Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Windows Master Boot Record Keeps Failing  (Read 1267 times)
KI6DYR
Member

Posts: 227




Ignore
« on: July 15, 2009, 04:45:45 PM »

I am a computer professional and run well over 100 Internet servers. I'm pretty sure about my skills but have just begun experiencing the failures of the MBR on two separate systems. Both are quality systems using metal tower cases. The only commonality is Western Digital drives, but one is EIDE but the other is a SATA RAID system.

The only change in the shack is that my main dipole is now up quite high. My mountain home is a 2-story and the center-point is only about 35 feet above the failing system upstairs. This is also where my 2 meter repeater is located with an Arcom RC210 controller. When I run the Ameritron 811H the Arcom phantomly reboots. Even though the RC210 is designed for remote control of HF rigs it appears to have little or no RFI protection. A snap-on RF choke on the power leads fixed that, even though the RC210 was being fed directly by a marine battery.

Back to the point, that room is where I build PC's. A new build is now failing to boot and requires a complete reinstallation.

On to the second PC (my main work PC), which is located downstairs and well below the dipole. It too has developed a failing MBR (that the other system was built to replace!) The amplifier has sat next to this PC for about two years with no issue. The station ground is good and can fully illuminate a 100 watt incandescent light bulb. Issues only began after moving the dipole.

Is this just coincidence or have others experienced this? If so, how did you resolve the issue?

On the plus side the dipole is kicking butt up at about 70 feet on sloping hillsides Smiley
Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6013




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 08:49:02 AM »

You probably increased the actual SWR when you moved the dipole, and now the feedback is strong enough to affect your computers.  Have you tried a 1:1 balun at the antenna?  If that doesn't work, (I'm not too sure of its effectiveness) either reroute the co-ax, change the length of it, or restore your dipole to its former location.
Logged
KI6DYR
Member

Posts: 227




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 12:32:01 PM »

NO! I'm not moving the antenna! It's kicking butt! LOL.

I can try a 1:1 on the Alpha Delta DX CC antenna, but I also have a MFJ RFI barrel down here in the shack that I realized is only one foot from my main PC. It is possible but unlikley to be the cause. As I mentioned, I have run this configuration for years.

I'll try the 1:1.
Logged
KD5TAN
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 02:33:22 PM »

I call coincidence.

My first thought was a computer virus.  If it's possible to save off a copy of the MBR or at least the partition table for the affected systems, do it.  Next time it happens, you can get it written back to the disk.  Then mount the drives (read only under linux) and see if anything else is corrupt.  Linux rescue CDs such as knoppix are great for this task.

I have a hard time believing only the MBR would become corrupt from RF - especially with no other symptoms of RFI on the computers.

My main computer is located with the radio on the same desk, with the case off, exposed on 3 sides.  I have more problems with VHF than anything (shifting of the monitor display, howling computer speakers).  I have had USB peripherals stop responding with 10 meter RF, but as soon as the RF was turned off, the devices were detected and continue to function as normal.  One of my hard drives is sitting external to the case.  On the lower HF bands, I have no computer symptoms whatsoever - this is with a dipole, no balun, and 600 watts of RF on 40 or 20 meters.

Any chance you can get the drives out of the computers and installed as non-boot drives on a clean computer elsewhere (including a different OS, or original OS cd install)?  They could then be virus scanned without the possibility a rootkit would be hiding anything.  Another thing maybe worth looking into is GRC Spinrite.  It's an offline disk test which detects physical problems with the disk by tracking error rates as it reads data.
Logged
KI6DYR
Member

Posts: 227




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 02:38:44 PM »

I agree that it may just be coincidence - but not a virus. Both systems are behind a professional firewall and both run AV software.

There is a fix for the MBR and that is booting from the Windows XP Pro CD command line. Then change to the C: drive. Then type fixboot c:

This will pronpt you to repair the MBR. It does and the system boots. But not the next time.
Logged
K9WI
Member

Posts: 27




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 08:10:19 PM »

I may be stating the obvious, but have you tried just replacing the Hard Drives?  The MBR may be developing a weakness, or at the very least it is one thing to rule out.
Logged
KI6DYR
Member

Posts: 227




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 10:05:32 PM »

You may be stating the obvious, but it is a possibility. I have a second PC next to me that is fine. Upstairs is also a second PC next to a failing PC and it's fine. The fialing PC's have Western Digital drives; the non-failing have Maxtor.

Coincidence?
Logged
KB9CRY
Member

Posts: 4284


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2009, 05:10:58 AM »

New hard drive and then new motherboard.
Logged
KG4PID
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2009, 09:14:03 AM »

On the PC with the corrupt MBR disconnect the external USB Hard drive. It maybe trying to boot from the external drive. Had the same thing happen to me about a month ago. Booting from the windows CD and doing a repair looked like it fixed the problem, for one boot, but the next boot would fail again. Had to restore BIOS settings to the default to fix it.

Max
Logged
KB9GIG
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2009, 10:11:46 AM »

the same thing kept happening to me and i finally stopped using western digital EIDE drives and the problem went away coincidence i don,t think so.
its probably due to the fact they are all made in CHINA and they have serious quality control issues i still have a few let over but i don,t store any IMPORTANT files very long because frankly i don,t trust them.
Logged
KC8VWM
Member

Posts: 3124




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2009, 05:20:15 PM »

Find a way to get to a DOS prompt.

In DOS perform the following command:

C:\ Fdisk /MBR

Reboot.

Done.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
Logged
KI6DYR
Member

Posts: 227




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009, 07:42:34 PM »

Thank you for that but Windows XP uses

fixboot c:

It does the same thing.
Logged
KC9PMG
Member

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2009, 05:35:46 AM »

First, try to determine if this is a hardware failure.
Download Western Digital's software or a live Linux CD with GParted and check the drive to see if there are bad sectors. I've had better luck with GParted finding the problem. Commands that fix the boot or mbr will often just remove bad sectors from use, which will then allow the drive to work for a while before more problems occur.
I would agree with one of the above posters and expect more than just book record corruption if it were RF or magnetic interference causing the problem.
There's always the "cosmic rays" theory to fall back on.

If you find bad sectors are causing the problem, Western Digital has a great warranty program. Get a new drive.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!