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Windows 7: Is Windows7 (Starter) MBR compatible with Windows XP MBR?

12 Nov 2011   #1
Kapusta Kid

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Is Windows7 (Starter) MBR compatible with Windows XP MBR?

I'm trying to help a friend recover his Windows XP (Professional) Asus Aspire 3000 laptop, which is getting a BSOD Code 'ED' (Unmountable Boot Volume). Months earlier, he had someone else recover by reinstalling Windows XP. In the process, that person blew away the recovery partition which came with the PC when new. I am able to run Linux Mint from a live CD with no problems; everything functions. The person who reinstalled Windows changed 'boot.ini', so, from Linux, I renamed the backup of the old 'boot.ini' and tried that, but I received the same BSOD code.

I have 2 systems of my own, but both are Win7 (1 Starter, 1 Home Premium), and I created recovery DVDs for both. I am considering booting my Win7 Starter recovery DVD on the Asus and running 'chkdsk' and 'fixmbr', which leads to 3 questions:

1) Are 'chkdsk' and 'fixmbr' available on the Recovery system?
2) If I do run 'fixmbr' from the Win7(Starter) recovery DVD, will the MBR still be usable on the XP system?
3) Is the MBR displayable and, if so, which utility should I use to view it?

I am running a surface test on the Asus as I type this, using a bootable utilities CD (Super FDisk). In the end, if the hard drive isn't toast, it appears that we might have to reformat and reinstall Windows XP, but I personally don't have a copy of XP Pro (and the owner of the Asus lost his), so I was hoping for a simpler fix. Of course, my stab at a solution might not even be in the ballpark. Opinions appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

The XP and Vista/7 MBRs are incompatible with each other. However, using a Vista or 7 DVD to fix an XP system's MBR is no problem at all.

Once you boot from the DVD and get to the command prompt, type bootsect /nt52 [XP drive letter:] - for example, bootsect /nt52 E:.

Detailed usage instructions for the bootsect command are here: Bootsect Command-Line Options

(Oh, and yes, chkdsk is available from the recovery environment as are many other commands.) :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

chkdsk will run nicely.
start from your recovery dvd. Perform:
bootsect /nt52 c:
bootsect /nt52 c: /mbr
but it's not a mbr nor bootsector problem. it''s starting windows!! But then bsod
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

How to Fix UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME Blue Screen of Death |
bootsect /nt52 c:
this will fix the bootsector (not your mbr).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #5
Kapusta Kid

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks, Corazon and Kaktussoft. No, it's not an MBR problem -- it IS starting Windows, then BSOD.

I booted from my Win7 Starter recovery DVD and executed 'chkdsk C:', which found 2 bad clusters.
I then executed 'chkdsk C: /F', chkdsk reported that it fixed the bad clusters, but the result was the same: BSOD Code 'ED'.

I reckon my buddy will have to scare up a copy of WinXP and reinstall or, if the failure continues, it looks like he'll need a new HDD (or PC).

BTW, selecting Windows Setup at boot up (without a Windows CD/DVD in the drive) also results in BSOD Code 'ED'. Does that change the possibilities? I suspect not....

Thanks, again.....KK
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is Windows7 (Starter) MBR compatible with Windows XP MBR?

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