MBR on XP Pro

Hi All,

Situation - Failed MBR on windows XP Professional

I have a Production PC (Manufacturing equipment controller) with Windows XP Pro that resides inside a turret (yes, this pc spins in circles 23 hours a day). Anyway, it's a vital piece of equipment for our manufacturing line. About every 18 months we have hard drive failures that lead to disassembly of the equipment to remove the PC and change the hard drive out. I keep 2 spares (imaged) at all times for just this problem.

Recently (this weekend due to our Ice Storm that blew out power repeatedly) we lost the drive in the middle of production. I removed the PC and swapped the drive so we could continue to run. I have just pulled up the hard drive on my PC (Windows 7) to check its status and it seems fine.... My guess is the MBR was corrupted from the repeated failures from power.

So, Is it possible to reconstruct the MBR in this drive as a it's a slave drive on my machine currently? If so, what file am I looking for to edit?
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Santosh GuptaConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Please follow the below steps.
(unplug your Good OS HDD, to avoid confusion)

1. make your corrupted MBR XP disk to primary.
2. boot the machine with XP bootable CD.
3. When prompted, press R to repair a Windows XP installation.
4. Enter the administrator password if prompted.
5. To fix the MBR, use the following command: FIXMBR
6. Type y and ENTER to fix the MBR.
7. Type exit to leave the recovery console and reboot.
Adam LeinssConnect With a Mentor Senior Desktop EngineerCommented:
If you boot from a XP disc, you should be able to do a fixboot and fixmbr from the Recovery Console.  However, the drive will have to be connected directly to the motherboard for it to see it from this environment.
Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
You can just boot from an XP (to be safe) CD to recovery console with only that drive attached and run FixMBR.

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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Wow, 3 (pretty much identical) answers in 26 seconds :)
SDBrooksAuthor Commented:
thanks for the input.... very valid points ... however as I said, this is a production machine... it has a drive in it now that's fresh. We do not have another machine like this anywhere.. and would have to be ordered from the equipment manufacturer.

So, I don't have a "machine to load this drive to and run the fixboot/fixmbr: commands.

I have the drive... set a slave drive on my Win7 workstation. I simply need to edit the mbr record and put back on the shelf as "Spare 3".

Help here is appreciated. I am going to hold this disk for a few days before reimaging the disk as its checked out fine and I feel confident with was simply a corrupt mbr. But to know how to repair these disk "Offline" rather than hold the production up is a better scenario.

thanks again
Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
You don't need to put it back in the production machine.
Just keep it in your workstation, decouple your win 7 hdd and boot from a XP disk...

The MBR is not motherboard dependent, AFAIK.
SDBrooksAuthor Commented:
ok, ill give it shot.. I thought the MBR was hard independent
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Have you thought about installing an SSD drive to save the constant trips to replace/fix the hard disk?  A spinning disk is not a good thing to have in this environment.. I'd be curious as to the amount of G forces involved here..
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
here the full details - if needed :
Boot using the Windows XP installation disk, press R. Then type the following commands:
note : you can test after each command

      BOOTCFG /rebuild

      copy E:\i386\NTLDR c:\
      ATTRIB -arsh ntldr
      copy e:\i386\NTDETECT.COM
      ATTRIB -arsh ntdetect.com c:\

E: should be the location of your CDRom where you have the Windows install disk located.
and check if those files are in the root :   NTLDR   boot.ini     ntdetect.com

Contents of the boot.ini file :
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

check this too for more info :  http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm#What_if_none_of_the_optio
SDBrooksAuthor Commented:
Cool.. thanks all. Never tried to rebuild MBR outside of the actual machine. I thought it WS mb dependent. Guess not. Thanks again
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