Corrupted MBR/No CDROM/No Floppy

Tiny / N/A
March 16, 2009 at 00:47:03
Specs: Windows XP
I managed to deleted my MBR from my laptop when I uninstalled Mandriva from my system running XP and Linux.
My laptop is a bit old, the CDROM doesn't work and it didn't come with a floppy.
How can I restore the XP MBR? Can i plug the HDD into an external enclosure then do something?
Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

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March 16, 2009 at 02:13:32
drjimbodiddly, possible you could download an 'undelete' proggie from the web? So long as you didn't format, it's still there.
Ed in Texas.

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March 16, 2009 at 09:47:04
I would suggest replacing the broken CD drive with a DVD-RW drive.

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March 16, 2009 at 10:14:48
Actually is is virtually impossible to delete a MBR once it is created. The only way to completely delete an MBR is to use one of those utilities the write zeros to the entire disk. You can corrupt it beyond use though which is what has happened her because when you un-installed Mandrive you deleted the boot loader that resides in the MBR.

Undelete proggies generally undelete files. The MBR isn't a file, just an area of the hard disk that the BIOS can access without the use of a file system.

To fix the MBR you are going to need a CD drive and a windows XP disk. Boot to the windows CD and go into the recovery console. From there type fixMBR and your back in business. This will reinstate the Windows XP boot loader


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March 16, 2009 at 13:52:32
You need to boot somehow then or as you say, remove the drive and place into a working system.

Boot to usb or pxe or pcmcia if supported in bios. Since you say old then you might be out of luck for both. See normally start screen it may have choice for boot or see bios.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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March 16, 2009 at 14:19:54
Put the drive in a system that has a working cdrom.
Disconnect/unpower any other drives in the system

Boot the xp cd via bios boot [set cd as first boot device and press any key when you see the message on the screen]

Go into recovery console and run the utils fixboot and fixmbr.

Remove the drive [do not boot it in this system!] and place it back in the original pc. See if you can boot successfully now.

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