Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence - Storage

This is a discussion on Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence - Storage ; Hi group, I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR. Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem ...

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  1. Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Hi group,

    I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times in the past 6 months
    because of a corrupted MBR.

    Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and a running
    FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of months only to have the
    same problem happen again.

    Thinking it was the hard drive, I took it back to the manufacturer for
    a warranty replacement. Now the problem seems to be happening again on
    the new drive and only 1 month of having it.

    Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.

    There are a few things that I think could be the problem, you might be
    able to shed some light on this.

    1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S, although I
    highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.
    2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working and therefore corrupting
    the hard drive.

    The problem seems to pop it's head up straight after a reboot. Either
    because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".

    Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus or are there other areas
    that could be the problem?

    Thanks in advanced,
    Bernard

  2. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bernard wrote

    > Hi group,


    Lo groupy,

    > I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    > in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.


    > Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console
    > and a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple
    > of months only to have the same problem happen again.


    > Thinking it was the hard drive,


    Thats unlikely if only the MBR was affected.

    > I took it back to the manufacturer for a warranty replacement.
    > Now the problem seems to be happening again on the new
    > drive and only 1 month of having it.


    > Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.


    Something else in the hard drive subsystem, or its a software problem.

    Most likely a software problem.

    > There are a few things that I think could be the problem,
    > you might be able to shed some light on this.


    > 1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S,
    > although I highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.


    It wont be that.

    > 2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working
    > and therefore corrupting the hard drive.


    Very unlikely to JUST corrupt the MBR.

    > The problem seems to pop it's head up straight after a reboot.


    Thats important.

    > Either because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".


    That doesnt normally corrupt the MBR.

    > Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus


    It wont be that, if that was the problem, it wouldnt JUST corrupt the MBR.

    > or are there other areas that could be the problem?


    Yep, it could be in a wide variety of areas.

    Most likely something is causing the freeze and BSODs and when that has happened,
    the MBR is corrupted when the system attempts to boot after that problem has shown up.
    That might be due to bad caps. These are the usually blue or black plastic covered post
    like things that stick up vertically from the motherboard surface. The tops should be flat.
    If any have bulged or have leaked, thats likely the problem.

    Is there any commonality in what produces the freeze or BSOD ?



  3. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Thanks for the quick reply Rod.

    Regarding the BSoD, that only happened once. The common denominator
    here seems to be a reboot while the hard drive is "doing something".
    For example, the last time the hard drive "screwed up", the BSoD was
    dumping the physicals and this took around 1hr. So I got impatient and
    restarted the machine. While another time, the system just froze up
    and the hard drive I/O light was on, so I restarted and BANG. Same
    problem.

    As for the only the MBR being affected, I forgot to mention on the
    original post that the while doing CHKDSK, there were a lot of index,
    USN journal fixes, orphan files and also it did a step I've never seen
    before "Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap".
    The CHKDSK errors happen every time this problem pops up.

    Does this sound more like an onboard controller fault?

    Are there any utilities I can use to test the motherboard/chipset and
    the controllers?

    I thought something that would send large amounts of data to the hard
    drive (therefore via the SATA/IDE controller) and checks whether the
    data was received as expected.

    Thanks again,
    Bernard

    On Mar 31, 3:39 pm, "Rod Speed" wrote:
    > Bernard wrote
    >
    > > Hi group,

    >
    > Lo groupy,
    >
    > > I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    > > in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.
    > > Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console
    > > and a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple
    > > of months only to have the same problem happen again.
    > > Thinking it was the hard drive,

    >
    > Thats unlikely if only the MBR was affected.
    >
    > > I took it back to the manufacturer for a warranty replacement.
    > > Now the problem seems to be happening again on the new
    > > drive and only 1 month of having it.
    > > Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.

    >
    > Something else in the hard drive subsystem, or its a software problem.
    >
    > Most likely a software problem.
    >
    > > There are a few things that I think could be the problem,
    > > you might be able to shed some light on this.
    > > 1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S,
    > > although I highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.

    >
    > It wont be that.
    >
    > > 2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working
    > > and therefore corrupting the hard drive.

    >
    > Very unlikely to JUST corrupt the MBR.
    >
    > > The problem seems to pop it's head up straight after a reboot.

    >
    > Thats important.
    >
    > > Either because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".

    >
    > That doesnt normally corrupt the MBR.
    >
    > > Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus

    >
    > It wont be that, if that was the problem, it wouldnt JUST corrupt the MBR.
    >
    > > or are there other areas that could be the problem?

