Fix MBR - Comments Page 4

Category: Hard-Drives , Windows

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Posted by:

Michael Darby
12 Dec 2008

Hi! I did a dual boot install using Ubuntu however I thought I had installed this to a separate USB external hd. I'm trying to do an MBR repair but my XP recovery disk will only (or so it seems) allow for a complete write over! HELP!!!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Try the TESTDISK program, it might help.

Posted by:

18 Dec 2008

Thanks. Your instructions work and I'm back up and running....on one drive. I had the drive mirrored and both mbr were corrupted. Now the mirror is gone and Windows thinks I have two drives.

Posted by:

23 Dec 2008

My computer doesn't even display the messages about master boot sector or partition or operating system. Instead of this it freezes just before it should start loading xp. The funny thing is that strange flashing colorful characters appear randomly in the screen.[different every time].

The disk is partitioned and the specific partition can not be opened by anything or fixed [spinrite, erd commander, linux]. I even tried to reinstall xp and lose all my files, but this message comes up: ql10wnt.sys is corrupted,when i reinstall windows. That means i can not go to the recovery console.... How can i repair my mbr? Thanks in advance.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sounds like you have a defective install disk. I also think you'll need to completely reformat the disk.

Posted by:

19 Jan 2009

I recovered all my data from an inaccessible disk to chkdsk, fixmbr or fixboot with the free testdisk from sourceforge, win version, PC option. I booted from another HD

Posted by:

21 Jan 2009

I had my suspicions about how to get Linux and LILO out of my machine but wanted some more info. Your article was the easiest explanation I found and it worked like a champ. Now I can keep my stable XP as the core and run my little virtual machines to my hearts content. Thanks.

Posted by:

22 Jan 2009

I have a 40GB laptop hard drive that apparently has physical damage to the first sector where the Master Boot Record is normally written. The fixmbr and fixboot commands don't work and chkdsk returns an error saying that the drive has unrecoverable errors, or something to that effect. I'm currently using the drive in a USB enclosure, I partitioned the first 1GB as unallocated space and the rest as a single drive and it works perfectly. Is there any workaround to the MBR having to be in the first physical sector? Can the MBR be written to a floppy disk that then points to the hard drive for the OS?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think the MBR can be moved. See for some interesting background. Did you try TESTDISK?

Posted by:

04 Mar 2009

I was running XP Media Edition. My computer was starting to run slow so I opened MSCONFIG. I went to STARTUP and unchecked all the items.

When I went to restart my computer I began get errors and the system would not boot up. I have no idea where the Windows CD's are that came with the computer. Finally, I ended up with a blue screen.

I have sense bought a new computer. I did remove the old hard drive and install it as a SCSI hard drive on the new computer, thinking that it might work and I might be able to recover my data, but nothing. It does recognise the drive, but I cannot access it. Can you help?

EDITOR'S NOTE: You probably need SCSI drivers. Check with the drive vendor's website.

Posted by:

16 Mar 2009

I was running Windows XP, it had booted up fine and walked out of the room and when I came back the screen saver was on and the hard drive was making a clicking sound and it had frozen up on me. I restarted but to no avail it said primary hard drive 0 failure, when I try to boot. Is this a boot or an MBR failure?

Ironically I was about to wipe the drive clean and start new. Is this drive toast? I can't seem to mount it with Linux (could be doing something wrong). I was going to try to wipe it from linux and start again. However if I can't even mount it I don't even have a starting point. Any thoughts?

EDITOR'S NOTE: A clicking sound from a hard drive is almost always bad. Sounds like a hardware failure.

Posted by:

28 Mar 2009

Hello Bob!

Thanks for the great article. I hope you can help me with a follow up question. (I have a RAW file system problem and I'm pretty sure I have boot sector corruption)

Does fixing the MBR or Boot Sector using this technique compromise data on the rest of the disk? I have important data on my drive that I would like to recover and I want to know if I'll still be able to retrieve it using data recovery software after replacing the MBR.

My plan was to retrieve as much data as possible, (using data recovery software) and then simply reformat the disk after I had recovered all the important bits.

However, if I could get the disk running again simply by replacing the MBR using your guidelines I could save money by not having to purchase data recovery software.

Would you advise trying to recover all important files using data recovery software prior to replacing the MBR?

EDITOR'S NOTE: When the MBR is damaged, the system may report that you have a RAW file system, even though your data is still all there. My best guess is that fixing the MBR will bring the disk back to life, but it's hard to say for sure. I *think* the TESTDISK program can make a temporary fix to the disk, and then let you decide how to proceed.

Posted by:

01 Apr 2009

I am running Win XP Pro. I have two hard drives on my system. One is my primary (main HD) disk I use for 'everything'. The second disk I use to backup everything from my primary disk (on a nightly basis).

If I remove my 'backup HD' from my system and try to start from just my primary disk it fails. It seems I need to have both disks installed to be able to boot my system.

I suspect I need to rebuild my MBR. How would I go about doing this for my setup - would I just install my primary HD and then follow your procedure for fixing the MBR and then put my second HD back in the system? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

EDITOR'S NOTE: That might work, but what error/problem do you see when you try to boot from the primary HD?

