LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Password
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 06-08-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
starkadder
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 109

Rep: Reputation: 25
MBR damaged? unable to access hdd direct or from live CD.


Hello,
I've got an Hitachi Deskstar 164GB IDE drive which I've somehow managed to upset while attempting to swap distros.
I'm guessing its lost the MBR as I can't get a PC to see it except in the BIOS.
The BIOS tells me that the primary master has 164GB, Cylinders 65535, Head 16, Precomp 0, Landing zone 65534 and Sector 255. (my understanding of that info is very limited).

The PC won't boot direct from the hdd and a live Knoppix disc can't see it. Trying fdisk -l produces no list. (Naturally, I can't install another distro on it either).

All the posts I've seen relating to this problem, or similar, seem to be Dual Boot problems. I don't use Windows so it can't be that.

I don't think the drive is dead but maybe I have killed it. I'd be very grateful if someone could help me with some rescue ideas before I chuck it away.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 05:35 AM   #2
yooy
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,387

Rep: Reputation: 173Reputation: 173
Quote:
(Naturally, I can't install another distro on it either)
If gparted don't see partition while trying to install some linux distro means you have big problems??
try googling for how to make new MBR then or how to make partition table, or low level disk format.

here's something:
http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2005/1...-and-boot.html
 
Old 06-08-2010, 06:33 AM   #3
starkadder
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 109

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 25
Thanks yooy,
It's true that gparted can't see the drive and if I try grub-install /dev/hda I'm told that there is no /dev/hda or that it's not a block device. Oh dear, the prognosis is not good.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 06:51 AM   #4
syg00
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
Posts: 18,297

Rep: Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994Reputation: 2994
You see nothing from "fdisk -l" ? You doing it from root ?.
What about dmesg ?.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
starkadder
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 109

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 25
Hi syg00,
nothing from fdisk -l and yes from root. Not familiar with dmesg is it display messages? I'll try it.

I run 3 pcs all with the same data so back-up is not a problem. This drive is a spare.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 03:00 PM   #6
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 29,414
Blog Entries: 55

Rep: Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590
Quote:
Originally Posted by starkadder View Post
I've got an Hitachi Deskstar 164GB IDE drive which I've somehow managed to upset while attempting to swap distros.
Could you give a factual account of what "attempting to swap distros" means? What did you do exactly?
 
Old 06-09-2010, 02:19 AM   #7
starkadder
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 109

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 25
'Morning unSpawn,
Nothing fancy, as I said, this is a spare drive. I had (I think) Freespire on it and I was attempting to install Debian. It was fitted into a Dell Optiplex for the job and after apparently installing the thing wouldn't boot. I've used the Debian disc before so I don't think there is anything wrong with it.
To reply to syg00, I've tried dmesg and I get a huge list but nothing that I can see that refers to the drive.
I've also tried hdparm -i and get the message that hda does not exist - I think it's dead.
 
Old 06-09-2010, 03:06 AM   #8
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 29,414
Blog Entries: 55

Rep: Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590
What's the Optiplex type? Can you swap IDE cables? Can you attach the drive to another machine? Would you be willing to try resetting the BIOS to factory defaults?
 
Old 06-09-2010, 04:09 AM   #9
starkadder
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 109

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 25
Hello again unSpawn,
It's a GX260 P4 and the drive is now in another PC (a homebrew with a GA-7N400 Pro2 motherboard and an Athlon CPU). I'm using the IDE cable that normally connects to the PCs drive as I did in the Optiplex. I'll try re-setting the BIOS.
 
Old 06-09-2010, 04:36 AM   #10
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 29,414
Blog Entries: 55

Rep: Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590Reputation: 3590
At least check BIOS options like Fastboot (off), HDD Priority (HDD), Primary Drive n and Secondary Drive n— Settings (Auto), be aware which cable plug you use for the drive and which IDE slot you insert the cable into. Also see http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...at.htm#1101564. Does the BIOS diagnostic output detect the drive when you boot? Does it show any errors? And after resetting to BIOS defaults? Attached to your GA-7N400, does the drive show up in the BIOS diagnostic output?
 
Old 06-09-2010, 03:46 PM   #11
starkadder
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 109

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 25
Good evening unSpawn,
Thanks for all your input, I appreciate your time. I re-set the BIOS but to no avail, the drive is visible on the POST screen and in the BIOS but not when I try to do anything with it -it's probably a paperweight.
I've got to put it to one side now anyway, I've got a farm and a business to run, I'll probably take the pcb off one day and see if there is a damaged solder joint on the back of the IDE connections (shifting drives about the way I do is hard on the pins). The drive isn't important, I have others, almost all my hardware comes free or cheap from Windows users who find their PC running slow and buy another, ignoring my suggestion to download CCleaner and get rid of all the baggage.
At least I know that the IDE cable on the GA-7N400 box is good, I'm using the PC to send this with good old Zenwalk.
Regards, Starkadder.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My external HDD is damaged; How to save my data? digitsm Linux - Hardware 6 05-31-2010 12:11 PM
Damaged MBR, booting with Grub ? anthei Linux - General 4 03-16-2009 05:55 AM
i have damaged mbr what should i do? spy_daemon Linux - Newbie 21 11-19-2006 09:08 AM
Unable to have direct access to graphics hardware in Xorg R6.8 cvelasquez Linux - Software 1 03-18-2006 11:14 PM
Redhat with damaged MBR/Partition Table pawlub Linux - General 13 12-11-2003 08:51 AM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:23 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration