Having problems with a bad sector on my hard drive that will not let windows XP boot?



In the year and a half since I built my computer it has run flawlessly. I have made it a habit of keeping all drivers and Windows XP pro up to date. My problems started when I installed an additional DVD Burner and in doing so my computer will not boot into Windows XP. It will go to the windows start up screen but once the loading bar stops and normally boots to the desktop screen, my monitor goes blank and says ‘off in 5 seconds’, then reboots. I took out the added DVD drive and set every thing back to the way it was but the problem still persists, it will not boot into safe mode or go back to the last known good config.

The Hard Drive I am using is a Seagate Serial ATA 120 G., I went to Segates web site and downloaded/ran the diagnostic tool that was provided to see if there could be anything wrong with the drive. It came up with one bad sector LBA:, ( \windows\app patch\ ). It asked if I wanted to replace the bad sector with zeros and I pressed ok. I thought that might help but it will not even pull up the Windows XP screen now.

I would appreciate any expert advice on what could be done to fix this problem so I can retrieve the 85% of data that this disc holds, Thank you. :bow: :bow:


Weird that the install of a new IDE Device could corrupt a HDD Sector. Possibly if you run the recovery console from the XP CD you can rebuild the boot sector which may allow successful bootup.

Insert the XP Disc
Set first boot device as CDROM in Bios
XP will copy files across for the Recovery Console
Run the Console
Select the installation to repair
Enter password if Applicable
Answer Y
Hopefully it boots up

I meant to add as well:
At the point where you will type FIXBOOT you can try this:

This will replace your crucial 2 boot files - although it would seem the whole boot sector needs re-writing.


I ran the Recovery Console and it tells me to type “EXIT” in front of the C: prompt to get out of the program and reboot, but it does not seem to do anything. I was told that you had to set up the Console prior to something going wrong so you could have the recovery discs to use in case something happend to Windows? Is there something I am missing? Thanks for your help.


The problem with Recovery Console is you have to be exact, there are all types of prompts but if it’s not exact it wont work. Maybe do a Google for Windows Recovery counsole and it will give you the exact procedure IE: Fixboot, Fixmbr (main boot record) it’s a little frustrating but it will work if that is the problem.:slight_smile:


You’re SCREWED, you shouldn’t have replaced that sector with all zeros. Now you windows install is DONE, you need to grab any critical files, and send the drive off for an RMA. The drive should not have any bad sectors, so the drive itself is also bad, so you should RMA it. You’ll need another hard drive, or somewhere to store the data while your drive is RMAed. Then it’s just a matter of copying what you need. :doh: :sad: :Z


If you have a Installation Disc (floppy or CD) from Seagate, then try with this to check the hdd for errors and probably repair them or move the defective sectors.

Surely these progs are also available online from Seagate.


This links to the disc diagnostic software, there are two you can download. I can’t say much about it as mine are maxtor drives and so I use their utility.


Using their utility and finding a bad sector using indicates all the sparing area for bad areas has been used up and your drive is excessively defective. Even without that, reallocated sectors also slow down drive performance and make it unreliable. RMA ASAP. You can probably shove it into another comp to recover the info, or use an old drive to temporarily install XP to boot and copy the data off so you don’t risk damaging what’s already there cos as soon as a drive gets a bad sector, things keep going downhill usually. Good luck!