How to Fix MBR in Windows XP and Vista

What is the MBR? MBR stands for Master Boot Record and it’s the first sector of your hard drive that basically tells the BIOS where to look for the operating system on your computer.

If, for any reason, the MBR becomes damaged or corrupt, then the operating system will be unable to load. You will normally see error messages like:

Error loading operating system

Missing operating system

Invalid partition table

These messages are definitely not fun, especially if you are not familiar with computers. Most people would automatically assume their computers are dead! However, that’s not true. Being in IT myself, these errors are actually preferably to other types of Windows errors. Why?

Well, it’s actually fairly easy to fix the Master Boot Record in XP and Vista. All you have to do is load up the Recovery Console and run a simple command. All of your data, applications, settings, etc are still intact on the drive and once the MBR is fixed, the computer will load normally.

So how can you repair your damaged MBR? Here are the steps to follow:

1. First, restart your computer with the Windows XP setup disk in the CD drive. If you don’t have your original disk, borrow one or download a ISO image from a torrent site.

2. When prompted, boot from the CD drive by pressing any key. If Windows loads automatically, you will first have to enter the BIOS setup and change the order of the boot devices to start with the CD drive.

change boot order

3. Once the setup loads, you will see the option to press R to repair a Windows installation.

repair windows

4. Once the Recovery Console loads up, you will have to type in a number that corresponds to your Windows installation. This is normally just 1. Press Enter and then type in the Administrator password.

recovery console

5. Now at the prompt, type in fixmbr. Your damaged MBR will now be replaced with a new master boot record and your computer should now be able to boot properly. Note that you may also want to run the fixboot command to repair the boot sector with a new one.

Also, make sure you only use these commands on a system with one operating system installed. If you have more than one operating system installed, fixmbr and fixboot could mess up everything.

Fix MBR in Vista

In Vista, the procedure to fix the master boot record is a bit different. You have to start up Vista in the Recovery Environment and then run the bootrec command. Here’s how.

1. First, load up the Windows Vista disc in your drive and press any key to boot from the disc.

2. Choose the language, time, currency, etc and click Next. Now click on Repair Your Computer.

repair computer vista

3. Choose the operating system to repair and click Next. When the System Recovery Options dialog comes up, choose the Command Prompt.

system recovery options

4. Now type bootrec.exe and press Enter. This will rebuild the boot configuration data and hopefully fix your problem. You can also run the command with switches to fix just the master boot record (/fixmbr), the boot sector (/fixboot), or rebuild the entire BCD (/rebuildbcd).

If you are still having trouble with loading Windows, post a comment and I’ll see if I can help! Enjoy!

Comments [114]

  1. Eh.. I'm getting "Element Not Found" errors on trying to fix server 08 with this method..

  2. There is no OS to select in the vista repair option. I'm directly getting the recovery console.

  3. My HP desktop with Vista Home Premium didn't come with a Vista installation disk. I want to fix the MBR (I got a "non-standard MBR" message when I tried to restore an earlier image with R-Drive Image). I tried one of the recommended rituals from Microsoft's Knowledge Base to access the preinstalled recovery options, but I don't seem to have those (no "Repair Computer" option listed in Safe Mode). How can I obtain those Vista recovery options? Thanks for your help.

  4. Waoh!!! That was great. I have tried all I could but could not fix my MBR under VISTA but your solution has helped me solve my problem.

  5. When I tried to do the "Fixmbr", I got a big error message basically telling me I could lose everything on my drive.

    What had I done wrong?


  6. yeap, this article saved me a bunch of time as I have one physical drive with 2 primary partitions, vista/xp on them and somehow Norton (Symantec) bootmagic screwed up my MBR, I was almost at the point of deleting partitions and reinstall when came across this article, that saved me almost a week of work that I had done on both OS's.


  7. I followed your instruction on the Vista part. However, my problem is my drive default is pointing to x:Sources. I believe this is where my Recovery CD is being read. Anyway, I typed the cmd. x:sources>bootrec.exe, then a msg. came up giving me other commands such as /fixMbr, /FixBoot, /ScanOS, /RebuildBcd. I tried any of this on the x:sources>c: /fixmbr, but the msg. says "The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and the the volume is not corrupted."

    What should I do next? Please advise, thanks.

  8. i just bought a new hdd to install windows 7 on it. after installing and using windows 7 for a while, i felt like going back to vista for a moment.

    i was too lazy to pop out the new hdd from the laptop to swap back the old hdd with vista on it, so i put the vista hdd in a external casing and tried to boot up my laptop from a 'usb harddisk' (that's what my BIOS called it.)

    when i push the power button, the screen showed the windows loading bar for around 2 seconds, then 'poof!' a blue screen flashes across and it came to a black screen with a blinking cursor on the top left corner.

    I thought something bad had happened and got my lazy ass to pop that vista hdd back into the laptop. but all attempts to boot from that harddrive just ends up with the same black scree+blinking cursor.


  9. Hi Aseem.

    I have the following problem: I screwed up my MBR and after that I tried to fix it with vista cd and Start Up repair. It repaired my mbr and then I logged into vista, but I lost my D partition with all my data. Actually I didnt lost my data, but this partition in computer management is white with blue frame and no description. When I go to right-click and choose properties, I cannot change drive letter and it refuse access with following message: "The operation faild to complete because the disk management console is not up to date…

    I know that all my data are there, because I can see them with partition table doctor. After that I did what you wrote: fixmbr, fixboot, rebuildbcd, but without changes. Can you help me?

  10. I type fixmbr and it says command is not recognized!

  11. Thanx save me!

    i know how to do it only in xp and i had a problem with windows 7!

    thanx again for the info! You saved me :D

  12. I intalled CentOS after installing XP professional on my laptop, after that i have deleted the CentOS partion…. and now when i am trying to reinstall xp on that box it doesn't promt me for repair, clean, installing options, it just showing blank black screen on my monitor……

    Please advise………!!!

  13. uhh well i am using windows vista and i have encountered this problem. i had a virus on my computer and now whenever i click on a file (ex. internet explorer,paint,google earth) a black screen appears(screen of death) is what they call it i think. and also when i tried to download stuff it never seems to work and it just goes black. can you please help me? also i have not tried this and i need help gettin into my disc because i do not kno where it is can you give me step-by-step instructions thank you, kenny

  14. I was formatting my hard drive on XP and put the Vista disk in by mistake and loaded Vista on top of XP. I have since deleted all partitions, created new partitions (C & D)) and loaded XP back on after formatting C drive. I am still getting the error in loading operating system even after running fixmbrand fixboot. I also had someone who gave it a try and returned my harddrive to as new condition, that didn't work either. Could you plese help.

    ps I have since reformatted and fixmbr and fixboot and still no joy.

  15. after running this repair, i'm encountering a 2-fold problem:

    1 – when I boot from the CD and follow all of those instructions, it tells me there are no installations of windows to repair/restore to an earlier point. If I try startup repair, A-if i select the version of windows it finds, it says I don't have the files necessary for it; B-if i just don't select a version and continue without, it runs, says complete, then reboots and nothing is different.

    If I try to do the complete system restore, it says there isn't a driver to repair at all. When I do the command prompt features, any 'fix' options say they are completed and ask me to reboot. Any 'rebuild' or 'search' options list 0 instances of windows installed.

    2 – When I boot without the CD, startup tells me it needs to run chkdsk to repair windows (or less frequently it asks if I want to start in safe mood, due to a failed load the previous time), gets to windows where I type in my windows passphrase, and after I do, processes for about 5-10sec and reboots.

    So basically I still can't get to the point where I can do a system restore, the CD seems to have helped a bit, but I still can't actually boot windows at all.

    Any thoughts? If I just do a re-install from the CD, I'll lose everything on my computer. And I'll have to put in my windows key to authenticate right? I don't know if I have it anymore.

    Thanks so much,

  16. VERY HELPFUL!!!!! I had Ubuntu on a dual-boot and really wanted to get rid of it, but deleted the partition only to find that GRUB was still running as the bootloader… Once I found this, I managed to figure out how to fix the master boot record. Thanks a ton! :)

  17. Eh.. I’m getting “Element Not Found” errors on trying to fix server 08 with this method..need help

  18. First thank you for your posting, but what if the system does not read the drives due to a virus that removed the mbr? That is what happened to me and need assistance.



  19. Does rewriting / repairing the MBR or boot erase all data or make all contents of the harddrive inaccessible?

  20. Yes. finally i can remove my GRUB from my MBR. now I can log on to my vista smoothly.

  21. I finally got to the prompt, typed all of the commands there and it said none of them were recognized as an internal or external command operable program or batch file

  22. GREAT i allmost destroyed my vista partition…but this tip helped me ! :) thx

  23. I got a doosy for ya. If your still around. I got infected by a virus. It infected my MBR. Now, the Windows XP recovery console doesn't even recognize the drive. HELP! Anyone?

  24. After following instruction in this article, I can access my vista again. thanks for the article.

  25. I have a pc with win xp pro sp1. It was infected with virus and I installed Regrun to remove them.

    I uninstalled Regrun and installed SP2 on it.

    Now I'm getting the following message:

    "Windows could not start because the following is missing or corrupt: WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIGSYSTEM"

    When I try to run FIXMBR using Recovery Console I get the followin message:

    "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record."

    What's wrong with my pc. Your help will be appreciated


  26. BriDog::

    I have the same problem exactly on my laptop. I was able to use ubuntu to boot from cd to access my data to safely remove anything important to me. Now I am trying to repair the MBR but I can't find anything that works with linux or finding a program that can boot from the cdrom to repair the window xp MBR. I tried the recovery console thingy but it comes up with "no hard drive found" so that hoops me big time.


  27. I have a DELL Inspiron 1545 Laptop with Windows XP SP2 installed in it.I was trying to format a drive using GParted tool. While doing so, I created a new partition table, by mistake. Now it is showing the entire 250GB as unallocated. I have not partitioned or formatted anything else. I guess I have deleted the MBR and the remaining part of the disk is still intact. Am i right? If so, will the solution provided in this article work? If not, what would have happened? Kindly suggest me a solution.

    When i switch on the laptop, i get the following error:

    "No bootable devices–strike F1 to try reboot, F2 for setup utility.Press F5 to run on board diagnostics"

  28. Quote “Also, make sure you only use these commands on a system with one operating system installed. If you have more than one operating system installed, fixmbr and fix boot could mess up everything.”

