NOTE: This walk through is good for a SINGLE partition hard disk, running an NTFS operation system. You will need to contact technical support for situations out side of that.
The boot record is one of the keys to initializing the operating system. If this cornerstone has somehow been corrupted, or you are receiving error messages such as “No operating system found.” “NTLDR is missing.” “A disk read error occurred” , then this little utility may be the answer to your problem.
NOTE: This function will WRITE data to sectors of the hard drive.
Use Data Recovery Software To Build a Boot Sector
Anytime that a write is performed there is a possibility for more corruption, so use this function only in emergencies. You can also avoid causing further damage to the hard disk by using speed clone first to be sure you have a back up of your data before you go rooting around in a system area of the hard drive. See our post: How to Slave a Hard Drive
Under the ‘Utilities’ menu option click on the menu item which displays ‘Build Boot Record’. You will be presented with a dialog box, very similar to the one below.
There are several fields that need some explanation. They are as follows.
This box contains the sector where the boot record is to reside.
On a single partitioned hard drive that is normally 63, however placement of the boot record depends upon how the drive has been partitioned.
NOTE: Diagnostic partitions are very common in all computers being built today. Because of the 2-3 gig off set due to the diagnostic partition, the actual boot sector for your primary working drive is further down the hard drive.
In order to figure out if you have the correct total sectors you will need to get out your trusty calculator and do a little math. To properly report the total sectors on a drive partition you multiply the heads, times the sectors, times the cylinders minus the reserved sectors and minus 1 sector for the Back up MBR (master boot record) You can find this information but clicking the little plus sign next to physical data and then the plus sign next to geometry.
I am running the software on a Maxtor 6Y120P0 (120 gigabyte) hard drive the heads are 255, the sectors are 63 and the cylinders are 14946. That gives you 240107490 sectors, minus the 63 reserved sectors and minus the 1 sector for the MBR for a final tally of 240107426 sectors for a single partitioned drive.
NOTE: You will notice that the software reports the total sectors with out removing the reserve sectors; you must make sure you remove the reserve sectors.
On an NTFS file system the values could either be ‘4’ or ‘786432’. With older NTFS (i.e. NT4 and Server 2000) using the 4. Newer NTFS (i.e. Windows XP Professional, Sever 2003, and Windows Vista) using 786432.
Sectors Per FAT:
You will not need to fill in this information on an NTFS file system.
Sectors Per Cluster:
Under an NTFS file system this value is almost always 8, unless the file system was converted from FAT32, then the value is usually ‘1’.
Now that we have all of the fields filled in, we can send our boot record to the hard drive. Just click on the ‘Write’ button.
You can download the demo for Recover It All here.
You will receive a warning telling you that you are writing to the hard. Ignore said warning if you TRULY want to write the boot record. If you have any questions, please feel free to call technical support. Click the link if you require hard drive recovery.