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 installation DVD. Without that, it will be hard to proceed.

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

image

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, follow these steps:

  • Press Win + R and type in RecoveryDrive.exe

image

  • 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. This post shows how to rebuild BCD.

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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.

83 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. bsk

    is it possible to recover w8 with w7 installation dvd?

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

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

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

  8. 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??

  9. Mike

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

  10. Dered Emerald

    Thank you so much 🙂 this tutorials just help me out.

  11. 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!

  12. 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 ?

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. George

    Does it repair the virus infected mbr as well?

  17. joseph kouame

    your a freekin genius man

    thank you so much

  18. mika

    Thank you so much!!

  19. Nick

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

  20. Andrew Bermudez

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

  21. Paidamoyo Chuma

    Thank you, you did save a soul

  22. 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

  23. DamselInDistress

    works as a charm.

  24. DamselInDistress

    Thank you!! <3

  25. donevan

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

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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???

  29. 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 😉

  30. 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

  31. Win10 is a mess

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

  32. 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?

  33. 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?

  34. Django

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

  35. Mark Jhean Binuya Resurrecion

    Heklo sir I tried the boot command prompt and it appears that windows installation is 0 , I tried the bootsect /nt60 SYS and it appears that the system partition was not found what should I do?and it say that could not open volume root directory:the parameter is incorrect

  36. Bad Horse

    I can’t find info anywhere on how to repair the MBR for data disks (which don’t boot, and don’t show up in the windows startup repair as a choice). Also, no windows disk info tools show unmounted disks, and you can’t mount disks with no MBRs. You can’t even list the unmounted disks as far as I know.

  37. Aztec Dunes

    Thank you sir, excellent writeup

  38. Adam Wildan A

    when I wrote bootrec / fixmbr in cmd, then there are writings “A device attached to the system is not fungtioning”
    please help me: ‘(
    I erased the hard drive partitions and data is lost, when I fix the “recovery partition” can not because MBR error, what should I do? 🙁

  39. Jayden Lee

    Sorry for the late reply, and I am glad to hear you fixed the problem.
    The Tutorial didn’t require you to boot into Windows 8, just into the disk or recovery menu using the F8 key. This key doesn’t work for many of us, especially when using Laptops or OEM PCs.
    To enter the BIOS and change the boot order for my ASUS, you tap “Delete” from when you press the power button, and yes this works on Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. Others report ESC, F1, F10, F11 & F12.

    So for future reference, or anyone else who may have came across the same, try the F1 to F12, Delete and ESC. Also some BIOS settings require you to hold ALT or FN to use these buttons.

    With the MSI GP60 2PE Leopard, BIOS is also accessed using the DELETE key.

  40. Mathew Lemin

    worked! Thanks for the info! When I ran the first command it said didnt find any windows installations but i did the other commands anyway, they all worked and job done 🙂

  41. Mathew Lemin

    i changed the dir to x:/windows too idont know if that was right or wrong or not important but it worked

  42. Abhishek

    Thank you very much Sir for your post I restored my laptop back

  43. Patti Maska

    Thank you so much for this. I was trying to dual boot Win 10 & Win XP where Win 10 was already loaded … Win XP loaded its boot registry on top of my Win 10.
    Needless to say, I could not boot, I could not repair using the Win 10 disk .. I could not pass go (and certainly no $200).
    After spending about 4 hours trying different stuff, your bootsect was spot on and now my computer is peachy!

  44. Tim Evans

    Help! Trying to follow these instructions to repair MBR in Windows 10, but can’t get into the Windows Recovery Menu.

    I’ve tried booting from a Windows 7 disk & using F8, but that doesn’t work. No matter what I do, it says I have the wrong operating system to proceed. I can boot to BIOS, but there’s no option for getting into the Recovery Menu.
    How do I get to the Windows Recovery Menu when booting a Windows 10 PC?

  45. Abrao Junior

    thank you guy, saving long time formating and backup pc 🙂

  46. Sergio

    Excelente orientação resolveu o meu problema de inicialização do Windows 10.
    Obrigado
    Thank you

  47. mechanicalman3000

    Thank you! Following these steps got our Windows 10 computer booting up again! I think it was the bootrec /RebuildBcd command that did it.