    I disagree. I have used these commands on dual-boot systems, and providing you are careful to select the correct operating system you wish to modify, there should be no problems.


    (Users own experience and opinion. Offered without warranty or assumption of responsibility or liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred as a result of any use or reliance upon the information.)

  29. I don't remember setting any password but it keeps asking me to "Type the Administrator password:" What can I do???

  30. I am about to do this on a system with XP and Ubuntu, to remove an old Ubuntu (to reinstall a newer version on a new second hard drive). Here is what I know (will report back on my disaster/success later): Ubuntu's GRUB is in the MBR, which is at the start of the first partition*, but it points to data in the Ubuntu partition.

    So don't delete Ubuntu while GRUB is still there, it may get confused. Use the procedure above to "fix" the MBR back to XP-only. It will no longer look for the Linux partition (which will still be there) and will boot straight to XP. (You can install a driver called ext2IFS so that XP can see the Linux partition, if you want.)

    Then boot Linux from a live CD and used gParted to remove the Linux partitions. This opens up the space for the next step. Reboot into XP and use EASUS Partition Master (free) to stretch the XP partition into the new empty space, or create a second FAT or NTFS partition there if you prefer. (Maybe Partition Master can remove the Linux partition, but it doesn't say so, and I read elsewhere about using gParted to do it.)

    Reboot to test that all is well for XP. For me, I will then pull the jumper on the drive, making it a "slave" and put it on the other drive, making it "master." (If I rebooted then, it would say "no operating system found.") Then, rebooting with the new Ubuntu CD, I will tell it to install on the main drive (the new master). It should notice the XP on the other drive and let me include it on the bootup list.

    Most important, GRUB will not write anything on the slave drive, but it will still let me choose which OS to fire up on boot. (GRUB can trick XP into thinking it's by itself on the master drive when it is actually on the slave.) Then if I decide to lose Linux later, all I have to do is move the jumper back to the XP drive. XP will be master again with its own native MBR, nothing to patch.

    *I have read that some computer makers put a hidden partition before the system one, I forget why, but that can cause the errors some have mentioned in previous posts. The MBR has to know to look past that partition to the system one. Sorry, I don't know the fix, keep googling.

  31. I have an external drive that MBR has been corrupted. Windows 2000 has diskprobe, still not accessible. How would I run fixmbr or fixboot on this drive. I have a windows 2k disk and an xp disk.

    But don't want to accidentally mess up the main hard drive. Does windows 2k have the same fixboot / fixmbr capability? Send me an email please and post here if you can.


  32. Here is my success story. No disaster. I booted from the XP CD as described above and did fixmbr only. Then I rebooted and it found XP directly and started up normally. No need for fixboot. Then I started Partition Master, and taking a chance, deleted the Linux partitions (after copying off files I wanted to keep, using ext2IFS). Then I stretched the XP partition back to the whole drive.

    It asked for reboot, and on restart it did about 10-15 minutes of "moving files." Apparently it's a good program, everything was OK on boot completion. The new hard drive was unformatted. Power off, I swapped the jumper, making it master, and booted the Xubuntu CD. After starting a partitioning program (maybe gParted, it didn't say) I told it to make /, swap, and /home partitions on the new drive, then install Linux. It installed GRUB to the new master and incidentally mentioned XP was found on the other drive. I told it to include XP on the boot menu.

    When done I rebooted, and there was GRUB's menu, ugly black and white, but it booted into Xubuntu fine. It's actually GRUB2 and I had to learn a few things to get it pretty looking and to set XP as the default choice, but finally got that done. I looked at the menu code for booting XP and it looked like it should work (fooling XP into thinking it was on the master). And it did! All is well, except Xubuntu 9.10 uses ext4 filesystem, and ext2IFS doesn't see it. So I can't look into the Linux drive from XP. Maybe later.
    "Your results may vary."

  33. I have had this problem on a dell vostro 1500 with win xp home edition. Both fixboot and fix mbr do not correct my problem. Both Fixboot and Fix mbr run fine and after they complete I exit and reboot my system but I keep getting a blue screen and even if I start in safe mode it will not load windows. I am going to try and get a 2.5 3.5 convereter and try and hook up the hd to my desktop as an additional hd drive to access the data on it, then I will format the laptop drive and reinstall it. I don't know what else to try, any suggestions??

  34. I have the same problem as djrnold. When I try to rebuilbcd, an installation is found, but when answering to add it to the boot list, i get a message saying that the filesystem is not recognized. ¿Can anyone help me?

    I will tell you the history: this is a multiboot PC with several hard disks on it. I had a previous installation of windows vista on (hd0,0) that was not in use, a new installation of vista on (hd2,0) that was in use, and an opensuse installation on (hd1,0) that I installed after the Vista. I installed GRUB from opensuse and modified my 'menu.lst' so that it pointed to (hd0,0) in order for it to find the new Vista at (hd1,0). I had to do that for it to work, because if the GRUB list item pointed to where the Vista actually was (hd1,0) I could not boot it. That was all working well and I could boot both systems.

