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Best methods to repair damaged boot sectors

Hello all!

Finding a OEM disc to repair a startup issue can be frustrating and usually ends in formatting the OS to factory original if the customer or myself cannot find the exact OEM disc used for a machine.

My question is... what is the best method for repairing a machine that's suffering a startup issue in Windows XP, Vista or 7 beyond a startup/repair disc that's unique to a machine? Are there any programs I can use to aid in repair if I pull the HDD from the machine and connect it to one of my machines? I'd love to learn the best methods for repairing/fixing startup/boot issues relating to the OS so that I can fix a problem quicker and my customer is happy.

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