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Boot from a 98 boot disk or the windows 98 cd and run fdisk /mbr. Way easier than learning new utils.

Only your 4th post and very valuable input. I will keep your awesome method with my floppyless and CDless notebook. :whistle:

RIS + WinPE or PXELinux is my only way to install / repair / fix problems on my notebook


Thanks !

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Boot from a 98 boot disk or the windows 98 cd and run fdisk /mbr. Way easier than learning new utils.

By the way, the Windows 98 fdisk /mbr command will write, guess what, a Win98 MBR, NOT a NT/Win2k/XP/2003 one.

The only ways to write a new NT/Win2k/XP/2003 MBR I know of, apart the utility from Kaares here are:

1) Microsoft's FixMBR (that will run in the Recovery Console only)

2) Ranish partition manager (that will work from DOS only) which writes a standard IPL code, not the win2k one

You can extract the MBR IPL code from files on your Win2k/XP and write it manually with an Hex/disk editor:


The very good utility MBRwizard by Roger Layton can read (and store) MBR data, then can write it from the stored file, but it DOES NOT create it as the above two do.

To edit/replace the BOOT RECORD (not the MBR) there is this fine Bootpart by Gilles Vollant (that will have direct disk access under DOS only), that works on FAT volumes.

A further step could be to make an unified GUI for the three of them:




and for some other related utility, so that you have a complete repair solution.

Every suggestion is welcome.


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  • 2 weeks later...

The version of vmbrfix.exe and bat file I posted last night has hard coded paths specific for BartPE. I changed to relative pathing so you should be able to run from anywhere now (must be in path with no long directory names, though), and "should" work under win2k. please let me know.


reposted 2-02 3:15pm - several small changes

reposted 2-02 6:17pm - added "about" box

reposted 2-03 9:25am - added error handler


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that is "file not found" error. when does it occur? what platform are you running? is mbrfix.exe in the dir? any details will help.

Also, put it in a path that has no long directory names (like not on the desktop). shellexecute may have trouble with dir names longer than 8 chars.

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