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How to Fix MBR on External Drive in Windows 7: A Comprehensive Guide

You may experience a situation in which the MBR of your external USB drive or External hard drive is corrupted. In this case, you will face some errors such as “Operating System Not Found”, “Invalid Partition Table”, and “Missing Operating System”.

In this article, we describe how to fix MBR on External Drive in Windows 7. To learn more, follow me till the end of this article.

What is MBR?

MBR stands for “Master Boot Record”. It is also called “master partition table” or “partition sector”. The master boot record is a boot sector that has the information of your hard drive’s partition. It is like the loader for your current OS (operating system). The MBR is created when you install Windows for the first time on the first created partition. The MBR is the first 512 bytes of the hard disk.

MBR exists on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8. If it is damaged, you will not be able to boot into Windows.

The Master Boot Record can be corrupted by some specific viruses that aim at the MBR to replace it with their code. Or, it can also be corrupted when you do a dual boot with a Linux distro.

How to Backup MBR?

Since the MBR is stored on the hard disk, you can backup the MBR and restore it whenever you want.

To backup MBR, you need the command below:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/path-to-save/mbr-backup bs=512 count=1

Hint: This part of the above command, /path-to-save/mbr-backup, is a direction where you want to save your mbr-backup.

How to Restore MBR?

Before anything, keep in mind that if you restore your MBR with the wrong partition table, this will make your data unreadable, which makes it hard to recover your data later.

To restore the Master boot record, try this command:

dd if=/path-to-get/mbr-backup of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

Hint: This part of the above command, /path-to-get/mbr-backup,is a direction where you saved your mbr-backup.

What Are the Common Errors of a Damaged MBR?

If your Master boot record is corrupted, you will confront these errors below:

Error loading operating system.

How to Fix MBR on External Drive in Windows 7?

Invalid partition table.

How to Fix MBR on External Drive in Windows 7?

Operating System not found.

What Are the Common Errors of a Damaged MBR?

Reboot and select proper boot device.

What Are the Common Errors of a Damaged MBR?

No bootable medium found.

What Are the Common Errors of a Damaged MBR?

You may confront other errors as well, which are caused by a corrupted boot record.

How to Fix the MBR with Easy Recovery Essentials?

The Easy Recovery Essentials can repair most damages of the Master boot record (MBR) with its Automated Repair feature. This feature is supported for Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8.

To repair MBR with the Easy Recovery Essentials, follow the steps below:

1.Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Before downloading, select your Windows version.

2.Now, you need to burn the image.

3.Boot Easy Recovery Essentials.

4.Select the Automated Repair option and click on the continue button.

How to Fix the MBR with Easy Recovery Essentials?

5.Select the letter of your Windows installation drive and choose Automated Repair. (Windows installation drive’s letter is usually C:\)

6.Easy Recovery Essentials will start now.

How to Fix the MBR with Easy Recovery Essentials?

7.When the process is finished, click on Restart.

8.Now, Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8 should load properly.

How to Fix the MBR with Easy Recovery Essentials?

How to Fix MBR in Windows 7?

To boot into System Recovery Options and run Command Prompt, you need the original Windows 7 installation DVD.

To do so, follow the instructions below:

  1. Boot from the Windows 7 installation DVD.
  2. Now, at the Press any key to boot from CD or DVD…, you need to hit any key to boot from the DVD.
  3. Choose your language.
  4. Choose the layout of your keyboard.
  5. Click on the Next button.
  6. In this step, choose the operating system (OS) and click on Next. When you choose the operating system, you need to checkmark the Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows option.
  7. When the System Recovery Options window popped up, choose Command Prompt.
  8. When Command Prompt popped up, copy and paste this command: bootrec /rebuildbcd
  9. Hit Enter.
  10. Now, copy and paste the next command: bootrec /fixmbr
  11. Hit Enter.
  12. In the next step, copy and paste this command: bootrec /fixboot
  13. Hit Enter.
  14. Then, remove the installation DVD and restart your PC.

If those two commands, bootrec /fixmbr, and bootrec /fixboot,do not work, try to restore the boot sector of your Windows 7.

To do so, follow the instructions below:

  1. Specify the drive’s letter of your Windows installation CD/DVD by copying and pasting this command below in the Command Prompt: diskpart select disk 0 list volume
  2. You can find your CD/DVD installation drive letter from the CD-ROM option under the Type column. If the drive letter is D:\, type this command: exit D: cd boot dir.If it showed another drive letter, you would need to replace the second command with the drive letter that you have noted from the previous list command.
  3. Copy and paste this command: bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr.
  4. Hit Enter.
  5. Remove your CD/DVD from the disk tray.
  6. type exit.
  7. In the last step, hit Enter to restart your PC.

Last words

With this article, you can learn how to repair the Master boot record. Do you know any other methods to fix MBR problems? Share your thoughts with us and ask questions through the comment section.

Kimia Sh

Kimia is an accomplished author and technology enthusiast with a keen interest in writing about Windows tips and tricks. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Kimia always had a fascination for technology and its ever-evolving capabilities. After completing her studies in Computer Science, Kimia started working in the software development industry, where she gained extensive experience and technical expertise. Her passion for writing about technology led her to create a blog focused on providing Windows users with useful tips and tricks. Kimia's blog quickly gained popularity, and she became known for her ability to communicate technical concepts in an accessible and easy-to-understand manner. Her articles are praised for their clarity and practicality, and she has developed a loyal following of readers who look to her for advice on getting the most out of their Windows systems. In addition to writing about technology, Kimia is also an accomplished software developer and has contributed to the development of numerous applications and software programs. Her technical expertise gives her a unique perspective on the challenges faced by Windows users, and she is always seeking out new ways to make their lives easier and more efficient. When she's not working on her blog or developing software, Kimia enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an avid traveler and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines. Overall, Kimia is a talented author and technology expert who is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Her dedication to providing practical, useful advice to Windows users has made her a respected figure in the industry, and she continues to inspire and educate others through her work on her blog and beyond.

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