Microsoft Windows

How to Fix MBR (Master Boot Record) in Windows PC

fix mbr
Written by Naveen Robsworth

Windows OS evolved into a pretty stable operating system over the years. Many companies and corporations use Windows PC as their base operating system for their daily activities. It has a huge developer community and lot of Tech forums which provides solutions to many issues. However, even the mighty has to be fallen at one point or the other. Many hackers are creating some nasty viruses and ransomware by wreaking havoc on computers. Some of them corrupt your PC’s MBR (Master Boot Record) making it useless as it can’t boot up unless you fix MBR.

Sometimes, the MBR can get corrupted without any external intervention, it can be a hardware failure, intermittent power supply or data corruption as well. Other reasons why your PC can’t boot up is due to damaged boot sector or a broken BCD (Boot Configuration Data) store. In such cases, you can’t get past the BIOS loading screen and you’ll get an error message that the boot information is not found. Most people re-install the OS but it’s not required as we can easily fix MBR and rebuild BCD in few simple steps.

Microsoft has included a few tools in the installation disk from which you can troubleshoot the issue and fix MBR. Bootrec.exe is a powerful tool that is capable of fixing MBR, rebuilding BCD and boot sector. The latest version of Windows has an “Automatic Repair” option which will fix the most common issues. If it can’t fix your boot issue, follow the below tutorial to do it yourself.

How to Fix MBR in Windows PC

  1. Boot your PC and let the Automatic Repair do its work.
    windows-automatic-repairNote: If you’re using an older version of Windows or the Automatic repair doesn’t show up, you need to use the installation disc to access the troubleshooting options. Insert the installation disk/drive and choose the Language and time zone. You should see Repair your Computer option which will take you to troubleshooting options in Step 3.
  2. If the Automatic Repair couldn’t resolve the issue, you will get the below screen from where you can access the Advanced Options. Choose it.
    windows-advanced-troubleshooting-options
  3. On the next screen, choose the Troubleshooting Options to proceed further.
    windows-troubleshooting-options-1
  4. Now, you’ll get the below screen from where you can launch the command prompt to fix MBR.
    windows-advanced-troubleshooting-options-1
  5. Use the below commands to fix MBR and make your PC boot again.
    • Fix MBR: The first thing you need to do is to fix MBR. It allows the repair of a corrupted or damaged MBR. You can do this by using the below command.
      bootrec.exe /fixmbr

      bootrec-fixmbr

    • Write new Boot Sector: Now you need to write a new boot sector to the system partition. The bootrec tool will use a boot sector compatible with your Windows. Use the below command to write a new boot sector:
      bootrec.exe /fixboot

      bootrec-fixboot

    • Rebuild BCD: Rebuild the BCD with the latest information after the above step. The /rebuildbcd option will fix some errors by completely rebuilding the BCD.
      bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

      bootrec-rebuildbcd

    • [Optional] Scan OS: If you’re having multiple Windows installation on your PC and some of them are missing from the boot record, you can use the below command.
      bootrec.exe /scanos
  6. Reboot the PC.

You should now able to boot your Windows PC again. If you face any challenges while following the process, let us know in the comments section.