    >
    > Yep, it could be in a wide variety of areas.
    >
    > Most likely something is causing the freeze and BSODs and when that has happened,
    > the MBR is corrupted when the system attempts to boot after that problem has shown up.
    > That might be due to bad caps. These are the usually blue or black plastic covered post
    > like things that stick up vertically from the motherboard surface. The tops should be flat.
    > If any have bulged or have leaked, thats likely the problem.
    >
    > Is there any commonality in what produces the freeze or BSOD ?


  4. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Thanks Franc,

    The reason I run FIXMBR is because recovery console doesn't recognise
    the drive. Once I run FIXMBR and restart, the drive becomes available
    for me to run CHKDSK.

    Cheers,
    Bernard

    On Mar 31, 5:44 pm, Franc Zabkar wrote:
    > On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 17:27:38 -0700 (PDT), Bernard
    > put finger to keyboard and composed:
    >
    > >I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times in the past 6 months
    > >because of a corrupted MBR.

    >
    > >Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and a running
    > >FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of months only to have the
    > >same problem happen again.

    >
    > I can't understand why your OS or your software would want to write to
    > the MBR, unless you were repartitioning the disc or intentionally
    > refreshing the MBR code. Instead I suspect that your drive is
    > developing bad sectors.
    >
    > If you believe that the MBR code is corrupt because FIXMBR is telling
    > you so, then be aware of the following bug (it is also present in Win
    > XP Home's recovery console).
    >
    > ================================================== ==================
    > Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command:
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266745/
    >
    > SYMPTOMS
    >
    > When you attempt to run the fixmbr command in the Microsoft Windows
    > 2000 recovery console, your computer system may display the following
    > error message:
    >
    > This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot
    > record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
    > could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become
    > inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do
    > not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?
    >
    > RESOLUTION
    >
    > Ignore the error message described in the "Symptoms" section of this
    > article. The fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.
    >
    > STATUS
    >
    > Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft
    > products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
    >
    > MORE INFORMATION
    >
    > The fixmbr command causes this error message to be displayed on your
    > computer system whenever you run the command, regardless of the state
    > of the Master Boot Record (MBR).
    > ================================================== ==================
    >
    > - Franc Zabkar
    > --
    > Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.



  5. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bernard wrote:

    > Thanks for the quick reply Rod.


    Unfortunately this one took longer |-(

    > Regarding the BSoD, that only happened once.


    Thats even worse, freezes can be due to a hell of a lot of things.

    > The common denominator here seems to be a reboot while the hard drive is "doing something".


    OK, then it may not actually be a freeze at all, just the drive retrying on a bad.

    Post the Everest SMART report on the drive.
    http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181

    > For example, the last time the hard drive "screwed up", the BSoD was
    > dumping the physicals and this took around 1hr. So I got impatient and
    > restarted the machine. While another time, the system just froze up and
    > the hard drive I/O light was on, so I restarted and BANG. Same problem.


    > As for the only the MBR being affected, I forgot to mention on the
    > original post that the while doing CHKDSK, there were a lot of index,
    > USN journal fixes, orphan files and also it did a step I've never seen
    > before "Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap".
    > The CHKDSK errors happen every time this problem pops up.


    OK, thats an important difference.

    > Does this sound more like an onboard controller fault?


    No, just that you do have a problem with the hard drive subsystem.

    > Are there any utilities I can use to test the motherboard/chipset and the controllers?


    No, not in the sense that you can readily check what ends up on the platters.

    > I thought something that would send large amounts of data
    > to the hard drive (therefore via the SATA/IDE controller)
    > and checks whether the data was received as expected.


    There isnt anything much like that thats free.

    You can obviously do a copy and compare at the file level using a cmd file.


    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Bernard wrote
    >>
    >>> Hi group,

    >>
    >> Lo groupy,
    >>
    >>> I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    >>> in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.
    >>> Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console
    >>> and a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple
    >>> of months only to have the same problem happen again.
    >>> Thinking it was the hard drive,

    >>
    >> Thats unlikely if only the MBR was affected.
    >>
    >>> I took it back to the manufacturer for a warranty replacement.
    >>> Now the problem seems to be happening again on the new
    >>> drive and only 1 month of having it.
    >>> Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.

    >>
    >> Something else in the hard drive subsystem, or its a software
    >> problem.
    >>
    >> Most likely a software problem.
    >>
    >>> There are a few things that I think could be the problem,
    >>> you might be able to shed some light on this.
    >>> 1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S,
    >>> although I highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.

    >>
    >> It wont be that.
    >>
    >>> 2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working
    >>> and therefore corrupting the hard drive.

    >>
    >> Very unlikely to JUST corrupt the MBR.
    >>
    >>> The problem seems to pop it's head up straight after a reboot.

    >>
    >> Thats important.
    >>
    >>> Either because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".

