How to Fix the MBR using MBRWizard
"Can you tell me how to fix the MBR on my disk?" This is the question we are most frequently asked, followed only by, "What the heck is an MBR?"
We could repeat the boring definition from Wikipedia, but thought we would give a little more user-friendly information that you can actually understand. Let's break this down a little, and describe the various components of the MBR so we can know how to fix it.
Why is the MBR so important?
MBR stands for Master Boot Record, and encompasses the first sector of your hard drive... serving the following three very important purposes on the disk:
- Contains the actual boot code for the disk, which takes control from the BIOS and turn the boot process over to the operating system. This is where the term Master Boot Record comes from, and implies there are lesser important boot records on the disk (well, maybe not lesser, but there are non-master boot records as well). This boot code is the same for any given version of the MBR, which helps make recovery a little easier when it gets infected or corrupt.
- Contains the disk signature, which helps Windows remember information about a disk between reboots. This allows drive letters to be reassigned to the same partitions after the machine is rebooted.
- Describes the partitions on the disk, such as the types of partitions, their sizes, and the location. This layout is essentially the map of your disk, without which you wouldn't have any partitions, data, or operating system.
What happens when my MBR goes haywire?
Well, specific problems or error messages are directly related to which section of the MBR was damaged, and how bad that damage really is. A changed or missing disk signature may result in no problems at all, or possibly you may see drive letter changes the next time you boot into Windows. Corruption in the boot code provides immediate pain because the machine probably won't boot... but it's also not too difficult to simply repair by replacing the original boot code. The worst case scenario is corruption in the partition table, which essentially misplaces the index to your data, and there is no easy way back. There are a few apps out there for this type of situation, but it's always painful, and I pray you never run up against this problem.
Let's get this MBR fixed!
Let's jump back to corrupt boot code for a minute. If your MBR is corrupt you are probably seeing a blank flashing cursor instead of booting into Windows, or perhaps other common error messages at boot time such as Missing operating system, Error loading operating system, Invalid partition table, or MBR Error 1 or 2, or other similar errors. No need to panic with these messages, as they are most likely resolved by repairing the MBR, which replaces the corrupted boot code with the original code when the disk was formatted.
So, what's the process for fixing a corrupt or infected MBR? The answer is simple... MBRWizard! Depending on whether you can boot your computer to run MBRWizard from Windows, and if you prefer a simple graphical version of the application, we have two versions for you to choose from. Check out the different products and capabilities at our new site. MBRWizard Suite with the graphical version includes a bootable ISO file that you can burn to CD or DVD, and boot your computer to repair the MBR! Otherwise, for the more technical crowd we provide a separate MBRWiz CLI (command-line interface) version, but a little more tech knowledge is required for this type of program. Pick the version that's right for you, and get your MBR fixed!
Regardless of the version you choose simply select the repair option, as this feature will let you repair your MBR boot record to it's original state. Whether compromised by a virus or other malware, or corrupted due to disk problems or errant programs, let MBRWizard help you repair your MBR!
Of course, MBR problems aren't typically an issue if you previously captured a backup of the MBR.... but this isn't likely since you're trying to find a way to fix the MBR. Don't let this problem happen again, make sure you use MBRWizard and capture a backup of that bad-boy so you don't have to go through this trouble again!