System Partition Restored - But How Do We Restore the MBR (Windows 8.1)?
Posted on 2014-01-01
Following yet another windows collapse which even Rollback couldn't resolve, I've managed to restore a cloned system drive I backed up a few weeks back, using Partition Wizard. But my attempt to also restore the mbr I backed up the same way at the same time (to its own partition) has failed. The result is a working system but every time I reboot, I get the "system needs repair" screen.
Using bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd I bullied the mbr into recognising that there were a couple of OSs to launch (the clone and the restored partition) and now it presents the "repair" screen but I can use the F9 option to select the restored partition and away it goes. Everything hunky.
My question is: how do I lose the repair screen which is clearly looking in the wrong place or has a flag set which doesn't get removed even after a successful boot?
It may seem like a trivial inconvenience and, if I'm sat in front of the machine when it's rebooting, it is trivial. It adds perhaps 20 seconds to the reboot process. But this is my main home security workstation, which runs my surveillance cameras when I'm not at home and also has my main repository of support tools or software which I occasionally need to access when I'm away from home. And systems occasionally shut down for a variety of reasons - eg powercuts. I need to know that, when the power is restored, my machine will reboot, without human intervention, at least to the stage I can login remotely and enter the final boot password through logmein.
And stopping at the repair screen prevents that...
Two associated supplementary questions:
1 How should I have copied or restored the mbr in order to avoid this issue?
2 One of the really irritating discoveries I made during this episode was that not only were my system disks for Windoze 8 rejected by the automatic repair system but that even on my working windows 8.1 systems, if you try to create a recovery disk, they all tell me "We can't create a recovery drive on this PC - Some required files are missing. To Troubleshoot problems when your PC can't start, use your Windows Installation disc or media" - which, of course, is hopelessly stupid advice if, like thousands of us, you've performed your upgrade to 8.1 without such a disc or media. So how do we create such a recovery disk for 8.1?