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Windows 7: MBR Missing, but no operating system to choose when I try to repair

12 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
MBR Missing, but no operating system to choose when I try to repair

So last night I was listening to iTunes when all of a sudden my music stopped and the hard drive light stayed on steadily. I decided to reboot the computer, and lo and behold when the BIOS splash screen went away, it said the "master boot record missing, press ctrl + alt + del to reboot" or something to that effect.

I quickly looked up how to repair this, and it seems like the Windows 7 installation disc is really good about repairing problems nowadays, so I gave that a shot after following instructions on some website. I hit "repair my computer" and then I tried to choose an operating system, but there were none in the list! How can I get my operating system to show up so I can choose to repair it using the installation disc?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #2

W7x64 Ult.

I had something like that happen and it turned out to be the controller on the SSD. Beware early Sandforce.........Hope your problem is not the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Ugh, I am using a Crucial 128 GB SSD. It's only 7 months old and supposedly very reliable. Do you think my SSD is toast?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Jul 2012   #4

W7x64 Ult.

I am not sure but I don't think Crucial used Sandforce. I'm am sure that if you do a search of your model number there will be something......Hopefully good! Mine was a Mushkin and was 9 months old.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

Follow the tutorial (method 2) : Partition - Mark as Active

Mark the Windows partition (diskpart must to find it) as active . Then run startup repair, for at least three times with restart after every single run.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Problem solved. The SSD needed to be power cycled. The reason I was getting the MBR missing error was because the SSD wasn't being recognized by the BIOS. As a result, the computer was trying to boot from my external HD, which has nothing on it except data.

Anyway, after unplugging the external HD and leaving the computer off overnight, it booted up fine this morning with a "Windows did not shut down normally" warning message. Things seem fine now. Lesson learned, however: Ordered a large HD to run more stable nightly backups to from now on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

In case others stumble across this thread and have an SSD with similar problems, I wanted to add a bit of information. For those not familiar with an SSD power cycle:

SSD Power Cycle:
The following steps should be carried out and take ~1 hour to complete.
  1. Power off the system.
  2. Remove all power supplies (ac adapter then battery for laptop, ac adapter for desktop)
  3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and drain all components of power.
  4. Reconnect all power supplies (battery then ac adapter for laptop, ac adapter for desktop)
  5. Turn on the system and enter the BIOS (see your manual for the steps to enter the BIOS)
  6. Let the computer remain in the BIOS for 20 minutes.
  7. Follow steps 1-3 and physically remove the SSD from the system by disconnecting the cables for a desktop or disconnecting the drive from the junction for a laptop.
  8. Leave the drive disconnected for 30 seconds to let all power drain from it.
  9. Replace the drive connection(s) and then do steps 4-8 again.
  10. Repeat steps 1-4.
  11. Start your computer normally and run Windows.

The above steps were a result of: Why did my SSD "disappear" from my system? - Crucial Community

While that may not be your drive, a power cycle should be the same on all SSD drives. See how the system responds after the SSD power cycle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 MBR Missing, but no operating system to choose when I try to repair

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