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How to restore MBR

By eddiek ·
After installing Service Pack 4 for Win 2K, i could not access my secondary hard drive even though the system has detected it. As soon as i click the secondary hard drive icon in 'my computer' a message saying the hard drive is not formatted and asked me if i wish to format it.
Not too sure what went wrong, but my guess is probably got to do with the MBR. Is there any way to restore it or could it be something else?

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by hackersforum In reply to How to restore MBR

You can use the fixmbr command in Recovery Console to repair the MBR. You can start Recovery Console by booting from the Windows 2000 CD and then pressing R on the appropriate screen. but if u are dual booting it with some os, then others will not boot. However, you cannot use Recovery Console to repair partition tables that were damaged by viruses or other corruption.
cheers! It will work!

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by razz2 In reply to How to restore MBR

You said secondary drive. So is this the setup:

Drive 1: Boot drive with Win2000
Drive 2: Secondary drive with data that is failing?

If so then fdisk /mbr won't do it. If that is not the setup then ignore this.

The following article states:

"Fdisk has an undocumented parameter called /mbr that causes it to write the master boot record to the hard disk WITHOUT altering the partition table information."


"What is the MBR?
At the end of the ROM BIOS bootstrap routine, the BIOS reads and executes the first physical sector of the FIRST floppy or hard disk on the system. This first sector of the hard disk is called the master boot record (or sometimes the partition table or master boot block). There is a small program at the beginning of this sector of the hard disk. The partition information, or partition table, is stored at the end of this sector. This program uses the partition information to determine which partition is bootable (usually the first primary DOS partition) and attempts to boot from it.";EN-US;Q69013

So, It will not fix a 2nd drives partitions from appearing properly, just booting properly.

If the drive is FAT32 then boot to a floppy and see what happens doing a dir at the prompt.

Try downloading an emergency download of Winternals ERD commmander and boot to it. See what you can see.

Try Active@ Partition Recovery

Or SpinRite:

Good Luck,


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by eddiek In reply to

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by TheChas In reply to How to restore MBR

When you originally installed the second drive did you use drive overlay software?

If you used the floppy or CD that comes with a retail drive to set up the drive, drive overlay software may have been installed.

Normally, you use drive overlay software to get around BIOS hard drive detection limitations.

Installing SP4 may have blown away the drive overlay software on the boot drive.
(Drive overlay software MUST be on the boot drive to function.)

You may need to reinstall the drive overlay software in order to get your second drive to function.


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