MBR - Restore Windows 7 Master Boot Record

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  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
       #290

    well. the 100MB partiion is on an older drive (must have been a boot drive on one of my older systems).
    I took out the drives and put them in another computer and my system drive is dead.
    it is still under warrenty, but it that does not help with the data.

    Anyway thanks for the assistance, Partition Wizard is a good tool and i can use it.


    Thanks.,

    Zino
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 7
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
       #291

    well the partiion that was there was from an old drive, I took out the system drive and put in another computer and it is dead .... oh well.... thanks for the help and Partion Wizard is a good find. I can use it.

    Thanks,
    Zino
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 2,736
    ...
    Thread Starter
       #292

    Zino1 said:
    well the partiion that was there was from an old drive, I took out the system drive and put in another computer and it is dead .... oh well.... thanks for the help and Partion Wizard is a good find. I can use it.

    Thanks,
    Zino
    You are most welcome!

    Yes, unfortunately hard drives do fail. Backups are always a good idea.

    Also for future installations of Windows 7, it is helpful to only have the hard drive you wish to put the OS on connected. It much easier to add OSs to a dual boot menu afterwards for example. Having parts of your system scattered across different hard drives gets annoying.

    Cheers!
    Robert
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 229
    Windows 7 64 bit
       #293

    I am not sure if I need to start a new thread I have an external hard drive SATA.. I can see it in the management panel but it is telling me its offline and not initialized..seems nothing I can do The MBR is corrupt or damaged...Hard disk Re-generator informs me Can I restore the MBR in any way on this drive.. If I cannot do that how can I format the damaged drive if indeed it can be formatted ..can anyone help or guide me please
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 2,736
    ...
    Thread Starter
       #294

    artinusa said:
    I am not sure if I need to start a new thread I have an external hard drive SATA.. I can see it in the management panel but it is telling me its offline and not initialized..seems nothing I can do The MBR is corrupt or damaged...Hard disk Re-generator informs me Can I restore the MBR in any way on this drive.. If I cannot do that how can I format the damaged drive if indeed it can be formatted ..can anyone help or guide me please
    Hello artinusa!

    I would suggest putting the hard drive into a computer and checking it out there, if possible. Use the Hard Drive Utilities from a manufacturer as often suggested here to see whether the hard drive is useable at all. If it can be used, then try to connect it as an external again.

    If you need further assistance you could start a new thread in "Hardware and Devices".

    Cheers!
    Robert
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 2
    windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
       #295

    Thank you


    Hi

    After installing a new SSD and new windows 7, I got a boot up error saying boot from cd: system disk failure please inset disc.

    After trying everything including a new OS disk, system repair tools multiple times, command prompt with bootrec fix, bcd rebuild, diskpart active and reinstalling about & times. Also using easybcd etc. Your solution is the only one that worked.

    I've been looking and trying solutions for a week and 2 days. So you must imagine that I have tried some crazy fixes.

    I would just like to say thank you, seriously thank you man. you saved my home business.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 2,736
    ...
    Thread Starter
       #296

    kyuubimk said:
    Hi

    After installing a new SSD and new windows 7, I got a boot up error saying boot from cd: system disk failure please inset disc.

    After trying everything including a new OS disk, system repair tools multiple times, command prompt with bootrec fix, bcd rebuild, diskpart active and reinstalling about & times. Also using easybcd etc. Your solution is the only one that worked.

    I've been looking and trying solutions for a week and 2 days. So you must imagine that I have tried some crazy fixes.

    I would just like to say thank you, seriously thank you man. you saved my home business.
    Welcome to Windows Seven Forums, kyuubimk! I am so glad you found a solution that worked for you. Thanks for letting us know!

    Backups are always a good idea as well!

    Cheers!
    Robert
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 3
    Windows 7 Professional x64
       #297

    I need some help fixing my main partition, which has Windows 7 x64 installed. I do not have any other OS's installed on this PC. I have two SSD's with one partition each - a primary one that contains Windows, and a secondary drive/partition for general storage. There is no 100MB reserved partition. I need some advice as to what to try next. I have a long summary of symptoms below, but I've tried other steps, as well, to no avail. Based on TestDisk, it looks like the OS partition still has all the files intact, but I that my partition table and/or MBR are messed up.

    I should note that bootsect and bootrec commands from the Command Prompt (from the OS DVD > Startup Repair) have not helped... probably due to my OS partition not being recognized as formatted in NTFS.

    A few days ago, I was infected with what seems to be (after some research) a TDL4 rootkit. I was doing some browsing and opened a few links, when Firefox crashed on me. I restarted Firefox (and reopened the same tabs I was on before), and then Firefox "crashed" on me again. Except that the process was still running. After a couple of seconds, I saw a stream of error messages pop up ("write errors" or something). As I closed them, some other mysterious pop-up quickly came up that I accidentally clicked on. The PC instantly restarted. Instead of booting to Windows, I was taken directly to Startup Repair.

    Originally, Startup Repair would launch right away (without having the Windows DVD in my optical drive). I don't remember whether or not it saw the OS partition - I believe not.

    I think the root of my problem is that I tried using TestDisk (from a LiveCD) too early and unsafely. I tried a couple of the available options which I thought seemed safe enough, after which I could only get to the Startup Repair tool from the Windows DVD. I probably messed around too much with an already messed-up Boot Manager / MBR.

    After doing some reading online, I started looking for a small partition that wasn't previously available. I didn't see it on the hard-drive where Windows is installed, so I thought I was free of rootkits. Then, I noticed it in GParted on my second hard-drive - a ~2MB hidden partition with the "boot" flag enabled. I promptly deleted it, but it didn't solve my problems.