    But then I installed a debian linux on (hd0,0) with a swap partition on (hd0,1) and obviously, I had to format both partitions in linux format (ext3 and swap). When later asked if I wanted to install GRUB, I did not want to overwrite the Vista MBR at (hd0,0), so I choose it to be installed at (hd0,1). Then I could not boot any system anymore. When I run rebuildbcd from the Vista DVD, it does not recognize the ext3 filesystem (even when it is opensource). However, it offers the possibility to load a driver (I do not know how to do this).

    I am thinking of getting rid of my latter debian installation, then formatting (hd0,0) into ntfs or fat32, and finally running rebuildbcd again to see if I can then boot my Vista OS. Then of course, I would have to reconfigure my menu.lst for opensuse and to reinstall debian. Whatever… any incoming help in the very short term will be greatly appreciated

  35. I build/work/repair my own pc's and just recently I came across a problem I have never encountered. I am hoping you may be able to help or at least guide me in the right direction so that this never happens again.

    My problem is when I recenlty reformatted a pc I noticed the MBR was on the C drive while the OS was on the E drive. Normally this would not be a problem but the E drive is just a partitioned drive that is used for storage. The physical drive is a 500Gb Hdd that I have partitioned with 50 Gb going to the C dr. for the OS & apps., and the rest is the E dr. that is used for strorage.

    Is it possible to just move or copy the MBR to the propper drive and then delete ther original file on the E dr.? Or would I have to reformat and re-install the OS?

  36. For the most part, everyone appears to have the same problem. Unfortunately, as someone mentioned above, a trojan has written itself into CMOS/BIOS in a format not recognized by Windows operating systems.

    I managed once to penetrate this first small partition (about 100 meg) and received a message that the partition was not recognized. It then locked me out. One must be careful in that this trojan varient will immediately infect all other hard drives (primary partitions) in the very same manner not to mention floppy and burnt CDs.

    Also, once you detect this trojan, any software you attempt to install on your machine will be either unusable or the trojan wiill rootkit the kernal and tell you everything is fine. Even the MS tools mentioned above will not work because the trojan, rootkit or whatever you want to call it, will permanently delete any permissions on that hard drive.

    So, I know where and what it is, the issue is to remove it and the original boot record from the hard drive, flash the bios/cmos and attempt a low level format. Because the malware sits in a partition Windows fails to recognize, you will probably not be able to remove it. Did I mention that all data will be lost regardless of the outcome. Wish me luck in removing this piece of malware.

    AGAIN, do not attach any more hard drives as they will be infected also. If you had more than one…….it's double trouble. If I figure it out I'll let you know but don't waste money on software that says it can remove all partitions; it can only remove partitions it recognizes.


  37. This information helped me a lot! I was able to fix the MBR and start up my Windows PC. Thanks very much!

  38. This is a good article, but it's not very helpful in some cases. I've realized some computers like HP (windows vista/7) give the option to create a recovery disk since they don't provide you with OS disc and plus you can create only one set of recovery disks. The recovery disk's only options are restore point and restore your computer to its original factor form, no command prompt. I broke my computer but i fixed it using different methods. I know there are different tools and methods out there but there are people who do't know much about computers which makes this article not very helpful for them.

  39. Hello,

    How to recover MBR without installation disk ?

  40. Hi, I just got the blue screen of death this morning when I tried booting my windows xp sp3 pc. I've tried chkdsk /r, fixboot, and fixmbr. Also, it won't run under safe mode. I don't know what else to do. Please help.

  41. this doesn't help much when you CANT get into recovery console BECAUSE your MBR is messed up. Isn't Windows beautiful?

  42. Dude, you rock. What a simple fix.

    MY PC was an ex-dual boot xp/ubuntu. Following XP crashing, I took off ubuntu for lack of use, then couldn't get it to run up on that hard drive (needed to have a spare installed in the primary slot. Fixmbr allowed me to go back to one hdd and stopped my xp disc hanging while "Inspecting your computer's hardware". One short install later all is well :)

    Luv ya work.


  43. Hi Aseem,

    first of all thanks for your detailled discription how to solve that issue. As mentioned in the steps above, I could repair my problem ("Missing operating system on Win7-Boot") with bootrec.exe and fixmbr + fixboot.

    But the problem now is that my Win partition was reset, that means that all my data saved to that partition was deleted. Weird is that some data is still available, e. g. some documents I moved some days ago to the recycle bin. Other data (most important my Outlook files) are not there any more. Do you have any suggestion how I could restore my partition?

    btw: I had the problem after MS latest updates…

  44. This article is oblivious to the fact over 90% of systems shipped don't come with a disk capable of MBR or Bootloader repair..

    Solution for the masses who don't have a disc to repair them, and don't want to spend hundreds acquiring one: SuperGRUB or EasyBCD based on ISO image.

    This is real bob the technician grade.

  45. after running this repair, i’m encountering :

    when I boot from the CD and follow all of those instructions, it tells me there are no installations of windows to repair/restore to an earlier point. If I try startup repair, A-if i select the version of windows it finds, it says I don’t have the files necessary for it; B-if i just don’t select a version and continue without, it runs, says complete, then reboots and nothing is different.

    If I try to do the complete system restore, it says there isn’t a driver to repair at all. When I do the command prompt features, any ‘fix’ options say they are completed and ask me to reboot. Any ‘rebuild’ or ’search’ options list 0 instances of windows installed.

