December 14th, 2001, 01:51 AM
Can't boot from HD - boot record problem?
Hello, I hope someone can help me. I think it might be a boot record problem, but I am not sure.
To make a long story short, after doing a reboot when win98 froze (was accessing a very large network drive at the time), I was receiving the "disk i/o error" on startup. I was able to boot from my win98SE cd. I was able to access my HD and ran scandisk. During surface scanning it froze. I rebooted and received the same "disk i/o error". After booting using my win98SE install cd, I could not access my HD any longer.
I've run fdisk /mbr. Doesn't help. POST is fine. At least I think it is, I am not receive any error beeps or messages.
I've checked the bios and the HD is recognized when running "ide hdd auto detection". I ran a fdisk /status and it is semi-recognized (?) - info is (on two lines):
Drv: _____ (blank)
Free: _____ (blank)
Disk: _____ (blank)
Free: _____ (blank)
Usage: _____ (blank)
When I try and run just fdisk, I receive the message "error reading fixed disk". It does not allow me to access the HD at all.
My computer specs are:
1.8 gig processor
512 mb ram
40 gig hd (partitioned 19 gigs each - c & d drives)
This computer is only a week old and I just finished installing all my applications and transferring my old data a few days ago. I *really* don't want to have to do that all over again. And even if I did, fdisk isn't allowing me access to the drive.
I also can't even reinstall winSE98 because it will not recognize the HD during setup.
Please help! I'm not sure what else to do.
[This message has been edited by Ida (edited 12-14-2001).]
December 14th, 2001, 02:07 AM
It sounds like you may have a hard drive that has failed. Not what you want to hear after all that setup work, I know, but better now than months later. However, if the PC is only a week old, I'd say it is time for whoever sold it to you perform some warranty work. They should be able to diagnose the problem for sure in short order, and fix or replace anything that needs it.
December 14th, 2001, 02:18 AM
I'm confused. How could it have failed when it was brand new? It wasn't slow or anything. No problems at all.
On an old system, I did have a HD that did fail (after a few years). This seems different. As stupid as this sounds, it physically sounds different than when my old HD failed (loud crunching, slow performance, etc.).
Please don't say I need to get a new HD!
December 14th, 2001, 02:59 AM
UPDATE: I can access my c & d drives only because I screwed up. I found what I thought was my norton rescue set and rescued the boot record. It was *not* my set, but the set for my other computer. DOH!
Files and partitions are just a garbled mess. Anyway to solve this *without* having to reformat my drives?
I also do *not* have my own rescue set. I looked everywhere. I don't know where it is. I'll assume they're not here.
December 14th, 2001, 03:12 AM
Unfortunately, from the information you provided in your first post, it looks like a new hard drive is what you need. My experience with PC components is that if they are going to fail, they usually do so soon after you get them (within the first 3 months). Otherwise, they usually last at least long as they are supposed to, usually years. As I mentioned, if this system is under warranty, I'd certainly make the supplier check the system out and get it working. You didn't mention if it was purchased locally or from a mail-order or internet supplier, but either way, if it is under warranty I'd make them help you out. Remote diagnosis via VirtualDr is no substitute for a technician with physical access to the PC.
If you want to run another test, there is one more thing you can try. If you have a boot diskette with the DOS version of scandisk on it (you can search for scandisk.* and copy all files found to the boot floppy) then you can do a surface scan on the hard drive. If your previous scandisk attempts froze the PC, this will probably do the same. The only other possibility that I see at the moment is a bad drive controller on the motherboard, and that is not as likely as a bad drive.
Post any additional data you may find, in case anyone else has any other ideas regarding your problem.
December 14th, 2001, 11:46 AM
It does sound like a bad hard drive. I'd start by downloading the drive manufacturer's diagnostic tool and run it to test the drive. These tools are available for free at the hard drive manufacturer's web site.
If you don't know who made the hard drive, just download any one of the manufacturer's diagnostic tools and run it. It'll at least ID the drive for you.
FWIW, I've received brand new hard drives that were DOA, while some others have lasted over 10 years. There's really no telling how long any computer part will last.
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