A Master Boot Record (MBR) in your computer system is the 512 byte boot sector that is the first sector of a partitioned data storage device such as a hard disk. It MBR plays an important role in disk partitioning, system bootstrapping, and disk identity. It is the main program that is used for bootstrapping the operating system after BIOS executes the machine code instructions. The MBR is located in the Main Boot Record area in front of the first partition. Sometimes, the first sector of the partition gets corrupted. This can happen because of various reasons such as virus infections, power fluctuations, damaged operating system, abrupt system shutdown, etc. In such situations, the system gets corrupted and fails to boot. In such cases, you should look to use a third-party partition recovery software to recover partition from its corrupt state.
Consider a scenario wherein your system fails to boot up when you switch it on. A black screen is displayed and either of the error message is displayed:
Operating system not found
Missing operating system
There could be following causes for the mentioned error messages:
The hard disk is not detected by the basic input/output system (BIOS).
Sector 0 of the physical hard disk drive has an incorrect master boot record (MBR).
An incompatible partition is marked as Active.
The system drive is no active.
The hard disk is damaged.
To resolve the issue, you should perform the following methods:
Configure the BIOS settings and check whether the BIOS recognizes the hard disk. Save the settings and restart the computer. If the error is still there, then it is a hardware related error and cannot be resolved by the BIOS settings.
Use the fixmbr command to repair the master boot record of the system drive.
However, if you are still not able to address the issue then you should use a third-party Windows partition recovery software to recover Windows partition. Such tools are read-only in nature and do not overwrite the original data while scanning the damaged area.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software is a partition recovery tool that enables you to recover lost or formatted partitions. It can recover data from various file systems such as FAT16, FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5. This partition recovery software is packaged with a Boot CD that is pretty handy when the system is unable to boot. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, 2003 Server, XP, and 2000.
Recover corrupt partition in case of corrupt MBR