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uni-mitation
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Possibly corrupted MBR

Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:10 pm

Sup Gerbils!

So today something peculiar happened today. I dual-boot Linux Mint and Windows 7. Windows 7 is installed and formatted on a 500 GB hard drive. My MBR is installed in the other SSD where I have my Linux installed. Anyways, after the system got back from a sleep state and I tried to check BBC on the web, and it didn't load. Then after a few moments it went to a terminal and showed some errors that I didn't understand. 

Restarted but now it just boots directly to the chainloader for the Windows partition. So, the SSD didn't fail but I need to know whether I do have a corrupted MBR or what other diagnostic should I run? I haven't notice any data corruption in my hard disk. So, if the MBR is corrupted, what might be the possible causes?

Any helpful resources will greatly appreciated. I am command line literate, but I don't feel confident in doing anything that might make it worse. 

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Re: Possibly corrupted MBR

Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:24 pm

The last time I had a "corrupted" MBR is when a virus tried to install itself there, and it didn't cooperate with my mirrored drive. Not saying that is what it is, but not much besides an OS install, disk management software, or a virus messes with an MBR.
 
uni-mitation
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Re: Possibly corrupted MBR

Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:19 pm

Now, I feel like I am in the twilight zone. Meanwhile I have been troubleshooting the SSDs. The MBR is not corrupted; the boot sequence at the BIOS was changed to boot directly to the chainloader for the Windows hard disk. So, are there any reasons why the boot sequence would be alterated without any user-input?

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Re: Possibly corrupted MBR

Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:47 am

Heh, after reading the first post, I was about to say "sounds like it is trying to boot directly from the Windows disk". Good thing I read the whole thread before posting. :wink:

I've seen some BIOSes forget the boot order (and have this stick as a permanent change) when a drive doesn't appear during POST, or if an extra drive (even an external USB one) appears during POST. So some possibilities:

1. Intermittent problem with one of your drive cables (most likely the one the SSD is connected to, but could by any of them).

2. Intermittent problem with the SSD that caused it to not appear during POST on the boot attempt where the boot order got flipped around.

3. You had an external drive (or thumbdrive) plugged in to a USB port during POST, and your BIOS is one of the ones that gets confused by this.

4. Gremlins.
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Re: Possibly corrupted MBR

Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:44 am

Worth checking some update/util didn't screw up the GPT partition info. Boot something small from flash like Debian Live or Clonezilla live from another drive (presumably USB flash) and then do the following:

1. Type the command “sudo gdisk /dev/sda” (/dev/sdx represent the disk name)
2. It will tell you the state of the MBR and GPT partition information.
3. If one is good and one is invalid, pick the good one.
4. X for expert options
5. /? for further commands, you want to wipe either the MBR or GPT info that is corrupt

Then use your OS of choice to do a disk scan and repair the disk. I'm actually a fan of Windows 7/8/10 disk check, it's pretty robust these days.
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uni-mitation
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Re: Possibly corrupted MBR

Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:18 pm

I haven't had the time to further troubleshoot this thing. Maybe It was a one time fluke like an errant SATA cable. What makes it so weird is that after it awoke from the sleep state I went for the browser( chromium) and that was when it hung up. I will preemptively be backing up the data on a Disk (I do it quarterly) before I regret it. 

Thanks for all you Gerbils that responded! I will post if anything else happens. 

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Re: Possibly corrupted MBR

Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:23 am

One final thought on this...

What make/model is the SSD, and is it running the latest available firmware? IIRC certain Micron SSDs had firmware issues that could cause occasional problems with sleep/wake, and these issues were corrected with a firmware update.
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