    >>
    >> That doesnt normally corrupt the MBR.
    >>
    >>> Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus

    >>
    >> It wont be that, if that was the problem, it wouldnt JUST corrupt
    >> the MBR.
    >>
    >>> or are there other areas that could be the problem?

    >>
    >> Yep, it could be in a wide variety of areas.
    >>
    >> Most likely something is causing the freeze and BSODs and when that
    >> has happened,
    >> the MBR is corrupted when the system attempts to boot after that
    >> problem has shown up. That might be due to bad caps. These are the
    >> usually blue or black plastic covered post like things that stick up
    >> vertically from the motherboard surface. The tops should be flat. If
    >> any have bulged or have leaked, thats likely the problem.
    >>
    >> Is there any commonality in what produces the freeze or BSOD ?




  6. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 17:27:38 -0700 (PDT), Bernard
    put finger to keyboard and composed:

    >I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times in the past 6 months
    >because of a corrupted MBR.
    >
    >Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and a running
    >FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of months only to have the
    >same problem happen again.


    I can't understand why your OS or your software would want to write to
    the MBR, unless you were repartitioning the disc or intentionally
    refreshing the MBR code. Instead I suspect that your drive is
    developing bad sectors.

    If you believe that the MBR code is corrupt because FIXMBR is telling
    you so, then be aware of the following bug (it is also present in Win
    XP Home's recovery console).

    ================================================== ==================
    Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266745/

    SYMPTOMS

    When you attempt to run the fixmbr command in the Microsoft Windows
    2000 recovery console, your computer system may display the following
    error message:

    This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot
    record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
    could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become
    inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do
    not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?

    RESOLUTION

    Ignore the error message described in the "Symptoms" section of this
    article. The fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.

    STATUS

    Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft
    products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

    MORE INFORMATION

    The fixmbr command causes this error message to be displayed on your
    computer system whenever you run the command, regardless of the state
    of the Master Boot Record (MBR).
    ================================================== ==================

    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

  7. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 22:39:39 -0700 (PDT), Bernard
    put finger to keyboard and composed:

    >Are there any utilities I can use to test the motherboard/chipset and
    >the controllers?
    >
    >I thought something that would send large amounts of data to the hard
    >drive (therefore via the SATA/IDE controller) and checks whether the
    >data was received as expected.


    Check your drive for bad sectors with your HD manufacturer's
    diagnostic software. For example, Seagate supplies SeaTools.

    If you suspect that something is wrong at the motherboard end, then
    stick your drive in an external USB enclosure and test it from a USB
    port.

    Otherwise you could copy 1GB .VOB files from one location on your hard
    drive to another and then compare the source and destination files.

    The following Windows commands copy 10GB of data and compare each of
    the copies with the original.

    for %i in (0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) do copy test.vob test%i.vob
    for %i in (0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) do fc /b test.vob test%i.vob

    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

  8. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    The hard drive is stuffed, I've already had 3 different 1's with the
    same problems. So I'd like to know what the source of the problem is.

    I might just buy a SATA PCI controller and see how I go.

    I just don't want to invest more time in rebuilding the system,
    installing all the programs and updates for it to then go down again.

    I'll let you know how I go with the Everest test. I'm also going to
    use Hot CPU Tester to test the chipset and motherboard. I'll let you
    know soon.

    Cheers,
    Bernard

    On Mar 31, 5:43 pm, "Rod Speed" wrote:
    > Bernard wrote:
    > > Thanks for the quick reply Rod.

    >
    > Unfortunately this one took longer |-(
    >
    > > Regarding the BSoD, that only happened once.

    >
    > Thats even worse, freezes can be due to a hell of a lot of things.
    >
    > > The common denominator here seems to be a reboot while the hard drive is "doing something".

    >
    > OK, then it may not actually be a freeze at all, just the drive retrying on a bad.
    >
    > Post the Everest SMART report on the drive.http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181
    >
    > > For example, the last time the hard drive "screwed up", the BSoD was
    > > dumping the physicals and this took around 1hr. So I got impatient and
    > > restarted the machine. While another time, the system just froze up and
    > > the hard drive I/O light was on, so I restarted and BANG. Same problem.
    > > As for the only the MBR being affected, I forgot to mention on the
    > > original post that the while doing CHKDSK, there were a lot of index,
    > > USN journal fixes, orphan files and also it did a step I've never seen
    > > before "Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap".
    > > The CHKDSK errors happen every time this problem pops up.

    >
    > OK, thats an important difference.
    >
    > > Does this sound more like an onboard controller fault?

    >
    > No, just that you do have a problem with the hard drive subsystem.
    >
    > > Are there any utilities I can use to test the motherboard/chipset and the controllers?

