Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
How to repair Windows XP Master Boot Record (MBR)
From time to time you will need a message on your computer when boot that states that your Operating System was not detected or that your primary hard drive was not found. When these messages come up alot of people think that there hard drive had fail. However alot of times it is just because the Master Boot Record on the hard drive got corrpted so the data on the drive can not be read properly. This also is the cause of the flash cursor that people will see from time to time.
Note in these cases you will always want to run a hard drive test before the reinstall of Windows as a drive failure could have caused the problem but run through the below step will alot of times show that the drive is fine.
The steps below will take you repairing the MBR on your har drive. Note to go through this process you will need your Windows XP OS CD.
1. The first thing you will need to do is boot your computer off your Windows XP OS CD. To do this you will need to go into your BIOS and change the boot order to have your ROM drive set as the first boot device. Note some OEM computers have a boot menu set to a hot key like F12. This option sould let you boot from the ROM drive without having to go into the BIOS.
2. After you have selected to boot you computer from the ROM drive with the Windows XP OS CD in the drive you will seee a message that states "press any key". You will need to press any key on your keyboard to have the computer boot off the Window XP OS CD.
3. After the setup loads you will want to select "R" to run the Windows XP Recovery Console
4. After the Windows Recovery Console loads you willl need to type the number that refers to the drive that you are wanting to repair. Note in most cases you will type "1" then press enter. Then you need to enter the Administrator password for the system. If you do not know it or does not work then at this point you will need to look at backing up for files with another computer and doing a full reinstall of Windows on the hard drive.
5. After you are able to enter the Administrator password you will be at a prompt here is where you will type "fixmbr". This will repair the damaged MBR. Inaddition will may want to run "fix boot" this will fix any issues with the boot sector.
Note if you still have trouble getting the system to boot properly after running through these steps you will want to do a backup of your files and do a full reinstall of Windows. Also run any hard drive tests to make sure there is not anything wrong with the hard drive.
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