Repair Master Boot Record (MBR) in Windows 10 / 8 / 7

One of the effective troubleshooting steps, to fix boot issues is to repair Master Boot Record, or MBR. One of the common reasons why an MBR can get corrupted is due to malware infections. Improper shutdowns can also lead to MBR corruption. Sometime we may find issues where Linux Grub is installed and Windows is not able to detect it. On some occasions, you may get the Bootmgr is missing error. In such cases you can run the rebuild or repair MBR to fix these issues.

Repair Master Boot Record MBR

The process is almost same for Windows 10 / 8 / 7. First and foremost you need a Windows 8 or Windows 7 installation DVD. Without that, it will be hard to proceed.  Please don’t ask where you can download it since we are not at liberty to discuss the sources, where we can find the installation DVD.

Step 1:

Press F8 while booting the system to go into the Windows Recovery Menu. Unlike other version Windows 8’s recovery menu has the Metro UI style.

Step 2:

Click on Troubleshoot.

Repair-Master-Boot-Record-3

Step 3:

Click on Advanced options to get into Automatic Repair menu.

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Step 4:

We need to use the Bootrec.exe tool. Click on command prompt and type in the following commands, one after the other:

repair master boot record

  • bootrec /RebuildBcd
  • bootrec /fixMbr
  • bootrec /fixboot
  • Exit

Now go ahead and reboot your system. In some cases you may need to run some additional commands.

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  • bootsect /nt60 SYS or bootsect /nt60 ALL

It’s wise to backup MBR or create a System Recovery Disk so that in case something like this happens you don’t have to run for the Windows Recovery Disk. To create a system recovery drive in Windows 8, follow these steps:

  • Press Win + R and type in RecoveryDrive.exe

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  • Click Next
  • Once you insert the USB drive it will start creating the Recovery for you’re USB drive.

You can also check out this video I created for Windows 7.

I hope you find the article helpful. In case if you have any questions please feel free you post it under our comments section or in our forum.

MBR Backup & HDHacker are two freeware that can help you backup and restore the MBR & Boot Sector.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.
  • Mas Sergio

    thank you sir. You have saved my surface pro all other sites didn’t recommend the extra options. I am now booting back into Windows 8 pro with out any issues.

  • bsk

    is it possible to recover w8 with w7 installation dvd?

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    If you can get up to the command prompt it may work. Since I haven’t tested it i’m not 100% sure,

  • Kent

    umm sorry can i ask something.. my computer was windows 8 and i want to downgrade it to windows 7 and i format the thing at local disk C and when i want to install it said can’t install windows because of the GPT and i can’t even install 8 too… what can i do now?

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    You need to convert it GPT. Follow this guide, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725671.aspx remember to backup the data before you do.

  • Dummy

    Umm I’ve got a question, one day I was trying to install Ubuntu on my laptop but showed up an installation error, so I decided to uninstall but when I turn on my pc stills giving me an option if I want to start W8 or Ubuntu and i formatted my pc like 3 times and that option still there and that annoys me…. Help? Please?

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    If you can boot into Windows then Download Visual BCD Editor and use that you remove Ubuntu from the list.

  • SAID

    Hi,i have a question.I followed the steps and it didnt work,the menu of grub still showing up everytime i turn my laptop on.Also i can’t boot in USB or CD.What can i do??

  • Mike

    same here. doesn’t work for me :-((

  • Dered Emerald

    Thank you so much :) this tutorials just help me out.

  • srinath

    While booting just see there will be few options to change the settings of bios. Like Press “F2” for bios settings, go inside that and then go to boot manager there you will see the settings, It is not advised for starters to do, because if you mess up something, you need another person to get it right. Anyways try!

  • Void

    The first command is taking ages. 20h alredy. I know having 2x 1TB hdds might be the cause but this is just ridiculous… is it because of the live CD ?

  • Thokozani Symexx

    Sir may i ask can this method also for an external hard drive?if not can you tell me how i can repair the master boot on my external

  • Viking

    This is all very well if one can boot into Windows in order to set any of these fixes or commands. I get my Acer screen, then the blue window panes, then a black screen with a mouse pointer which can be moved, but that is as far as it goes. And being Windows 8, it will not boot into Bios. The only way I found to fix this issue was to put a new hard drive in the laptop and start over. Until my drive testing equipment arrives, I have no way of knowing if the drive was bad, or could have been saved. In addition, Microsoft Store, whom I purchased the Windows 8 from, and who I tried to purchase the backup discs from, does not have the correct address or name for the company who fulfills the backup disc mail outs, who used to be Arvato Digital Services, but have changed their name, address and email to just Arvato. Talk about another Microsoft cluster blank. Phone calls to Microsoft got me transferred seven times before the system hung up on me. Tried this twice.

  • amey

    hello sir
    i have problem with MBR partition table.But Other Drives have an large amount of data which on HDD
    Is it possible to change or recreating MBR that data were lost or not ? Please suggest any idea recover this issue.

  • George

    Does it repair the virus infected mbr as well?

  • joseph kouame

    your a freekin genius man

    thank you so much

  • mika

    Thank you so much!!

  • Nick

    What if this keeps happening several times a week. Any ideas as to what might cause this

  • Andrew Bermudez

    Thank you so much! I was trying every other command prompt and this worked! SO HAPPY :)

  • Paidamoyo Chuma

    Thank you, you did save a soul

  • deepak

    i have a problem with my booting it says boot sector corrupt and the cmd shows x:sources>
    i am not able to use the above code can u suggest me a method to rebuilt my boot sector

  • DamselInDistress

    works as a charm.

  • DamselInDistress

    Thank you!! <3

  • donevan

    will I be able to use the hard drive and recover my files and programs by using this?

  • Allan

    I too just installed Windows 8.1 on an SSD drive from an HDD drive. Of course Windows installer completely ignored that fact that I also had a dual boot with Ubuntu ON A SECOND DRIVE. Anyway I have now lost the option to boot into Ubuntu. Wouldn’t it be just as easy to simply re-install Ubuntu onto my second drive again? There’s nothing on it I want to save. Wouldn’t that re-establish the MBR to reflect that it is a dual boot system?

  • Rex

    To solve your problem, yeah. Even easier would be to use a Linux USB or rescatux to restore grub. As I understand it though the above guide is primarily if you can’t boot into Windoze, which your solution wouldn’t change.

  • Scuud

    Hi! i’ve been struggling with the 0xc0000225 error for the past 2 days, pressing F2 just does not work to get the windows recovery menu, i’m trying to reinstall windows but it doesn’t seems to load the iso that’s on the USB key plugged in.. how could i get this thing to work???

  • VOICEOFREASON

    I have a question. MY SATA HDD appears to be write protected it has several partitions which looks like they were all created during system install the two largest partitions are UEFI and Legacy. I’ve tried everything on this page and then some including trying to get what I need with partition guru etc.

    EVERYTHING (scuse the caps but that word is important) that I use to try to look at any file on the disk except folders results in a locked disk error or you do not have access error. I even have removed my disk from the computer and used another computer to look at the disk I can see the folder directory but I cannot look inside any of the folders.

    All I really want to do is recover my 8.1 key off my HDD then I can wipe the whole thing and start over. Something was badly corrupted somewhere and I have yet to find a piece of software that can look past the folder list…. even tried produkey and jellybean but they just go into a not responding state as does my partition guru pro. ANy help would be HUGELY appreciated. I’m about to lose my voice 😉

  • VOICEOFREASON

    Oh by the way, your knowledge of windows is awesome. I’ve been supporting windows in corporate environments for 15 years and we could have used someone with your detailed knowledge. Thanks in advance for any response you may have. VoR

  • Win10 is a mess

    I am about to try this on Windows 10. Will report back if it works for me.

  • Sherry281

    I know it has been a while since anyone has posted but I have a Windows 7 Home premium eMachine with 3 recovery disc set. I tried booting using the disks. It read the first one but grayed out the recovery option types. The disk has no “repair” option. I hit F8 and nothing happens. I only have F12 for basic boot options/sequence and Del for CMOS and more of the same boot options that do not include acer D2D. I can not get to Windows RE or command prompt. Anyone have an answer?

  • Django

    Hi i have win 10 on my hard drive upgraded from win 8. plugged it in a new pc and now i’m getting the same startup error. ran bootrec /rebuildbcd and found 2 installations. the windows folder and the windows .old folder. selected yes for first no for second. neither combination gives be the SUCCESS message.

    go through all the steps, but it still doesn’t boot. any ideas?

  • Django

    get the error of: “The requested system device cannot be found”

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