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Is it Safe To Replace My MBR / Track 0?


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#1
superstar

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I recently installed Windows Recovery Console which I believe altered the MBR on my system. Since it obviously gave the option to boot from either WRC or WinXP when I'd turn my pc on. I uninstalled WRC and it no longer asked me to choose either WRC. My pc simply returned to the way it was and booted up from WinXP right away. Just to be on the safe side I'd like to restore my MBR.

I have a backup of my MBR which I made long ago using Acronis True Image Software. I was wondering if it would be alright for me to restore the MBR/Track 0 of I have backed up. Or if doing so would erase all the data on my hdd. My hdd is partitioned into two halves. One for the OS and one for data.


Please let me know if I will run into any problems by restoring my MBR/Track 0.
[ie: anti virus errors, issues, data erasing, etc]


I've never done it before.

Thanks
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#2
Neil Jones

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I recently installed Windows Recovery Console which I believe altered the MBR on my system. Since it obviously gave the option to boot from either WRC or WinXP when I'd turn my pc on. I uninstalled WRC and it no longer asked me to choose either WRC. My pc simply returned to the way it was and booted up from WinXP right away. Just to be on the safe side I'd like to restore my MBR.


Recovery Console simply adds an entry to a boot file, it doesn't alter the MBR in any way.
Removing Recovery Console means the system will simply go straight into Windows.
Fiddling around with the MBR will solve nothing except make a perfectly good situation potentially worse of fatal. Therefore please leave it alone.
If you had an issue with Track 0, the machine would not boot at all.
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#3
superstar

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Oh wow thanks Neil, haven't spoken to you in a while. Thanks for adding your expertise! In contrast others forums have said that WRC does alter the MBR. Although that is just what they were assuming since it makes 2 options to boot from after you install it. They were making it seem as if though anything that adds an option at boot, after the bios loading screen, is something that alters the MBR. This could have proved fatal for me if I would have messed with it following their confusion. I see what you mean because when I uninstalled WRC all I had to do was edit my boot.ini file, and delete some hidden files/folders as per microsoft.com's instructions. So I guess you can say WRC is just software from what you've explained.

So Neil can you teach me a bit more about the MBR in lamens terms. I've googled around about what a MBR is and how it works but I haven't found massive information I can clearly understand like other pc stuff. It's mostly mumbo jumbo...

From what I can gather a MBR is a very small file(s) stored on a hard drive outside of the operating system. It contains partition information, and tells a pc where the operating system is so it can boot it up. You can't alter the MBR through Windows, or access it like you would an mp3, doc, exe, etc. That's all I've learned about it.

But when is it that a MBR is born? I'd assume a Windows Xp disc creates it when you first format a hard drive, partition it if necessary, and install the OS. Or is a MBR already on a hard drive when it is shipped from a manufacturer, ready to be altered after wards when you install the OS as I said before?

Edited by superstar, 12 August 2009 - 07:04 PM.

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#4
rshaffer61

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Neil is completely correct in his response.
WRC modifies the Boot.ini file by adding one line that allows the choice on bootup.
Once uninstalled the line is erased and everything is back to original form.
There is no need to do anything further but enjoy your system.
Unless there are other issues that need to be attended to. :) :)
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#5
superstar

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Thanks rshaffer61,

Is it necessary to use WRC? I mean what can it really fix that you can't do without it? I'll reinstall it if it is vital, and can seriously save my system one day.


P.S.
Stay away from Combofix, that thing really f'd up my pc. That's the whole reason why I really got into this mess and had to restore my OS. Sure I had a virus before but Combofix did worse to my system during the virus removal. I had to install WRC by force otherwise Combofix wouldn't run... It's a step when you actually launch Combofix.

STAY AWAY FROM COMBOFIX KIDS!!!

Edited by superstar, 12 August 2009 - 07:17 PM.

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#6
rshaffer61

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Combofix should never be used unless instructed to do so by a trained technician.
It can and will in some cases render your system useless. It is a very powerful tool used by Malware Techs to help rid systems of infections.

WRC can be a life saver when trying to bring a system back from near death.
It's not needed normally and can be downloaded and burned to a cd for future use.
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#7
superstar

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Yah I hope you can tell that to the "TRAINED" technician that helped me out with it! Geez I should have just asked for help from a LIGHT BULB! :)
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#8
rshaffer61

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Well I hope it wasn't one of ours as i see no record of a tech helping in this Topic you opened on 8/5.
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#9
superstar

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No it wasn't I actually chose to get malware help from majorgeeks.com. They just made things worse... They're getting sloppy over there.
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#10
rshaffer61

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Well I'm glad everything has worked out now and you are backup and running.
I see you got your other issue resolved on this topic HERE also.
Congratulations for two successful resolutions.
Let us know if we can assist you further if needed.
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#11
superstar

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Thanks, and I'd just like to add that your avatar is SCARY!
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