    >
    > No, not in the sense that you can readily check what ends up on the platters.
    >
    > > I thought something that would send large amounts of data
    > > to the hard drive (therefore via the SATA/IDE controller)
    > > and checks whether the data was received as expected.

    >
    > There isnt anything much like that thats free.
    >
    > You can obviously do a copy and compare at the file level using a cmd file.
    >
    > > Rod Speed wrote
    > >> Bernard wrote

    >
    > >>> Hi group,

    >
    > >> Lo groupy,

    >
    > >>> I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    > >>> in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.
    > >>> Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console
    > >>> and a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple
    > >>> of months only to have the same problem happen again.
    > >>> Thinking it was the hard drive,

    >
    > >> Thats unlikely if only the MBR was affected.

    >
    > >>> I took it back to the manufacturer for a warranty replacement.
    > >>> Now the problem seems to be happening again on the new
    > >>> drive and only 1 month of having it.
    > >>> Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.

    >
    > >> Something else in the hard drive subsystem, or its a software
    > >> problem.

    >
    > >> Most likely a software problem.

    >
    > >>> There are a few things that I think could be the problem,
    > >>> you might be able to shed some light on this.
    > >>> 1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S,
    > >>> although I highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.

    >
    > >> It wont be that.

    >
    > >>> 2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working
    > >>> and therefore corrupting the hard drive.

    >
    > >> Very unlikely to JUST corrupt the MBR.

    >
    > >>> The problem seems to pop it's head up straight after a reboot.

    >
    > >> Thats important.

    >
    > >>> Either because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".

    >
    > >> That doesnt normally corrupt the MBR.

    >
    > >>> Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus

    >
    > >> It wont be that, if that was the problem, it wouldnt JUST corrupt
    > >> the MBR.

    >
    > >>> or are there other areas that could be the problem?

    >
    > >> Yep, it could be in a wide variety of areas.

    >
    > >> Most likely something is causing the freeze and BSODs and when that
    > >> has happened,
    > >> the MBR is corrupted when the system attempts to boot after that
    > >> problem has shown up. That might be due to bad caps. These are the
    > >> usually blue or black plastic covered post like things that stick up
    > >> vertically from the motherboard surface. The tops should be flat. If
    > >> any have bulged or have leaked, thats likely the problem.

    >
    > >> Is there any commonality in what produces the freeze or BSOD ?



  9. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bernard wrote:
    > The hard drive is stuffed, I've already had 3 different 1's with the
    > same problems. So I'd like to know what the source of the problem is.
    >
    > I might just buy a SATA PCI controller and see how I go.
    >
    > I just don't want to invest more time in rebuilding the system,
    > installing all the programs and updates for it to then go down again.
    >
    > I'll let you know how I go with the Everest test. I'm also going to
    > use Hot CPU Tester to test the chipset and motherboard. I'll let you
    > know soon.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Bernard


    Given that history, I'd take a serious look at:
    1. Cooling -- open the case, and clean the filters and heatsinks
    2. Cooling -- make sure your case fans are cooling the HDs
    3. Cooling -- get an app that reports HD temps in realtime
    4. Cooling -- make sure that cabling/etc. does not block air flow
    5. Cabling -- check signal & power cables to HDs for nicks and seating
    6. Power -- make sure your PS has enough juice and low ripple
    --
    Cheers, Bob

  10. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Franc Zabkar wrote in news:rd31v3h32t8s9g585ov37m8n6sf0r80aah@4ax.com
    > On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 22:39:39 -0700 (PDT), Bernard
    > put finger to keyboard and composed:
    >
    > > Are there any utilities I can use to test the motherboard/chipset and
    > > the controllers?
    > >
    > > I thought something that would send large amounts of data to the hard
    > > drive (therefore via the SATA/IDE controller) and checks whether the
    > > data was received as expected.


    > Check your drive for bad sectors


    Bad sectors don't 'corrupt' the MBR.

    > with your HD manufacturer's diagnostic software.
    > For example, Seagate supplies SeaTools.
    >
    > If you suspect that something is wrong at the motherboard end, then
    > stick your drive in an external USB enclosure and test it from a USB
    > port.
    >
    > Otherwise you could copy 1GB .VOB files from one location on your hard
    > drive to another and then compare the source and destination files.
    >
    > The following Windows commands copy 10GB of data and compare each of
    > the copies with the original.
    >
    > for %i in (0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) do copy test.vob test%i.vob
    > for %i in (0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) do fc /b test.vob test%i.vob
    >
    > - Franc Zabkar


  11. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Franc Zabkar wrote in news:2m11v3tc95drcsu5c1de0gsvtr6r9holpq@4ax.com
    > On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 17:27:38 -0700 (PDT), Bernard
    > put finger to keyboard and composed:
    >
    > > I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times in the past 6 months
    > > because of a corrupted MBR.
    > >
    > > Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and a running
    > > FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of months only to have the
    > > same problem happen again.


