A Master Boot Record (MBR) is the 512-byte boot sector that is the first sector of a partitioned data storage device such as a hard disk. It has a significant role in system bootstrapping, disk identity, and disk partitioning. It is the main program that is used for bootstrapping the operating system after BIOS executes the machine code instructions. Sometimes, the first sector of the partition gets corrupted because of various reasons such as power fluctuations, human errors, abrupt system shutdown, virus infections, damaged operating system, etc. In such situations, you should use the Recovery Console to fix the MBR to resolve the issue. However, if you are unable to solve the issue then you should use a third-party partition recovery software to recover Windows partition.
Consider a scenario wherein your Windows XP system fails to boot up when you start it. An error message is displayed, that is:
Operating system not found.
Missing operating system.
And when you start the computer from Recovery Console to fix the errors, you will get the following error message:
Setup did not find any hard drives installed on your computer.
There could be various reasons for such behaviour such as:
The hard disk is damaged.
An incompatible partition is marked as Active.
Sector 0 of the physical hard disk drive has an incorrect or malformed master boot record (MBR).
A partition that contains the MBR is no longer active.
The basic input/output system (BIOS) does not detect the hard disk.
To resolve this issue, you can perform the following methods:
Verify the BIOS settings: Check whether your system's BIOS settings are proper to make sure that BIOS lists and recognizes the hard disk.
Use Recovery Console: Use the Recovery Console to run the fixmbr command to repair the MBR of the system drive.
The aforementioned methods should be able to resolve the error message. However, if you are unable to address the situation then you should use a third-party Windows partition recovery software to recover the partition. Such read-only tools are able to recover data using fast yet sophisticated scanning algorithms.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software is a partition recovery software that enables you to recover lost, deleted, or formatted partitions. It is able to recover data from both FAT and NTFS file systems. In addition, this partition recovery software is able to recover deleted emails from MS Outlook and Outlook Express. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and Server 2000.
Recovering corrupt partition in Windows XP system