Archive for the ‘boot sector’ tag
Ok, so Tuesday night, my computer seemingly went the way of the dodo. In short, the lesson learned is this: though I highly recommend the program, Ad-Aware, be careful when “cleaning” problems found on your computer. It will, apparently, assume you know what you are doing when you click “remove all” problems and allow you to toast your hard drive’s boot sector. I like to pretend I know what I’m doing some of the time when it comes to computers, but I made the mistake of lackadaisically clicking through to remove a certain number of files with issues. But on restart, the operating system did not come back up. The fans were running and the motherboard kicked on, but no boot.
Thus, begins my 2-3-hour-per-night journey inside the case, removing hardware, replugging, swiping the CMOS, replacing the power supply with another … all such annoying, tedious stuff. As frustration mounted, I finally posted the problem to fixya.com, and within a few minutes, I had a couple ideas of what could be the problem. One person suggested that Ad-Aware had (without warning me) deleted files in the boot partition, thus rendering the hard drive a nice, shiny rectangular object, but otherwise useless. For some reason, the BIOS, or anything for that matter, wouldn’t load using the current MOBO and set up, so I found an old computer I had laying around and stuck the hard drive in question in there.
I remembered I had an old EZ Install Boot Disk, and this other computer just so happened to be ancient enough to have a 3.5 floppy drive. So, after a couple ill-fated attempts, I finally managed to format the hard drive, insert the Windows XP CD (Yeah, from 2002) and start over. Once Windows was on the computer, I wanted to test the hard drive out in the newer machine.
Here is my ill-fallen machine on the right. The old one is pictured on the left.
So I plugged the HD back in and nothing. I then guess that, while it could be a video card or MOBO problem, I really didn’t think so at this point (or at least hoped not). So, I tried changing out the power supplies in the two machines, and lo and behold, it started up like a charm. I then proceeded to insert my other hard drive, and that didn’t go as well. The computer recognizes the drive, but it currently says “access is denied” when I try to access the folder with all my stuff in it. This was the important drive with the mp3s and other documents that I don’t want to lose. So, I’m still working on that. Worse comes to worse, I’ll get a recovery application and break into the drive Cell Block C-style, but hopefully that won’t be necessary. Now, I have to download iTunes and try to get all my music back in listenable form. Luckily, before this happened, I had backed up my music library to an external drive, and it, hopefully, sits peacefully in waiting.