Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > Hardware Repairs and Troubleshooting
Click Here to Login
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-14-2009, 12:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Thumbs down Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Hi I have a gateway 450ROG laptop that I bought in 2002. Worked great until about a year ago when it suddenly refused to boot. It would power on then stop just before booting the OS (XP, sp1). I swapped out the harddrive for a clone I'd made a few months before and that booted normally. The data on the old drive were fine, so I presume the MBR had become lost or corrupted. No problem. I copied the data to the other drive, then cloned that drive onto the one that had failed. Both worked fine afterwards.

Now the strange part. This exact scenario has repeated about 8 times since then at increasingly shorter intervals with every drive I've used. It seems to be independent of the drive type or manufacturer. I've experienced it with two 40GB Toshiba drives, with two 80 GB Toshiba drives and with two WD drives. The most recent time was with a drive that I'd used for less than a month. I removed that drive and copied the data from it as usual, but when I went to clone onto it, I found it could no longer be read as an external dirve (i.e., total drive failure).

I presume a hardware problem is causing these failures, but I don't know how to troubleshoot that possibility and can't find any information at all on causes (plenty about restoring the MBR, but I don't need that). Any ideas what might cause this or advice on how to troubleshoot the root problem?

Thanks!
__________________

RobinHewitt is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
Lord Techie
 
Hefemeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 9,093
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Since you have not done a clean install I would suspect some type of malware. Give a run through the guide.
http://www.techist.com/forums/f51/sp...2009-a-165828/

If not my second suspicion would be a failing hard drive controller on your motherboard.
__________________

__________________
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 :: INTEL i7 920 @3.4 :: XFX GTX260 :: 6gb Corsair 1600 :: Corsair 750TX :: TRUE 120 :: Samsung T240 24" :: Windows 7 X64

I do not accept support questions via PM

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Hefemeister is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Thanks for the quick response. How can I determine if the drive controller is failing? Right now, with its current drive, the laptop works fine. Is there any way to tell if the drive controller is failing in a laptop that is working correctly?
RobinHewitt is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
Lord Techie
 
Hefemeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 9,093
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Well is the malware scans come up clean then that leaves the controller or cable as possible issues.

Running a hard drive utility on a drive that passed on another computer would help to determine if there is a problem. But, I would start with some malware scans.
__________________
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 :: INTEL i7 920 @3.4 :: XFX GTX260 :: 6gb Corsair 1600 :: Corsair 750TX :: TRUE 120 :: Samsung T240 24" :: Windows 7 X64

I do not accept support questions via PM

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Hefemeister is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Both Avast (full scan) and Malware bytes come up clean. Do you feel that's not enough of a check?
RobinHewitt is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
Lord Techie
 
Hefemeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 9,093
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Should be put post up a hijackthis log here HijackThis Logs (analyze) - Computer Forums just so Osiris can give it a double check.

Hoping for something besides a bad controller as that realistically means it is time for a new laptop.
__________________
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 :: INTEL i7 920 @3.4 :: XFX GTX260 :: 6gb Corsair 1600 :: Corsair 750TX :: TRUE 120 :: Samsung T240 24" :: Windows 7 X64

I do not accept support questions via PM

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Hefemeister is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Ok, thanks very much for your help. I actually did run HijackThis a few days ago but then I discovered I'd have to wait an indefinite amount of time for someone to look at the log. Since my other checks had turned up nothing, I felt discouraged about being left in limbo. But it sounds like there's not much else I can do meanwhile to troubleshoot this.
RobinHewitt is offline  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
Lord Techie
 
Hefemeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 9,093
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

Yep. Osiris is based in the USA so it will be a few hours before he will have a chance to check it for you.
__________________
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 :: INTEL i7 920 @3.4 :: XFX GTX260 :: 6gb Corsair 1600 :: Corsair 750TX :: TRUE 120 :: Samsung T240 24" :: Windows 7 X64

I do not accept support questions via PM

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Hefemeister is offline  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 23
Default Re: Troubleshooting cause of repeated MBR loss

HijackThis Logfileauswertung
HiJackThis! Log auto analyzer V2

both sites have an automated log reader, and can identify a good chunk of the stuff from the hijackthis logs
__________________

THRiLL KiLL is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Online Network Troubleshooting Analyzer Netalyzr Osiris Tips, Tricks & Tutorials 0 06-13-2009 02:30 PM
Significant Lag on Wireless Network, could it be packet loss? Or something else? 706 Computer Networking and Internet Hardware 0 04-22-2009 03:46 AM
Universal Troubleshooting Methodology? What's the best practice? Resource? PolishPaul Monitors, Printers and Peripherals 13 12-13-2008 12:37 PM
MBR Problem while duel booting wycherley Microsoft Windows and Software 3 08-15-2008 10:38 AM
weight loss pills SiZcO Off Topic Discussion 21 03-28-2008 02:24 AM



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.