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HP Notebook: The recovery partition could not be found

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#51
ahmad2080

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In your DISKPART report, you have two partitions:
the "main" one which gets letter C:\
and
the "recovery" one which gets letter D:\

Where does the X:\ come from?

Is it the letter that is given to the PE .WIM image that you boot when you choose the recovery partition?

The X:\ partition appears when I boot from the recovery partition. It's 31 MB in size.

Most probably you have set your system not to show executable files.
I would bet ;) that you probably have in
C:\system.sav\Util a MBRINST.EXE file
and as well and definitely one in
C:\ program Files\SMINST

Now, should this latter info be confirmed, you have a
C:\Program File\SMINST\MBRINST.EXE
and a
C:\Program File\SMINST\MBR.INI
this sounds very like the \SMINST\ path reported before:
http://www.msfn.org/...o...31620&st=24

Now, you posted the MBR.INI that you found in your X:\ drive, whatever it is, can you post also the one in C:\system.sav\Util\ and the one in C:\Program Files\SMINST\?

Unless they are all identical, of course.

I will also need a DIR /S of C:\system.sav\Util\ and a DIR /S of C:\Program Files\SMINST\

jaclaz

Yes, MBR.INI in both paths and the one in X:\ are identical.

DIR /S of C:\system.sav\Util\ :
Attached File  uTIL.TXT   7.76KB   11 downloads
DIR /S of C:\Program Files\SMINST\:
Attached File  sminst.TXT   7.69KB   14 downloads

EDIT:
I found something Interesting: The Patch.cmd has a log file in systerm.sav, that log file was created 04/02/2009 ,although I ran the patch today.
Anyway the patch when it was executed in 04/02/2009 [ not by me] seemed to work perfectly.
I'll attach the correct LOG in 04/02/2009 and the LOG created when I ran it today.
Attached File  PATCH_CMD_correct_.txt   12.48KB   23 downloads
Attached File  PATCH_CMD_errors_.txt   5.13KB   13 downloads

I don't know why the new LOG didn't overwright the old one.

Edited by ahmad2080, 04 April 2009 - 11:55 AM.



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#52
jaclaz

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This is interesting:

Directory of C:\System.sav\Util

04/03/2009 09:54 PM <DIR> .
04/03/2009 09:54 PM <DIR> ..
....
05/08/2008 10:08 AM 5,069 MBR.INI
06/12/2007 03:42 AM 388 MBRINST.BT_
12/20/2007 01:40 AM 5,409 MBRINST.VBS


It is possible that MBRINST.EXE has been replaced by the .VBS script :unsure:, and the 388 byte .BT_ could be a (partial) MBR.

Can you compress together MBRINST.BT_ and MBRINST.VBS in a ZIP archive and post it?

Also, in C:\Program Files\SMINST, there are a lot of seemingly interesting .LOG files. newly created.

And a number of files beginning with ST that could be related to SoftThinks..., ot that seem like coonected with RP (Recovery Partition :unsure:) or HPRM (HP Recovery Manager :unsure:) and one related to CD creator...
I would like to peek inside:
04/04/2009 08:58 AM 11,765 BI.LOG
04/04/2009 08:58 AM 2 BurnInfo.log
04/04/2009 08:58 AM 266 CD Creator.exe.LOG
04/04/2009 08:58 AM 645 Creator.log
04/04/2009 06:19 PM 35,416 history.log
04/04/2009 08:48 AM 11,131 HPRM_BCD_FIX.LOG
04/04/2009 08:47 AM 324 LOG
04/04/2009 08:48 AM 45 Master.log
03/28/2006 10:09 PM 58 RPCheck.log
04/03/2009 09:26 PM 4,428 RPRemoval.exe.LOG
04/03/2009 07:41 AM 116 ST_LOG.LOG

Provided that they are hopefully "plain text".

jaclaz

#53
jaclaz

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EDIT:
I found something Interesting: The Patch.cmd has a log file in systerm.sav, that log file was created 04/02/2009 ,although I ran the patch today.
Anyway the patch when it was executed in 04/02/2009 [ not by me] seemed to work perfectly.
I'll attach the correct LOG in 04/02/2009 and the LOG created when I ran it today.
Attached File  PATCH_CMD_correct_.txt   12.48KB   23 downloads
Attached File  PATCH_CMD_errors_.txt   5.13KB   13 downloads

I don't know why the new LOG didn't overwright the old one.


Very interesting from logs:
Set the first partition (= User Partition) active 
X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.DLL /DISK 1 /INI X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.INI /ACTIVE 1 /Q 
  ...MBRInst returned 0 
 
Apply the SoftThinks Master Boot Record: 
X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.DLL /DISK 1 /INI X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.INI /U /Q 
  ...MBRInst returned 0

It seems like the good Softthinks (or HP) guys renamed MBRINST.EXE to MBR.DLL...:whistle:
The MBR.DLL in X:\Windows\System32 is 159,744 bytes in size, exactly like the MBRINST.EXE in the same X:\Windows\System32 (and has same date/time 07/01/2008 04:14 AM)

The one in C:\Program Files\SMINST is 165,248 bytes. :w00t: and has different date/time 10/06/2008 09:55 AM (newer)

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 04 April 2009 - 12:13 PM.


#54
ahmad2080

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Very interesting from logs:

Set the first partition (= User Partition) active 
X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.DLL /DISK 1 /INI X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.INI /ACTIVE 1 /Q 
  ...MBRInst returned 0 

Apply the SoftThinks Master Boot Record: 
X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.DLL /DISK 1 /INI X:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MBR.INI /U /Q 
  ...MBRInst returned 0

It seems like the good Softthinks (or HP) guys renamed MBRINST.EXE to MBR.DLL... :whistle:
The MBR.DLL in X:\Windows\System32 is 159,744 bytes in size, exactly like the MBRINST.EXE in the same X:\Windows\System32 (and has same date/time 07/01/2008 04:14 AM)

The one in C:\Program Files\SMINST is 165,248 bytes. :w00t: and has different date/time 10/06/2008 09:55 AM (newer)

jaclaz


I noticed the SOFTHINKS MBR part, that's why I thought it'd be useful.


Here are the LOG files & MBRINST.BT_ and MBRINST.VBS

Attached File  LOGS.rar   13.37KB   23 downloads
Attached File  MBRINST.rar   1.53KB   41 downloads

#55
jaclaz

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Some interesting parts of the logs, that may need an explanation:

Testing Drive D:\
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
......
End of IsISOPartion : 0RP not found. Trying to mount it.
Error Execute : 2
End of FindRP : 0


Starting process
CHelpDialogPCCreator -> SetTocPCVistaGUIMode(...)
......
Is there a valid partition
Is a set of CD have been allready done(mode 1)
RP Drive:
......
Exiting


....
Fri Apr 03 21:26:24 2009: Welcome to the introduction
Fri Apr 03 21:53:33 2009: Start of RestoreWiz.
Fri Apr 03 21:53:33 2009: Version of RestoreWiz.exe : 8.0.91.93
Fri Apr 03 21:53:39 2009: End of RestoreWiz with return code 1.
Fri Apr 03 22:12:40 2009: Running Recovery Disc Creation (FV: 7, 0, 91, 54, PV: 7, 0, 91, 54)
Fri Apr 03 22:12:47 2009: Exit application CD Creator
Fri Apr 03 23:44:09 2009: Running Recovery Disc Creation (FV: 7, 0, 91, 54, PV: 7, 0, 91, 54)
Fri Apr 03 23:44:16 2009: Exit application CD Creator
Sat Apr 04 17:01:42 2009: Running Recovery Disc Creation (FV: 7, 0, 91, 54, PV: 7, 0, 91, 54)
Sat Apr 04 17:01:49 2009: Exit application CD Creator
Sat Apr 04 17:39:12 2009: Running Recovery Disc Creation (FV: 7, 0, 91, 54, PV: 7, 0, 91, 54)
Sat Apr 04 17:39:22 2009: Exit application CD Creator
Sat Apr 04 18:18:31 2009: User starts Recovery Manager application
.....


There is much more info in the various other logs, but from a quick look at it, it seems like you tried to run the apps "n" times, with different "settings" on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of April, so the logs are not exactly "clean".

The "new" thing is the contents of MBRINST.BT_
@REM =================================================================================
@REM PC Recovery Preinstall Addon:
@REM  To perform MBR installation
@REM =================================================================================

CMD.EXE /c cscript.exe /nologo C:\system.sav\util\MBRINST.VBS > C:\system.sav\util\MBRINST.CMD
CMD.EXE /c C:\system.sav\util\MBRINST.CMD
Basically it is a batch that invokes the MBRINST.VBS Visual Basic script in order to create "on-the-fly" ANOTHER batch. :w00t:

The VBS performs some kind of security checks, lists drives on system then outputs a batch with this command line (both in the case of one single hard disk or in the case of two hard disks "NOT SWAPPED"):
C:\system.sav\util\MBRINST.EXE /INI C:\system.sav\util\MBR.INI /U /Q

jaclaz

#56
ahmad2080

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Thanks Jaclaz for all of your help here. I do appreciate your assistance.

Yes, I tried to run the CD creator but it keeps showing the error message.
That's why you found the recent dates in the LOG flie.

There maybe another source that we can get benefit from; a friend of mine has a similar(not identical ) notebook.[There are some hardware differences, but I beleive that the software is the same. His recovery partition is visible too from factory]
Can I capture his MBR and install it on mine? If yes, what software should I use? Should both harddisks be equal in size to do that?
As I understood from Tripredacus that he tried to do something similar but it didn't work.

Latter, I'll provide results of [DIR /s] on my friend's notebook in several locations (X:\,D:\,C:\system.sav).

Until then, is there anything else that I can do?

I've read an old topic similar to mine that I found from a google search. The google LINK led me here to MSFN. Both jaclaz & Tripredacus participated and provided plenty of information to solve the topic starter's issue (he was comess or something like that). Was that problem solved?

#57
jaclaz

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Can I capture his MBR and install it on mine? If yes, what software should I use?

You should use (besides checking again why beeblebrox does not work for you) HDhacker:
http://dimio.altervi.../eng/index.html
To backup BOTH your and your friend's MBR to files.
Then DO NOT apply them, but rather zip them and post them, it's better to have a look at them before possibly making damages.

Should both harddisks be equal in size to do that?

Yes and no.
There are utilities able to replace the MBR code part keeping the DATA part intact, besides using MBRbatch, handy utilities are MBRFIX:
http://www.sysint.no...ting/mbrfix.htm
and MBRWIZ:
http://mbrwizard.com/

and of course for both the above choeres a hex-editor with \\.\PhysicalDriven access can be used as well.


As I understood from Tripredacus that he tried to do something similar but it didn't work.

Yep, but that does not necessarily mean that it is impossible, only very, very improbable. :whistle:

I've read an old topic similar to mine that I found from a google search. The google LINK led me here to MSFN. Both jaclaz & Tripredacus participated and provided plenty of information to solve the topic starter's issue (he was comess or something like that). Was that problem solved?

My crystal ball is (again) in the shop for maintenance :( and through Tarots and I-Ching I seem not to be able to find the unreferenced google link. :w00t:

jaclaz

#58
ahmad2080

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You should use (besides checking again why beeblebrox does not work for you) HDhacker:
http://dimio.altervi.../eng/index.html
To backup BOTH your and your friend's MBR to files.
Then DO NOT apply them, but rather zip them and post them, it's better to have a look at them before possibly making damages.

I assumed that bleeblebrox is not compatable with vista because its main page says: "Beeblebrox is a partition table editor for Windows 95/98 or NT ", no VISTA there.
I'll backup both, zip and post soon.

I've read an old topic similar to mine that I found from a google search. The google LINK led me here to MSFN. Both jaclaz & Tripredacus participated and provided plenty of information to solve the topic starter's issue (he was comess or something like that). Was that problem solved?
My crystal ball is (again) in the shop for maintenance :( and through Tarots and I-Ching I seem not to be able to find the unreferenced google link. :w00t:

jaclaz

Sorry for not referring to the google link; I was in a rush. Anyway, here it is:
http://www.msfn.org/...o...t=0&start=0
And his name was 'comcc' not 'comess'; sorry for that too. :rolleyes:


On my friends notebook, I captured a screenshot for Diskpart. Here it is:
Attached File  diskpart.jpg   105.11KB   26 downloads
Just like mine (excluding the additional partitions he created).

and here is the dir /s on his X:\ :
http://rapidshare.co...585/_X.txt.html

All log files in SMINST (His SMINST folder is in C:\windows not C:\ProgramFiles):
Attached File  LOGS2.rar   7.52KB   9 downloads
Note: You can find also the :
Testing Drive D:\
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
......
End of IsISOPartion : 0RP not found. Trying to mount it.
Error Execute : 2
End of FindRP : 0
In his Logs too.
Info: He already burned the recovery Disks and his RecoveryPartition is working properly as well as his F11 hotkey function.

DIR /s D:\ --> I forgot to send the file to my USBStick so I'll post it latter.

Edited by ahmad2080, 06 April 2009 - 01:04 AM.


#59
ahmad2080

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FROM HIS NOTEBOOK:

DIR /s D:\ : Attached File  D.txt   14.77KB   17 downloads]

DIR /s C:\system.sav : Attached File  Systemsav.txt   20.37KB   8 downloads

I want to note that I've copied all contents of :
-The D partition.
-The C:\Windows\SMINST folder.
-The -The C:\Windows\boot folder.
-The C:\boot folder
-The C:\Hp folder
-The C:\system.sav folder

Edited by ahmad2080, 06 April 2009 - 04:46 AM.


#60
ahmad2080

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This is the HP tool that (probably) destroyed my original MBR.

http://h10025.www1.h...;encodeUrl=true&

Don't be amazed please. I was desperate trying to make the partition appear again.
Anyway, it worked.