    So basically I still can’t get to the point where I can do a system restore, the CD seems to have helped a bit, but I still can’t actually boot windows at all.

    Any thoughts? If I just do a re-install from the CD, I’ll lose everything on my computer. And I’ll have to put in my windows key to authenticate right? I don’t know if I have it anymore.

  46. I think the solution given here to MBR error is very useful and help me solve this problem on my old computer to which I didn't wanted to format as it contained some important data which i need to move to new computer.

  47. The only command that worked was bootrec.exe all the rest I got is not recognised as an internal or external command

  48. Try it like this

    X:sources>bootrec.exe /FixMbr

    X:sources>bootrec.exe /FixBoot

    X:sources>bootrec.exe /ScanOs

    X:sources>bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd


  49. Thanks for your clear step, I sucessed to rescue my win XP after install ubuntu and formatted a 2nd hard disc.

    Here is my step:

    Put a window xp installation CD and select to boot up by disc

    Press "R" to reppair

    in the MS-DOS


    type <>





    exit (auto restart)


  50. I have a trojan horse mebroot in my mbr.

    I know how to fix it, but when i run the vista recovery/boot cd there is no oprating system to repair or select. And when i go to command prompt there is no C: drive and no windows version to find.

    so the commands fixboot fixmbr and bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd are not executable.

    please help

  51. Hi,
    I've had this problem fo a while now. When starting up my Vista, I get the message "0200 Failure Fixed Disk 0" with the options of continuing by pressing F1 or going to BIOS with F2. I've tried loading the Vista installation disc with some success; when I get to the System Recovery options menu my OS isn't displayed. I just left that alone, pressed next, and edventually got to the Command Prompt.

    Typing in bootrec.exe only yielded other commands. I then tried the cmd "bootrec.exe /FixMbr" but got the message "The drive cannot find the sector requested." I'm assuming that that's because my hdd isn't being recognised. I know, however, that my hdd isn't dead yet; I can still hear the disc spinning. (This all originally started when my laptop randomly froze and I restarted it) I've also tried putting a working hdd in my laptop, which yielded success, but when my hdd was put into a different machine, I got the same error message.

    I really hope that you can help and thanks in advance.

  52. it says my OS is on E: when in the recovery counsel, don't know why, shouldn't it say it's on C:? how did it get moved? all options on the recovery counsel will not work I have tried all the above options on this page, thanks

  53. Ok I have a black screen saying MBR ERROR.. I have windows xp cd loaded I push any key and it remains the same.. Please help me !!

  54. I have a disk that says it is not initialized which in fact is. What am I looking for to repair this problem?

  55. once i put on my xp cd and boot it on the setup straight away goes to the part where u should install xp(they ask to choose what partition to use) and it doesnt come across the part where the say press "R" to go to recovery console. Why is this

  56. Hey Aseem,

    Thanks for the tip. BUT…

    I hear my XP ISO dvd spinning, after I press a key following the prompt: Boot from CD.

    In the BIOS I have the CD Rom drive as 1 and 2 (hard disk as 3rd), but STILL the computer won't boot from the dvd.

    Every time it will go straight to the screen:

    Windows Boot Manager. There it repeats "Windows failed to start" 0xc0000098 and "[…] does not containa valid OS entry".

    I can't get past the Windows Boot Manager screen…

    What to do? Any idea's, Aseem? Hope so…



  57. There is no OS choice to repair in my system recovery options. What could be the problem?

  58. Thanks! Great, concise post.

    I deleted a Linux partition and GRUB prevented me from booting Windows. This advice worked perfectly.

  59. Use the fixboot for xp guys. Fixmbr is useless!

  60. Hi, I had originally installed vista 64 bit on my primary hdd but i think I had the sata cable in the wrong spot on my motherboard because it's disk note says it's disk1 instead of disk0 which my secondary hard drive is located and it's also where the mbr is located.

    Can I use the repair to move the mbr to my primary hard drive now without losing all the programs ive installed and/or having to reinstall the os + formating?


  61. Thank you! Helped me to rewrite a new MBR and save my Windows install! :-)

  62. Thank you so much for the tip with "bootrec.exe /fixmbr /fixboot"! I was searching for fixmbr.exe like crazy :)

  63. Hello,
    I downloaded ubuntu and I'm using a usb disc to try. After I shut down the computer, I cannot start XP again. If I leave the usb disk out, I get a message on booting up saying "verifying DMI pool data-a disk read error occurred. Press control, Alt and delete to restart." I do this and after a while it comes back to the same message. If I leave the usb disc in with the Ubuntu it boots straight to Ubuntu. I am not very technical so I would appreciate any assistance to enable me to get my XP starting again please.


  64. Thanks for the tip. :) You saved my life.

  65. I am unable to boot from my Vista CD. I just get a blue blank screen and nothing happens after that.

    Any suggestions ?

  66. I am running Windows Vista. I ran the System Repair and found no problems. I have tried fixmbr and still am unable to get my computer to boot into Windows.

    Help. I have tried to restore from last known good backup, but it did not find any.

  67. Thanks so much.

    I have a 6-month-old ASUS laptop and nothing would work. I called their tech support and they wanted me to do a complete factory restore. They had no clue.

    This was less than a 5-minute fix. Thanks again.