  48. gregmcnew

    will this affect my primary drive? i need to get my external working. and dont want to mess up anything else

  49. ENSASKE17 .

    awesome! Thank you. My motherboard was broken, I use a new one and windows 10 gave me a boot_error but I use the advanced option and its works! I didn’t lost anything!

  50. David Rader II

    You can LEGALLY download these directly from Microsoft:

    Windows 10 ISO here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

    Windows 7 ISO here (requires Win7 CD Key)
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7

    Windows 8.1 ISO here:
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows8

    I was looking for a way to do it without downloading the ISO’s, however, I’m still glad I came across your page because you’ve got some suggestions here I didn’t know about! Thank you! I’ll be trying these after the DL completes and DVD is burned.

  51. André

    wow!!! perfect!! thank you so much!! downgraded and you saved me

  52. Marty

    Disconnecting USB HDD fixed it for me.
    I had this ‘Bootmgr is missing error’ happen a couple of times on a fresh install of Windows 10, before I went and messed around with recovery, disconnect the USB portable drive and boot back into Windows without error.

  53. su_048

    I have dual booted my pc and after selecting windows 8.1 from menu it stuck on black screen and on pressing f8, it does the same thing, Black Screen

  54. Marco

    Thank you !!!!

  55. Santiago Fernández Devoto

    Thanks! You have saved me from reinstalling all again… Windows 10 Anniversary Update did something to my MBR

  56. Mikel Farley

    Thanks You so much! Worked great.
    I made the mistake of installing Ubuntu on an external SSD while I had my Windows 10 drive still mounted… Had to use Hiren to boot into my Win 10 partition on Main drive.

    I did have to run the “bootsec” command because the auto utility couldn’t find a Win10 partition. But she’s back at full throttle and I still have my external MATE environment for linux things. 🙂

  57. Teslax

    Hi. I cant boot into windows 10. I get this error: File: windowssystem32driversacs6nts.sys
    I trued all repair methods and I can’t still boot Wind. 10.
    Do you have maybe one
    solution for me?

    Many thanks

  58. Teslax

    Hi. I cant boot into windows 10. I get this error: File: windowssystem32driversacs6nts.sys
    I’v tried all repair methods and I can’t still boot Windows10.
    Do you have maybe one
    solution for me?

    Many thanks

  59. Brian Roberts

    You sir, are a rock star–and you have my undying gratitude. Worked for me on Windows 10 after I tried using some cloning software to back up my drive only to discover the PC crashed and came back with the dreaded File bootBCD 0x000014c error. My second drive still had Windows 7 on the boot partition so I had to remove it to determine which boot record to restore–but after that, worked like a charm!

  60. hritik

    hi guys please help me by mistake i installed Linux on windows 8.1 hard drive but i have a boot-able USB when i try to automatic repair doesn’t work for me and i also tried reset PC it is also not working when i turn on my pc it just show a blank screen with a white arrow on top please help me how i should recover my pc without any data loss.

    Please help .

  61. Stam Kapetanakis

    Desperate for some help with a dead win10 system.

    Tried the suggestion above as fails to find a windows disk and chkdsk can’t run (reports it as write protected or RAW depending on the options)

    Bootrec /scanOs fails to identify a windows volume even though the partition is present when looking at diskpart> list vol

    Any suggestions?

  62. Emmanuel Omughele

    Thank you very much sir for sharing this wonderful information with us. I just used it to fix a laptop, HP 650, that was showing Boot Device Not Found, Hard Disk 3F0 error. After turning on support for legacy devices in CMOS setup I then boot the laptop from the Windows setup disk and followed the steps you outlined above. The laptop just worked perfect after reboot. I am very grateful to you. I am going to save this valuable piece of information and use it to repair future boot problems.

  63. sara

    I got all the commands typed in on the last one bootsect/nt60 all I get an error on /device/harddiskvolume3 it says could not open the volume root directory: the parameter is incorrect. what do I do now?

