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Master Boot Record Bad?!


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#1
IrishGemini

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Ok, when I boot up I get a blank screen and line that says "bad master boot record press any key to continue"
I press enter and the machine boots up no problem.
Sooooo, is it possible to replace or repair the master boot record without destroying all the data? I have a 360GB hard drive with lots of data on it.
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#2
ultimateslacker2

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Hey whats up IrishGemini, and welcome!

First off, do you have a XP CD?

We need the CD so we can access the recovery prompt and rebuild the boot.ini file

Post back :whistling:
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#3
IrishGemini

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Hey man,
Thanks for the fast reply!
I got the HP system pre-loaded.
No cd, is there another way?
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#4
ultimateslacker2

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Do you have a floppy drive?
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#5
IrishGemini

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No, I don't . I may be able to dig one out here somewhere, I am off to work right now, but will be back late this afternoon.
I will try to find one.
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#6
fleamailman

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hi, I am probably wrong here but what about this idea

to delete an invalid bootpath:

run command
- press keyboard buttons: winkey + r button
- paste this: msconfig
- press: enter
- click tab: boot.ini
- click button: check all boot paths
(computer checks the boot paths and removes invalid ones)
- restart the computer
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#7
ultimateslacker2

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Flea, that is not correct. Good idea though :whistling:

Irish, let me know when you do get the CD :blink:
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#8
dsenette

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flea...the MBR (or master boot record) is different than the boot.ini...the MBR is actually written on the first sector of the hard drive...

If you DO NOT have your Windows XP disk
  • Download RC.ISO from Here.
  • Now burn this ISO image to a CD and boot your computer with it.
    NOTE: Keep in mind that this is different than burning a file to a CD-ROM. If you do not know how to burn an ISO image, then download CDBurnerXP Pro to another Windows machine and install it. Then go Here for instructions for burning the ISO image
  • Once the CD is created, place it in the defunct computer
  • Then reboot your broken PC with that CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  • Make sure the PC is set to run from the CD as the primary boot device.
    NOTE: You do this by setting your PC to boot to the CD-ROM in BIOS (enter bios by pressing f1, f2 or del key during memory count up, then search for boot order, and set the CD as the first boot device)
  • When the PC boots, it will boot from the CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for Recovery Console. You will be asked to log in.
    NOTE: For Windows XP Home, there is not password, just hit ENTER. For Windows XP pro, ask whomever set up the machine what password they used.
  • When you see the Recovery console C:\WINDOWS prompt type:

    FixMbr

  • Press Enter
  • When asked to do so press Y to accept the command
  • Then Type:

    Fixboot

  • Press Enter
  • When asked to do so press Y to accept the command
  • Then Type:

    Exit

  • Press Enter
  • The computer will restart. Remember to either remove the Windows XP CD or not press "any key" to boot from the CD
try doing just the fixmbr command first....then if needed do the fixboot...they both SHOULDN'T be required...but they might be
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#9
ultimateslacker2

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Thanks for that dsnette!
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#10
The Skeptic

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May I add another point: fixin the mbr should be used, in my opinion, only in those cases where no other option is possible. If the repair does not succeed all data may become inaccessible. If I understand correctly from the first post the computer starts well after a key is pressed, so there is nothing more serious then a slight inconvenience. Had it been my computer I doubt if I would take such an operation. I would rather leave it as it is.
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#11
IrishGemini

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Thanks guys,
I just got in so I will burn the iso and give this a shot.
I will keep ya updated.

Thanks again!
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#12
dsenette

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May I add another point: fixin the mbr should be used, in my opinion, only in those cases where no other option is possible. If the repair does not succeed all data may become inaccessible. If I understand correctly from the first post the computer starts well after a key is pressed, so there is nothing more serious then a slight inconvenience. Had it been my computer I doubt if I would take such an operation. I would rather leave it as it is.

while i do agree...the MBR is not to be messed with lightly....in the case of an actual MBR error....it's your only choice to fix the MBR some way...be that a re-install of the os...or the fixmbr command....the fact that he's getting minor MBR errors now means that they will probablyl get worse later...fixing the MBR while it's still somewhat in tact is a better proposition that trying to recover data later
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