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Spinman

MBR Repair - Freeware Suggestion?

8 posts in this topic

I have a 250g drive with a corrupt MBR (XP-SP2-NTFS) - storage only - so I'm not using the drive until the problem is fixed...

I have downloaded several programs from the web that have been able to identify the "lost directories and files" I need to recover - but I'm unable to enact reparis and corrections unless I purchase the program.

Prior to doing that - was wondering if anyone could recommend a freeware program that is capable of restoring the MBR from the backup copy stored on the disk.

Many thanks!

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Been there before... I used a LiveCD Linux distro to fix everything. Use the

The distro needed is knoppix. The tools within this live cd distro are qparted or partimage.

Hope this helps.

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you do not need anything like that mate, just your xp disk if your have it. go threw the reinstall phase untill it say repair using con

type /help

and your looking for new mbr or fix mbr can not remember which one

run that and follow onscreen

once done do a scndsk and job is done

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Good point vanguard! I've never tried to do that on a dedicated data drive though? I thought you could only fix the MBR on the OS install drive.

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in win9X it would be fdisk /mbr

I guess that would work only if it's FAT tho

here's for NTFS

http://www.ntfs.com/mbr-damaged.htm

please note, that I googled this, and haven't actually tried it myself, but it looks proper

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I think the Recovery Console's fixmbr only fixes the MBR of the HD the OS is located as there is no option to choose other HDs as far as I remember.

M$ Windows XP Support Tools Disk Probe (dskprobe.exe) can back up, edit and restore the MBR.

You should do a chkdsk first as I'm not sure if the problem is really MBR related.

If the partition table (part of MBR) is corrupt, sometimes repartition the HD to exact the same and type before will restore it and the contents.

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It's not so straightforward.

The MBR is made of more parts, of which the two main ones are:

1) 446 bytes are the actual MBR CODE (The one that gives control to the BOOTRECORD on the FIRST ACTIVE PRIMARY PARTITION of the drive at boot time); it is pretty much useless if you are not going to boot from that drive.

2) After some other data, there are 64 bytes, that are actually 4 fields each 16 bytes long, that are the four main PARTITION ENTRIES, i.e. the data pointing to the various vlolumes.

MBRfix and fixMBR, like an fdisk /MBR, will rewrite the MBR sector LEAVING UNTOUCHED the said 64 bytes.

From what Spinman said it is the 64 bytes that got corrupted, so the only way is to try and correct them.

There are two utilities to do so under Windows NT family of OS:

PTEDIT32

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_...es/PTEDIT32.zip

BEEBLEBROX

http://students.cs.byu.edu/~codyb/

The correction must be done MANUALLY, so you have to know what you are doing.

See here for reference:

http://home.att.net/~rayknights/pc_boot/pc_boot.htm

http://therdcom.com/asm/mbr/MBR_in_detail.htm

Alternatively, you might want to try this FREEWARE utility,

TESTDISK:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/index.html?testdisk.html

and a tutorial:

http://therdcom.com/testdisk.html

MAKE SURE you have backed up the MBR as is BEFORE attempting any of the above.

jaclaz

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