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No boot from my harddisk

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dahliorse, Mar 8, 2007.

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  1. dahliorse

    dahliorse Thread Starter

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    I have windows XP professional on a 40GB harddisk, but I can't get it to boot up! I'm sure it has something to do with the MBR. The computer is an old compaq, with a floppy A: drive that does not work!
    I'm totally new to this sort of problem, so I'd be really gratefull for clear instructions on how I can get it up and running again.

    For example I found a download for a DOS that I can use via the CD drive. However I haven't a clue as to how I can use it to boot up or fix the MBR, if it is indeed possible!

    Grateful for any help, advice or suggestions.
     
  2. norton850

    norton850

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    What happens? How far do you get in the boot process? Have you tried safe mode? Any changes made to the computer before this started? The more information you can provide the more it will help solving the problem.
     
  3. dahliorse

    dahliorse Thread Starter

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    Absolutely nothing happens. Just a black screen with a flashing cursor in the top left corner of the screen! I have checked the contents of the hard disk using one of the linux live-cds. As far as I can see all the folders and files are still there. All my personal stuff is there. As far as I can see, all those files which are hidden under windows are visible in linux.

    Hope this helps
     
  4. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Not sure what boot CD you are using.

    But if you think the master boot record is corrupted.

    Boot with your XP CD
    Take the first repair option
    Select the # for the installation of Windows - usually 1
    Type in the administrator's password
    Then run FIXMBR

    --

    Or if you can boot with the CD you mentioned, and it has FDISK,
    run
    FDISK /MBR
     
  5. dahliorse

    dahliorse Thread Starter

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    forgot to mention I don't have the windows xp CD, long gone!
     
  6. dahliorse

    dahliorse Thread Starter

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    I ran FDISK /MBR and had an error message:

    "Error can't save original MBR. Operation unsuccessful."

    Details of my hard disk as shown from FDISK are:

    Partition on 1st harddisk
    (7545.2MB ,1022 cylinders)

    no drive start end mb status type
    1 -- 1 1023 39260 A HPFS/NTFS (OS/2 OR NT); QNX; ADVANCED UNIX

    What does (7545.2MB ,1022 cylinders) mean? Is it suggesting that there are two partitions? As far as I can see there is only one partition?

    I checked the file system on the hard disk using the dos cd. As far as I can see all my data is still there.
    My theory is that my MBR or MBS is totally dead or non existant. If so do I have to create a small partition at the very begining of the hard drive and try to do the FDISK /MBR again? Just fishing for ideas or perhaps desperate for help/advice.

    grateful for any help
     
  7. dahliorse

    dahliorse Thread Starter

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    no drive start end mb status type
    1 -- 0 1023 39260 A HPFS/NTFS (OS/2 OR NT); QNX; ADVANCED UNIX
     
  8. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    There more going on there than being posted.

    For starters, why did you think the MBR was a problem in the first post. It's not like you normally get some error message about it.

    So perhaps you can give the background of what led you to this point.
     
  9. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Just asked them to post information sent on a PM. Don't like those on a public forum. Here is what was sent. Significant important informant was being left out:

    The hard disk originally had windows xp and linux. I then got rid of the linux partition with the idea of having another windows partition instead. This however worked ok but grub was still the bootloader.
    I formatted the whole drive with "partition magic 8" with the idea that I could use the "copy a partition" feature and copy windows XP from an old hard disk I had, which was small and sloooow!
    Since all this began I then re-installed linux on the whole drive and it worked flawlesly, but rest of family didn't like linux.

    Since I no longer have windows xp on a cd and I already have it on an old hard disk, I'm not prepared to by a new copy of windows XP. I though I'd try and copy windowsxp of my old hard disk onto the new one. Which is what I thought the "copy partition" feature is about in partition magic.
     
  10. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Yes, running FDISK /MBR after Linux was removed would be needed. Most times this works. I have seen times where for whatever reason it doesn't. Might try finding a XP CD and at least running the repair console as noted above.

    "The hard disk originally had windows xp and linux" - Since typically hard disks don't come with both XP and Linux can you also provide any details?
     
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