    > I can't understand why your OS or your software would want to write
    > to the MBR, unless you were repartitioning the disc or intentionally
    > refreshing the MBR code.


    If I'm not mistaken NT keeps a signature there.

    > Instead I suspect that your drive is developing bad sectors.


    A corrupt MBR is not a bad sector.
    It's a readable one that lost it's expected contents to a certain extend.

    >
    > If you believe that the MBR code is corrupt because FIXMBR is telling
    > you so, then be aware of the following bug (it is also present in Win
    > XP Home's recovery console).
    >
    > ================================================== ==================
    > Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command:
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266745/
    >
    > SYMPTOMS
    >
    > When you attempt to run the fixmbr command in the Microsoft Windows
    > 2000 recovery console, your computer system may display the following
    > error message:
    >
    > This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot
    > record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
    > could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become
    > inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do
    > not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?
    >
    > RESOLUTION
    >
    > Ignore the error message described in the "Symptoms" section of this
    > article. The fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.
    >
    > STATUS
    >
    > Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft
    > products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
    >
    > MORE INFORMATION
    >
    > The fixmbr command causes this error message to be displayed on your
    > computer system whenever you run the command, regardless of the state
    > of the Master Boot Record (MBR).
    > ================================================== ==================
    >
    > - Franc Zabkar


  12. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bernard wrote in
    news:d8b032ea-910d-478e-888c-03ba18d3f86c@d4g2000prg.googlegroups.com
    > Hi group,
    >
    > I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times in the past 6 months
    > because of a corrupted MBR.
    >
    > Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and a running
    > FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of months only to have the
    > same problem happen again.
    >
    > Thinking it was the hard drive, I took it back to the manufacturer for
    > a warranty replacement. Now the problem seems to be happening again on
    > the new drive and only 1 month of having it.
    >
    > Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.
    >
    > There are a few things that I think could be the problem, you might be
    > able to shed some light on this.
    >
    > 1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S, although I
    > highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.
    > 2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working and therefore corrupting
    > the hard drive.
    >
    > The problem seems to pop it's head up straight


    > *after a reboot*. Either because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".


    That is likely the source of the problem.
    One likely source could be memory corruption.

    >
    > Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus or are there other areas
    > that could be the problem?
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    > Bernard


  13. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bob Willard wrote in news:yLudnV_bLfFKcm3anZ2dnUVZ_siknZ2d@comcast.com
    > Bernard wrote:


    > > The hard drive is stuffed,
    > > I've already had 3 different 1's with the same problems.


    So it's not the harddrive(s).

    > So I'd like to know what the source of the problem is.
    > >
    > > I might just buy a SATA PCI controller and see how I go.
    > >
    > > I just don't want to invest more time in rebuilding the system,
    > > installing all the programs and updates for it to then go down again.
    > >
    > > I'll let you know how I go with the Everest test. I'm also going to
    > > use Hot CPU Tester to test the chipset and motherboard. I'll let you
    > > know soon.
    > >
    > > Cheers,
    > > Bernard

    >
    > Given that history, I'd take a serious look at:
    > 1. Cooling -- open the case, and clean the filters and heatsinks


    > 2. Cooling -- make sure your case fans are cooling the HDs
    > 3. Cooling -- get an app that reports HD temps in realtime
    > 4. Cooling -- make sure that cabling/etc. does not block air flow
    > 5. Cabling -- check signal & power cables to HDs for nicks and seating
    > 6. Power -- make sure your PS has enough juice and low ripple


    It's not the harddrives if the MBR is corrupted and FixMBR can still
    repair it. That means it's readable but the code has been corrupted.


  14. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    In article <6130c03e-48eb-4058-b172-2f73c1fa45ba@d21g2000prf.googlegroup
    s.com>, Bernard writes

    >As for the only the MBR being affected, I forgot to mention on the
    >original post that the while doing CHKDSK, there were a lot of index,
    >USN journal fixes, orphan files and also it did a step I've never seen
    >before "Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap".
    >The CHKDSK errors happen every time this problem pops up.
    >
    >Does this sound more like an onboard controller fault?


    It could be faulty memory. Download Memtest86+ from www.memtest.org and
    run it overnight for a minimum of two full passes.

    --
    (\__/) Bunny says NO to Windows Vista!
    (='.'=) http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ista_cost.html
    (")_(") http://www.cypherpunks.to/~peter/vista.pdf



  15. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bernard wrote:

    > The hard drive is stuffed, I've already had 3 different 1's with the
    > same problems. So I'd like to know what the source of the problem is.