    Attempting to start Windows from my SSD gives me a "Windows failed to start" error:
    Status: 0xc000000e
    Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.

    Alternatively, especially after trying to make some changes, I may get a "BOOTMGR is missing" error, instead. After such errors, running the automatic System Restore from the Windows DVD gets me back to the "Windows failed to start" error, after it supposedly does repairs to my partition table.

    Currently, when running Startup Repair from the Windows DVD:
    1st step shows Windows installed on an unknown partition of 0 MB.
    Running the automatic startup repair on the following step gives me a "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically" error. Problem details include:
    "Problem Event Name: StartupRepairOffline
    Problem Signature 01: 6.1.7600.16385
    ...
    Problem Signature 07: CorruptBootConfigData
    ..."

    Attempting to run (automatic) System Restore gives me the following error:
    "There was an unexpected error:
    The parameter is incorrect. (0x80070057)
    Please close System Restore and try again."

    Based on the Command Prompt, C: is assigned to the only partition on my secondary drive.
    D: is assigned to the actual OS drive, but attempting to access it gives me this error:
    "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable."

    Using "diskpart" from the Command Prompt, I see that the D partition looks like it's formatted as "RAW" and does not have a Label, although the Status is shown as Healthy.

    Based on GParted (run from a LiveCD), both of my partitions (1 on each SSD) are showing up, formatted as NTFS and with the "boot" (active) flags enabled. There is nothing suspicious in TestDisk, either, and it shows the partition as healthy and formatted as NTFS.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 2,736
    ...
    Thread Starter
       #298

    Hello shleepy, and welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

    Your description is very complete and very much appreciated. It does raise some questions for me, but first be assured the techs here will try to assist you as best as we can with your issues. Also, if you could capture a screenshot of the GParted drive map and post it, that may be of help to us.

    My first recommendation would be to disconnect all drives but the one with the OS. Then reinstall Windows Seven and apply your backup to restore your computer because this would take much less time, possibly, than trying to figure out what has happened. Hopefully, when you reconnect the second drive, the data will be available to you.

    If that isn't going to work for you, I must make some guesses as I am not there. First, if you had both hard drives installed when you installed Windows Seven, then the 2MB hidden partition you identified on the "second hard drive" may have been the "hidden system reserved partition" needed to boot to Windows. Since the repair utilities are copied into that partition and you were unable to boot to startup repair after deleting the partition, my guess is you deleted the boot code from your computer when you deleted the partition. When Windows installs, it puts the "system reserved" partition on the "0" drive based on what the BIOS reports during bootup, and not on what hard drive you choose to be the OS drive. It is a good practice then to only have one hard drive connected when installing Windows Seven to maintain control of what happens.

    You might be able to restore your boot code if you were to have only the Windows Seven hard drive connected, verify the Windows Seven partition is marked active, and perform the "Startup Repair' at least 2 times and perhaps more. This would put the boot code in the Windows Seven partition and eliminate the need for the "system reserved" partition and possibly restore bootup. Then when you reconnect the second hard drive, make sure there are no partitions on it marked "Active" as you only want one bootable partition on your computer as you only have one OS. (I have questions about your statement: "both of my partitions (1 on each SSD) are showing up, formatted as NTFS and with the "boot" (active) flags enabled" as the hard drive with the "data partition" does not need to be "active" or bootable. This may have been confusing your repair attempts.)

    If none of these steps restore booting to Windows and you wish to persue the rootkit issue, I recommend moving this post to the "System Security" area for more help on that. Please let me know and I can take care of that for you.

    Cheers!
    Robert
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 3
    Windows 7 Professional x64
       #299

    Thanks, Robert.
    I have a small but significant update... After using an EaseUS live CD, I managed to get my "Windows partition" visible in the System Repair tool (i.e., I no longer see it as "RAW" or corrupt). The EaseUS live CD actually allowed me to run chkdsk on that partition and fixed some corrupt files. So, in System Repair the appropriate drive is now visible as C, while the secondary drive is D.

    That said, I'm still not having any luck with bootrec or bootsect. Without the Windows DVD, attempting to boot from my SSD's gives me the usual BOOTMGR IS MISSING error. (Automatic) Startup Repair seems to do the same thing, regardless of how many times in a row I let it run, but does not seem to fix anything.

    I should mention that running most of the bootrec commands results an an "Element not found" error. Specifically:
    /fixmbr results in "The operation completed successfully."
    /fixboot results in "Element not found."
    /rebuildbcd does a scan that correctly identifies a Windows installation on C:\Windows. But pressing "Yes" to add installation to boot list results in "Element not found."

    Oh, and you seem to be right about the two SSD's being plugged in at time of installation probably messing something up. I noticed that C: is missing \boot, but that it is present on D:, which has never had a Windows installation.
    I do think that the ~2MB partition I deleted was something created by the rootkit, though... I never noticed it before, and it was not the usual 100MB size.
    Also, I cannot get rid of the "Active" flags on either C: or D:. If I get rid of the flag in GParted, it returns when I restart the computer. I thought that one partition had to be active per physical drive, anyway, and that it doesn't necessarily indicate that an OS will boot from there - just that the partition takes priority.... Am I wrong?

    I'll try a couple more things before giving up and reinstalling Windows. However, I do feel better now that C: partition files are accessible, and I can copy any of the things that I did not back up to an external drive. Any last minute suggestions are very welcome. :)
      My Computer


 
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