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Hard Drive Crash - now will not boot except from Recovery Kit disc

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 28, 2011 2:21:59 PM

Computer - Medion (possibly model 8083). Windows XP SP1. 200 GB hard drive partitioned as follows - C: Boot, D: Backup and E: Recover.

Just before Xmas a program crashed on my PC, it froze completely and had to turn the power off. When I turned it on again I got a small beep
(not the normal one) and a black screen with the message - "Disk boot failure. Insert system disk and press enter". There is no chance that this was a virus as I had earlier that day run checks with both Avast and Malwarebytes.

After weeks of trying to solve it using info on the 'net (including this forum) including using the Recovery Console (including using CHKDSC /p, CHKDSC /r fixmbr and others!) and a non-destructive reinstall of Windows, I've got to the stage where the drive will boot if I use a 'Paragon Rescue Kit 10' CD - this enables me to search for OSes on the hard drive and then boot from that OS - this works fine and boots into Windows as I left it, with all my files intact and seemingly working fine.

I don't really understand all the info that the Recovery Kit gives me, but some of what I think might be helpful is as follows -

The 'Find OS' screen finds 'Win 2K/XX/2003 "BOOT".'
Details = Hard Disk:0
Partition : Primary 00
File System NTFS


Paragon Boot Corrector finds - 1 Disk0, Partition0 - Windows XP

[boot loader]
timeout = 30
default = multi(0) disk(0) rdisk(0) partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0) disk(0) partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/fast detect


Boot Partition Record

Basic Hard Disk 0
Type Active File System Label Size
Primary No NTFS BOOT 93.2GB
Extended 83.4GB
Logical No NTFS Backup 83.4GB
Primary No NTFS Recover 9.8GB
(All options are greyed out)


I did find it odd that the Boot Corrector found Windows on Partition0 whereas the boot.ini states partition(1), so I did try editing that using the Boot Corrector (changing both incidences of 'partition(1) to 'partition(0)'), but it didn't work so I editied it back to what it said originally.

I'm no expert with PC's (this is the most complicated stuff I've ever done with it!) and wanted to ask if anyone has any ideas on what else I can try so the PC can once again boot form its hard drive?

I'm only onsite to attempt repairs on the PC on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, but welcome all suggestions at any stage to try when I get a chance. Thanks!

Jac
January 28, 2011 3:04:19 PM

take your hard drive out and install it as a second drive on a working computer.
drag your personal files off the damaged drive and make a backup.
reinstall the damaged drive in the first computer, reformat the disk and install a fresh operating system. Then, install your personal files from the backup.
or have a computer shop do it for you.

Use an all in one, professional anti virus such as Norton or Panda. Do not load multiple security programs. Avoid free software entirely, especially the type that claims it will "protect" clean, scan, or "fix" your computer.
Avoid free downloads, and enjoy reliability.
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January 29, 2011 1:28:20 PM

Thanks, but that is what I'm going through the effort to try and avoid. My PC was running exactly as I wanted it to and I no longer have access to a lot of the programs that are installed on it. The fact that the Paragon Rescue Disc (without having to load any of Windows or seemingly anything too complicated itself) can find my system's Windows and boot perfectly from it shows the installation on the hard drive is OK - but for some reason when booting the hardware just can't find the right place on the drive to look!

As for free software, I've been using the likes of widely recommended programs such as AVG, Avast and Zonealarm for six years and only ever got one virus, which I fixed with Malwarebytes (free edition). I have steered well clear of the various random stuff that says it can 'fix' my computer.

As everything is still working on my hard drive once the rescue cd finds Windows, surely there's some way to fix it?
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February 10, 2011 8:08:49 AM

Well, I managed to sort it out myself. In case anyone else has the problem I did, I cloned the C drive of the faulty disc with XXclone onto a new drive, installed the cloned drive and everything works just as it did before. All I need to do now is copy across any of the files I need from the other partitions on the original drive.

I'm also going to clone it again onto an old spare drive and keep that safe somewhere as a very easy-to-use backup if things go wrong in the future.

Jac

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