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bootrec fixmbr


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#1 klai

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 11:43 AM

In XP you can qualify the fixmbr command for use on secondary drives, like this...

FIXMBR
fixmbr device name
...
You can obtain the device name from the output of the map command. If you do not specify a device name, the MBR of the boot device is repaired, for example:
fixmbr \device\harddisk2

(taken from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058 )

Is there a way to do this using the "bootrec /FixMbr" command in Win7 Recovery Console? Specifically, is there a way to execute this on a secondary physical drive that is not the boot device?

Also in the absence of the map command, how can I see the device names for my drives?

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#2 Broni

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 07:45 PM

I don't think, it's possible in Vista.
Beside, since it's not a bootable drive, MBR is not active, so what's the reason to play with it?

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#3 klai

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:17 PM

The MBR is corrupt and causes errors in scans.

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:20 PM

How to use the Bootrec.exe tool

If you unplugged your primary drive, set your secondary as the Primary Master in the BIOS, then booted off a System Repair Disc, you should be able to run the bootrec commands on the corrupt MBR (without borking your real primary drive).

Never done it myself, but it is theoretically possible. Messing with the MBR can be tricky, but since it isn't your OS drive, then you can't really hurt anything. If the secondary is already borked, "fixing" it can't hurt anything.

If you do what I said, don't forget to plug your primary back in afterward, and set it back as the primary.
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#5 Broni

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:23 PM

What scans are we talking about here?

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#6 keyboardNinja

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:33 PM

What scans are we talking about here?

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, but forgot to ask.
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#7 klai

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:48 AM

If you unplugged your primary drive, set your secondary as the Primary Master in the BIOS, then booted off a System Repair Disc, you should be able to run the bootrec commands on the corrupt MBR (without borking your real primary drive).


That's a great idea. I didn't think of that even though I've used that method in past situations. Upon realizing that Bootrec probably didn't have the option I wanted, I found and used Bootsect instead: bootsect.exe /nt60 D: /mbr

Thanks for the suggestions.

#8 Broni

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 07:31 PM

Just to be clear....

bootsect.exe does not modify the MBR: it only fixes/repairs the bootsector of your Windows Vista partition. The MBR is like a "global bootsector" that tells the BIOS where in the hard-drive it should look for a bootloader. The bootsector, on the other hand, is like a partition-dependant MBR - each operating system can have its own bootsector to tell your system how to boot it.


http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/bootsectexe-modifies-the-bootsector-not-the-mbr/

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#9 klai

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 07:49 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm not sure if it has changed since Vista, but here is the Win7 bootsect help dialog for anyone searching this topic in the future.

bootsect {/help|/nt60|/nt52} {SYS|ALL|<DriveLetter>:} [/force] [/mbr]

Boot sector restoration tool
Bootsect.exe updates the master boot code for hard disk partitions in order to
switch between BOOTMGR and NTLDR.  You can use this tool to restore the boot
sector on your computer.

/help   Displays these usage instructions.

/nt52   Applies the master boot code that is compatible with NTLDR to SYS,
        ALL, or <DriveLetter>.  The operating system installed on SYS, ALL, or
        <DriveLetter> must be older than Windows Vista.

/nt60   Applies the master boot code that is compatible with BOOTMGR to SYS,
        ALL, or <DriveLetter>.  The operating system installed on SYS, ALL, or
        <DriveLetter> must be Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 or later.

SYS     Updates the master boot code on the system partition used to boot
        Windows.

ALL     Updates the master boot code on all partitions.  ALL does not
        necessarily update the boot code for each volume.  Instead, this
        option updates the boot code on volumes that could be used as Windows
        boot volumes, which excludes any dynamic volumes that are not
        connected with an underlying disk partition.  This restriction is
        present because boot code must be located at the beginning of a disk
        partition.

<DriveLetter> Updates the master boot code on the volume associated with this
        drive letter.  Boot code will not be updated if either 1)
        <DriveLetter> is not associated with a volume or 2) <DriveLetter> is
        associated with a volume not connected to an underlying disk
        partition.

/force  Forcibly dismounts the volume(s) during the boot code update.  You
        should use this option with caution.

        If Bootsect.exe cannot gain exclusive volume access then the file
        system may overwrite the boot code before the next reboot.
        Bootsect.exe always attempts to lock and dismount the volume before
        each update.  When /force is specified, a forced dismount is attempted
        if the initial lock attempt fails.  A lock can fail, for example, if
        files on the target volume are currently opened by other programs.

        When successful, a forced dismount allows exclusive volume access and
        a reliable boot code update even though the initial lock failed.  At
        the same time, a forced dismount invalidates all open handles to files
        on the target volume.  This could result in unexpected behavior from
        the programs that opened these files.  Therefore, you should use this
        option with caution.

/mbr    Updates the Master Boot Record without changing the partition table on
        sector 0 of the disk that contains the partition specified by SYS, ALL,
        or drive letter.  When used with /nt52 option, the master boot record
        is compatible with operating systems older than Windows Vista.  When
        used with the /nt60 option, the master boot record is compatible with
        Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 or later.


#10 keyboardNinja

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:13 AM

Glad you got it fixed. :huh:
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