where is MBR

  Nessie 23:13 30 Jan 2005

Have dual boot system and want to find mbr. how do I find it as i have done a search in all files including hidden ones and cant find it

  Gandalph 23:17 30 Jan 2005

click here worth reading. This may help you out.

  VoG II 23:18 30 Jan 2005

No you won't be able to find it. Why would you want to do this? If you want to fix it you need to go to a command prompt by

Start, Run, type


and click OK

Then at the > prompt type

fdisk /mbr

  temp003 09:29 31 Jan 2005

I suspect you are looking for something else, not the MBR. Tell us why you think you want the MBR and we might be able to tell you what you need to do.

What are the two OS's you have on your dual boot? Would it be the boot files you are looking for?

If the OS's are only XP and/or Windows 2000 (no 98/ME), then the boot files are on C, called ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini

If the dual boot has 98/ME on, there is an extra file on C called bootsect.dos

Boot.ini is the file which gives you the dual boot selection screen which allows you to change the settings.

  Nessie 21:39 31 Jan 2005

click here

Posted this last year and you posted temp003. Am ready to have a go but can you tell me the likleyhood of success. ie you say hope xp boots up but I presume that if it doesnt I wont be able to reconnect 98 or save xp so I will have to start again. format, reinstal etc. would you change anything that you posted or is it still current. Thanks

  temp003 03:16 01 Feb 2005

First, load XP and create the XP bootable floppy now. You must format the floppy, within XP. Right click Drive A, Format, click Start (do NOT tick any of the option boxes). Then copy from C drive to floppy the boot files: ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini and bootsect.dos. Remove and label floppy.

If you can't see these files on C, in My Computer, click Tools, Folder Options, View tab, (1) tick Show hidden files and folders (2) untick Hide file extensions for known file types (3) untick Hide protected operating system files, and say yes when warned (4) click OK.

If anything doesn't go according to plan, restore the hdd config (98 hdd as master, XP hdd as slave) and boot up computer with floppy. You will get the old dual boot menu and select either OS to load.

  temp003 03:34 01 Feb 2005

After creating the floppy, what to do next depends on what you prefer.

The simplest thing is to keep the hdd config, and just edit the 98 option out of the existing C:\boot.ini file (the dual boot selection screen) and delete the 98 folders on C. XP will remain as it is on D drive, the slave (assuming XP partition is called D). You can just use the C drive for other purposes. It is very simple and quick. The disadvantage is you are tied to the 98 hdd as master, as all the boot files remain there.

But I assume from the sound of things that you want to have the XP hdd as master.

This is where I need to add to my posts in the previous threads.

Even if you make XP hdd the master, and make the hdd bootable (which can be done), XP remembers the drive letters, so that your XP partition, now jumpered as the master hdd, will retain its drive letter D. Apart from being slightly unconventional, this is actually an advantage, because all the shortcuts on XP will continue to work, and all registry entries which refer to file paths remain valid.

My own suggestion is that if you take this route (swapping master/slave), you should let the old drive letters be. There is a way to force XP to reassign drive letters - by using the fixmbr command in Recovery Console (which I suggested in the previous thread). I need to CHANGE that. Without going into the details, do NOT use the fixmbr command on the XP hdd.

  temp003 04:28 01 Feb 2005

If you want to set the XP hdd as master, and be able to boot from it, here's what you do (I know it's repetitive, but I'd rather you had the steps all in one thread).

If you have GoBack installed, please do not proceed, and post back.

In the following, I will call the XP partition D (and make you own adjustment if its drive letter is not D).

Boot into XP. Copy (not move) from C drive to D drive (directly to D, not within any folder in D) 3 files: ntldr, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini (no need for bootsect.dos).

Double click your D drive in My Computer, and verify that the 3 files have been copied.

Double click the file D:\boot.ini (the boot.ini file on D, NOT the one on C). It opens in Notepad.

(1) Delete the line under the section [operating systems] that says:

C:\="Microsoft Windows 98"

(2) Then for the line that begins with "default", edit it so that it reads:


(3) For the line under [operating systems] that refers to XP, edit it to read:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home" /fastdetect

[At the moment, I think it reads multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS...]

After making the changes, click File, Save. Exit Notepad.

Turn off computer.

The XP hdd now has the boot files. The next step is to create an XP boot sector on the hdd so that the computer knows it should look for the XP boot files when it boots up.

You must disconnect 98 hdd for now. Connect/jumper XP hdd as master.

Turn on computer and immediately insert XP CD. Let computer boot from CD.

When XP Setup is loaded, press R to enter Recovery Console.

It should list out 1. D:\WINDOWS (I think it will remain D - but doesn't matter). Just press 1 on the keyboard and press Enter.

Type in your Administrator password and Enter. If you have no password, just leave it blank and press Enter. You will get to the D:\WINDOWS> prompt.

Then type:

fixboot d:

and press Enter. [If in Recovery Console, the XP installation is shown as C:\WINDOWS, then you type fixboot c:]

If you're warned or receive any message, just say yes to confirm that that's what you want to do.

After that, type exit and press Enter. Computer will restart, remove XP CD, and let computer boot from the hdd.

It should load XP.

  temp003 04:33 01 Feb 2005

I said in my previous thread I hoped it would load XP. I know that sounds frightening, and you're right to be careful about it.

All I can say is it should. It's the right way, but I can never guarantee the result.

What should be reassuring to you, is that with the above suggestions, you have not deleted anything from the hdds (and the original boot files on the 98 hdd remain there, unchanged). You have created boot files on the XP hdd, and made an attempt to create a bootsector on the XP hdd, that's all. If for any reason this method does not work, all your data is still on the hdds. You can always put the two hdds back into the original config, and boot up the computer from the 98 hdd - and the computer will load the boot files on the 98 hdd. There's also the bootable floppy as a second insurance.

The other thing is, since I posted in the previous thread, I've done it once successfully (admittedly my dual boot was between windows 2000 on the master and XP on the slave, and I made the XP hdd bootable on its own with this method - that's how I realised that the XP hdd retains the old drive letters).

If XP loads fine, check a few shortcuts and programs to see if they work properly. If so, turn off computer. Reconnect 98 hdd, set as slave. Restart computer to load XP. If XP loads, and things work, you can safely format the 98 hdd to use it as you like.

If you have any queries, or anything you're not sure about, or if things don't work, post back.

  Nessie 21:04 01 Feb 2005

Thanks temp003 for explaining it so well and I think I will give it ago on my day off (Thursday. All your help is great

  Nessie 22:54 02 Feb 2005

Hi Temp003

had a go at what you wrote but after fixboot, whick was c and not d I got the message "DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER. Have checked where files are on d drive and seems Ok. Have checked boot.ini and that is the same. I also deleted the timout of 2 seconds but that was after initial failure. Have posted my boot.ini below:

[Boot Loader]
[Operating Systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Have put configuration back as it was and it started up fine.



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