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Thread: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

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    Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    Gents/Ladies,

    Just off round to a friend's house to attempt to fix a Windows based PC that's refusing to boot with the error message "Disk read/write error".

    Thoughts are as follows:

    Try windows recovery console's fixboot and fixmbr, then, failing that, see if I can boot a linux livecd instead. I'll have access to another working PC throughout, and also possibly a spare hard disk.

    Would you suggest taking any further resources with me? If I manage to boot into ubuntu or similar, is there any sort of repair I can do from there? Feel free to respond with links if this is a severely obvious question asked many times before!

    Thanks in advance!

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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    I dunno about Linux, but you could pop out the drive and run a SMART analysis tool - http://www.hdtune.com/ HD Tune for instance.

    The recovery console is a good start. Also advisable would be chkdsk[sic]? Since it sounds like it could be a possibly hardware fail rather than just the MBR being corrupted.

    Is it clicking or anything like that?

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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiternoise View Post
    I dunno about Linux, but you could pop out the drive and run a SMART analysis tool - http://www.hdtune.com/ HD Tune for instance.

    The recovery console is a good start. Also advisable would be chkdsk[sic]? Since it sounds like it could be a possibly hardware fail rather than just the MBR being corrupted.

    Is it clicking or anything like that?
    Forgot about chkdsk - thanks. No clicking as far as I can tell, will reassess when I get there...

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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    Update:

    Can't get any joy out of recovery console - chkdsk /r reports unrecoverable errors, fixboot can't find the boot sector and fixmbr yields nothing.

    I have, however, successfully booted into Ubuntu, where fdisk -l returns me

    "no valid partition table for /dev/sde/"

    I've followed this up to the point where I'm now using this utterly stupendous utility called TestDisk, which is currently giving me the option to copy various files from the lost partition. However, I'm short of a portable hard disk: but I do have a laptop connected to the network.

    Anyone got a handy link to a foolproof guide for how to

    a.) Create a writable windows shared folder (XP Pro)
    b.) Mount it in Ubuntu

    ?

    Cheers,
    James.

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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    By shared folder presumably this is on the laptop? if it was windows xp to windows xp, you'd simply set both computers to share the same workgroup name. you then link via crossover cable, or via a router or whatever and you should be able to see the folder in my network places.

    Under XP, you simply need to go through the "set up a home or small office network" wizard and it'll let you create your workgroup name. The standard one on XP is something like MSHOME. All the computers that are in the MSHOME network should be able to share folders with each other.

    Under ubuntu i have no idea but..

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=34390 might be a good start?

    Also http://www.xawk.com/ubuntu-samba-basics.html

    Looks like you'll need to install Samba first!

    Not sure if this is exactly what you mean, so sorry if i'm stating stuff you're already aware of My analysis of the above is that you want to make a shared folder between ubuntu and xp where you can drop the files onto your laptop?

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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    Cheers for the help - managed to get the share mounted in the end, just had to go and install the cifs libraries for samba - sadly by the time I'd done that, TestDisk was no longer able to detect the NTFS partition (no idea why, still somewhat distressed about it now, having been so close to fixing) so I gave it up for the day. Might have to leave this one to the pros.

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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    There are a number of linux (and windows) tools that allow you to get down to disk level - and it is possible to manually re-create the partition table - but it takes a lot of time, patience and knowledge!

    Can you still see recognise the disk booting from the live linux disk? Ideally you need a linux machine with teh ntfs-3g drivers on it to read NTFS partitions, although my guess is that there are NTFS drivers on the Ubuntu CD - as there are on the Knoppix live CD.

    Other tools you might want to look at (running under Windows) are those from runtime software www.runtime.org
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    Re: Disk read/write error on boot - tools to fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    time, patience and knowledge!
    Three things I am woefully short of! TestDisk is one of the programs that can do this, but it was giving me such inconsistent output that I was worried I was going to do more harm than good by further fiddling. I'd have been happy to have experimented on my own (actually backed up) data, but friend in question has a) more important data and b) no backups, so a bit too risky for learning as I go...

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