Can't fix MBR

Posted on 2003-03-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I had windows XP home installed on my main drive and i had another smaller drive for backup, i created another partition on the smaller drive and installed SuSe linux 8.1
i recently bought a new hard drive to replace my main one and i copied the large drive over to the new hard drive. when i did this i lost linux for some reason. when i would start the comp instead of grub loading to let me pick which OS it went straight to windows xp.
now i'm trying to get rid of that smal drive or at least format it but the MBR seems to be on it and i can't get passed it.
i took that drive out and only left the xp drive in and loaded the comp with the xp cd. i tried fixmbr, fixboot, and i used the bootcfg
bootcfg saw a window installation in c:\windows so i used bootcfg /add and chose it and named it windows
it still won't boot without the old linux drive in and even when thats it it now gives me an option between
Windows XP Home Edition
so the one i added is there but for nothing..
anyone know how to get the comp to know to boot from c:\
so i can get rid of this hard drive??
Question by:PlanetCpp
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Expert Comment

ID: 8097413
read this microsoft article that explains the process for editing the boot.ini:

LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 8097447
Here is a question at another site which gives quite a few options - http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/54242.html
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Expert Comment

ID: 8097519
the problem is you have either the lilo.confg or grub.confg on the old drive, so when you boot it is looking for that file
try an inplace upgrade (reinstall)

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Author Comment

ID: 8098814
thanks for the replies but the problem seems to be that the mbr is on the wrong drive
windows is on drive0 but it looks like the ocmputer is looking to drive1, then it goes straight to loading windows instead of loading grub.
i need it to look at drive0, i guess i need to move the mbr to drive0 or make a new one. when i use fixmbr its 'fixing' the one on the wrong drive. i took that drive out and went t recovery cd and tried again but fixmbr just returns and does nothing, no message or anything
how can i create from scratch or move the mbr to drive0. without losing data of course.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 8098856
Your best solution may be a hardware fix.  There is a piece of hardware called TriOS which is available from www.tigerdirect.com
It physically selects which drive is booting with a set of switches.

Author Comment

ID: 8098864
well theres no boot record on the xp hard drive so if i set it to boot from that itll say that it cant find an OS
i need to create an mbr on that hd
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Expert Comment

ID: 8098873
The FIXMBR command should do that for you.

Author Comment

ID: 8098890
ok i think i got it fixmbr with no parameters fixes the mbr from where it is,, in my case the wrong drive. i need to add the parameter /device/harddisk0 or something im reading it on MSDN right now.
ill try it in a minute, i put this together with msdn and questions from the link you gave me slink9 so if this works ill accept that first answer you gave me. if it doesnt work god help this computer ill break it.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8098891
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

slink9 earned 800 total points
ID: 8098914
Since you seem to be having a problem with this link thing, here is a part of the link that I posted.  I believe Crazy pretty well told you how to do it, though.

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
Create a Microsoft Windows XP boot disk to start the computer.
For additional information about how to create a Windows XP boot disk, view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

305595 HOW TO: Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition with Windows XP

If you can start the computer from the boot disk without receiving an error message, the damage is limited to the master boot record, you should attempt to back up all data before you attempt to fix the boot sector.

Use Disk Management to view the partition information and verify that the disk partition (or partitions) are correct. To use Disk Management, follow these steps:

Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage on the shortcut menu that appears.

Expand Storage, and then click Disk Management.

If invalid partitions are present or you are unable to start your computer with a boot disk, consider reinstalling Windows XP on your computer and restoring your data and configuration information from a recent backup.

If you do not have a current backup copy of the data on the computer, consult a computer specialist to determine the best method of data recovery and configuration.

Run a current virus scanning program to verify that no virus is present.

Repair the master boot record by using the FIXMBR command from the Windows XP Recovery Console.

For additional information about how to use the Recovery Console, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

307654 HOW TO: Access the Recovery Console During Startup

NOTE: For additional information about an error message that you may receive when you use the FIXMBR command, view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

266745 Error Message When You Run fixmbr Command

WARNING: If your computer is infected with a virus and you use the FIXMBR command, you may be unable to start the computer. Before you use this command, ensure that the computer is not infected with a virus.
If the primary boot partition is a FAT partition, use the FIXBOOT command from the Windows XP Recovery Console to write a new boot sector on the system partition, and then use the FIXMBR command to repair the master boot record.

You may also use Windows XP Setup to repair the installation. To do this, follow these steps:
Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer. On the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to set up Windows.
Press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
Use the ARROW keys to select the Windows installation that you want to repair, and then press R.

Windows Setup repairs the installation files, Windows automatically restarts, and then Setup completes the repair of your Windows XP installation.


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