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Stupid Computers

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

It’s never good when your computer shows a flashing cursor for twenty minutes after you turn it on.  It would have flashed longer, but I turned the machine off.

Now booting off a live Linux USB stick, running diagnostics on the machine. There appears to be nothing wrong with it. SMART shows no errors.  NTFSChk shows no errors. I can mount and browse the drive perfectly well in Linux. Now I’m running a freshly-updated CLAMAV scan against the 200+ gigs on the main drive, but I begin to think this won’t reveal anything either.

Naturally, I can’t afford a new computer currently. Heck, I’ve got parts for a new build in my dining room that have 6 months of dust on them already.  *sigh*

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
grassrose
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
Master Boot Record, maybe? Or are you running Linux onboard as well as on stick?
andysocial
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
It appears (and I'm still not 100% sure) that I've fixed it. For some reason, the "hidden" recovery share, which is hda1 in *nix parlance, got unhidden, and then the boot.ini file was all confuzzled by the partition number. After several Linux distros, a DOS-based NTLDR replacement, an XP recovery console from CDROM, and a couple bottles of hard cider, it's possibly all better.

Things which I tried which did not help: fixmbr, fixboot, copy partitions to a spare SATA drive I have lying around (waiting for that new build I've been planning for nearly a year now), copying NTLDR, hiding and unhiding partitions, making partitions active and boot, and pulling out hair.

Things which I think led to the fix: editing the boot.ini file via a Linux boot disk to point to partition(2) instead of partition(1), ensuring the recovery partition does not get assigned a drive letter in XP. And possibly the cider.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )