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Boot Sector Clobbered Win XP on Dell Inspiron 530

Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have a customer whose boot sector got overwritten for the second time in two months.  This is a remote customer so I don’t have access to the computer.  Computer is a Dell Inspiron 530 desktop running XP SP3.  

Tried FIXMBR.  Said it successfully wrote a new mbr.  Tried FIXBOOT.
It didn’t work.  I can get into the windows recovery console but if I try to do a repair install it finds no existing Windows system.  

She has an Acronis TI11 full backup but it isn’t very recent and I don’t want to overwrite all her data.  Is there any way to grab the boot record from the Acronis backup or, for that matter, any other way to write a boot record and make her system bootable again?

Is there a way to back up the boot record if this ever happens again?  Is there a way to figure out what’s clobbering it?  If I make her primary id a limited id might that prevent it from happening again?  That’s going on the assumption that it’s some program she’s running that’s doing this and without administrative privileges it couldn’t access the record.

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