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Will fix MBR cause me to lose data


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#1
outbackpaul

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I've got a desktop hard drive that is only 3 months old and has been working fine but over the last 3 days it has been takings several reboots to get it to boot to Windows XP. Finally today I tried over 10 times and it would not boot at all normally but did finally get it into Safe Mode. I'm working on backing up all my files but it's going to take a long time to back up all those movies. I'm thinking about just backing up critical data and leaving the rest.

I have a partition on this drive. One is Windows and Programs and the other is My Documents. What's the chances of not being able to get to My Documents if I do a MBR repair?

Thanks for the help.

Paul
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#2
Kemasa

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As long as you only deal with the boot block, you should not have a problem. I would document your current partition before you do anything though so that if you have to you can re-create it.

The real question is why you are having the problem. If the disk is dying, then you need to get the data and don't worry about being able to boot the disk. You could put the disk in another system and do a disk to disk copy.
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#3
outbackpaul

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As long as you only deal with the boot block, you should not have a problem. I would document your current partition before you do anything though so that if you have to you can re-create it.

The real question is why you are having the problem. If the disk is dying, then you need to get the data and don't worry about being able to boot the disk. You could put the disk in another system and do a disk to disk copy.



It's in a 2 hard drive system so I'm doing a backup now in safe mode because I can't get it into normal mode.

Would you recommend a repair install first and then try a MBR repair? Seems like that would be the order of least amount of work involved.
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#4
Kemasa

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I would test the memory in the system and also run a diagnostic on the disk, to make sure that the system is working ok (perhaps other tests), then go from there.
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#5
The Admiral

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An MBR fix takes much less time than a repair install. Also, when I did a repair install on my machine, lots of things stopped working... adobe, hotkeys, Google Earth.... lots of my DLLs were rendered useless. So while my opinion is based solely on my own bad experience, I think an MBR fix would come before a repair install.
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#6
dsenette

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An MBR fix takes much less time than a repair install. Also, when I did a repair install on my machine, lots of things stopped working... adobe, hotkeys, Google Earth.... lots of my DLLs were rendered useless. So while my opinion is based solely on my own bad experience, I think an MBR fix would come before a repair install.

MBR fix and a repair install are two different things though...an MBR fix will only fix issues in teh boot sector....it won't fix a corruption in windows itself (which personally this sounds like)......and while a repair install can cause some issues (generally issues with the software you mentioned since they modify system files)...those issues are USUALLY easy to rectify by reinstalling the failing software (google earth etc...)....

MBR fix shouldn't break anything....but i'm gonna theorise that it probably won't fix anything either....do scans on your RAM, do a chkdsk on your HD then run a windows repair install
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#7
outbackpaul

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An MBR fix takes much less time than a repair install. Also, when I did a repair install on my machine, lots of things stopped working... adobe, hotkeys, Google Earth.... lots of my DLLs were rendered useless. So while my opinion is based solely on my own bad experience, I think an MBR fix would come before a repair install.

MBR fix and a repair install are two different things though...an MBR fix will only fix issues in teh boot sector....it won't fix a corruption in windows itself (which personally this sounds like)......and while a repair install can cause some issues (generally issues with the software you mentioned since they modify system files)...those issues are USUALLY easy to rectify by reinstalling the failing software (google earth etc...)....

MBR fix shouldn't break anything....but i'm gonna theorise that it probably won't fix anything either....do scans on your RAM, do a chkdsk on your HD then run a windows repair install



I ran a memtest within the last couple of months. I let it run for hours. I also defragged and ran a chkdsk in the last few days.

I wish I knew what to do first. I probably wouldn't be here otherwise :) I guess I'll try the Memtest and then that hard drive scanner I found on this website, then MBR repair, then Windows repair. If that doesn't do it then it must be the motherboard going bad.

If I can get into safe mode does that mean that the MBR is ok?

When I am having trouble booting I get several different things. It sometimes hangs at "error loading o/s", most of the time it was "disk read error", and a few times it booted to windows normally, initialized the keyboard, got the black Windows with the motion bar but would freeze before I get to the password entry screen.

Thanks for all the help.

Paul
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#8
Kemasa

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It sounds like it could be a disk problem. I would check to see if the maker of the disk has a diagnostic program and check the disk out. Often the diag from the maker of the disk is better than other programs since they know what to check for.
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#9
Kemasa

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I would check with the maker of your disk to see if they have a diagnostic program and try running that.
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