Posted by:

04 Apr 2009

Good Article Bob. A few days ago, My system displays "Error loading operating system" on the screen. When I try to access windows drive (C:) in Recovery Console through XP CD, it said Invalid Drive. But I Can access other drives (D and E).

When I try to install fresh XP, it displays the C drive as unformatted drive. But others in correct size and space with label name. After, I format the C to install XP. If I try fixing the MBR or Boot Sector that can helped me?

EDITOR'S NOTE: YES! That's probably what the problem is. Fix the MBR, and your disk may spring back to life.

Posted by:

06 Apr 2009

Hi Bob, just found your article - this is my problem: Gateway GT4010 PC (AMD64 Processor 3500+ w/WinXP media ctr ed 2005, 2.2GHz 512 Kb cache, (1024mb DDR) \, West Dig 200gB HDD (7200rpm w2MB cache).

PC was running slow, ran a disk defrag but not sure it was completed successfully, computer tried to autoboot, had a disk read error and asked if wanted to boot again, or go back to prior good configuration or choose one of 3 safe modes - none of these worked to reboot. then took out HD and used as a slave in older PC - first thing when turning on, old PC said Chk disk "D", ran thru 1st stage ok, 2nd stage "correcting error in Index $I30 in file 76016" numerous times, "sorting index....", then "recovering orphaned file into directory file 76016" - numerous files, mostly .jpg and .gif, then stage 3 "verifying security descriptors" and "replacing bad clusters in log file". Then computer finally booted up. Everything worked on this old PC but I could not read the D drive - the drive was recognized but nothing shown. It said "Disk in Drive D: not formatted, do you want to format now - Y/N" --i selected no. It did read the E: drive which had the Gateway recovery info. I tried to run the Recovery with the Gateway system restore CD - but it only gave me the option to reformat, wiping the data clean - which I did not do. Does this sound like an MBR problem or HD problem where I'd need to send out to recover files?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I sure try the MBR fix before spending a lot of money on a data recovery service. Look for the TESTDISK program.

Posted by:

Philip Alcala
12 Apr 2009

After trying EVERYTHING I knew of and referring to sites such as this one for possibly something I might have missed I finally figured out that all this machine wanted was to have a shiny new partition made for the new install. At the prompt where it displays the HD's, I clicked on the option to delete the existing partition, which was the C:/ drive, had setup re-partition the drive and then did a quick format to the NTFS format and had setup finish it's thing and ta-da, it finally worked so that Windows could complete the setup process. Hope this helps someone out there who is having as much trouble trying to simply re-install Windows.


Posted by:

08 May 2009

Hello - I'm very happy to find this article - it sheds a little light on my situation. I hope you can help me with a perplexing issue,
My problem computer is an IBM Thinkpad with winXP pro (it has a "recovery partition).
Attempting to boot the computer normally returns a black screen with the text: "error loading operating system"
I have tried to use the Windows Recovery console but it is of no use, it gives me the message: "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer"

on to TESTDISK....the Analysis lists the first partition [NTFS] twice which which according to the testdisk wiki "points to a corrupted partition or an invalid partition table entry"
It also lists a second partition [FAT32] (the factory installed IBM recovery partition)

proceeding to the next step with TestDisk "Quick Search" it only Lists the IBM service recovery partition - no more mention of the main NTFS partition. "deeper search" produces the same result... I can only see the 5gb recovery partition. What can I do? I believe the MBR is messed up and i have corrupted boot sectors.

any advice? I desperately would like to recover the data on my main NTFS partition.

Posted by:

10 May 2009

Vista has been crashed. I suspect fist sector I read the article and intend to try the MBR fix or Boot fix if necessary buy I have only Win XP pro original CD. Can I use XP Recovery Console for fixing Vista?
Please respond ASAP.

Posted by:

27 May 2009

I'm having a problem getting my Admin password to work - presume it's the one I log into Windows with? At any rate I tried it twice plus also the one for the alternate Windows version on another drive, but neither were accepted. Finally I tried none at all, but that just bumped me out completely - could you perhaps clarify on what to do in such a situation?

EDITOR'S NOTE: This should help:

Posted by:

José Silva
29 May 2009

I used the command fixboot and I have solved my boot problem on XP

Posted by:

higino Fonseca
07 Jun 2009

First of all fantastic article.
Can you help me with my problem?
I have a laptop that I instaled Iatkos and it suddently gave me an error when accessing MBR it states:
Boot0: MBR
Boot1:error (and stops here)

Since I can't access my hard drive on the laptop and the DVD how can I solve it up?

Posted by:

Dave Wilson
29 Jul 2009

Does anyone know how to do this for a Solid State drive? Or any tools to use to fix a solid state drive? When I boot my Lenovo X300 laptop with solidstate drive all I get is a blinking cursor...No tools I've tried so far will let me access the boot partition.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In theory, the software shouldn't know or care if you have a solid-state or spinning platter disk. What tools have you tried, and what happened?

Posted by:

17 Aug 2009

I have win XP in c drive and fedora 11 in f drive. To remove fedora, i run fixmbr command from the recovery console of Win XP bootable CD. Now my laptop is saying "operating system not found" Now wat to do. please help me if you are having a solution.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Your XP system is still there, don't worry. I think the FIXBOOT command will help.

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