October 13th, 2005, 09:30 AM
Loading PBR for descriptor 2
I'm sure this is someplace but I couldn't find the answer. My son's Dell 4600 suddenly won't boot. It comes up "Loading PBR for descriptor 2...done
Press Ctrl- alt - del
I see that one can press F11 and it will go back to factory settings. (Haven't tried this yet). But other places I read this doesn't work. Any suggestions or try F11 and lose any data.
October 13th, 2005, 12:43 PM
from the Dell forums:here and here
"Loading PBR for descriptor 2 ... failed" would be the exact error message if the MBR is unable to load the partition boot record for the second partition. There may be more, but here are three possible causes:
the partition table is corrupted so that the descriptor points to the wrong place (i.e., says the partition is one place when it's really somewhere else);
the partition table descriptor points to the right place, but the boot record there is corrupted or has been erased;
the hard disk is failing and having trouble reading the sector with the boot record.
To check (1), visit www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm
and download my dsrfix utility. Use it to capture a logfile and email the logifle to me for review. In short, if dsrfix reports a clean bill of health, then (1) isn't the problem.
To check (3), run hard disk diagnostic tests. Press F12 when the machine is starting and see if the bios boot menu offers you a hard disk diagnostic test that you can run. Or even better, if you know the brand of the hard disk, most manufacturers should have a free diagnostic utility you can download to test the hard disk.
If it's not (1) or (3), then use Ctrl+F11 to run the Dell restore utility to recreate the Windows partition.
"Bad PBR" means the partition boot record the MBR is trying to load has an invalid sector signature.
Right before that message, you should see something like "Loading PBR for descriptor 2". That will tell you which PBR the MBR is having a problem with--descriptor '1' is the Dell Utility partition, '2' is the XP partition, and '3' is the Dell Restore partition.
October 13th, 2005, 12:52 PM
Edit- Somewhat similar to 104456's post, just not as concise.
First, make sure that all connections are secure, and reseat the RAM.
If no luck and it uses Windows XP, then press the F8 key during startup, select Safe mode from the menu using the arrow keys, and press Enter.
If it starts in Safe mode, then do a clean boot to find the cause:
If it does not start in Safe mode, then restart, press the F8 key during startup, and select 'Last Known Good Configuration'.
If still no luck, then press the F2 key during startup to get into Setup(try the Del key if F2 does not work), and make sure the CD drive is configured to boot ahead of the HD.
Then, insert the Windows(or Recovery) CD, restart, and follow the steps shown here to access the Recovery Console, and do a FIXBOOT(writes a new partition table to the HD)-> http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/
If that does not fix things, then do a FIXMBR(repairs the HD's Master Boot Record) using the same above procedure for a FIXBOOT, except substitute FIXMBR.
If still no luck, then you may have to do a repair install as described in the above link(Follow the steps for having an OEM version of XP).
If no good, then do a fresh install of XP(You will lose all data, restore points, and updates).
If there are problems doing that, then either the HD or RAM may be bad.
Last edited by ski; October 13th, 2005 at 12:59 PM.
October 13th, 2005, 01:03 PM
[/QUOTE]To check (1), visit www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm and download my dsrfix utility. Use it to capture a logfile and email the logifle to me for review. In short, if dsrfix reports a clean bill of health, then (1) isn't the problem.[QUOTE]
Thanks so far, now I'll have to go home and try these. One question, what happens when the Dell 4600 does not have a floppy drive. Can I download to a USB Flash?
Also reading these replies, what about putting a new a hard drive in, and turning to old one into a slave and accessing any files (unless of course the hard drive died)? We have only had this for a year and half, and really have not used it that much.
Thanks again for the help.
October 13th, 2005, 01:43 PM
You could install a new drive to test the system but note the recovery partition is installed on the drive you are removing so will be inaccessible for recovery options.
Before you do take any drastic actions are there any further error messages or does it just halt?
October 13th, 2005, 02:59 PM
No, it just has the message "Loading PBR for descriptor 2...done" Then underneath press Ctrl+ALt+Delete. Yesterday when I first starting looking at it up came an error message at"??????" But of course I didn't write it down then, now I can't get anything except this message. I am able to go to BIOS I believe Dell presents me with the option of selecting 1. To boot from hard drive 2. Master Drive (or something to this effect) Sorry I didn't write this order down, but no matter what I select the message comes up.
October 13th, 2005, 05:10 PM
What occours if you press CAD does it just go round in a loop?
October 14th, 2005, 09:21 AM
Ok I went home and tried Ctrl F11 and I did get to the screen where I can restore factory settings but it wouldn't let me.
To answer the question yes, it goes in a loop. I am assuming I'll have to try a FIXBOOT, but doesn't this wipe the hard drive clean? And if so wouldn't it make sense then to go get a new hard drive, just to make sure that the current hard drive is not bad.
I guess Im trying to figure out how the Dell 4700 got a bad partition since it isn't connected to the net, and my son doesn't use that often.
October 14th, 2005, 09:49 AM
Id suggest using the manufacturers drive test tool from the link in my sig it could be failing.As to Fixboot no this does not format the drive but restores the operating system/s ability to boot up
January 8th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Use Windows XP Repair
I had the same problem with a customer's Dell. I ran the Windows XP OEM Setup Disk and chose Repair. In the repair console, I ran the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands. I then restarted the PC and Windows XP came back up.
January 8th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Seeing when the last post was made October 14th, 2005, 06:49 AM ,
the problem I figure, has been retified by now.
and post back. Let us know if it worked.
[ Book mark this post to find it again]
January 8th, 2008, 01:42 PM
March 30th, 2008, 12:09 AM
I know this thread is very old... I have the same problem i wonder if i do a system repair / fixboot / fixdisk or whatever, will it delete my saved password? I have many important saved password on my mozilla firefox and msn, I am afraid if i do a system repair / fixboot or fixdisk or any other of those it make new windows session and by doing that, my firefox mozilla will delete all saved password, same for my msn....
Can anyone help me please, thanks.
March 30th, 2008, 12:26 PM
No, it won't affect your passwords, or any other saved data
February 12th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Ski says "If it does not start in Safe mode, then restart, press the F8 key during startup, and select 'Last Known Good Configuration'.
My computer exhibited the same issue. My computer appeared to be frozen in the boot, but actually wasn't. It was just in super slow motion. When I followed the advice above, I had to wait 20 minutes or more for it to work through the boot process even after selecting "last known good configuration." After that I did an immediate reboot at which point it booted normally!
Thanks, Ski! You saved me an incredible amount of work and headache that the other solutions mentioned would have involved. My hard drive is actually fine. Apparently, it was just a problem that had occurred in the operating system that when rolled back worked itself out.
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