  68. I have installed the Windows 7 Ultimate, but their is one problem that occurs. My system is not detecting the hard disk and also I am trying to format the system using Windows XP. It gives the error of no hard drive found.

    Please, help me.

  69. I have a dell laptop. I get the Dell loading bar and then nothing, just a black screen with a little white line in the top left corner. When I run the diagnostics, there are no errors. Could this be my MBR? Will I wipe any data from my hard drive if I do this repair? What is it if it isn't my MBR?


  70. For Vicki.

    I have the same problem with my computer. Have you fixed yours yet?

    What did you do? I have that problem since last week and I don't know what to do. Bootmgr is missing and no operating system.

  71. I have a problem with my hard disk. I have a 500 GB hard disk which contains 5 volumes, and now I'm able to view only 3 volumes in any of the operating systems (i.e., Win XP, Win 7). I tried to mount the drive through disk management and failed. An error occurs while checking the properties of the other 2 volumes. I formatted my OS drive many times and I'm still unable to fix the problem. Right now, I'm using Win 7 OS.

    Can anyone help me and suggest a solution by posting to my mail id?

  72. Hi.

    My Vista machine refuses to boot EVERY time. I just get a black screen with a flashing cursor after the BIOS loads. I can do nothing. By repairing the MBR, it sometimes allows me to boot up, but sometimes I have to repeat the operation several times before success. But, on the next reboot I ALWAYS have the same problem.

    Can anyone suggest why and what I can do about it please?

  73. WOAH! It worked!

    I have a dual OS Dell laptop. I have Windows XP on the primary and Ubuntu on the secondary. I deleted the Ubuntu partition and then the grub rescue comes out. I managed to fix the error by just referring to this one, particularly using fixmbr!

    It worked man! Thanks!

  74. My windows vista won't boot. I have same important documents and photos.

    Can you help me?

  75. I have done this many times in the past. I was researching a problem I am currently having and this site popped up.

    When there is not a password set for "Administrator" and someone is using a different account this does not work. You are required to enter a password. But there is no password for the account.

    So what now? Does anyone have an idea?

  76. There is one additional set of steps that will be required if bootrec /fixboot fails with the error message "the volume does not contain a recognized file system." In my case, this occurred because no partition was marked as active. The solution was to fire up diskpart from the same command prompt and mark the volume that had my OS as active:

    list volume (to identify the disk and partition that is NTFS formatted and has the OS)
    select disk 0 (the disk with Windows)
    select partition (the partition with Windows)
    (Then perform the bootrec tasks)

    The /fixboot option apparently works by looking for the active partition for guiding the change that it makes to the boot record. In the case of linux/unix dual boots, the Windows partition is no longer marked active, hence the failure.

  77. When I turn off or shut down my laptop, it's so slow, it took 5 to 10 minutes. So, what should I do?

  78. I accidentally made a second partition active (and yes I ignored the warning when I did it for some reason). Now, Vista won't boot and I followed your instructions above but it doesn't see the existing Vista install, only the disc install in the D: drive.

    I don't mind having to do a re-install, if needed, but I do have about 4 gig of data not backed up.


  79. Hello,

    OK I will try to explain this. First off, I am running Vista Home Premium 32.

    I bought and installed a new 1tb Sata 2 HD which I formatted and was working perfectly (K drive). It is purely for gaming and nothing else. I was installing a game for my daughter to the new drive and was away from the computer when I heard that dunt sound for a crash or error box. I looked and the computer was rebooting, which was normal. Well, it loaded to where it says something about NVRAM, then went to a black screen with a cursor in the upper, right corner of screen. It has been that way every time I try to boot the system up now. I tried to clear the NVRAM via Bios and when it reboots it says checking NVRAM, then something fails and goes to the evil cursor.

    My main boot hard drive was C: and, as this is a system with the Vista disc for recoveries, etc., on it (came with no cd was pre-installed from JB Hi Fi), the drive was broken into two parts: C: has operating system on it and D: has the recovery, etc., things on it.

    I have done a lot to try and figure this out. It started yesterday I wasn't at the PC, but was installing a game for my little girl and heard the error sound. I looked and the system was rebooting, which was fair enough. Well, after it got to the NVRAM, it went to a black screen with a flashing cursor in the upper left of the screen and that is where it stayed. I left it for 20 minutes or more and no change. From there, I tried a couple more times to boot and the same thing happened. I went into DEL (Bios) screen to make sure everything was in order. My C: drive was the first to load, then it was the DVD, then removable stuff which is the way it always has been.

    I checked advanced and both my hard drives show up as well as the DVD, etc. The new drive is a Sata 2 and the old one was sata. I didn't get a Vista 32 DVD with my unit. I had to get my daughter's mom's copy of Vista 32 Home Premium.

    I can boot the DVD. I can get to the options to system recovery, etc., but if I click any of them, they do not work saying I am missing a hard drive or DVD etc. I can use the command line feature in the system recovery. I can do a CHKDSK, but I can't do CHKDSK c:/r or /f. It said I don't have permission. Also, in the recovery tool, etc., when it says I am missing something, I can browse or rescan. I browse and it's very odd. Neither of my hard drives are there nor is my DVD. Instead of C: or D: etc., it's X:Sources. I have no X drive.