I'd like to note that the F11 function was working properly after installing partition magic and before using the HP tool.
So obviously it was sp34748.exe which caused all of this ( .....yes, I know. It's my fault from the beggining :blushing: )

#61
jaclaz

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From what I have gathered in the meantime, and from some experiments I am carrying, I would say that restoring the F11 feeature should be possible.

I need to make a few more checks before posting a possible solution, but I am confident that it will work allright. :)

I am not so sure about the CD burning, though :(, it seems like it is an alltogether (and unconnected) matter.

I'll hopefully be back to you anytime from late tonight (CET) to tomorrow morning, hopefully with a working solution.

jaclaz

#62
ahmad2080

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From what I have gathered in the meantime, and from some experiments I am carrying, I would say that restoring the F11 feeature should be possible.

I need to make a few more checks before posting a possible solution, but I am confident that it will work allright. :)

I am not so sure about the CD burning, though :( , it seems like it is an alltogether (and unconnected) matter.

I'll hopefully be back to you anytime from late tonight (CET) to tomorrow morning, hopefully with a working solution.

jaclaz



WOW.....That's just great.
I hope it works.....take your time jaclaz, you've been extremely helpful.
:thumbup
Thanks alot.

#63
submix8c

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(another FYI post)

FWIW, I noted (kind of related?) that your C-drive offset is at 1024kb as opposed to a "normal" 32kb (? at least mine and your friend's is). By looking at that SP's VBS file, I see that (not being real good at VBScript) it may have "shrunk" at that offset and never "put it back" (?). The link given to the HP article says you can do this in Disk Management (on Vista) as well.

I think (?) jaclaz is looking at the other topic's MBR code because it apparently has ye-olde F11 Function in it. This may be potentially the "key" to fixing that and (IMHO) potentially "fixing" the other (as I note in my last stmt in this post).

Side note - looks like your friend "Shrunk" his Main Partition (to the front), Recovery Partition (different Vol Label than yours; to the back), then inserted an Extended Partition (0 + 3/4 Logicals; in the middle). Don't really know how a Partition-0 appeared though(?)...

Still, seems like after a Complete Restore (from the Recovery Partition) that the Create Disks should work (not a simple Recovery, but Complete Restore - Back To Factory/Sales). Perhaps the MBR Code is what's being looked for and not a Partition Type?

(edit - And even more confusing, to me anyway, is Diskpart Shrink gives size in MByte, not KByte; still looks to me like PM is a culprit too. Installing would not have caused the problem but Using it would - re the "Fix my MBR" as you originally stated.

I didn't know that partition magic is uncompatible with vista, so when i ran the program it asked me to FIX the partition table....'YES' was my answer, then the recovery partition disappeared.

Leads me to believe something "special" was in the PTable.)

Edited by submix8c, 06 April 2009 - 10:43 AM.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#64
ahmad2080

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(another FYI post)

FWIW, I noted (kind of related?) that your C-drive offset is at 1024kb as opposed to a "normal" 32kb (? at least mine and your friend's is). By looking at that SP's VBS file, I see that (not being real good at VBScript) it may have "shrunk" at that offset and never "put it back" (?). The link given to the HP article says you can do this in Disk Management (on Vista) as well.

I didn't notice the 1024kb offset part in C. From your reply it appears that this is really the root of the problem. Maybe that's why the too long string in MBR error message shows up....?
Should I Shrink and extend C:\ as mentioned in the HP page? Can that fix the offset value??

I think (?) jaclaz is looking at the other topic's MBR code because it apparently has ye-olde F11 Function in it. This may be potentially the "key" to fixing that and (IMHO) potentially "fixing" the other (as I note in my last stmt in this post).

Is it the ONLY key?? I feel that you have another solution.....>?

Side note - looks like your friend "Shrunk" his Main Partition (to the front), Recovery Partition (different Vol Label than yours; to the back), then inserted an Extended Partition (0 + 3/4 Logicals; in the middle). Don't really know how a Partition-0 appeared though(?)...

Yes, it's confusing....I agree.

Still, seems like after a Complete Restore (from the Recovery Partition) that the Create Disks should work (not a simple Recovery, but Complete Restore - Back To Factory/Sales). Perhaps the MBR Code is what's being looked for and not a Partition Type?

What's the difference between both mentioned recovery types? I have only one available. So you are saying that I made a simple recovery?

(edit - And even more confusing, to me anyway, is Diskpart Shrink gives size in MByte, not KByte; still looks to me like PM is a culprit too. Installing would not have caused the problem but Using it would - re the "Fix my MBR" as you originally stated.

I didn't know that partition magic is uncompatible with vista, so when i ran the program it asked me to FIX the partition table....'YES' was my answer, then the recovery partition disappeared.

Leads me to believe something "special" was in the PTable.)


Yes, only using Partition magic made the question of FIXing the partition table appear.

