MBR damaged/missing on hard disk.

  Kudu 10:20 09 Nov 2003

I have tried everything possible to gain access to this hard disk, fdisk, W.D.data lifeguard and other various boot disks etc. but nothing works.This was a hidden disk and part of a dual booting setup which went pear shaped when i picked the wrong recovery file to remove dual booting.

Has anyone any idea of how to access this disk (don't need the data on it) or third party recovery software that is written specifically for this purpose (to help idiots) Thanks.

  seedie 10:33 09 Nov 2003

Back in the spring I knackered a WD HD by putting an old Linux OS on it and generally messing about with it.

I found that the only way to recover it was to download a tool from the WD site and to copy it to a floppy and write all 0s to the HD. took a while, 40gig, but it's on the puter now and running 98.

Good luck


  DieSse 13:52 09 Nov 2003

If you haven't run


then you should try this - as it rewrites a vital portion of the MBR whwere the problem ususally lies.

If not then the zero-fill program is your best bet - this retirns the drive to it's "just manufactured" state. It takes a long, long time to run - several hours - usually.

  hugh-265156 13:54 09 Nov 2003

are you saying fdisk cannot format the drive?

maybe its kaputt!

if you are saying there is still an OS on the drive but you cant boot from it try downloading the win98 oem boot disk click here (will even work with xp)

copy it to a floppy disk

make the floppy drive the first boot device in the bios

put the floppy in the drive and turn on the computer

wait for it to load and then type

fdisk /mbr

this will restore the master boot record

remove the floppy and press ctrl+alt+del to restart.hopefully it should boot.

  Kudu 17:41 09 Nov 2003

huggy71.Tried this already and just a blank screen when it restarts.

DieSse.Zero fill program ? Will check on Western Digital site.Is that where it is?

  Kudu 17:57 09 Nov 2003

Tried floppy with Data Lifeguard Diagnostics which has zero fill and it says "no hard disk found"

  woodchip 18:09 09 Nov 2003

Can you see the drive in dos when it starts the comp. If not go into BIOS and do a Auto Detect drives

  DieSse 18:15 09 Nov 2003

If th BIOS is finding it, and the WD program says no hard drive found then I think your disk has gone to the great scrapheap in the sky.

If the BIOS is not finding it, then do as woodchip suggests - set the BIOS detection to Auto for the IDE channel it's on, and see if it finds it then.

  Kudu 18:58 09 Nov 2003

I checked bios yesterday and it is detecting the drive on auto ok, but various windows and WD boot/format disks are saying no drive exists and sometimes that the 0 boot sector of the disk is missing so they can't boot the disk.I'll contact Western Digital and see if they have any ideas.I'll let you know outcome as i optimistically think the disk can be saved.Thanks for help.

  DieSse 20:42 09 Nov 2003

I suspect there is an error in the boot sector part of the drive, from what you say - this would make the drive unuseable.

  woodchip 21:02 09 Nov 2003

Yes a typical Virus trick. They do not seem to do many boot virus?s but there are some still around

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