Repair MBR?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bgoodman4, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Decided to start a new thread on this question rather than add it to existing active threads because its focus is a bit different. I am running a Win XP Sp3 where the install files are on the PC in a 2nd partition. Thus there is no install CD that I can use to fix the MBR if nec. In this case how would I repair the MBR? No need for me to do this at this time but I may need to do so in the future. Better to find out now than when I HAVE to do it.

    Sorry if this is a foolish question but I am learning and this is new for me.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you have a TI image backup of the drive or any of the partitions, you could restore the MBR from that.

    You could borrow an XP CD and use it or you could download an MBR repair floppy image or ISO. However, this would replace the MBR code with standard code (or whatever the code was for the method you used) and not the original code (which should be in your TI image). If you don't have a custom MBR then this isn't a problem.
     
  3. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    It might be an idea to add the console mode to your XP boot list, this would then give you access to all the XP console commands such as fixboot fixmbr etc.

    If the I386 folder is visable to you in either the instal file partition on on your actual C: drive then you can install the console from there, otherwise you'll need to beg and borrow an XP CD.

    Instructions at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

    Colin
     
  4. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Would any XP installation disk be sufficient? I have a Tablet PC that came with install disks but 2 things concern me.

    1: it says on the CD that its only to be used with the PC it was shipped with.

    2: Its a CD for a Tablet PC.

    The first may be nothing more than MS trying to prevent me from using the CD for anything other than restoring the tablet but since the tablet OS is different from the OS on my desktop I am not sure if it would be OK to fix the MBR using this disk.

    I do have and use ATI 11 but my images do not go back far enough to have an image without Norton GoBack having been installed on the PC (I have been using GoBack for many years and it used to be the one of the first things I installed on a new PC). The version I am using (of GoBack) is from 2004 and I would like to switch to a program like RollBack Rx however the info on the RB site says that GoBack will have to be uninstalled and the MBR fixed to get rid of any ref to GoBack. I can live with GoBack if I have to untill I get a new PC but I have been using RB on my tablet and I quite like it so I wouldnt mind also installing a copy on the desktop as well.

    If I use a downloaded MBR repair floppy image or ISO what would happen to my PC if I use it to get rid of GoBack (what kind of problems can I run into)? I have not myself done any modifications to the PC (no partitions etc) but of course there are software programs and hardware that I have added over the years (including ATI of course). Would using one of these images mess with this sort of thing? If not could I trouble you for a link to a place to find these images.

    bodgy, I have no idea what you are talking about but I will take a look at the MS link you provided and see if I can make sense of it.

    Thanks to you both for the info you have provided.

    EDIT: Hummm,,,,took a look at the MS page and backed right off. I am certainly not an advanced user, way beyond what I would risk doing. Before I did that I would take the PC to a tech and pay for the fix. Would rather be able to do it myself of course, its the only way I will learn (or rather its the best way to learn).
     
  5. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    Well yes MS do say for an advanced user, but as you only would need access to fixboot and fixmbr this would be one way of accessing them without having recourse to an XP CD. The recovery Console is exactly the same as that on the XP CD, just installed as a menu option and available form your hard drive - if you use Windows Help, and look up fixmbr and fixboot, you'll see those two commands are not hairy at all :)

    I would be hesitant about using a Tablet PC installation CD due to the fact it might not recognise your XP product key, it may well demand activation as well.

    Are you using a brand name machine that has a hidden restore partition, or do you have a machine that has a visible I386 folder on a seperate partition?

    If the latter, then we can give you instructions on how to make a bootable XP install CD from this, which will have the advantage that it will definitely work with your system. Using the repair option that Bruce mentioned would mean you lose all your service packs and updates apart from those on the install CD. There are ways around this.

    If you do get hold of a XP CD, then after booting with it, you will be asked if you want to perform a repair - select INSTALL (otherwise you will get the recovery console - which is text based like DOS), the installer will then chunk around and hopefully will tell you it has found XP already installed. At this point it will offer you a choice to either Repair or Install.

    This time choose Repair - Windows will then ask you for your product key and then delete the contents of the system folder, then re-install the system folder and reset a couple of registry settings, and remake the MBR.

    Colin
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Actually, now that I think of it the installation files may no longer exist as I had to have the OS reinstalled a while back and I took the PC to a repair shop to get this done. I don't know if they wiped the install files (which I could not access at the time) when they reformatted the drive and if they did or did not reinstall them when they reinstalled the OS. Anyway the PC is a Sony Viao and I do not see anything in Windows Explorer to indicate whats what. Mind you when I setup an ATI backup I see that there is a 2nd partition and it is not empty so it is possible/probable the files do exist. I have never backed this partition up FYI.
     

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