Need help getting the original windows MBR back

By flashmonkey ยท 5 replies
Dec 24, 2005
  1. I decided to dual-boot windows and linux over winter break, succeeded, got bored of linux, broke linux and then decided to get rid of linux (just kinda wanted to prove to myself that I could set up a dual-boot). So, being the stupid kid I am, I didn't think ahead and just erased the extended partition I put linux on. Now, whenever I boot it gives me "Grub error 22" which means it can't find the linux drives/partitions. I've read up on this, and found an easy fix which involves an XP install disk going into the recovery console and typing "FDISK /MBR" or "fixmbr" or "fixboot" BUT I dont have a windows install disk because HP is the best computer manufacturer EVAR (they only give you the option to do a "recover the computer to the original state it was in when you bought it" which is ridiculous cause I'd have to erase everything I have saved). Anyone have a way of doing this without the install disk?
  2. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I have the recovery console on the boot menu, and it's never asked me for a boot disk. - of course, thinking about it logically for a moment, that wouldn't help you anyway.

    It sounds like you have the option of borrowing somebodies XP disk, or waiting here where no doubt someone will have an idea. I'm going to see if I can find something.

    Ok - to start with, try using an XP NTLDR boot disk (readme1st) download from and unzip to an XP formatted floppy disk. Boot the computer from this, and provided your windows partion is C: you should be able to get into your windows at the very least.

    edit - I'm just downloading something which claims to be a bootable recovery console CD. I'm checking to see if it works atm - if it does I'll post the link.

    edit 2 You could try downloading this zipped ISO, unzip it and use the ISO to create a win xp setup disk. Try the recovery console on that, and see if fixboot and fixmbr works...
  3. flashmonkey

    flashmonkey TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Yea, I fortunately did have a boot floppy lying around so I am currently in Windows, so if all else fails I'll still be able to use windows. Thanks for the quick reply and the effort!
  4. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Hopefully you've seen my second edit, which will hopefully work out for you :)
  5. wlknaack

    wlknaack TS Rookie Posts: 143

    An alternative to XP install CD

    Go to and download and create a Windows 98 boot disk. Boot to this disk and run the fdisk /mbr command which will rebuild the mbr. The difference between the Win98 fdisk /mbr command and the WinXP fixmbr command is that the Win98 contains more bytes and will zero out the HDD signature which lies between the mbr and the partition table, whereas the WinXP will not. This will be of no consequence to you because XP will be forced to recreate a new HDD signature upon boot.

    When you run the fdisk /mbr, do not look for any affirmative response. The command runs, and you are back at the command prompt almost instantaneously. Remove the disk and reboot to your HDD. This should solve your problem.
  6. flashmonkey

    flashmonkey TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    It worked, thanks a lot!
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