The Master Boot Record (MBR) is a section of your computer's hard drive that tells it where all your operating systems are located. In most computer set-ups, you won't have to deal with the MBR. However, if you want to dual boot your computer system, that is, install two different operating systems such as Windows and Ubuntu, you will have to tell the MBR where the systems are located. Working with these MBRs however, isn't without risks. But not to worry, it's possible to fix your Windows MBR in Ubuntu if something messes up.
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Insert the Ubuntu Live CD into your computer with the broken MBR. Boot the system up and go into the Live CD when the prompt comes up. Log in to the system with administrative privileges.
Click "System," "Administration" and "Software Sources" from the menu. Click the box next to the "Universal Repository" section to unselect it.
Ensure that your Ubuntu system is connected to the Internet, either through a wireless or cable connection.
Open up a terminal window. At the command prompt, type "sudo apt-get install ms-sys." This will download and install the MS-SYS program, which can write and read Microsoft boot records.
Locate the disk that needs the MBR repaired. At the command prompt, type "sudo fdisk -l". Look for the disc entry that looks something like this: "/dev/sda1 1 9327 74919096 83 NTFS." The important parts here are the "NTFS" which tells you it's a MS formatted drive and the "/dev/sda1" which tells you the drive location.
Type the command "sudo ms-sys -m XXXXX" where XXXX is the hard drive location you found in Step 5.
Remove the Ubuntu Live CD from your computer's disc drive. Reboot.
Tips and warnings
- Always use caution when working with your computer's hard drive. If in doubt, bring your computer to a professional for repair.
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