Thursday, December 27, 2012

How To Fix Windows 8 Master Boot Record (MBR)

Whenever a new OS is marketed, many users of earlier versions find it rather difficult to find 'quick answers and solutions' to problems they face while handling the new OS.

Although, with time, solutions come automatically, still those wanting to juice the new OS as soon as possible look for quickies. For those wanting to fix the Master Boot Record or what we simply call the MBR of Windows 8, here is a solution - and of course quick one.

Although crashing of the MBR is not very common, but when it happens, it is a real mess and one really does not know what to do. And you know what happens when your computer fails to boot. 

When this happens, don't take it that there is something wronfg with the hardware - since failure to boot can most likely result from a corrupt or missing Master Boot Record (MBR), damaged boot sector, or broken Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store. 

Usually, such a problem will not let you get past the BIOS loading screen, or simply display a message that boot information cannot be found. You may come across the MBR issues if you’d installed an earlier version of Windows over an existing installation (say, Windows XP over Windows 7), or if some malware has wreaked havoc on your PC. Either way, what most people do in such a case is install a fresh copy of Windows, which is neither required nor advisable.

So what to do?


Well, Microsoft has embedded a few tools within its troubleshooting arsenal that can help you get out of this situation. While you can (and should) initially try to fix the problem using Startup Repair, the next and certain choice is using the Bootrec.exe command to fix a missing or broken MBR in Windows 8. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Insert the Windows 8 Installation Disc in your system’s optical drive, or use a bootable USB for that matter, and make sure you boot your PC using this removable media.

Step 2: On the Install now screen, select Repair your computer.

Step 3: On the next screen, choose Troubleshoot, followed by Advanced options.

Step 4: From Advanced options, launch a command prompt windows, and enter the following command:

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

Step 5: Once the command is finished, reboot your computer the normal way, and Windows 8 should load just fine now.

There are quite a few renditions of the Bootrec command that you may use to fix more than one type of issue with the Master Boot Record (MBR). Refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article here for more details.

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All photos above are courtesy Redmond Pie


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