How to Repair the Master Boot Record In Windows XP

Use the fixmbr command in Recovery Console to fix the damage

Repairing the master boot record on your Windows XP system is accomplished using the fixmbr command, which is available in Recovery Console. This is necessary when the master boot record has become corrupt due to a virus or damage.

Repairing the master boot record on a Windows XP system is easy and should take less than 15 minutes.

These directions apply to Windows XP users only.

How to Repair the Master Boot Record In Windows XP

You need to enter the Windows XP Recovery Console. Recovery Console is an advanced diagnostic mode of Windows XP with tools that allow you to repair the master boot record of your Windows XP system.

Here's how to enter the Recovery Console and repair the master boot record: 

  1. Boot your computer from the Windows XP CD by inserting the CD and pressing any key when you see Press any key to boot from CD.

  2. Wait while Windows XP begins the setup process. Don't press a function key even if you're prompted to do so.

  3. Press R to enter the Recovery Console when you see the Windows XP setup screen.

    Windows XP Professional Setup screen
  4. Choose a Windows installation by typing the number that corresponds to the correct one, and then press Enter. You may only have one.

    Windows XP Recovery Console
  5. Enter your administrator password if prompted to do so.

  6. When you reach the command line, type the following command, and then press Enter.

  7. Confirm by entering Y.

    Windows XP Recovery Console fixmbr command

    The fixmbr utility will write a master boot record to the hard drive that you're currently using to boot into Windows XP. This will repair any corruption or damage that the master boot record may have.

  8. Take out the Windows XP CD, type exit, and then press Enter to restart your PC.

Assuming that a corrupt master boot record was your only issue, Windows XP should now start normally.

Was this page helpful?