    I opened it and see folders like Program Files and Windows, etc., but none have what the recovery wants. So, basically System recovery isn't detecting my operating system or either of my hard drives and I wonder if it even reads the Vista DVD after I get to that point as I am sure there are the missing items I need on it. It feels to me like there is some sort of conflict going on, but no clue why it would be. I have disabled the new hard drive and even disconnected it to see if the main one would boot to windows but sadly, no. I disconnected the old hard drive to try and install Vista on the new one but the same thing happens. When I'm at the prepare screen of the install, it says I am missing a hard drive or a DVD etc., and to browse etc. Of course, I made the new one the master before the install attempt. So, in short, Bios sees everything correctly, the drive size, etc., but beyond Bios, nada. DEL (bios) and F12 work. No other F keys work while booting, so, no safe mode, etc. While booting, I get no errors that show unless I set the NVRAM to clear itself from Bios then it says when I reboot, Checking NVRAM Update Failed. Then, off to the black screen again.

    I have read through a ton of forums and got bits and pieces of info, such as the boot might be corrupted and to use the Vista DVD, which don't help. It won't let me recover, etc. I can use the command console part, though I just don't know any commands and no site seems to have much info for me there either. I know my drives are fine and the new one was just a few hours old. They, as I said, both show up in Bios and are in the correct booting order. I am not using raid anything so it's not that either.

    More or less, this is how I see it. I need to fix this using the recovery console part of system recovery on the Vista 32 DVD or do something in bios that I missed. Either way, I am clueless at this point. I am 100% sure it's a software issue not hardware. I have a feeling when the new drive went in and I quick formatted it as instructed as it was new, when the system rebooted, it got confused or something.

    Any help is most welcome. This is driving me insane.

  80. Originally, I have a Windows XP running in a partition in one hard disk. I have 3 partitions. I decided to install Ubuntu 10.10 on one of the partitions. Now, I have removed Ubuntu, but I can't boot Windows anymore. What should I do?

    Help me please. All my files are in Windows XP.

  81. What are the chances of losing my D (data) partition, using FIXMBR?

  82. thank you :)

    i just did what it says here. It doesn't matter if you can't make "bootrec /fixboot" work as long as you have run bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /rebuildbcd, its totally fine :)

    to make sure Run "startup repair"



    Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem

    Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.

    Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

    ….sometimes when trying to unplug it and open it again, it says….

    DMA-1 Error

    Fatal Error. . . System Halted


  84. Thank you so much, after rebuilind my MBR from other sites, and finding out why all of a sudden (after installin Ubuntu 11.04) the Grub would let Windows 7 start. I never really got the MBR missing error, but i knew thats what it was. Ubuntu 11.04 didn't start after rebuilding my MBR, but these simple steps were easier than rebuiling, and it worked! Crazy how Windows 7 is different in it's command prompts, thanks.

  85. This is priceless, been looking on how to remedy this mbr problem and looks like I've already found a very interesting solution. Thanks for the tips.

  86. Well, I have tried changing my computer back from Vista to Xp, wanting to put a dual boot in, I follwed steps elsewhere, but then needed to fix the MBR, so I tried allof the commands, but the fixBoot wont work, and I keep booting straight into XP as oppose to a dual boot screen. any ideas?

    PS. i didn;t have a vista DVD, so downloaded a repair thingy off thhe interet

  87. I've got 2 OS Vista and Ubuntu. After installing Ubuntu I can not boot Vista.

    I messed up with MBR using the command bootrec. After that I got message missing OS when I tried use Use Vista recovery disc. Can I use Windows XP Upgrade CD to restore Vista?

  88. good post. I had a problem with my mbr hardisk and solved it with your method. Thanks for this tutorial :)

  89. This just saved my day. I had a non booting Vista load for an important client where a reinstall would have been very troublesome. I had lost all hope but after using your diskpart instructions I was able to perform bootrec, and then run startup repair which was able to fix the corrupted bootmgr.

    Many thanks!

  90. I have a trojan horse mebroot in my mbr. i believe, it shows no hard drive/ no operating system. When i start the computer. I changed boot order and put in OS disk.
    Went to repair menu like told. Yet it shows no operating system to fix.
    There is no operating system to repair or select in the windows 7 system recorvery list of operating systems. And when i go to command prompt there is no C: drive and no windows version to find.
    Its almost like the Drive doesnt exist yet when i go into system bios. the hard drive is there and i can hear it working.
    One minute the computer works fine the next its locked up.
    Its a 6 month old DELL, DELL says they wont fix it because its software not hardware.
    Any Help would be appreciated.

  91. HI im having the same issue and i tried to use that but here's what i found… Successfully scanned windows installation. Total identified windows installation: 0 the operation completed successfully. I dont understand why there was no windows OS installation?

  92. There were vista and ubuntu installed on my computer. but i deleted the ubuntu partition, but when i restart computer it is only showing

    error:no such partition.

    grub rescue>

    Please help me.

    Thanks & Regards

  93. I don't know how to thank you. I have a trip to europe and so much to do. the instructions you gave worked perfectly for me and i didn't even have a full version of the windows xp disk (all i had was the update version of windows) but it worked and so glad you have the pictures so i could know if where i was going was correct step by step. all i can say is i owe you a fine dinner. email me for retrieval. THANK YOU.

  94. this worked great. thank you thank you thank you !!

