The Master Boot Record (MBR) is a small program that is run when a computer boots up. It resides on the first sector of the hard disk. It contains the partition table for the disk apart from having a program called Master Boot Code. This program is responsible for locating the bootable partition in the system. When it is executed successfully, the partition boot sector is mounted and Windows is loaded in the system.
Hence, it is imperative that MBR should be healthy for the well being of the system. However, sometimes the MBR gets corrupted, thereby making the Windows inaccessible. This could happen because of various reasons such as virus infections, human errors, power outages, etc. In such cases, you should consider taking appropriate measures to recover Windows files. However, if you are not able to fix the issue then you should use a third-party Windows data recovery software to recover Windows.
Consider a scenario wherein you switch on your Windows XP computer system and it fails to boot. This means that all the data stored in the system becomes inaccessible.
The most possible cause for this situation is that either the master boot record is damaged or overwritten by some virus.
To address this issue, you can use the Recovery Console using the Windows XP CD. To do this, you need to perform the following steps:
Boot the system with the Windows XP CD.
Press R to start the Recovery Console.
To use the fixmbr utility, type
where [device_name] is the device pathname of the drive for which you want to write a new MBR.
The aforementioned steps will help you in writing a new MBR for the default boot drive. However, if you are not able to fix this issue then you should consider connecting the problem hard disk to another computer, and using a third-party Windows data recovery tool to recover Windows files. Such read-only tools are capable of recovering lost data from corrupted Windows systems without overwriting the original data.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software is a robust tool that enables you to recover lost, deleted, or formatted data. It is capable of recovering more than 185 different types of files from both NTFS and FAT file systems. It is also able to recover lost and deleted emails from Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. It lets you recover lost data from various storage media such as hard drives, memory cards, external hard drives, pen drives, etc. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000.
Recovering Windows XP after Master Boot Record is