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

13 May 2013   #11

Win7 Ultimate X64

Im with Greg formatting HDD and reimaging would be the easiest solution, then windows startup repair will rebuild the rest for you
Take a full system image before you start and you got nothing to lose :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2013   #12


I'm referring to fixmbr.

Why do you think inactive code outside the mbr will conflict with anything? Maybe if you want to install Nalpeiron again later, there might be something to think about, because it might look for data there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2013   #13

Windows 7 Pro-x64

I don't normally suggest tinkering with disk mods but I've been using Active Disk Editor from LSoft Technologies. The link is the free version. I have their NTFS Data Recovery package that includes several disk utilities including the disk editor and a partition editor. Slick stuff but use at your own risk. What's really nice about it is that you can see and learn a lot about how various data blocks are identified.

Attached Thumbnails
How to edit track 0 but keep MBR intact-disk-editor.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 May 2013   #14

Win 7 Pro 64

Hi All,

I solved my question by using an Hex editor (HxD) and manually applied the desired action to the sectors in track 0. I decided to go for this option as I felt confident after studying a lot of examples on how to do this. However, all who contributed in helping me triggered me to sort out things and learn from them. As a newbie I do not have the knowledge you guys have and I am thankfull that thanks to your help I learned so much more about Windows. One is never too old to learn. Again: Many thanks to all of you !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2015   #15

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

Hi Westmalle, any chance of some details about the actual procedure for wiping track 0 in the hex editor? I'm in the same situation and don't know what to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2015   #16

Win 7 Pro 64


I use the HxD hexeditor. Once installed you open with right click to activate administrator rights. Once in HxD go to menuoption Extras and open disk. Be carefull as you now can edit sectors !!! If you do not know what you are doing leave the program !!!!!! But now you can jump to each desired sector and overwrite values at any desired offset location. I typically overwrite by using the 0. Once the changes are applied I leave the HxD editor and restart the PC. In my case I overwrite the sectors I want to blank out.
So the first thing you must sort out is which sectors you want to change, then use HxD to apply the changes you want to implement. I hope this helps you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2015   #17

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi websurfer0,

Welcome to SevenForums.

Westmalle's last post was on 15 May 2013 and that was his last activity. He hasn't logged in since then.So I don't think he is going to answer your query.

If you know what to edit in Sector 0, then you can use bootice to do that.

If yours is a 32bit system then download the x86 version. Extract the BOOTICEx86_v1.321.rar into a folder named bootice32. It will be a single BOOTICEx86.exe which you will click to run. (I would advise you to create the bootice folder on a pendrive, extract the rar file into it and run booticeX86.exe from that pendrive.)

Select your correct drive and then click on Sector Edit. It will straightaway show you Sector 0. Select the field which you want to edit, type the hexadecimal you want to put. After you finish editing, click on the save button in the Toolbar to write it to the disk.

Familiarise yourself on how to use bootice here:


1. Before you make any changes to Sector 0, back it up first. (By default Bootice will save it to the folder in which it is resident and in this case into the bootice folder in the pendrive.) If you muckup Sector 0 you can restore it with the backup.

2.If you are modifying Sector 0 of your system drive and if you muck it up, your system may become unbootable. To restore the backup from your pendrive, you may have to run bootice from a WinPE disk with bootice in it.

EDIT: Oh! What a surprise! I see Westmalle here.And he has posted. (Our posts crossed.) The OP can choose HexEditor or Bootice whichever he wants, But I would think bootice is a lot easier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2015   #18

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

Hi guys, thank you both very much for your answers! However, I will stay with HxD because Westmalle did what I want to do in that program.

So, @Westmalle - I am trying to do exactly what you did. In fact, I found your question here by googling the very same post from Proz that you quoted.

Now, I have opened the HxD editor and I have my disk opened in it. What I still don't understand is - which numbers represent "track 0"? Is track 0 a row or a column? HxD has marked sectors, but which numbers represent tracks? To quote the poster on Proz: "wipe out the track 0 except the MBR (in fact, only the sector(s) starting with FFC99A3B hex value, usually 60-63 physical)" - I need to find that track. I'm grateful for any help you can give.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2015   #19

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

No problem.

While you wait for WestMalle, please do the following and check.

1. Open the physical disk in HxD. Leave "Open as Readonly" checked as it is. That means you won't be able to write anything to the disk even if you try to.

2. Using the Right arrow, increment and go to Sector 63 and examine it. Does it appear like this with NTFS marked?

How to edit track 0 but keep MBR intact-06-08-2015-17-56-54.jpg

If yes that will be the volume boot sector where your first partition begins. If you modify anything in it, you will lose that partition and won't be able to access it.

3. Now decrement and go to sector 62, 61, and 60 and examine each sector. The sector/s that start with FF C9 9A 3B is most probably the one that carries the license information and that is the one most probably you have to zero and write to the disk to get rid of it.

Just report and wait for Westmalle to give further instructions on how to zero it and save it to disk.( I hadn't done that with HxD so far, for I had always used Bootice to modify/ write/ save/ restore in all my experiments on HDDs)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to edit track 0 but keep MBR intact

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