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Originally posted by fulcrum:

There have been reports that Maxtors have had serious quality control issues of late.

That's a shame. My old Maxtors have been tremendously reliable. My new drive is a WD, which used to have a bad rep but seems to have overcome it.
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Hey, thanks everyone. I'm pretty sure the problem is drive-specific as the computer has no problem booting up from my "temporary" (not yet activated) drive.


The reason why I want to save the original drive if at all possible is so I don't have to re-install/reauthorize all my programs. The only data on that drive was basically OS and programs, which I'm currently backing up to another drive.


Once it finishes backing up I'm going to try running scandisk on the "bogus" drive and defragging, per Phil's advice. If that doesn't work, I'm then going to format a blank drive, copy the backed up files to it, and see if it will boot. If that doesn't work, I'll try Alndln's tip about starting the reformat process. The last attempt will be repairing the OS install, even though it means I'll have to activate again :(


If all else fails, it's re-install OS and programs time...uh-oh...


Thanks again for your help, I'll let you know what happens.

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Originally posted by Alndln:

Originally posted by Anderton:

Is there some way to write just the boot record/sector/whatever to restore that section of the disk? I tried fdisk/mbr but it didn't seem to do anything.

Well,you can create a ... luck.


Put in the XP CD and boot from it. Find your way to go into the Recovery Console, which is sort of a DOS-like command line environment, but for NT.



map d:

where d: is the letter of your problem drive.

This will display the NTFS disk name for your problem drive. It'll be something like: \Device\HardDisk0\Partition1


Then, to rewrite your master boot record, type:

fixmbr \Device\HardDisk0\Partition1

(substitute the correct name for your drive)


Other commands possibly useful for your problem:




Caveat: I strongly recommend backing up your data and reading through Windows Help files (search on "Recovery Console") before using any of these commands.


It is possible to set up XP so the Recovery Console is a sort of 'multiboot' option.

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Well, I tried a bunch of other options, including fixboot and fixmbr, and just couldn't bring the drive back so it would boot. So I formatted a different drive (don't trust the old one any more!) and am reinstalling Windows. Which also means reinstalling all my programs :( ...at least my data's safe.


Thanks for all your help. I am pretty much convinced at this point that the problem was related to the lightning strike. Even though I have heavy duty AC line protection, that doesn't matter much with a major nearby strike; the field that's generated is enough to induce itself into just about any conductor. At least I should have everything runnning again by late tomorrow, although I'm not looking forward to the whole authorization issue with copy protected software.

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Copy protection is a PITA for legit users, and hardly seems to be even much of a speedbump for pirates, but I don't want to open that can of worms. :(


FWIW, I concur with your decision to replace the drive Craig... if a drive gives me even a hint of issues, I'll get a new one. They're not all that expensive, and in all honesty, it's not worth the risk IMO.


Now once you get everything re-installed and authorized, make sure you get a copy of Norton Ghost (or a similar program) and back up your C drive with that. The next time this happens (and drive failures are usually only a question of "when", not "if"), you'll have a much easier time getting everything back up and running.

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