Hard disk sector invalid message

  jonah99 14:56 01 Feb 2010

Hi Guys

Firstly I am apologising that this is so long but I was not sure what info you needed. SORRY (Can you tell I am new to this)

I purchased an EI system laptop (4431) from pc world a few years ago with a 5 year warranty. During the time i had it i had to have 2 hard drives and 3 2 cd/dvd drives. So when it started running really slow even after I restored to factory settings I bought a new dell from pc world and let the warranty lapse on the other. Then a friend of mine wanted to learn computing and I said she could do this on my old one. I started up the machine and it worked ok but slow. I had some pictures on there I didn't want to lose and wanted to put them on a disk but my disk drive was playing up again so another friend of mine told me to disable my internal cd drive and use my external drive. I did this and when I switched the machine on it came up with the following message HARD DISK BOOT SECTOR INVALID - PRESS H TO RETRY HARD DISK, ANY OTHER KEY FOR FLOPPY

I knew something was wrong as it was ok before I disabled the CD drive or was that just a coincidence. I decided the best thing to do was a full system recovery. However when I did that it would only go so far and then come up with PROBLEM IN EXTRACTING PROCESS: FILE WINDOWS\ING\MDMZYXEL.ING, I pressed and it would go a bit further and come up with another file that it could not extract. Eventually it took me bask to the original error screen. I tried again this time it didn't even enter the recovery mode it just came up with tstsetup.sif is corrupt or missing status 32768, I tried again and it did the same but with different files this time. The next time i tried it it went back to the recovery mode and did the same as before. It seems to alternate between these two problems.

I presumed that the cd was corrupt and I was going to buy a new one but the only place i can find them from is telling me that it is an update a cd that they will supply and it can only be used with the system recovery CD that was supplied with the PC. Obviously if mine is corrupt will this work.

Also I am confused as I have been told that my hard disk may have failed so there it is point in buying the cd's. I don't understand how it would fail when I only disabled the drive.

My operating system is windows xp home edition.

Sorry again for the novel!!!!!!!


  johndrew 15:33 01 Feb 2010

There may be a number of causes for this problem; one certainly is a HDD failure.

Have you tried booting in "Safe Mode"? If so with what result?

Have you tried a "Repair" click here

Not knowing exactly how old the laptop is, have you replaced the CMOS battery? Sometime a bad/weak/flat battery causes such problems.

It could also be a bad connection, a problem with the IDE controller or a simple(?) corrupt system file that would normally be corrected using chkdsk /f /r or sfc /scannow.

  jonah99 17:06 01 Feb 2010

I cannot even get to the screen where it gives the options to start up in safe mode.

Also I cannot do a repair as i dont have the windows cd i only have the above ei system cd that is playing up. The laptop is about 6 years old and has never really been great.

Sorry to seem stupid but how do i do a CHKDSK as i cannot get into windows. Can this be done from a command promt.

The only thing that the system will let me into is the BIOS settings.

And now it has started to ask me for the windows xp professional cd when i am on home edition.

  jamesd1981 17:08 01 Feb 2010

download a bootable disc called HIRENS BOOTCD 10.1 it downloads as an iso file which lets you burn to a disc whci is bootable, it has loads of features but the one your looking for is the bootable mini windows xp which will let you run the xp off the disc like linux, you can use this to access all the hard drives connected to your machine and get your files off, then try low level formatting the hard drive most makers do their own free software to do this i.e. seagate, western digital etc.

  jonah99 19:19 01 Feb 2010

Thanks James sorry to be a pain but I have downloaded the cd and tried it in the laptop and it worked which is great but i am not sure where to go from here.

I have no files that i need to take off i just want to restore windows.

  jamesd1981 01:20 02 Feb 2010

alrite i thought u had files to get off, ok before you use the disk do you have a windows installation disc ?

  jonah99 11:08 02 Feb 2010

Sorry I should have said that. No I dont,I have tried to download one from microsoft but not having much luck.

  jamesd1981 11:22 02 Feb 2010

well there are a lot of programs that can try to fix bad sectors, or low level format your drive, but this will totally wipe the drive so you might be better to wait until you have a windows install disc if you send me your email i can point you in the right direction.

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