In response to my previous 2 posts – Part 1 and the noobilicious Part 2 on the ongoing saga of a dying Gateway MA1 laptop notebook (whatever you call it) hard disk drive which kept repeatedly displaying the MBR ERROR message upon boot, I finally got sick of it. I didn’t have a mini-SATA hdd enclosure to hook up the laptop hdd so I could manually run “fdisk” on it and possibly fix it. The stupid cdrw/dvdrw drive on the laptop also wasn’t user friendly enough to allow me to hook up the drive on another MA1 laptop. To make things worse, the laptop was a pain in the ass to open up. The last screw was botched and the phillips-head kept slipping on it. So there was no way for me to test out the drive on another laptop by hooking up 2 hdds – the damaged hard drive loaded onto the slave drive port.
Did what any sane person would do and I’m not sure why I didn’t do it earlier. I called up Gateway support and explained my problem. I was advised that the laptop was still under a 3-year warranty so a HDD exchange would be done free of cost. WOW! The call was made last Friday on the 7th and the packaged box from Gateway arrived today on the 11th. Inside, a brand new shiny Toshiba 60GB mini-SATA HDD.
Removed the 2 screws holding the HDD along with the plastic cover from the bottom of the laptop. Then took out the 2 screws on either sides of the HDD+plastic cover and the old HDD came off loose. Put the new one on it. Screwed it in with 4 screws (2 on each side). Slid it on the laptop underneath. Put in the 2 new screws. Booted it up.
Windows loaded. New user Windows blah blah blah. Went through setting up Windows and after like 15-25 mins, it came up on the regular Windows XP screen. Problem was, it’s XP Home and doesn’t support Remote Reimaging via Altiris. So tomorrow, gonna peel off the HOME Edition and install the snazzier PRO Edition. Will install Altiris and then get it reimaged with all the software I need to have loaded on.
Conclusion: If your laptop says MBR ERROR – PRESS F11 or something along those lines, it means you wanna get your hard drive replaced. If you do NOT want to do that, find a way to hook up your mini-SATA hard drive (from your laptop) onto another computer. Then run “fdisk” and defrag the entire drive. Back up all your files onto dvds, cds, or another hdd. Finally, format that useless HDD and start-over fresh!