"no boot sector on hard diksk" message - please help

By jongatera ยท 5 replies
Oct 25, 2004
  1. "no boot sector on hard disk" message - please help


    My hard disk broke so I bought a new one and have just restored a backup I made previously with Norton Ghost. The problem is that after re-starting the system I get the message "No Boot Sector on Hard Disk". I assume this means that Norton Ghost didnt copy this over or couldnt so I put the XP CD in, went to the Recovery Console and typed "fixboot" (someone told me this would fix the problem).

    Now when re-starting I get no message but just a blinking "-" and nothing happens. Should I have used the "fixmbr" command? or is something else wrong. Sorry im a little bit clueless!

    I have now restored the ghost backup again but still get this blinking "-" symbol on startup and using a dos boot disk the computer doesnt even think the c: drive exists.

    If anyone has any ideas I would be eternally gratefull

    Thanks for your time

  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Welcome to TechSpot

    I'm not sure about Norton Ghost (I use Drive Image instead).
    It would not hurt to format that HD first in NTFS. Make the partition the same size as the backed-up one. If there is any space left, use that for a second partition.
    Then do your Ghosting.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    FIXBOOT writes the "boot sector" to the specified partition.
    FIXMBR repairs or replaces the master boot record of the disk.

    You will also want to ensure that your partition is active, because Ghost will not make a partition active unless you do a sector-by-sector backup and complete restore.

    Here's what to do...

    Boot from the XP / 2000 CDROM and allow the setup to begin. Once the beginning files are copied, you will be asked to Install Windows or use the Recovery Console. Please choose "r" here, to run the recovery console.

    You will now type in the following commands when the prompt appears:

    chkdsk /f
    * This will repair any obvious file system damage, which could complicate things.

    * This will run the XP disk partition utility. We will be checking to see if your partition looks OK. If you see your partition, and the information diskpart provides appears correct, then that's a good thing. :)

    Press [ESC] to exit Diskpart, when everything looks peachy.

    * We'll write a new boot sector, so the computer knows how to boot the computer

    * We'll write a new boot record, so the computer knows how to boot Windows

    You should be taken care of. If it still does not work, you may need to delete your partition(s) using diskpart, then recreate the partition(s) (using diskpart, again).
  4. jongatera

    jongatera TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your responses guys.

    Turns out I had a little extra problem,the replacement hard disk I bought was a few MB less than the Ghost backup I was trying to restore with, which kinda through up a few errors.

    So I decided to just format and re-install XP from scratch. Im hoping that when i get Ghost back on I can individually select files within the Ghost backup and restore my important stuff individually :)
  5. NavyDawg66

    NavyDawg66 TS Rookie

    What if the partition is "unknown"?

    I ran this utility and checked the partition with diskpart, which displays the c: drive as "unknown". When I use the fixboot command, will it wipe out or make my files and programs inaccessible? If so, should I be able to install this hard drive into a machine whose OS reads NTFS and copy the files to a new drive?

    Sorry, but I am reluctant to use a command that may prevent me from otherwise accessing at least the files that are on the corrupt drive. Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
  6. vonfluehaugen

    vonfluehaugen TS Rookie

    boot sector etc repair utility?

    All, I had a "no boot sector found" problem a while back and I came here and somebody had posted a link to a really sweet, lightweight DOS application that you could run directly from windows to test, inspect, repair, recover, and write the MBR to the discs connected to your computer. The utility was awesome. Through some kind of gross lapse of judgement, I deleted the utility, and now I cannot find it anywhere. Does anybody know what I am talking about? Or does anybody know of any similar utility?
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