    Most likely the power supply needs replacing.

    > I might just buy a SATA PCI controller and see how I go.


    I'd try the power supply first myself.

    > I just don't want to invest more time in rebuilding the system,
    > installing all the programs and updates for it to then go down again.


    > I'll let you know how I go with the Everest test. I'm also going to use
    > Hot CPU Tester to test the chipset and motherboard. I'll let you know soon.



    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Bernard wrote


    >>> Thanks for the quick reply Rod.

    >>
    >> Unfortunately this one took longer |-(
    >>
    >>> Regarding the BSoD, that only happened once.

    >>
    >> Thats even worse, freezes can be due to a hell of a lot of things.
    >>
    >>> The common denominator here seems to be a reboot while the hard
    >>> drive is "doing something".

    >>
    >> OK, then it may not actually be a freeze at all, just the drive
    >> retrying on a bad.
    >>
    >> Post the Everest SMART report on the
    >> drive.http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181
    >>
    >>> For example, the last time the hard drive "screwed up", the BSoD was
    >>> dumping the physicals and this took around 1hr. So I got impatient
    >>> and
    >>> restarted the machine. While another time, the system just froze up
    >>> and
    >>> the hard drive I/O light was on, so I restarted and BANG. Same
    >>> problem.
    >>> As for the only the MBR being affected, I forgot to mention on the
    >>> original post that the while doing CHKDSK, there were a lot of
    >>> index,
    >>> USN journal fixes, orphan files and also it did a step I've never
    >>> seen
    >>> before "Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap".
    >>> The CHKDSK errors happen every time this problem pops up.

    >>
    >> OK, thats an important difference.
    >>
    >>> Does this sound more like an onboard controller fault?

    >>
    >> No, just that you do have a problem with the hard drive subsystem.
    >>
    >>> Are there any utilities I can use to test the motherboard/chipset
    >>> and the controllers?

    >>
    >> No, not in the sense that you can readily check what ends up on the
    >> platters.
    >>
    >>> I thought something that would send large amounts of data
    >>> to the hard drive (therefore via the SATA/IDE controller)
    >>> and checks whether the data was received as expected.

    >>
    >> There isnt anything much like that thats free.
    >>
    >> You can obviously do a copy and compare at the file level using a
    >> cmd file.
    >>
    >>> Rod Speed wrote
    >>>> Bernard wrote

    >>
    >>>>> Hi group,

    >>
    >>>> Lo groupy,

    >>
    >>>>> I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    >>>>> in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.
    >>>>> Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console
    >>>>> and a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple
    >>>>> of months only to have the same problem happen again.
    >>>>> Thinking it was the hard drive,

    >>
    >>>> Thats unlikely if only the MBR was affected.

    >>
    >>>>> I took it back to the manufacturer for a warranty replacement.
    >>>>> Now the problem seems to be happening again on the new
    >>>>> drive and only 1 month of having it.
    >>>>> Just wondering what could be the problem source of the problem.

    >>
    >>>> Something else in the hard drive subsystem, or its a software
    >>>> problem.

    >>
    >>>> Most likely a software problem.

    >>
    >>>>> There are a few things that I think could be the problem,
    >>>>> you might be able to shed some light on this.
    >>>>> 1. Windows XP x64 -I might have a bodgy copy of the O/S,
    >>>>> although I highly doubt it as it's a volume license version.

    >>
    >>>> It wont be that.

    >>
    >>>>> 2. The SATA/IDE bus is somehow not working
    >>>>> and therefore corrupting the hard drive.

    >>
    >>>> Very unlikely to JUST corrupt the MBR.

    >>
    >>>>> The problem seems to pop it's head up straight after a reboot.

    >>
    >>>> Thats important.

    >>
    >>>>> Either because the machine has frozen or I get "BSoD".

    >>
    >>>> That doesnt normally corrupt the MBR.

    >>
    >>>>> Is there anyway of testing the SATA/IDE bus

    >>
    >>>> It wont be that, if that was the problem, it wouldnt JUST corrupt
    >>>> the MBR.

    >>
    >>>>> or are there other areas that could be the problem?

    >>
    >>>> Yep, it could be in a wide variety of areas.

    >>
    >>>> Most likely something is causing the freeze and BSODs and when that
    >>>> has happened,
    >>>> the MBR is corrupted when the system attempts to boot after that
    >>>> problem has shown up. That might be due to bad caps. These are the
    >>>> usually blue or black plastic covered post like things that stick
    >>>> up vertically from the motherboard surface. The tops should be
    >>>> flat. If any have bulged or have leaked, thats likely the problem.

