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FDISK says it can't modify my MBR

By icelemon ·
short story:
i am trying to restore MBR on a Toshiba 60GB hard drive with fdisk/mbr, it returns saying "Error writing fixed disk. The master boot code has NOT been updated."

is there a way i can set the read-only attribute off so i can modify the MBR? further more, what does the message mean?

long story:

i was using Norton Ghost ghosting a partition from one complete different system to another

it went alright without a problem until it finishes thru 100% and said it'd like a reboot

after a reboot the problem happens saying things like giving me 3 choices:
(1) go into dos...
(2) use Ghost... to revert...
(3) returning to windows

it has been a week, so i was making out the choices out of my very rough memory.

later someone on internet told me to use DBAN to wipe out everything in my HDD, which i did and the util did a marvellous job too.

now since the hdd is all zeroed, so i tried using fdisk to create new partitions. after fdisk'ed it said it needed a reboot in order to take effect (before DBAN'ed, fdisk used to say it had problem writing to disk)

from first i was happy to see it was working, then even after rebooting the computer still wasn't set with the partition table that i had set previously

so now i am figuring if i can use fdisk/mbr to restore the MBR section it would be great

i have tried several utilties which all of them said they had problem writing to disk. i wonder what can i do to help? these are the utilities i have tried


please help

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by icelemon In reply to FDISK says it can't modif ...

it is an IDE 2.5" 60Gb Toshiba hdd for notebooks

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by hackersforum In reply to FDISK says it can't modif ...

Firstly, you used Ghost(avoid it). Now lets try....
you said you used fdisk /mbr (why?? ) was linux installed in mbr. If not linux then not to use this command( there are many reasons). Use windows bootable Cd and go to rescue mode and use mbrfix command. mbr is read only if you boot from HDD and try to modify it. Boot from secondry device.
If problem not solved use "Ultimate boot CD" can download free or can get it easily.


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by icelemon In reply to

thanks, i burnt the UDCD onto a cd and found a lot of useful utilities. which some of them helped, cheers

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to FDISK says it can't modif ...

OK firstly FDISK is a DOS utility and can not write NTFS Partitions but what it can do is to setup a Partition to create a FAT 32 Partition on.

Now as you've said that this is on a 60 GIG Drive in a NB it's safe to say that this will be the only drive involved and back in the DOS Days you have to run 2 utilities over a new HDD the first was FDISK to partition the disk into the number of partitions that you wanted and the second was the Format option so id you have 1 partition you type in at the A:> prompt Format C: exactly as it is written down there. If you have more than 1 partition you then need to go on with formating the other Partitions D and so on until you reach the end of the number of partitions that you have on the HDD. If you where using a Win 95 Boot Floppy this will give you FAT 16 Partitions and if you where using a 98 that will give you FAT 32 Partitions.

What you appear to be trying to do here is to recreate a partition when none is available so you are getting that error message. DOS boot Floppies are next to useless with NTFS partitions as about the only thing that you can do with FDISK is to remove any Non DOS Partitions and as DOS will not work with NTFS Partitions it will generally report that there are no active partitions present and if you have a 98 or 98SE you'll even get a possible Virus Warning.

If you want to create a FAT 32 Partition run FDISK to create the partition/s and then reboot and run the FORMAT command at the A prompt to format up the HDD. This can be useful if you want to setup a NTFS HDD with several partitions on it as it will read each partition that you have created with FDISK as a different partition and allow you to format them separately.

IF you need any more info please feel free to contact me.


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by icelemon In reply to

oh thanks. the drive itself is FAT32 based since a lot of DOS utilities can't seem to access NTFS partitions.

im happy now because i think the problem is fixed by running windows' setup cd, it actually handled the MBR and the partitions itself smoothly.

i think after this incident i'll never use ghost ghosting from a complete different machine to another.

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by icelemon In reply to FDISK says it can't modif ...

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