I want to note other tiny details that I really don't know why I forgot to mention:

-After'Fixing' the Ptable using partition magic the blue death screen appeared (Probably because of Antiarp software which I installed befor partition magic)
-On the booting screen it says (at the bottom left corner) Press ESC to choose options ( or something like that)
If I pressed F11 it does respond and it says "F11......system recovery" but then it proceeds to loading the OS.

I don't know if these notes may make any difference......]

Thanks.

#65
jaclaz

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Submix8,
don't take this the wrong way :), but do you really think that it is needed/helps from time to time to post some wild guesses and doubts? :unsure:

The 1024 offset is something that is said to be "better", see here:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=131023
http://support.micro...kb/929491/en-us

evidently that partition has been created with:
create partition primary align=1024

About partition0, have you ever looked with Diskpart to a drive with an Extended partition under Vista or Server 2008?
http://www.techotopi...ons_and_Volumes

After all, Partition Magic, (this time ;) ) is NOT the culprit, Ahmad used (improperly) another tool downloaded from HP, and that probably caused the problem, by replacing the MBR code.

As well, if a partition has 1024 as offset is NOT "kosher" as seen by Partition Magic or by ANY other "good" software, as it breaks the Cylynder boundary, which was a requirement (and still is for some OS).

The whole problem was born by "trusting" an app ( actually two of them) without actually knowing what they would do and without preparing a way back, see my posts here:
http://www.msfn.org/...o...807&st=1137
http://www.msfn.org/...o...807&st=1148

Kids shouldn't play with matches, and the box of matches should be kept out of their reach, it's not the kid's fault if the house get's on fire.

(and again, no offence intended :) to anyone)


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 06 April 2009 - 11:57 AM.


#66
ahmad2080

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Submix8,
don't take this the wrong way :) , but do you really think that it is needed/helps from time to time to post some wild guesses and doubts? :unsure:

The 1024 offset is something that is said to be "better", see here:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=131023
http://support.micro...kb/929491/en-us

evidently that partition has been created with:

create partition primary align=1024

About partition0, have you ever looked with Diskpart to a drive with an Extended partition under Vista or Server 2008?
http://www.techotopi...ons_and_Volumes

After all, Partition Magic, (this time ;) ) is NOT the culprit, Ahmad used (improperly) another tool downloaded from HP, and that probably caused the problem, by replacing the MBR code.

As well, if a partition has 1024 as offset is NOT "kosher" as seen by Partition Magic or by ANY other "good" software, as it breaks the Cylynder boundary, which was a requirement (and still is for some OS).

The whole problem was born by "trusting" an app ( actually two of them) without actually knowing what they would do and without preparing a way back, see my posts here:
http://www.msfn.org/...o...807&st=1137
http://www.msfn.org/...o...807&st=1148

Kids shouldn't play with matches, and the box of matches should be kept out of their reach, it's not the kid's fault if the house get's on fire.

(and again, no offence intended :) to anyone)


jaclaz


I wonder jaclz, from where did you get all of this time & information??

Well, about the "kids"......Nobody learns without some sacrifices :wacko: .

But let me return to the 1024 offset part.....Maybe it was 32 and the HP tool made it 1024???
[ I feel it like a stupid question, but I've LEARNED to think about all possibilities.]

#67
jaclaz

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I wonder jaclz, from where did you get all of this time & information??


A long time ago I decided to concentrate on only 512 bytes (the MBR) and on some other bunch of bytes, the bootsectors and loaders.

You can learn a lot on a very "narrow" field. ;)

@all
(Ahmad2080 sent me a copy of the first 63 sectors of his hard disk, to allow me to make some checks)

The plot thickens.... :whistle:

Doing so, Ahmad2080 forfaited some of his privacy ;), see this:
http://www.911cd.net...o...21049&st=17

The new turn of the plot is that Ahmad2080 actually LIED to me! :w00t:

There are evident traces that on that HD also, and at least:
  • either Legacy GRUB 0.97 or grub4dos pre-0.4.2 version
  • BM2005 (Paragon's Boot Manager)
were installed! :realmad:

So, we have now another two possible culprits......, I know, I know it's always the butler B) , but here we have several butlers!

:P

jaclaz

#68
ahmad2080

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Doing so, Ahmad2080 forfaited some of his privacy ;) , see this:
http://www.911cd.net...o...21049&st=17

LOL....I did't know that you had this HUGE sense of humer....[Right?? :blink: ]

The new turn of the plot is that Ahmad2080 actually LIED to me! :w00t:

There are evident traces that on that HD also, and at least:

  • either Legacy GRUB 0.97 or grub4dos pre-0.4.2 version
  • BM2005 (Paragon's Boot Manager)
were installed! :realmad:

So, we have now another two possible culprits......, I know, I know it's always the butler B) , but here we have several butlers!

