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MAJOR problem

Right my mates PC *I think* has a master boot record that is corrupted. I actually got a "grub rescue: no such device" error a couple of weeks back, and just fixed it by installing another copy of XP as I couldn't get access to the recovery console.

This time it's a
"grub rescue: unknown filesystem" - we were both dual booting with linux before these two issues. Now my solution is to go into recovery console and use fixmbr and fixboot - problem is this computer already has an issue of crashing during the installation of anything (when loading windows modules) so I'm pretty sure I can't even get to the recovery console. I've tried burnt boot discs, recovery discs, pirated copies of XP ANYTHING to actually get to the recovery console but I can't see it all I see is the automated recovery nonsense that needs a floppy disc. Anyone got any suggestions?
Fire Boar
It sounds like you have some kind of corruption on your hard disk. You might want to boot up a live Linux distribution and run chkdisk or some other utility to find out more, but I have a feeling you're looking at a problem with the physical parts, in which case a new hard disk is needed.

I don't know if the Windows boot disk loads files onto the hard disk or into memory - if it's the latter, you may want to test the RAM too just in case it's that.
I agree with FireBoar.

Check your RAM.

Myt computer had all sorts of weird symptoms for months

Sudden restarts, errors on hard disk.

Corrupted files.
I thought it might be a hard disk problem
Virus corrupting the system

Finally turned out to be the RAM.

Just remove the RAm, get the dust out and try it.

Or, just test the RAm using the Linux boot disk (there is usually a RAM testing option in GRUB)
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