How to Repair the Master Boot Record In Windows XP

Use the fixmbr command in Recovery Console to fix the damage

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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.

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. To boot your computer from the Windows XP CD, insert the CD and press any key when you see Press any key to boot from CD.
  2. Wait while Windows XP begins the setup process. Do not press a function key even if you are prompted to do so.
  3. Press R when you see the Windows XP Professional Setup screen to enter the Recovery Console.
  4. Choose the Windows installation. You may only have one.
  5. Enter your administrator password.
  6. When you reach the command line, type the following command, and then press Enter.
    1. fixmbr
  7. 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.