    >>
    >>>> Is there any commonality in what produces the freeze or BSOD ?




  16. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Stretch wrote
    > Franc Zabkar wrote
    >> Bernard wrote


    >>> I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    >>> in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.


    >>> Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and
    >>> a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of
    >>> months only to have the same problem happen again.


    >> I can't understand why your OS or your software would
    >> want to write to the MBR, unless you were repartitioning
    >> the disc or intentionally refreshing the MBR code.


    > If I'm not mistaken NT keeps a signature there.


    But doesnt keep changing that.

    >> Instead I suspect that your drive is developing bad sectors.


    > A corrupt MBR is not a bad sector.


    Yes, but he does get more than just a corrupt MBR.

    > It's a readable one that lost it's expected contents to a certain extend.


    It isnt clear that that is whats happening to it.

    >> If you believe that the MBR code is corrupt because FIXMBR is telling
    >> you so, then be aware of the following bug (it is also present in Win
    >> XP Home's recovery console).
    >>
    >> ================================================== ==================
    >> Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command:
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266745/
    >>
    >> SYMPTOMS
    >>
    >> When you attempt to run the fixmbr command in the Microsoft Windows
    >> 2000 recovery console, your computer system may display the following
    >> error message:
    >>
    >> This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot
    >> record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
    >> could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become
    >> inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do
    >> not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?
    >>
    >> RESOLUTION
    >>
    >> Ignore the error message described in the "Symptoms" section of this
    >> article. The fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.
    >>
    >> STATUS
    >>
    >> Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft
    >> products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
    >>
    >> MORE INFORMATION
    >>
    >> The fixmbr command causes this error message to be displayed on your
    >> computer system whenever you run the command, regardless of the state
    >> of the Master Boot Record (MBR).
    >> ================================================== ==================




  17. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    WOW! Thanks guys for the all replies.

    At the moment I'm am running Hot CPU Tester which will run for the
    next 7hrs testing the chipset, memory and hard drive. I'll see if the
    logs bring back anything.

    I was going to get a SATA PCI-E controller to give it a go, but now
    that we are bringing the power supply into question I'll have to see
    which 1 might really be the problem.

    Is there any way of testing the amount of wattage all my components
    are taking up? And maybe a ripple test too?

    I'll also run memtester tonight, see how I go. There probably wont be
    any updates until tomorrow.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Bernard

    On Apr 1, 6:48 am, "Rod Speed" wrote:
    > Stretch wrote
    >
    > > Franc Zabkar wrote
    > >> Bernard wrote
    > >>> I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    > >>> in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.
    > >>> Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and
    > >>> a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of
    > >>> months only to have the same problem happen again.
    > >> I can't understand why your OS or your software would
    > >> want to write to the MBR, unless you were repartitioning
    > >> the disc or intentionally refreshing the MBR code.

    > > If I'm not mistaken NT keeps a signature there.

    >
    > But doesnt keep changing that.
    >
    > >> Instead I suspect that your drive is developing bad sectors.

    > > A corrupt MBR is not a bad sector.

    >
    > Yes, but he does get more than just a corrupt MBR.
    >
    > > It's a readable one that lost it's expected contents to a certain extend.

    >
    > It isnt clear that that is whats happening to it.
    >
    > >> If you believe that the MBR code is corrupt because FIXMBR is telling
    > >> you so, then be aware of the following bug (it is also present in Win
    > >> XP Home's recovery console).

    >
    > >> ================================================== ==================
    > >> Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command:
    > >> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266745/

    >
    > >> SYMPTOMS

    >
    > >> When you attempt to run the fixmbr command in the Microsoft Windows
    > >> 2000 recovery console, your computer system may display the following
    > >> error message:

    >
    > >> This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot
    > >> record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
    > >> could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become
    > >> inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do
    > >> not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?

    >
    > >> RESOLUTION

    >
    > >> Ignore the error message described in the "Symptoms" section of this
    > >> article. The fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.

    >
    > >> STATUS

    >
    > >> Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft
    > >> products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

    >
    > >> MORE INFORMATION

    >
    > >> The fixmbr command causes this error message to be displayed on your
    > >> computer system whenever you run the command, regardless of the state
    > >> of the Master Boot Record (MBR).
    > >> ================================================== ==================



  18. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Thanks Bob, I've attached my comments below. Can you elaborate on some
    points?

    On Apr 1, 1:08 am, Bob Willard wrote:
    > Bernard wrote:
    > > The hard drive is stuffed, I've already had 3 different 1's with the
    > > same problems. So I'd like to know what the source of the problem is.

    >
    > > I might just buy a SATA PCI controller and see how I go.

    >
    > > I just don't want to invest more time in rebuilding the system,
    > > installing all the programs and updates for it to then go down again.

