Repartitioning disk crashed the MBR

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by sierradave, Jul 19, 2006.

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  1. sierradave

    sierradave Registered Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    I've had ISR running for a couple of years now, and it's saved me more than once.

    But this morning, I had to use Partition Magic to move a partition. My drive is divided into two virtual drives, C: and F:. I needed to expand the C:. Partition Magic appeared to do that without a problem.

    BUT, upon reboot, the system hangs at the opening FirstRecoveryISR screen--it can't find the Master Boot Record. I'm suspecting that there's something about ISR and PMagic that doesn't like each other.

    Dell Tech Support tells me to run FDISK /MBR to rewrite the MBR. Before I do that, anything anyone can tell me that I'd better know first?

    Thanks in advance.
    County of Nevada, CA
  2. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

    May 15, 2004
    Eastern PA, USA
    They're correct. As part of the manipulation of your system (C) partition, PM modified the Master Boot Record (MBR). If you're running Windows XP, this command would be "fixmbr" from the recovery console. Perhaps FDISK/MBR also works in the Win XP recovery console, I'm not sure. Which version of Windows are you running ?

    Anyways, "fixmbr" or FDISK/MBR, depending on your OS, will restore a STANDARD MBR to your system disk.

    I emphasize STANDARD because FD-ISR modifies the MBR and this is why the manual and Raxco support will tell you that FD-ISR is not compatible with programs that change or otherwise control the MBR.

    The procedure above will restore the STANDARD MBR and so, you will NOT see the FD-ISR pre-boot screen on the first boot after repairing.

    Once you've booted, you can go into FD-ISR management console and you will see that you have to "Enable pre-boot", because it has been disabled by having been overwritten by the standard MBR. After that point, everything, including your FD-ISR MBR and pre-boot screen will be restored.

    BTW, I use both PM (pre-Symantec) and FD-ISR and have dealt with this many times. I don't mind the extra steps when necessary so I continue to use PM sometimes and just PLAN on having to restore the MBR to FD-ISR order.

    A less involved way to preserve the MBR, for future reference, is to do the Tools/Update MBR Floppy procedure to back up just your MBR, as Raxco recommends. Then, if necessary, you follow the instructions in the readme.txt on the floppy to restore your MBR if something happens to it. I haven't used it, so I'm not sure of the precise procedure, but it involves running and executable file that copies the backed up MBR to your boot disk. I recommend reading that readme.txt file as soon as you create the floppy at least once through before tucking it away.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2006
  3. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    You have had a double whammy. :(

    Before redoing partitions I would suggest Disabling PreBoot in FDISR.
    Changing partitions can physically move the .ISR files.

    (As crofftk has noted FDISR needs control of the MBR.
    Do the FDISR MBR back-up and repair MBR as suggested.
    Redo FDISR MBR back-up after any partition changes. There is option for auto reminder as well. )

    First reboot after the partition changes; No FDISR preboot.
    Reenable Prebootthen reboot and FDISR will find its' files.

    First update of secondary snapshots may have multiple errors after partition work. You may even need to delete and recreate secondary snapshots.

    Guard your MBR ;)
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