Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

MBR is on the wrong drive


  • Please log in to reply

#1
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi, im new here & hope someone can help.
I bought a new PC a year ago & put XP pro on it. I have just realized that the MBR was installed to an old secondary drive that I put inside the PC. Im not sure why this happened, but I dont trust that old drive to continue working & would like the MBR to reside on the same drive as the operating system & would be grateful if anyone knows a simple way of doing this. I dont want to loose my programmes & data. I believe there is a repair programme on the XP install disk, but I dont know if this will work because I am not trying to repair the MBR, I need to install it! My PC software knowledge is LTD.
Many thanks in advance.
Danny
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
The Skeptic

The Skeptic

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 4,075 posts
What happens when you disconnect the old drive? How did you reach the conclusion that MBR is on the wrong disk?
  • 0

#3
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
I found the problem when I recently had to disconnect the original drive & then the C drive would not boot. It had error message BR error 2, or was it MB error 2
This evening I tried to use the repair function within XP disk. I disconnected the original hard drive & told the disk to repair the MBR. It came back with a message saying "The computer appears to have a non standard or invalid master boot record. Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed.This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible. If you are not having trouble accessing your drive, do not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR" At this point I stopped & came to this website for some tech help.
  • 0

#4
The Skeptic

The Skeptic

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 4,075 posts
Are you sure there is no XP installation on the old disk? Frankly, I have never seen an MBR seperated from the OS installation. My impression is that there are two installations on your computer. The one on the old disk is working and the one on the new disk is corrupted. Please check and correct me if I am wrong.

Fixmbr is one of most fangerous windows commands. Do not try it before backuping your data.
  • 0

#5
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi Skeptic,
Thanks for your input. Someone recently confirmed this problem for me. They actually just checked something within windows. I think they were in disc properties at the time. Not sure exactly how they checked. Apparently, this problem is not that rare, but me getting the resolve, does seem quite difficult.
  • 0

#6
The Skeptic

The Skeptic

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 4,075 posts
Have a look at this discussion. Look particularly at the part that discuss rebuilding MBR with win98.

Whatever you do, please backup your data first.
  • 0

#7
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi Again,
I read the article, but it may be a little above my capabilities. It sounds to me like I should run fixboot & then fixmbr, but Partly worrying is that it relates to win 98, & I might wait to see if anyone is able to give a novice like me a clear set of commands relating to XP to work from. Otherwise, it seems Im in danger of really screwing things up. I have my data backed up, but just have tooo many programmes to consider re-installing everything if it goes wonky. But many thanks for your time/help.
  • 0

#8
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
How about trying it this way:


If you have Windows CD...

1. Insert your Windows XP CD into your CD and assure that your CD-ROM drive is capable of booting the CD.
2. Once you have booted from CD, do NOT select the option that states: Press F2 to initiate the Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool.
You’re going to proceed until you see the following screen, at which point you will press the “R” key to enter the recovery console:

Posted Image

3. After you have selected the appropriate option from step two, you will be prompted to select a valid Windows installation (typically number “1″).
Select the installation number, and hit Enter.
If there is an administrator password for the administrator account, enter it and hit Enter (if asked for the password, and you don't know it, you're out of luck).
You will be greeted with this screen, which indicates a recovery console at the ready:

Posted Image

4. There are eight commands you must enter in sequence to repair any of the issues I noted in the opening of this guide.
I will introduce them here, and then show the results graphically in the next six steps.
NOTE. Make sure, you press Enter after each command. Make sure, all commands are exact, including "spaces".
These commands are as follows:

CD..
ATTRIB -H C:\\boot.ini
ATTRIB -S C:\\boot.ini
ATRIB -R C:\\boot.ini
del boot.ini
BOOTCFG /Rebuild