    >
    > > I'll let you know how I go with the Everest test. I'm also going to
    > > use Hot CPU Tester to test the chipset and motherboard. I'll let you
    > > know soon.

    >
    > > Cheers,
    > > Bernard

    >
    > Given that history, I'd take a serious look at:
    > 1. Cooling -- open the case, and clean the filters and heatsinks

    Because of all the problems I've had in the past the case hasn't been
    closed in ages.
    > 2. Cooling -- make sure your case fans are cooling the HDs
    > 3. Cooling -- get an app that reports HD temps in realtime

    The HDD temperatures seem good around 36C
    > 4. Cooling -- make sure that cabling/etc. does not block air flow

    Nope, very tidy in there
    > 5. Cabling -- check signal & power cables to HDs for nicks and seating

    Can you please elaborate on this point?
    > 6. Power -- make sure your PS has enough juice and low ripple

    Any ideas how I can test this?
    > --
    > Cheers, Bob



  19. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Bernard wrote:

    > WOW! Thanks guys for the all replies.


    > At the moment I'm am running Hot CPU Tester which will run for the
    > next 7hrs testing the chipset, memory and hard drive. I'll see if the
    > logs bring back anything.


    > I was going to get a SATA PCI-E controller to give it a go, but now
    > that we are bringing the power supply into question I'll have to see
    > which 1 might really be the problem.


    > Is there any way of testing the amount of wattage all my
    > components are taking up? And maybe a ripple test too?


    Yes, but what you need to do that isnt cheap, particularly if the power
    supply is periodically sagging out of spec and its that thats producing
    the not very common freezes and resulting hard drive data corruption.

    It would be cheaper to get a new power supply instead.

    > I'll also run memtester tonight, see how I go.
    > There probably wont be any updates until tomorrow.


    > Thanks again for all your help!


    No problem, thats what these technical newsgroups are for.


    > On Apr 1, 6:48 am, "Rod Speed" wrote:
    >> Stretch wrote
    >>
    >>> Franc Zabkar wrote
    >>>> Bernard wrote
    >>>>> I've had to format my hard drive around 6 times
    >>>>> in the past 6 months because of a corrupted MBR.
    >>>>> Initially, a few runs of CHKDSK in the recovery console and
    >>>>> a running FIXMBR has fixed the problem for a couple of
    >>>>> months only to have the same problem happen again.
    >>>> I can't understand why your OS or your software would
    >>>> want to write to the MBR, unless you were repartitioning
    >>>> the disc or intentionally refreshing the MBR code.
    >>> If I'm not mistaken NT keeps a signature there.

    >>
    >> But doesnt keep changing that.
    >>
    >>>> Instead I suspect that your drive is developing bad sectors.
    >>> A corrupt MBR is not a bad sector.

    >>
    >> Yes, but he does get more than just a corrupt MBR.
    >>
    >>> It's a readable one that lost it's expected contents to a certain
    >>> extend.

    >>
    >> It isnt clear that that is whats happening to it.
    >>
    >>>> If you believe that the MBR code is corrupt because FIXMBR is
    >>>> telling you so, then be aware of the following bug (it is also
    >>>> present in Win XP Home's recovery console).

    >>
    >>>> ================================================== ==================
    >>>> Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command:
    >>>> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266745/

    >>
    >>>> SYMPTOMS

    >>
    >>>> When you attempt to run the fixmbr command in the Microsoft Windows
    >>>> 2000 recovery console, your computer system may display the
    >>>> following error message:

    >>
    >>>> This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot
    >>>> record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed.
    >>>> This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to
    >>>> become inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your
    >>>> drive, do not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?

    >>
    >>>> RESOLUTION

    >>
    >>>> Ignore the error message described in the "Symptoms" section of
    >>>> this article. The fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.

    >>
    >>>> STATUS

    >>
    >>>> Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft
    >>>> products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

    >>
    >>>> MORE INFORMATION

    >>
    >>>> The fixmbr command causes this error message to be displayed on
    >>>> your computer system whenever you run the command, regardless of
    >>>> the state of the Master Boot Record (MBR).
    >>>> ================================================== ==================




  20. Re: Corrupted MBR -Regular occurrence

    Previously, on Usenet Bernard wrote:

    >Is there any way of testing the amount of wattage all my components
    >are taking up? And maybe a ripple test too?


    How about telling us the Wattage of your current PSU, and a list of
    your main hardware.

    CPU
    Video card
    Hard drives
    Optical drive

    etc

    A few weeks ago I had a bunch of strange problems after having added a
    new HD to my system. All problems went away when I upgraded to a more
    powerful PSU.


    Lars
    Stockholm

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