MBR, Bad HDD, Other?

  phaedo5 17:36 02 Apr 2007
Locked

Ok. Without a boring back story:

I was messing with partitioning my hard drive. Nothing challenging, but it seemed to work. But then partition magic said the entire drive was "BAD" and had no partitions, knowing full well it had four.

My computer still worked. Then it would get to where it was restarting on its own for no reason. Then sometimes the bios recognized the master and the slave drive and loaded, but most of the time it didn't recognize either, and wouldn't load. Sometimes it just recognized one drive.

I had thought maybe the MBR was messed up. But then why wouldn't the bios recognize the drives every time. And if one drive was messed up, that wouldn't effect the bios would it?

I don't know if I have a bad hard drive, a bad MBR, or worse. When I put in the Windows XP disc, I can't even get that loaded all the way. It comes up to a blue screen and says something about partmgr.sys file. As a side note, even when I try to load a linux live cd, most of the time I get to where /bin/sh can't access tty. (hda timeout waiting for DMA)

I know this is a lot of random information, but if someone could just give me a list of guidelines of what to check first or how to go about checking any of it.

I'm really lost. Please will someone help me figure out where to go from here.

Athlon XP 2200
Windows XP
786 Ram
Maxtor HDD

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:46 02 Apr 2007

Then it would get to where it was restarting on its own for no reason. Then sometimes the bios recognized the master and the slave drive and loaded, but most of the time it didn't recognize either, and wouldn't load. Sometimes it just recognized one drive.
As a side note, even when I try to load a linux live cd, most of the time I get to where /bin/sh can't access tty. (hda timeout waiting for DMA)

check ide cable and power cables fully inserted at drives and motherboard.

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