Note about the above command.
BOOTCFG /REBUILD command which searches for pre-existing installations of Windows XP and rebuilds sundry essential components of the Windows operating system, recompiles the BOOT.INI file and corrects a litany of common Windows errors.
It is very important that you do one or both of the following two things:
A.) Every Windows XP owner must use /FASTDETECT as OS Load Option when the rebuild process is finalizing.
B.) If you are the owner of a CPU featuring Intel’s XD or AMD’s NX buffer overflow protection, you must also use /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN as an OS Load Option.
For the Enter Load Identifier portion of this command, you should enter the name of the operating system you have installed.
If, for example, you are using Windows XP Home, you could type Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition for the identifier (it's not crucial, however what the name is, as long, as it's meaningful).
Here is your computer screen:

Posted Image

5. Following command verifies the integrity of the hard drive containing the Windows XP installation. While this step is not an essential function in our process, it’s still good to be sure that the drive is physically capable of running windows, in that it contains no bad sectors or other corruptions that might be the culprit:

CHKDSK /R

6. This last command writes a new boot sector to the hard drive and cleans up all the loose ends we created by rebuilding the BOOT.INI file and the system files. When the Windows Recovery Console asks you if you are Sure you want to write a new bootsector to the partition C: ? just hit “Y”, then Enter to confirm your decision:

FIXBOOT

7. It’s time to reboot your PC by typing
EXIT
and pressing Enter.

With any luck, your PC will boot successfully into Windows XP as if your various DLL, Hive, EXE and NTLDR errors never existed.



2. If you don't have Windows CD...
Download Windows Recovery Console: http://www.thecomput...om/files/rc.iso
Download, and install free Imgburn: http://www.imgburn.c...hp?act=download
Using Imgburn, burn rc.iso to a CD.
Boot to the CD...let it finish loading.
When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
Then, follow instructions from Step #3 above.
  • 0

#9
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Wow, thats impressive. Must have taken forever to learn that stuff. IF IT WORKS, im impressed (-:
I will give it a try & let you know outcome. I Appreciate your efforts. Although 1 question, if it does not reboot, am I up the creek without a paddle?
Thanks again
Dan
  • 0

#10
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
No we can still save the data with some work.
Then do a fresh install.
Before that there are some other steps that can be taken.
We will cross that if we need to. Hopefully this will fix everything.
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi Again,
Ive been trying to pluck up courage to carry out your advice, Well more truthfully, I dont want to start it without ample time on my hands. However, I would be grateful if you could clarify a couple of small points. I noticed that at no time have you said to run fixmbr. I was just curious why I do not need to do that? & also you mention that if I have a certain CPU type I must use the /noexecute=optin as an OS load option. Could you tell me how to check if I have this type of CPU. Thanks for in advance for your kind support. Danny
  • 0

#12
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
The reason for the MBR not being used is because the above should replace everything during the fix.
Below is what a normal boot.ini file looks like.
If not adding causes a problem we can always fix this if needed.

Sample Boot.ini File


[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
  • 0

#13
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Oh I see, OK thanks
I shall be attempting it today, with fingers crossed.
Ciao for now.
  • 0

#14
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
You are welcome and we will await your results. :) :)
  • 0

#15
dannyboy43

dannyboy43

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi again, at the risk of seeming a dummy, this is what happened.
I disconnected the old drive again & tried to reboot just to be sure of the prognosis. I had done this a few times before, but thought it best to quadruple check before starting your fix. This time I got a message MB error 3. However I did nothing except make a cup of tea, on my return the PC had booted fine. I did this several times. Although I got the same message each time & the PC took a very long time to boot up. Once booted it was fine. I now believe that these MB errors are related to Acronis back up. It has a utility which enables you to access the back up before windows boots up. I am going to look into this, but my main concern was the old drive dying & me not being able to boot up windows. This no longer seems to be the case. A big thank you for your help & patience. It is guys like you that save me going into my local PC shop. Each time I go there I see their little italian faces light up, when they think here comes silly rich english man again (-: At least in England I could explain the problem to them. Anyway, all the best. Dan
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP