. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
boot up to the recovery console

type

chkdsk <systemdrive> /r
 

flybynight

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
51
It is just the boot partition that is missing. The problem is, the harddrive is not partitioned anymore. I have found the whole file structure using a recovery program in PE, however the freeware version doesn't let you copy files, only view them. I have already tried Ultimate Boot CD, but I was worried about rewriting the boot partition, though I think that is my only hope.

With the XP CD, the recovery console is no help. Fixboot and fixmbr don't work. Keep the ideas coming, I am willing to work at it before I pay someone to do it. It's more fun this way.

Testdisk looks interesting, I'll give that a shot as well, thanks for the suggestion.
 

flybynight

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
51
It is a data recovery program plugin that I used in Bart PE. PE itself isn't recognizing the drive either. It wants to format the drive.
 

Squashman

Retired Trusted Advisor
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
19,786
Well, there are lots of places on the Internet that provide plugins for many programs. You could try google searching for Bart PE plugins or try creating your own. I have made a few of my own in the past.

You could also try mounting the drive in another computer and use Disk Investigator to pull the files off.
 

flybynight

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
51
Elvandil said:
Try partition recovery software.

Testdisk Documentation
Testdisk Download

See if Partition Table Doctor finds anything before purchasing.
I finally got a chance to use Testdisk. If anyone has any experience using this, maybe this will help. It found the discrepency in Boot records, and when it tried to rewrite, I got a flush error, and boot sector could not be written. Any thoughts?
 
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