Fix damaged and corrupted Master Boot Record

It is the most important data structure which is created automatically when you initialize the disk or partition of hard disk is done for the first time. MBR is the most quintessential part every time you start your computer. Hence any kind of corruption or damage to MBR will result in failure of boot of your computer.

"File Error: Data may have been lost."

More about MBR

MBR is always located on the first sector of the disk. It is further divided into three parts which are Boot Loader, Partition Table and Magic Number. Total bytes contained by MBR are 512 out which Boot Loader contains 446 bytes, Partition table contains 64 bytes and remaining 2 bytes are for Magic Number.

Boot Loader: Whenever you turn your computer, boot loader is the program which will load your operating system. It contains an executable code for the boot start.

Partition Table: It keeps a record of the partition information of your local disk.

Magic Number: It is the signature word for the sector which shows device as a valid bootable device. It should always be 0x55AA/ 0xAA55.

What do you want to know?

Causes of damage to MBR

It had been found many times that due to improper shutdown, power outage, malware attack and other inappropriate operations like deleting the partition that contains the system results in damaging MBR. This will in turn not allow you to load your operating system on your computer when you start it and different errors will be displayed which are given below.

Errors Generated

  • Operating System not found.
  • Operating System missing.
  • Error loading Operating System.
  • Invalid partition table.
  • Reboot and Select proper boot device or Insert Boot media in selected boot device and press a key.

Methods to fix Master Boot Record

There are few manual methods which could be followed to repair damaged MBR. These are described below in detail:

  • FDISK command for MS DOS, Windows 95, 98 and ME: In case you are using DOS, Windows 95, 98 or ME operating system then the simplest method to repair damaged MBR is by running Microsoft’s DOS utility FDISK with MBR parameter. Syntax to run this command is A:\> FDISK.EXE /MBR
  • Fix MBR with Recovery Console: If you have the original Windows setup in USB, CD-ROM or Floppy disk then you can follow these steps to fix damaged MBR:
  1. Insert your original bootable CD in your system.
  2. As the Welcome screen appears, click on ‘Repair your computer’ option which is available down at the left-hand.
  3. Now go to ‘Troubleshoot’ option.
  4. In ‘Troubleshoot’ option click on the ‘Advanced Options’.
  5. A list of option will appear out of which select the ‘Command Prompt’.
  6. Type the following command, when your Command Prompt window loads: BOOTREC /FIXMBR > BOOTREC /FIXBOOT > BOOTREC /SCANOS > BOOTREC /REBUILDBCD.
  7. Note: Here ‘>’ denotes that you press ‘Enter’ after each step. Wait till each step gets completed.

  8. Once the process is completed, remove the CD from system.
  9. Now type ‘EXIT’ and then press ‘Enter’.
  10. Restart the computer to check if the problem still persists.

Although these methods prove beneficial in repairing you damaged Master Boot Record but it is not guaranteed all the time. These methods also require good technical knowledge of DOS and hence novice users may find themselves in doubt situation while using them. So in order to completely repair your MBR, it is recommended to go for third-party professional tools.

The tool which could be used for fixing this kind of corruption in your MBR. Windows data recovery tool could also be used to retrieve files which are lost due to damaged hard drive partitions. One can also create an image of hard disk for backup purpose with this tool. The tool is created to support data recovery from Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000.


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