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Thread: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    4

    Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    I'm a recently A+ certified PC tech and it looks like Im out of luck right now

    I have a Window XP computer (but not the one Im using right now tho) that just now been getting the "Master Boot Record Error" message whenever I turn it on. Ive done everything I can think of

    - I can't get into Safe Mode

    - System Recovery won't work - I get message saying that it can't recover the user parition

    - I have the XP recovery CDs. The internal CD drive so some reason doesn't read any CD you put inside it (this is another issues Ive been trying to figure out prior to this one). So in the meatime, Ive been using an external CD drive via USB. I wanted to use the XP Recovery CDs in the external CD drive, so I went to the BIOS to make ther Removeable device the first booting device and nothing about USB or Flash

    I don't wanna throw in the towel. Are there any other options?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,370

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    Yes, you have to enable USB legacy sort of option as well in your Bios and hopefully when you will restart your pc then you will get some prompt like, "Press any key to boot from cd" or so. Or you can also try to create a usb MBR. Read all instructions on how to do it from this pdf file here.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    4

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    Thanks for the reply.

    Okay, I enabled the USB Legacy in Bios. But when I try to run the first HP Recovery Disk from the external CD drive, I end up with the message "non-system disk or disk error". And when I say the "first HP Recovery Disk" I mean the first of 8. I guess this computer came with a Recovery paritition which had a option to allowed it to be backup on a disk, so the rocovery was backup on a series of disk.

    Ive tried to use the System Recovery (option F10), but I get a message saying that if cannot format the user partition and that it can't continue.


    And if I wanted create a bootable USB flash drive, would i have to do that on another computer and would it work if I have series of Recovery disks?

    I still have my old Windows ME recover disk, do you think I could use it to help fix the master boot record without installing it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,335

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    You might possibly have a bad controller card. Try to do the following:

    1. Disable all boot media except HD in BIOS then try again.
    2. Diasable the HD and use the floppy to boot
    3. Try to exchange the IDE cable with differnet IDE controller

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,680

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    It happens to me when I had formatted by computer and deleted all my partitions. My F10 key does not work because I had deleted the factory partition. Now you have the recovery disk which can help you for sometime. If that also does not work then you can only use Windows installation disc to get back your working operating system back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    4

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    Quote Originally Posted by appy10 View Post
    You might possibly have a bad controller card. Try to do the following:

    1. Disable all boot media except HD in BIOS then try again.
    2. Diasable the HD and use the floppy to boot
    3. Try to exchange the IDE cable with differnet IDE controller
    1 & 2 didn't work

    Ima make #3 the last resort.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    4

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    Quote Originally Posted by SalVatore View Post
    It happens to me when I had formatted by computer and deleted all my partitions. My F10 key does not work because I had deleted the factory partition. Now you have the recovery disk which can help you for sometime. If that also does not work then you can only use Windows installation disc to get back your working operating system back.
    The computer is saying that the Recovery disks I made are "non-system disks" - I put them in my other computer and there are system files on it though. The XP computer didnt come with an installation disc. The only installation disc I have is from my old Windows ME.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    991

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    So I think you are not able to use internal CD drive but can use external drive? If this is possible then you can use Windows ME disk and boot from it. Now follow the prompts unless you reach a point where you are asked to repair or enter into the recovery console or something similar. Select the recovery console by typing "R". Now type "fixmbr" at the command prompt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,085

    Re: Master Boot Record Error in Windows XP - really need some help

    You need to use the steps that is to follow the prompt to get the point to repair and under recovery console or close. You should then select the option for recovery console and select R for the same. Type fixmbr.

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