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Dell E520 XP stuck on "Loading PBR .." after recovery failed [


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#16
BrendanQ

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#17
CompCav

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Brendan,

We need to check two things:

Is the hard drive recognized in the BIOS and can we get to it with Recovery Console.

Check BIOS setup for hard drive.

On your good computer go here for BIOS information.


Enter the Setup by pressing F2 at the splash screen.

Under Drives it should have a SATA drive what number SATA is your hard drive?

What SATA Operation is it set for? Choices are: RAID Autodetect/ATA or RAID On

Does it have your hard drive correctly identified?

If the drive is not correctly identified then try to autodetect it.


Please answer the questions and let me know if the hard drive is identified correctly.
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#18
BrendanQ

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It is SATA-0 and this correctly lists the Hitachi Hard Drive and shows as "On" menaing "a device attached to the interface is usable"
SATA-1 is the DVD and shows as "On"
SATA -2 and -3 are not available in this chassis
SATA -4 and -5

Under SATA operation it says Raid On

I'm not sure what you mean by correctly identified but I think this means that it is?

Thanks

Brendan
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#19
CompCav

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If the Hitachi drive is listed then we are not facing a BIOS issue (whew!)

So boot up on the XP CD.

When it loads you will see this screen:

Posted Image


Select R to repair this goes to the recovery console.

When it loads, select 1 and type format c: then press ENTER.


If this does not work we can try to load to install and do format in preparation.

The raid controllers should be on a disk that Dell sent you. If you need to install them for the drive to be seen for formatting.
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#20
BrendanQ

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I dont have this initial screen - my CD goes straight into trying to install XP, as if I had pressed enter on the screen you show

Brendan
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#21
CompCav

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We will format the disk outside of windows. I will be back in a few minutes with instructions for a boot disk to do just that! :thumbsup:
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#22
BrendanQ

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OK much appreciated.

I have to go out for a couple of hours soon but will check later for any further messages.

Brendan
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#23
CompCav

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Download gparted live iso


Burn this disk with your iso burner.

Boot up on the disk.

Click on GParted

Here are some screenshots for gparted.

When it finds your drive it willl show the partitions.

Click on the largest partition.

Please let me know how many partitions you have and what size they are.

You should have at least two the main partition and the recovery partition.

We want to delete the small partitions by highlighting them then click Delete

The click the largest partition and click Partition >> Format to >> ntfs and follow the prompts.

Once it is done formatting, close GParted, then click Exit in the upper left hand corner.

Remove the CD and then put in your XP CD.

It will open the CD tray and say close tray and press ENTER to continue.

Now try your windows XP disk from Dell.

Edited by CompCav, 07 March 2012 - 02:08 PM.

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#24
BrendanQ

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OK thanks, burned this and it boots and runs OK. Shows 5 partitions which look plausible though I suspect two are the same partition shown twice. There was a drive C: and drive D: on the hard disk (came this way from dell) as "normal" partitions and there is also a Utility plus a Restore. The Drive C: partition shows an orange triangle with an exclamation mark which I presume indicates a fault (which is what we might expect). Have to go to work now so will try this later today as I'm too tired now to trust myself further! This will be about 8-9pm Thursday UK time.

Brendan
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#25
CompCav

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IMPORTANT!!!

You can do the following to get to your hard drive with the XP disk. This should eliminate the need to use GParted.

Go into the BIOS, press F2 on startup.

Go in the BIOS and change the SATA settings from "Raid On" to RAID off and "Legacy". You will then be able to run the Dell restore disks just fine.

Edited by CompCav, 08 March 2012 - 12:11 AM.

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#26
BrendanQ

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I have not used GParted yet as I have just read you last message. I will try this without going as far as installing just yet, but do I not also need to delete the old partitions for Dell Restore etc? I presume that the XP disks wont interfere with the partitions but will just try to load XP on whatever set up it finds? Or maybe it will re-create the Restore partition? I suppose it may not matter either way since I now have an XP disk?

Brendan
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#27
BrendanQ

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Hi

The options for RAID were not quite what you suggested but I did turn off the RAID ON option via F2 Setup (the other options was Auto Detect RAID - defaults to ATA if not detected in some way) and this allowed the XP disks to get past the previous BSOD and showed me a screen rather like your screen shot from an earlier message about doing Recovery.

I selected the "R" option It then offered me one drive to "log on to" which was Drive F:. This turns out to be the DVD I'm pretty sure!. I got a prompt saying F:\minint which seems to be a folder on the Dell XP DVD.

I can also use normal DOS commands to change to other drives and folders, hence I found I can display files on Drive D: (the second "normal" partition on the HD)and Drive E: which I think is either the Dell Restore partition or the Utility partition. There is a Drive C: and I can get to the prompt for this but get "an error occurred during directory enumeration" when trying to display the folder contents. This is different from other drives like B: G: etc which give "the specified drive is not valid".

So .. should I be trying to do something via the "R" recovery option or alternatively just trying to reinstall XP completely now. It seems that the old C: drive is still invisible to some software so I'm not sure if I need to try and fix this first in some way, or delete the partition and recreate it or what?

Brendan
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#28
CompCav

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First let's just try and install XP do not go to "R"

It should be able to format the hard drive as part of the installation procedure.

CompCav
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#29
BrendanQ

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This seems to have successfully reformatted the C: drive and installed XP and it seems to be OK - can see the desktop now!

I'm a bit concerned about the D: drive which was a partitioned area of about 35MB called "Backup" by Dell , not to be confused with the Dell Restore partition which is normally invisible. I copied my documents into this area (as well as to an external hard disk) before trying the Dell Restore that screwed everything up and they are all still there. In one way this is good as I have two backups now. In another way I am wondering if only reformatting C: means that there still could be Trojans on this system somewhere? i.e. should I now delete partition D: or reformat it or something?

GParted now shows the same 5 partitions as before, with one (the Backup) seeming to be a duplicate on the list. The C: partition no longer has the orange triangle so GParted clearly thinks its OK now (as it should since I can see the desktop).

This means I still have a Dell Utility partition (47MB) and a Dell Restore partition (3.15 GB) as well as the Drive D: (which is listed as an "extended" partition on one line and as Backup on the next line of the GParted table). Could any of them still be a hazard?

Thanks

Brendan
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#30
BrendanQ

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Sorry Drive D: is not measured in MB, and to be precise it is 37.24 GB !

Brendan
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