Trouble-shooting Hard Drive Problems - Part 1

Written by Micro 2000 Inc

The following article isrepparttar first in a series that helps solve many ofrepparttar 137273 common boot problems with hard drives. The article explains how to verifyrepparttar 137274 drive functionality, determinerepparttar 137275 correct setup forrepparttar 137276 drive, and repair problems withrepparttar 137277 Master Boot Sector oncerepparttar 137278 drive is verified to be functional. This information will help solve some very common problems encountered in a computer service department. This article is designed to work with a system that has a single drive with one bootable partition using a FAT 16 structure (all DOS and older Windows systems), and no drive overlay.

It is extremely important not to make or write any changes to data onrepparttar 137279 hard drive without first verifyingrepparttar 137280 hard drive configuration. Therefore,repparttar 137281 first priority when unable to access information on a hard drive is to verify all ofrepparttar 137282 configuration information dealing withrepparttar 137283 suspect hard drive.

Partition Parameter Value or Equation Partition Status Bootable Starting Head 1 Starting Sector 1 Starting Cylinder 0 Partition Type Bigdos (drives greater than 30 MB), otherwise DOS 12 Ending Head Total Number of Heads -1 Ending Sector Sectors per Track displayed in Volume Boot Sector Ending Cylinder Number of Cylinders set in CMOS - 2 Total # of Sectors Number of Sectors displayed in Volume Boot Sector Start Absolute Sector Number of Sectors per Track in Volume Boot Sector Boot Signature 55AA

Step One: Make sure that Micro-Scope detectsrepparttar 137284 hard drive

In Micro-Scope, System Configuration, Compare Settings - check to make sure that there is not an asterisk besiderepparttar 137285 number of hard drives detected value. If there is an asterisk, eitherrepparttar 137286 CMOS is set incorrectly, or there is an electronic problem (controller, cable, drive).

Step Two: Comparerepparttar 137287 BIOS parameters againstrepparttar 137288 drive partition information.

In Micro-Scope, System Configuration, System Information - noterepparttar 137289 information displayed forrepparttar 137290 hard drive, specificallyrepparttar 137291 parameters forrepparttar 137292 drive in question. Compare these parameters torepparttar 137293 parameters inrepparttar 137294 MBR display under Micro-Scope, System Configuration, Partition Display usingrepparttar 137295 following formula:

System Information Master Boot Record Cylinders Ending Cylinder + 2 Heads Ending Head + 1 Sectors Sectors Per Track

Ifrepparttar 137296 information does not match, eitherrepparttar 137297 partition information is corrupt, orrepparttar 137298 CMOS setup or controller BIOS setup (if one exists) is incorrect, or there is a problem communicating withrepparttar 137299 drive.

Step Three: Checkrepparttar 137300 drive functionality

In Micro-Scope, Diagnostics, Fixed Disk Tests - checkrepparttar 137301 information inrepparttar 137302 Fixed Disk Selected window. Make sure thatrepparttar 137303 proper drive type, model, and native parameters are showing in this window. If any ofrepparttar 137304 information is incorrect, there is an electronic problem. Checkrepparttar 137305 cable, controller and drive, re-seating all connections, and repeatrepparttar 137306 above procedure. After correctingrepparttar 137307 electronic problem, perform a read test onrepparttar 137308 first 10 cylinders ofrepparttar 137309 drive. If any errors occur, then this isrepparttar 137310 most likely cause ofrepparttar 137311 drive failure. Perform a read ofrepparttar 137312 entire drive to determine ifrepparttar 137313 errors are electronic in nature, or physical in nature. Electronic problems will result inrepparttar 137314 errors displayed not always beingrepparttar 137315 same type or inrepparttar 137316 same location onrepparttar 137317 drive. Ifrepparttar 137318 problem is electronic, replacerepparttar 137319 cable, controller, and finally drive electronics and repeatrepparttar 137320 read test until no errors occur. Ifrepparttar 137321 error is physical, use an INT 13 type editor (such as Norton Advanced Editor), to blockrepparttar 137322 entire drive and writerepparttar 137323 information to a daisy chained drive set torepparttar 137324 same parameters asrepparttar 137325 faulty drive.

The next step, afterrepparttar 137326 drive passesrepparttar 137327 read test onrepparttar 137328 first 10 cylinders, is to checkrepparttar 137329 original partition setup ofrepparttar 137330 drive.

Step Four: Check forrepparttar 137331 physical location ofrepparttar 137332 master boot sector andrepparttar 137333 volume boot sector.

In Micro-Scope, Utilities, Fixed Disk Editor - userepparttar 137334 FIND feature to searchrepparttar 137335 last two bytes of each cylinder for a boot signature (55 AA). The first location where a boot signature should be found would be at cylinder 0, head 0, sector 1 (the master boot sector). The second location where a boot signature should be found is at cylinder 0, head 1, sector 1 (the volume boot sector). It is also possible to userepparttar 137336 FIND feature to locaterepparttar 137337 volume boot sector by searching for MSDOS (in DOS based systems) or MSWIN (in Windows95 systems).

Where To Look For Dirt-Cheap DVD Software. Part I

Written by David D. Deprice

Hate paying 50 bucks for DVD software? Check out these titles and go to Froogle to see that this is reallyrepparttar best price available.

dvdSanta - $24

dvdSanta is an All-in-One software that lets you copy, create, convert and burn your DVD movies.

It can copy 9GB double layer DVD movies into a 4.7GB DVD-R disc, can turn your photos into DVD movies with Hollywood style motion effects, can convert other video formats(avi, wmv, vob, asf, DivX, Mpeg,...) into DVD video, can transfer miniDV camcorder tapes directly to DVD video.

dvdSanta is extremely easy to use, fast and powerful.


* Easy to use interface: Intuitive user interface that requires no technical knowledge whatsoever * Converts and burns video files directly into DVD movies so that you can watch them on TV * Can mix multiple video files into one DVD disc * Converts photo files into DVD movies, with 35 transition effects, pan and zoom motions, background musics and narrations

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use