  95. What can i do if i have there isn’t a cd crive on my laptop ??

  96. Thanks for the great post. You saved my life. excellent/.

  97. I had a problem – no bootable device found insert boot disk and press any key. Couldn't do anything. Then I inserted my Windows 7 disk, opened command prompt and typed these commands. Worked as a charm! Thank you very much!

  98. Thanks Aseem, that is a great help. I just seen ‘MBR error 2’, when i just restarted my pc everything was ok until i used Acronis True Image Home (2009) this morning to create a safe zone and I looks like that was doing its own partitioning, that must where my problem originated from.

  99. Hi, Been having a BOOT problem as PC will only start in REPAIR mode but will not located VISTA on system. I ran the bootrec.exe /rebuild command and the system returned no VISTA installations found – file system corrupted – can you help?

  100. you are the reason I want to go to school for computer science! Thank you so much!!! I had to visit your site via mobile phone because my computer wouldn’t start up after it went into hybernate. then the disk thing happened when I did a hard shutdown.. so I reinstalled vista.. and the same thibg happened again. you definitely saved me because I was on craigslist looking for a new comouter and decided to google to see if there was a fix. Thank again! ***** 5 star rating :-D

  101. It really fixed the MBR man! Super. Thanks.

  102. I’ve done everything you said to do with my computer that has Vista on it. But everytime I try any of the commands, I either get “is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.” Or I get a list of commands that are supported: /FixMbr, /Fixboot, /ScanOS and /RebuildBcd, but when I type in those commands, I get that same “not recognized” message.

    What got me into this mess is I had my hard drive partitioned. I had Ubuntu on one, and Windows Vista on the other. I wanted to get rid of ubuntu, and I deleted it like one of the sites said, and they said that Windows should start up automatically. But instead I got this “grub” message on a black screen and can’t get it to do anything from there. I have my computer boot from my Windows disk, but then I get to those commands and nothing works.

    If you can help at all, I would GREATLY appreciate it. It’s only been a little over an hour and I’m panicing at the thought of not being able to use my laptop =(

  103. Not sure if it’s MBR problem… But sometimes my computer hard drive “revs-up” during start-up and gives the screen with the selections(safe mode,normal start-up,and last known configuration that worked)… The computer will eventually start-up if I continue to select “normal..” and or “last known..” ……..However, I do wonder which gremlin is to blame……..

  104. I was wondering if I could run the fix boot on a additional slave drive that I have in my computer. I tried to install it in a Raid Server and all it did was corrupt something that will not allow me to access the drive now. I know there is still data on the drive but it will not let me access it. I was thinking maybe it just corrupted the boot sector and this will fix it. I am running vista on the computer. Thanks

  105. I’ve got to the screen for the command prompt and with all of the bootrec.exe codes, it gives me the error message: not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch. I have a Sony vaio computer, and I was running the OS windows vista home premium. I’ve borrowed a disk from someone & that’s what I’m trying to repair it from but when I get to the bootrec command screen, I’m just stumped. I appreciate any help!


  106. I have two HDD on my system. One has Vista HP (32 bit), the other Ubuntu 10.4 which is now corrupted due to a video card issue. Ubuntu can not boot, but that’s not so important…The problem is that the “grub” took over MBR, and now I can’t boot Vista sitting on the other HDD when I disable (or change HDD priority in BIOS)the other (non functional) HDD with Ubuntu on it, much less if I unplug that HDD (with Ubuntu on it). So funny, in order to normally boot Vista HDD, I have to “keep” my non functional Ubuntu HDD in my system. Is there any cure to it? How can I fix my MBR on Vista HDD so not being dependent on Ubuntu HDD, which I want to take out and use for different purpose? Please, help!!!


  107. having the same problem in the combination of win7 and ubuntu. when reloading a ubuntu bootable disk it displays “A disk error occurred”

  108. Hi,

    I got a Dual Boot with WIN 7 & Ubuntu 10.04.I reinstalled my WIN 7(As it carashed yesterday) & working fine.But now its not giving an option to log into Ubuntu during Boot Process. It Logs into Win 7 Right away.Is there any away to get my Ubuntu.



  109. hi,

    my system was not booting to the desktop . i had xp and win2008 server daul operating system installed on it . i tried the repair option and did a fixmbr after that did a chkdsk afte this restarted the machine .now it allwoed me to in onto the desktop but i was not prompted to choose Between xp and win2008 os it just gave win xp . and after logging on i was not able to c or access the d drive .i am worried if my data is lost please help as i have a lot of data which is very very important to me .



  110. I have HP PAVILION DV9618CA LAPTOP!! Phonix Bios Setup Utility!! When I press F10 it’s showing your factory installed OS non-vista. What does it mean? Is it supposed to be vista?

    How do I fix this problem? I can’t run recovery, either?

  111. Helloo.. I’ve deleted the partition which had 100% free space.. After that I restarted my system.

    It shows
    Welcome to GRUB!
    grub error: “unknown filesystem”
    grub rescue>

    Pls help me on this..Pls note that I dont have CD drive..

  112. I had windows XP, removed ubuntu partition which gave me this error. Followed the steps in this article and it WORKED! Thanks a lot!

  113. I have tried these commands but I get the response, “the device is not ready”. Any ideas? Thanks

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