How to Repair a Corrupted Master Boot Record (MBR)

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If you are planning modifying the Master Boot Record (MBR) on your computer, then you should know how to repair the MBR incase something goes wrong. This article will give you a couple techniques on repairing the MBR.

Things You'll Need

  • The Windows Install Disk
  • A Bootable Dos Disk with the FDisk utility on it
  • A LiveCD / LiveDVD if you are using Linux
  • If you are using Linux on your computer system, then you would restart your system with the LiveCD in the cd-drive. Ensure that cdrom/dvdrom is the boot item that your computer looks to load an OS. Once the LiveCD has loaded, you simply re-install the Grub boot-loader.

  • I f your operating system (OS) is one of the OS offered by Microsoft and you have a bootable floppy disk with FDisk.exe on it, then you boot your system with the floppy disk. After the DOS has disk has loaded, type in the following at the prompt: "fdisk mbr". This will repair the MBR on the first hard drive.

    Note: You may have to go into the BIOS and change the Boot order so that the floppy appears on the list before the hard drive.

  • If your OS is Windows 95/98/98 SE/ME/NT/2000 you have the option of creating a bootable DOS disk. Make one put the DOS collect of commands on the disk and store it in a safe place.

  • If you have a Windows OS greater than the Windows 3.x then you have the option loading the install disk at bootup and using the repair option on the install menu.

    Note: The repair method has changed since the advent of Windows XP, so the steps you take after selecting the repair option are different so follow the prompts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to keep a rescue disk at your dispoal to aid in repairs you may need to
  • make.
  • Keep the Windows Install Disk available also.
  • Do not try to manually repair the MBR unless you are familiar with the MBR
  • architecture as further corruption of the MBR can occur.
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