:P

jaclaz

First let me state this :
"""" I NEVER LIE """"""...... <true story> :angry:

Second: I did install LINUX on my desktop comp. but I honestly don't remember installing it on my notebook.
Let's assume that I installed it on my notebook, here comes the next question: How did I do that?
My DVD ROM can't load any CD/DVD without the SATA drivers.
Installing from a USBStick?? I figured out that lately...

So the only reasonable assumption is that I figured a way to begin LINUX installation on my notebook, but it didn't complete; leaving the GRUB loader traces on my MBR.
AGAIN, I can't remember anything about this.
And jaclaz, I came here for a solution not to play with you around.....

ABOUT THE (Paragon's Boot Manager).... Yes that's possible. As I said, I was desperate trying to return the recovery partition back, I don't remember what programs I used to do so.

Only all of them failed except the HP one [The last on of course].
So when I said " TRIED" I ment that several softwares were installed on my system, only the last one was the HP file....

So ,Again, It was my fault assuming that the HP tool & partition magic (only) were the cause of the problem.

#69
jaclaz

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Ok, some (possible) conclusions.
I checked both the MBR and hidden sectors on ahmad2080's PC and those of his friend with a similar laptop.

Also the latter appears not to be completely "clean" in the sense that there are (previous) copies of the MBR in several of the hidden sectors, meaning that some program that keeps "track" or "backup" of the MBR has been used on it.

However, it seems like the procedure to try is the following.

I am assuming that ahmad2080 has a bootable CD or USB stick containing a program able to restore if needed the current MBR and hidden sectors that he saved.

If not, DON'T DO anything of the following!

We need before that to make sure you have a way back, should disaster strike. :ph34r:

Extract to c:\dsfok the contents of the dsfok archive.

Open a command prompt and navigate to c:\dsfok
Run this line:
fsz C:\dsfok\62blanks.dat 31744
(this will create a 62 sectors in length file filled with 00's)

Now run:
dsfo \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 0 512 C:\dsfok\Now_mbr.dat
(this will create a backup copy of current MBR)

Now run:
copy /B Now_mbr.dat + 62blanks.dat New_63.dat
(this will creatre a new file with current MBR+62 00ed sectors)

Verify that the resulting file C.\dsfok\New_63.dat is exactly 32256 bytes in length.

Now run:
dsfi \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 0 32256 C:\dsfok\New_63.dat
(this will copy the new file to HD)

Please note that this latter line uses dsfI, not dsfO, like the one before.

Try re-booting, you shoud see NO difference whatsoever.

Copy from C:\System.sav\Util to C:\dsfok the following files:

03/17/2008 04:47 PM 5,120 MBR.INI
03/12/2008 12:32 PM 159,744 MBRInst.exe


Verify that entries in [MasterBootRecord] section of MBR.INI are as following (they should be):

[MasterBootRecord]
; DO NOT TRANSLATE
UseSmallMBR=1
SwapPart=0
;TimeOut for "\nPress F11 to start recovery "
TimeOut=1
QuietCountDown=0
AutoHideRecovery=0
ShowRecoveryPart=1
ScanCode=133
;DoRecoverRP=0
SafebootCompatibleMBR=0
CountMode=6

; TRANSLATE
STR_START="\nPress F11 for Emergency Recovery "

;STR_ERROR="\nMBR Error\n"
STR_ERROR=\nErr1

;STR_BS_ERROR="\nOS Missing\n"
STR_BS_ERROR=Err2

;STR_PRESSAKEY="\nPress a key.\n"
STR_PRESSAKEY=Err3

RecoveryInUserPart=0


Open a command prompt and navigate to C:\dsfok

Run this line:
mbrinst.exe /ini mbr.ini

mbrinst.exe GUI should open and look like the following image:

Posted Image

You won't see the line

Hard Drive #1 is "\\.\Physicaldrive1"


Click on the install button.

All settings should become grayed out and you should get a message like:

> Installing new master boot record (MBR1sNHPBL:one sector, RP anywhere, HP F11.
Master boot record installed successfully.
> Updating recovery partition boot record


Than another line, either :(:

! WARNING:Recovery partition could not be located


or (hopefully ;)) a message of success.

Let me know how it goes....

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 07 April 2009 - 10:44 AM.


#70
ahmad2080

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Thanks jaclaz.....
I hope that all of this effort (from you more than me)leads to a success.
If it didn't you still deserve a prize ... :thumbup

I am assuming that ahmad2080 has a bootable CD or USB stick containing a program able to restore if needed the current MBR and hidden sectors that he saved.

If not, DON'T DO anything of the following!

We need before that to make sure you have a way back, should disaster strike. :ph34r:

I think that you already know my comment here!!!! :whistle:
I need to know how to create a bootable USB stick containing a program able to restore MBR & hidden sectors that I saved.
If you can helpfully give me a link to do that, I'd be grateful.... :yes:
Thanks...

EDIT:
I have two notes:
1-I don't have MBRINST.exe in C:\system.sav\Util
should I copy the one from X:\windows\system32 ?
or the one from my friends laptop in C:\system.sav\Util?
2-The MBR.INI in C:\system.sav\Util is some different from the one you posted:


[MasterBootRecord]
; DO NOT TRANSLATE
UseSmallMBR=1
SwapPart=0
;TimeOut for "\nPress F11 to start recovery "
TimeOut=1
QuietCountDown=0
AutoHideRecovery=0
ShowRecoveryPart=1
ScanCode=133
;DoRecoverRP=0
SafebootCompatibleMBR=0
CountMode=7
; TRANSLATE
STR_START=

;STR_ERROR="\nMBR Error\n"
STR_ERROR=

;STR_BS_ERROR="\nOS Missing\n"
STR_BS_ERROR=

;STR_PRESSAKEY="\nPress a key.\n"
STR_PRESSAKEY=

RecoveryInUserPart=0


EDIT:
Oops.....My apologies jaclaz...When I read my last post I felt like it was........rude. :blushing:
sorry.

Edited by ahmad2080, 07 April 2009 - 02:24 PM.


#71
Tripredacus

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Donator

Sorry, I'm late to the party :sneaky:

Don't worry about the offset that is normal.

Examining the MBR.INI we can see the following:

Under boot loader, you have "RecoveryPatitionOnStartOfDisk=0". This is because SoftThinks does not follow the best practices for recovery partitions, which is, to put the recovery partition as the beginning of the disk, and the system volume follows it. This is because the recovery partition must be created after the system volume is put on. It automatically splits the disk (it uses a percentage option) and creates a partition to follow the system partition. It then copies the files and compresses them. After this, it resizes the recovery partition to save space. It is easier to do it this way, instead of say, creating a 20GB partition at the start of the drive, and then another one for the rest and install Windows to that part. Its because the SoftThinks software cannot resize the partition if at the beginning, because you cannot change the offset of the system volume once it has been created very easily.

Also, for "AskCreateRecoveryPartition=0" if you set this to 1, it would not work unless you had the license key inserted, so don't both trying that one!

You may be able to get past this "32byte" error by changing "UseSmallMBR" to 0.

OK so you have logs that say that MBR.DLL is running commands, which confirms my estimation. So it may be that their software actually uses Rundll32.exe to execute that command?

From what I have gathered in the meantime, and from some experiments I am carrying, I would say that restoring the F11 feeature should be possible.


I was able to restore the F11 functionality using Terrabyte Lab's MBR.EXE.

If I pressed F11 it does respond and it says "F11......system recovery" but then it proceeds to loading the OS.


This happens because it could not find the recovery partition. So it loads the next best thing. In my custom project, I got this to happen also. But say I hid the C drive, and tried to load the recovery partition and it wasn't hidden. Then it would do the same thing, except it would try booting off the network, which was next in the boot order.

The whole problem was born by "trusting" an app ( actually two of them) without actually knowing what they would do and without preparing a way back, see my posts here:


Yes this is an issue with personal equipment. Not everyone that posts here have the ability to constantly redo their theories via imaging, or have the ability to start over once we blow something up.

But let me return to the 1024 offset part.....Maybe it was 32 and the HP tool made it 1024???


The tool, if run from Windows, would not be able to do a full offset movement, because obviously the volume would be in use! Nah, so I do not think that was the issue.
MSFN RULES | GimageX HTA for PE 3-5 | lol probloms
msfn2_zpsc37c7153.jpg

#72
ahmad2080

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It's great to hear from you again Tripredacus. I thought that you choosed to quit from a topic that will never reach a solution [which of course made me feel bad], but jaclaz was there saving me from a certain deadlock situation.
I really trust you both...

So what do you suggest??
Try the

changing "UseSmallMBR" to 0

or directly applying jaclaz idea???

EDIT: I'm done with steps till the dsfi step.....waiting for the LINK....

Edited by ahmad2080, 07 April 2009 - 03:07 PM.


#73
jaclaz

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You'll have to take your chances. ;)

Though everything posted by Tripredacus is accurate :), right now it' only confusing you.

Do try EXACTLY what I have posted, with NO changes of ANY sort.

If it does not work, we'll later introduce changes/variations.

I was given a dir /S with these files in C:\System.sav\Util:

03/17/2008 04:47 PM 5,120 MBR.INI
03/12/2008 12:32 PM 159,744 MBRInst.exe

use THOSE files, with that size and that timestamp I don't remember if they are from your PC or your friend's one.

Double check the MBR.INI entries in the file with the ones I posted.

About the bootable USB stick, I had hoped you had already something working. :whistle:

Now what would be the better to build thing? :unsure:

Most probably some Linux of sort, since you don't have an XP source to build a PE from.

But possibly the easiest would be to make a (Free)DOS USB bootable stick.

What you need:
MBRWIZ DOS version:
http://mbrwizard.com/
http://mbrwizard.com/download.shtml
Fuwi's batch
http://www.911cd.net...o...c=21702&hl=

For the USB stick, the use of Fuwi's batch is advised:

Extract all files from http://www.fuwi.ethz...ot_Utilitys.zip in a directory, say C:\fuwiusb and double click on BOOTABLE_USB-DRIVE.cmd
View your connected USB devices and take note of the drive letter of the USB stick you want to make bootable.
If needed Switch the filesystem to be used on it: If the stick is 2 Gb or smaller, choose FAT(16), if it is bigger, choose FAT32, DO NOT choose NTFS.

Follow prompts, they are remarkably clear.

Once the batch has finished, extract and reinsert the USB stick, it should get a drive letter, open it and add to it MBRWIZD.EXE, renaming it to MBRWIZ.EXE

Access the stick, open with notepad menu.lst and add to it these lines (before "title Reboot"):
title Vista1
find --set-root /bootmgr
chainloader /bootmgr

title Vista2
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr

Try booting from the stick, choose Vista1 choice, it should boot normally to your Vista.

Try booting from the stick, choose Vista2 choice, it should boot normally to your Vista.

Try booting from the stick, choose FreeDOS, you should boot to the C:\ prompt (remember than now C: is the USB stick).

Try running:
MBRWIZ /disk=1 /Save=C:\my_mbr_DOS.dat

Reboot normally and compare (with FC /B or a hex editor) the file my_mbr_DOS.dat to the copy of the MBR you previously made with HDhacker, they should be identical.

Post if anything of the above does not work or doesn't produce the wanted file my_mbr_DOS.dat or whatever doubts you have.



jaclaz

#74
ahmad2080

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Try booting from the stick, choose Vista1 choice, it should boot normally to your Vista.

Try booting from the stick, choose Vista2 choice, it should boot normally to your Vista.

Try booting from the stick, choose FreeDOS, you should boot to the C:\ prompt (remember than now C: is the USB stick).

Try running:

MBRWIZ /disk=1 /Save=C:\my_mbr_DOS.dat

Reboot normally and compare (with FC /B or a hex editor) the file my_mbr_DOS.dat to the copy of the MBR you previously made with HDhacker, they should be identical.

Post if anything of the above does not work or doesn't produce the wanted file my_mbr_DOS.dat or whatever doubts you have.



jaclaz


Everything is OK.. There is only one step which is optional as I guess that I can't accomplish.
When I log into DOS and try to excute MBRWIZ.EXE it says: "This program canot be run in DOS mode."
Another problem with that step is typing!! Z becomes Y and Y becomes Z.......etc.!!!!
I've managed to "find" all required letters and symbols except the " \" used in C:\......

EDIT:
FORGET about the above...I should have downloaded MBRWIZ for DOS not WINXP.....
Now it works, but the typing problem is still there.
Anyway, I did make a copy of MBR, but the two .dat files (one from HDhacker and the other from DOS) are NOT identical!!!
I've sent jaclaz both for further investigation... :(


EDIT: NEW: A friend of mine [another one] bought a HP laptop yesterday ( also similar not identical to mine)....I'll see if I can capture his first 63 sectors too.

Edited by ahmad2080, 08 April 2009 - 07:20 AM.


#75
jaclaz

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Do you have a French keyboard?

http://www.boot-land...?...ic=7653&hl=

Anyway, I did make a copy of MBR, but the two .dat files (one from HDhacker and the other from DOS) are NOT identical!!!
I've sent jaclaz both for further investigation... :(


EDIT: NEW: A friend of mine [another one] bought a HP laptop yesterday ( also similar not identical to mine)....I'll see if I can capture his first 63 sectors too.




To be accurate, the file you made with HDhacker on 06-04-2009 14:30 differs from the one taken by MBRWIZ on 08-04-2009 14:19.

Since the "new" MBR captured by MBRWIZ appears to be like one made by MBRINST.EXE, but WITHOUT the proper settings, I do suspect that in the meantime MBRINST.EXE has been run on the machine.

I would try to re-capture from Vista and with HDhacker the MBR, then, immediately after, re-capture it from FreeDOS and MBRWIZ booted from the USB stick, and compare these last two files. :whistle:

It's a known thing that little green men :w00t: sneakily enter households at night making socks odd pairs and runnning MBRINST.EXE.....;)

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 08 April 2009 - 07:38 AM.





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