  64. steve

    I got the boot directory inaccessable error but was able to start in safe mode and can see my desktop. Is there anything I can do from here to reestablish my boot drive link?

  65. Deathstroke606

    Hello, I have an issue with a drive that is not initializing. It wont show up as anythong othwr than unknown in the drive mgr. I’ve tried /fixmbr and it says the system cannot find the file specified. I have been scouring the Web for help. It is not my main boot drive but it is my back up drive. I’m not concerned with losing data I just want to be able to use the drive. I would deeply appreciate the help.

  66. Deathstroke606

    Hello, I have an issue with a drive that is not initializing. It wont show up as anythong othwr than unknown in the drive mgr. I’ve tried /fixmbr and it says the system cannot find the file specified. I have been scouring the Web for help. It is not my main boot drive but it is my back up drive. I’m not concerned with losing data I just want to be able to use the drive. I would deeply appreciate the help.

  67. Léo Nunes

    Parabéns pelo artigo; este foi o único artigo que me ajudou de verdade.

  68. jason eyer

    This fixed my issue. I had a dual boot system. C: drive is Samsung EVO 850 500GB SSD containing windows 10 pro 64 bit. I also have a 1TB western digital mechanical drive that contained Windows Vista. I was lazy, and left Vista alone for years, since i could still access and store files on it as D: drive once booted to Win 10 on the SSD. However, recently, the 1TB drive was getting full, so I decided to copy all the data off it, to an external 1TB, and then format it, to get rid of Vista, and just have a big 1TB secondary storage drive (get rid of dual boot). I didn’t do my homework properly. I see now after the fact, that I should have used MSCONFIG, Boot tab, (set Win10 on SSD as default), then clicked Vista, and clicked Delete -effectively removing Vista from the bootmanager), alas, I didn’t do that. I used EasUS partition manager and erased the D: drive (1TB Vista drive) which, I learned the hard way, corrupted the boot record of the C: drive (Win10 SSD). I even had a clone of the SSD Win 10, pre changes, and that also wouldn’t boot. I created a Win 10 USB .iso (downloaded from Microsoft), booted to it, chose “repair your computer”, command prompt, and followed your steps exactly, and it fixed my Win10 SSD mbr, now I can boot. Key point; I had to take the 1TB hard drive out for it to work. Once that was out, I ran the commands you listed, and it fixed it. I am so happy I didn’t have to do a full reimage. Thank you!

  69. Stachu Stach

    2/10

  70. MainMat

    I tried all three commands with admin privileges and all of them come back with not a valid command.

  71. bd

    You say “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.” Windows 10 and Windows 8 installation media are both redily available by downloading the “Media Creation Tool” directly from Microsofts website.

  72. Thanks. Editing. This post was written for Windows 7 in 2013.

  73. Akramul Haque

    Anybody can help why windows firewall shutdown when Kaspersky Internet security Installed?

  74. D??? W??t??

    This is not doing work what I do

    I typed all command all command are passed successfully but when I reboot they always do problem

  75. Rihana Lee

    Really good post

  76. Thanks for mentioning the “bootsect” commands. At first it didn’t work, but after having typed:

    bootsect /nt60 SYS
    bootsect /nt60 ALL

    I could boot Windows

  77. Eric Solash

    I have a friends laptop that is “stuck in a loup” attempting to repair itself. I got out of the loup by continually pressing F8 – got to Troubleshoot – got to advanced and the command prompt – got the first two commands-bootrec /RebuldBcd and …/fixMbr – when I enter the third command …/fixboot I’m told I dont have sufficient privilege
    Any advice would be welcomed

  78. Allegro Manontroppo

    bootrec /fixboot returns access denied

  79. Umar Farooq

    complete or still working ?
    😐

  80. Boulhadid Mourad

    How to reboot my system?

  81. blue_martian

    Hi I get “Access id denied” after typing bootrec /fixboot
    Is there any work around?

  82. bitcryptocoins.ru

    after entering bootrec / fixboot access denied inscription. What to do?

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