How To: Repair And Restore Windows Vista Master Boot Record (MBR)
The Master Boot Record (MBR) will be created when you create the first partition on the hard disk. It is very important data structure on the hard disk drive. The Master Boot Record contains the Partition Table for the hard disk and a small amount of executable code for the Windows Vista boot start. The location of Master Boot Record files is always the first sector on the hard disk.When you start your Windows Vista computer, the BIOS (basic input/output system) looks for the MBR on the first sector of your hard drive. The MBR tells the BIOS which partition on the hard drive contains the operating system.
When we try to boot after hardware testing procedures, we see just blank screen without any messages. It means the piece of code at the beginning of the MBR could not be executed properly. That’s why even error messages could not be displayed.Also when we try to boot into Windows Vista, we see an error message like “Operating System not found” and this error occurs with a broken Master Boot Record (MBR).
To Restore corrupted Windows Vista Master Boot Record(MBR),follow the simple procedures.
You can use the Bootrec.exetool in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) to troubleshoot and repair the following items in Windows Vista:
- A master boot record (MBR)
- A boot sector
- A Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store
Note When you are troubleshooting startup issues by using the Windows RE, you should first try the Startup Repair option in the System Recovery Options dialog box. If the Startup Repair option does not resolve the issue, or if you must troubleshoot more steps manually, use the Bootrec.exe tool.
To run the Bootrec.exe tool, you must start Windows RE. To do this, follow these steps:
- Put your Windows Vista installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
- Press a key when you are prompted.
- Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.
- Click Repair your computer.
- Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
- In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
- Type “Bootrec.exe”, (without the quotes) and then press ENTER.
Note: To start the computer from your Windows Vista installation DVD, your computer must be configured from BIOS to start from the DVD drive
The Bootrec.exe tool supports the following options. Use the option that is appropriate for your situation.
The /FixMbr option writes a Windows Vista-compatible MBR to the system partition. This option does not overwrite the existing partition table. Use this option when you must resolve MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove non-standard code from the MBR.
The /FixBoot option writes a new boot sector to the system partition by using a boot sector that is compatible with Windows Vista. Use this option if one of the following conditions is true.
- The boot sector has been replaced with a non-standard Windows Vista boot sector.
- The boot sector is damaged.
- An earlier Windows operating system has been installed after Windows Vista was installed. In this scenario, the computer starts by using Windows NT Loader (NTLDR) instead of Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe).
The /ScanOs option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, this option displays the entries that are currently not in the BCD store. Use this option when there are Windows Vista installations that the Boot Manager menu does not list.
The /RebuildBcd option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, this option lets you select the installations that you want to add to the BCD store. Use this option when you must completely rebuild the BCD.
Note: If rebuilding the BCD does not resolve the startup issue, you can export and delete the BCD, and then run this option again. By doing this, you make sure that the BCD is completely rebuilt. To do this, type the following commands at the Windows RE command prompt:
- bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
- cd boot
- attrib bcd -s -h -r
- ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
- bootrec /RebuildBcd
Note: If you are running a RAID array, if this does not help and you are recieving errors. Check in your BIOS and make sure the BIOS did not convert back to IDE.Windows Vista needs to see the compleate MBR, In a RAID setup the MBR is split between two drives.