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Boot problem, MBR and partition table corrupted?

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Hi, here's the story (sorry for my unperfect english, I'm french^^) :

A few days ago I switched my computer off, then the next day, it wouldn't boot.
All I get is this message : "disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter".

It already happened that the system partition had problems, in this case I formated and it was ok. But now I think this problem is to big for me^^.

The HDD is detected in the BIOS, so I think it's not physically dead, but it won't boot into windows. I put it as a slave disk on another computer, it was again detected in BIOS, but the partitions were not visible in windows. In the disk gestionnary, all I get is something like "76Gb not allocated", as if the disk was blank.

When I boot with the windows 2000 CD in it, as if I was gonna reinstall it, I had a message like "the MBR (boot sector) may be corrupted", or something like that, then "press k to continue", I pressed the k key, aborted the reinstall, but nothing changed.

So this may be a boot virus, or could it be the aftermath of some RAM problems I had recently ? (both Hard drives were shutting down for a few seconds from time to time, about a week or two after I added 512Mo DDR, then I updated my BIOS and everything was fine again).

So as I can't see the other partitions in windows, this would mean that the boot sector, but also the partition table are corrupted.

So my first question, is there still anything I can do to try to fix the problem ?
I read somewhere that a boot virus copies itself in the boot sector and so the boot sector datas are offset, hence the boot problem. So if it is a virus, could there be a way to get everything back in place ?

Any other idea of what it could be ?
Is there a way to fix it with an fdisk /mbr without losing everything on the disk ?

Also I found this messageboard thanks to this page :
where Mr Admin makes an impressive post with lots of data recovery software.

If this is my last chance, does anyone has more informations or experience about that ?
Is there a software better than the others ?
Is it a safe processus ? Or may I lose datas by trying to recover it ?
Is it somehting I, an "average computer user", can do ? (cuz' my informatic store charges this at 100€... And I'm not really in a budget... :tazz: )

My most important files are backed-up, but what I may lose are all those "not so important files" that you never erase anyway, sort of computer history ;) and I'd rather save this anyway^^.

Tell me if you need more infos and precision about my problem.
I hope my post isn't too long and that you'll be able to help me,
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Hi there^^

No one can help ? T_T
I'd like to try one of those recovery software, but the advice of someone who eventually knows a bit how to do would be great...

No one ?
Though I understand this may be a rare problem you don't often have to deal with...

Edited by Black_Phantom, 26 April 2005 - 07:40 AM.

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