Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Problems when trying to fix MBR

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1

    Problems when trying to fix MBR


    Hi,

    I have a Dell Inspiron 7000 series running Windows 8.1. After installing a Windows update, my computer booted into a black screen. I downloaded a Windows 8.1 ISO and made a bootable USB, from there I tried to repair the start and also used the various variations of the bootrec.exe command inside the command line when executing the bootable USB.

    - I used the diskpart command to list the drives that my computer had. It turns out that the 480GB partition (that is, the main disk) is called Drive 5 there.
    - In the command line, when using the bootable USB, each line starts with x:\. However, my Windows partition is in c:\. I verified that typing "cd c:\Windows", and the directory changed successfully, so that c:\windows exists.

    I read somewhere that what I had to do was to select the Drive 5 when in diskpart, running the command "active", so that then I could run bootrec.exe from the Drive 5, but i got the following error message:

    The selected disk is not a fixed MBR disk. Only on fixed MBR disks it's possible to mark a disk as active.

    The conclusion seems to be that my Windows partition is Disk 5, that Disk 5 has the MBR corrupted and that when I execute bootrec.exe it's not doing it on disk 5 by default, and I cannot manually change to Disk 5 using diskpart because it's not a fixed MBR disk.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Pau

    EDIT: I forgot to mention my laptop has a 32GB mSATA SSD. I don't know if this might have to do with this issue.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    - In the command line, when using the bootable USB, each line starts with x:\. However, my Windows partition is in c:\. I verified that typing "cd c:\Windows", and the directory changed successfully, so that c:\windows exists.
    When booting from the USB, you are booting into a WinPE environment and the x:\ prompt is from Windows PE and it resides in RAM. The "C:\Windows" is your real Windows 8.1.
    The selected disk is not a fixed MBR disk. Only on fixed MBR disks it's possible to mark a disk as active.
    You can only mark the MBR style to be Active. Your Windows 8.1 was setup using GPT Style.

    Just boot from the USB, click Next->Repair my computer->Trouble Shoot->Advanced Options->Start up repair
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks for your help, topgundcp. I tried start up repair but I get the following message:

    "Startup repair could not repair your PC. The log file has been saved to C:/Windows/System32/Logfiles/Srt/SrtTrail.txt".

    I then clicked "advanced options", opened the command prompt, typed "notepad", went to file > open and opened that route, and I see that the last log has a list of performed tasks, every single one of them listed as "correctly completed (error 0x0)" and then it says that the "main cause found" is "the system volume disk is damaged".

    I have previously performed a chkdsk c: f/ r/ twice, which corrected plenty of errors in both cases, but with no luck solving the blank screen after boot. However, I'm now performing another chkdsk just in case.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that I have also tried to do the manual startup repair, executing the following 3 commands:

    bootrec.exe /FixMbr
    bootrec.exe /FixBoot
    bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD

    The three of them say that have been completed successfully, but there's still black screen after boot.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Try one of those.

    From the desktop:
    System Recovery Options - Boot to in Windows 8

    From the Repair CD/USB:
    How to do a Auto Repair:
    Automatic Repair - Run in Windows 8
    Note: You may need to do startup repair 3 to 4 times.
    Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times - Windows 7 Help Forums

    How do a Refresh:
    Refresh Windows 8

    How to do a System Restore:
    System Restore - How to Do in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks for your help, theog. I have a couple of comments regarding your suggestions:

    - I tried using diskpart, but as I commented in the original post, I can't mark the partition which contains the Windows folder (in my case partition 5) as active, because I get an error saying that it is not MBR. Is there an alternative to do that with a GPT installation?
    - I tried to restore to a previous point (actually to different points), but I always get an error saying something along the lines of "it was not possible to restore because this volume is damaged".

    I would like to note that, when I use the command prompt from WinPE, type notepad, and go to file > open, I'm still able to see all my programs and files so I'm sure that this only has to do with the MBR, and not with the c: drive being dead.

    However, I'm going to do the automatic startup repair 3 times in a row once the PC finishes with the chkdsk and let you know.

    By the way, the chkdsk is really slow (the elapsed time is more than 2 hours). In other PC's I've done that and I remember it being way faster. Is this normal?

    Thanks,

    Pau
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Windows is NOT installed in Legacy with MBR HHD set up, Windows is install in UEFI with GPT type HHD set up, therefore NO partition can be marked ACTIVE.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks theog, I know that, but my question is: when I run the repair commands, given that I could not mark the Windows partition as active because the drive is GPT, how do I know that those commands are trying to restore the correct drive and not another one which is not the one that contains the Windows installation?

    Another question: the usual commands (bootrec.exe) do also work in a GPT environment, or is it a different story? Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If you wish, you can try:
    Download Macrium WinPE .iso - OneDrive and use Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way to create a bootable USB stick.
    Boot from the USB stick and select the option where it shows: UEFI-USBxxxx then select what shown on the screen to fix the boot problem.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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