In this blog I have tried to describe how MBR (Master Boot Record) can be restored in Windows XP. The methods compiled here are simple and correct until date. It is, however, advised that these should be followed correctly to avoid facing problems. This will eventually save their time as well as money that would otherwise be spent looking for Microsoft technical support.
Before you begin, keep the original Windows XP installation\setup media (CD\DVD) and the manuals handy. Manuals are needed only for your assistance. If you don’t have the original disk, then download one from the official Microsoft website or a torrent one and burn it to a disk or floppy drive of your choice.
Insert the disk into the drive and boot computer. When prompted, choose to boot from the desired drive like CDROM or Floppy Drive etc. When the Window setup appears, hit the R key on the keyboard. This will bring up the black Command Prompt window.
If you have multiple operating systems (OS) installed on your PC, choose the desired one from the list using the Up or Down arrow keys on the keyboard. If there is only one OS loaded, then type 1 (use the number one key) on then hit the Enter key.
When prompted, type the admin password and hit the Enter key again. Remember, if you entered a wrong password, you will not be able to make changes at all. Now when you see the normal prompt like C:\WINDOWS (after entering a correct password), type ‘fixmbr’ (without quotes and as is) and then hit the Enter key.
If prompted with warning messages and confirmation, type ‘y’ (use the Y key on the keyboard) and then hit Enter. It will make way for creating a new MBR by replacing the damaged one. Wait until you see a success message. Type ‘exit’ and then hit Enter to exit the Command Prompt window or click on the ‘X’ button at the extreme top right hand corner.
The abovementioned procedure will work only if your Windows XP OS came preinstalled with the Recovery Console tool. However, if your OS didn’t come preinstalled with this feature, then you can use it directly from your original Windows XP setup disk. Follow the same abovementioned procedure to boot from disk and reach Command Prompt. Select the OS or type 1 for single OS selection and then type the password. Thereafter, type ‘recovery console’ and hit Enter. It will bring up the list of Recovery Console commands that can be used to fix the MBR problem. You can also add the Recovery Console feature to the Windows Startup screen.