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Can't delete MBR from 2nd Hard Drive (windows 7)

By detrunks
Feb 22, 2010
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  1. Hi,
    I installed Windows 7 on Drive C. I have a 2nd hard drive D. The 2nd hard drive has a MBR from an XP installation that seems to be interfering with the boot of Windows 7. I don't have XP installed anywhere. I have folders/files on D that I cannot lose.

    Please can someone advise me on how to delete the MBR on D: without affecting the files on it?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,041   +72

    How it is interfering with the windows 7 booting process? Please elaborate clearly.

    What you can do is in Tools, Folder Options, View tab - select show hidden folders and files, and uncheck Hide Protected Operating System Files; then go to the drive where you have xp; and erase all the bootable system files from there.

    Once you erase them, re-enable hiding of protected operating system files, and dont show hidden folders and files.

    You will need to have administrative account to do this though.
  3. detrunks

    detrunks TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 204

    thanks for the response - will give it a go.
    It seems to be interfering because I get a 'missing NTLDR' at boot-up, but W7 doesn't have NTLDR. Let me know if that changes what else I should do otherwise I'll post the result of the deletion.

    thanks again
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,356   +302

    hmm; If two disks BOTH have an MBR and the requisite files for booting, then the Master IDE will win the boot lookup.
    So recable the Win/7 to be the IDE Master drive.

    Second option is to rename the boot.ini on the XP drive and leave the boot files inplace.

    On an SATA attached drive, obviously only the second choice is available.

    However, while there are a couple of tools to fix, correct, or install the MBR, the O.P. asks
    a good question: "How do you remove the MBR from a given hd?"
  5. detrunks

    detrunks TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 204

    OK - I couldn't delete the MBR but could rename it. Problem was that as soon as renamed it and rebooted, W7 would not load (bootmgr missing). I guess that W7 was using the XP boot.ini all along, although I don't know why.
    Solving this problem required putting in a new MBR from my W7 disc. (from command prompt using bootsect /nt60 c: /mbr).

    Thanks for the help & hope it helps anyone else!
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,356   +302

    hmm; please clarify -- the MBR is not visable to be renamed, it's a special record on the disk that's outside the partition.

    I think you're saying you twiddled the entry in the boot.ini
  7. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,041   +72

    Glad to hear that it worked out alright; although boot.ini ?

    Its bit weird but thanks for info/update.
  8. detrunks

    detrunks TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 204

    To clarify - what I wanted to do was delete the MBR, but as you point out, this couldn't be done. The next step was to delete any files relating to the XP boot - I'm fairly sure this was boot.ini but I could be wrong; (it was a system file). Anyway, I couldn't delete it but could rename it.
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