Solved Hard drive failure imminent - master record boot failure

October 17, 2015 at 15:39:24
Specs: windows 7, i5 quad 3.1 Ghz -6 GB
I recently had a virus on my computer and did a dull on system recovery. I had a hard disk image at one point, but the external drive it was on has been replaced and i had planned to "make a new one later." When I first purchased it, i was using it exclusively for music production/recording. I haven't done much music-wise over the last year, and have been focused on going back to school. I'm double majoring in applied mathematics and physics, so this computer has slowly evolved from a production powerhouse into the most computationally advanced graphing calculator I've ever seen.

I'd SLOWLY been reinstalling the music software that i rely on most often, but was planning on creating the disk image "once I'd completely installed everything..." you know.... So i never had to do this again...

Well, i turned my computer on the other day, and it gave me a DOS-like screen that basically said my hard drive's failure was imminent, press any key to boot... I press a key, and it gives me a similar screen that just says that the master record boot failed or something of that nature. It says to press any key, but it does nothing.

I'm no moron, but im not the most computer-savvy guy when it comes to opening the box up. I know I've got to replace this drive. It was a (i believe 7200) 1TB SATA drive. I'm guessing that it'll cost me roughly $100 if i don't buy cheap and want to get something better than i had. I have my software and files all backed up on external drives... But not Windows. When i replace this drive, will i need to purchase a new version of Windows 7, since i don't have ANY back up of it whatsoever?

Also, if there is any way that anyone knows if to fix this via the start up BIOS screen, so that i can attempt to make a system image, I'm all ears the as well.

Thanks in advance.

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October 17, 2015 at 17:00:55
✔ Best Answer
You won't need to purchase a new copy of Windows 7 if you have your installation key. Have a look on the case for a sticker that identifies it. If you have no record of it you can retrieve from within the Operating system. Software such as Magical Jellybean can do this for you. Since you have backed up all your important files this would be the first priority before attempting to create an image to transfer to a new HDD.

Do you have a Windows 7 installation disk?

You can try fixing the MBR to hopefully bring your OS back to life. For this you will need your Windows 7 installation disk. The details on how to do this are detailed in the Microsoft link below:

1. Have a look for your in Windows 7 key on the case in case you need to reload the OS.

2. Obtain a Windows 7 install disk if you haven't got one already.

3. Fix MBR using disk

4. Run Magical Jellybean to retrieve key if you don't have it and you can get the operating system back up and running.

5. Attempt to create image for new HDD.

Edit: If you are able to create the image and load it onto a new drive it would be wise to come back here to have scans run for any malware that might have been missed.

message edited by btk1w1

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October 17, 2015 at 21:18:59
If you have or can retrieve the Windows 7 key then I would recommend a clean install of Windows 7 on the new drive as being better (though more time consuming initially).

I prefer the Western Digital Black series hard drives for their speed and reliability.
If the funds are available consider a 240GB SSD drive for Windows and your programs and a 1TB or larger fast hard drive for your storage. This will speed things up considerably.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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