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Windows 7: How to edit track 0 but keep MBR intact

11 May 2013   #1
Westmalle

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 
How to edit track 0 but keep MBR intact

My PC works fine but I want to remove Nalpeiron security traces in sector 0 (located outside the MBR) from my PC. So my MBR is ok.
Win 7 runs on Raid 0 (2 1Tb drives used for that) and I have another 1Tb for datastorage available on the PC (can also be used to system backup for security reasons).
Who can help me to edit sector 0 as I have no knowledge at all about hex or lay-out of sector 0. So with a HEX editor in my hand I have no clue what I am doing.
In another forum someone figured out what I would like to accomplish:
"wipe out the track 0 except the MBR (in fact, only the sector(s) starting with FFC99A3B hex value, usually 60-63 physical)". Microsoft seems to have a tool called sector inspector which should be able to do this, but I have no clue how to apply this.
Can someone help me by providing step by step guidelines? I do have a good working system and would like to maintain that; I just would like to remove Nalpeiron traces in sector 0.
Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2013   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Nalpeiron is is used to copy protect certain software. Why do you wish to uninstall it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2013   #3
Westmalle

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 

Wiping out the Nalpeiron information in sector 0 will cause the Nalpeiron security to stop working and as such the software. I no longer use the Nalpeiron software. However the Nalpeiron traces can cause problems with Windows (there have been issues with Win 8 and Nalpeiron in sector 0). I would like to remove the Nalpeiron from my PC completly to avoid any potential issues before they arise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2013   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Why not just stop the service, instead of tampering with the disk sectors?

1. Hit windows key + R to open Run command.
2. Type in msconfig.exe and hit enter
3. go to the Services tab on the top
4. Uncheck the "Nalpeiron Licensing Service (Nalpeiron Ltd.)
5. Click Apply
6. Restart the computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2013   #5
Westmalle

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 

In order to remove Nalpeiron one need to wipe out certain parts of sector 0. Nalpeiron causes sometimes problems on PC's. As an example with SDL Strados software (which uses the Nalpeiron security). There is a thread on the SDL Strados company which involves participation of the SDL Strados support staff that concludes that the only way to remove Nalpeiron side effects is to remove it from the sector 0.
Here is the link in case you would like to read about it and see that disabling the service will not do the job. License Table Altered (SDL Trados support)

My original request was how to edit certain parts of sector 0. Could you help me with that? I hope I clarified why I ask the question and that stopping services will not do the job. Cleaning certain parts of sector 0 will prevent any software depending on Nalpeiron to run (as you can read in the SDL Strados discussion). Just like removing the 4 wheels of a car will for sure prevent the car from driving.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2013   #6
gregrocker

 

It's a bit above our pay grade but someone may know. If not what might work is to save an image of the HD using the premium Acronis imaging/cloning app which comes free with any WD drive in the mix. WD Acronis free cloning app - The Manual is there with the download and easy to understand.

Then wipe the HD with Diskpart Clean Command to clear the boot sector and MBR, reimage it choosing not to save Track 0 and MBR, then write a new MBR by marking your boot partition Active then running Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times - the same repair which always works if a newly-reimaged WIn7 will not start, as it won't if you don't replace Track0 and MBR. Partition - Mark as Active

Otherwise I'd Clean Reinstall after wiping the HD and avoid the problematic software if possible.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2013   #7
Westmalle

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 

Dear Gregrocker: I am amazed by your knowledge. It took me quite some time on Google to better realise the valuable information you provide me. Plesase be aware that I am just a beginner. I think I can perform your guideline steps (with many hours of Google guidance and patience - but one is never too old to learn!) and also am aware that your suggested steps are a very secured way do solve the issue. I highly appreciate your support !!

Pleae forgive me if I sound stubborn (English is also not my motherlanguage) but I think that overwriting parts of the sector 0 outside the MBR area with an Hex editor (e.g. HxD) requires just one or a few commands to accomplish. It will save also a lot of time and steps to perform compared to your solution. So would it not be easier to just issue some Hex editor commands (e.g. with HxD) to perform the task of overwriting parts of sector 0 and keep the MBR intact. I am interested in wipe out the track 0 except the MBR (in fact, only the sector(s) starting with FFC99A3B hex value, usually 60-63 physical).

There is a tool called sector inspector from Microsoft that easily can do the job, but it is not certified for Win 7.

So is there a set of Hex editor (e.g. HxD) commands I can use to accomplish the task?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2013   #8
Westmalle

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 

I think I found a solution that cleans sector 0 and leaves the MBR intact. As I am not an experienced Win 7 user I highly appreciate input from more experienced users to the soltuion I think I found.
MBR Tool from MBRtool manual has the option
/CT0 - clean track 0.
A disk must be selected (/DSK:0 - /DSK:3). This option will clean track 0 on disk. This means that track 0 will be wiped except for the MBR. This can be used to remove disk-overlay leftovers or to clear the MBRtool backups. This would also wipe signatures left by for instance Symantec Ghost or Powerquest Partition Magic.


Any experiences with MBR Tool ? Any thoughts/considerations/warnings on the usage of it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2013   #9
pallesenw

Windows
 
 

You just need to write back standard mbr program code. Bootrec can do that.

Inactive code outside the mbr has no effect, if there are no references to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2013   #10
Westmalle

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 

Hi Pallesenw, Thanks for your input. I checked the options for Bootrec on the Microsoft website but could not find an option that cleans sector 0. In my situation replacing the MBR has no use as my machine operates fine with the current MBR. I am trying to achive to clean leftovers in sector 0 outside the MBR so my system is clean there to avoid future problems before they arise. The leftovers I have on my system are known to be causing problems (e.g. Win 8 install or the Strados example above).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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