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Scenarios

“I have a 1TB Seagate external hard drive that is damaged and I recently ran a scan with the HDD
regenerator and it told me that the Master Boot Record is damaged. Anyone know any great MBR
repair tool for external hard drive? Thanks a lot!”

Analysis about corrupted MBR on external hard drive


MBR is a boot sector of your hard disk that contains the important information about the partitions on
your hard drive and loads the OS. MBR is created on the very first partition when you first install
Windows. It’s the first 512 bytes of your hard disk.
Therefore, when MBR on your main hard drive gets damaged, you will usually meet various Windows
boot failure error messages like “Error loading operating system” “Operating System not found”,
“Invalid partition table” , “No bootable medium found”, “Reboot and select proper boot device”,etc. So
learn how to repair damaged MBR is quite necessary for ensuring your computer functioning well.
But before that, you might want to know what can cause the MBR damage of external or internal hard
drive, preventing possible MBR corruption in future. Generally speaking, there are three main causes
for damaged MBR either on external hard drive or internal hard drive:
> A virus infection: when a virus is loaded onto your computer, the MBR will become its prior target
to infect since master boot record is the most important part of your hard drive.
> A drive failure: if there are some defective clusters on the erea where the MBR is located on the hard
drive, the master boot record is more likely to become unreadable.
> MBR overwrite: if the master boot record is overwritten by some programs accidentally, it will
become damaged as well.

Best Free MBR repair tool for external hard drive-AOMEI


Partition Assistant
Now, back to the point- is there any professional MBR repair tool to fix damaged master boot record?
Actually, when you Google online, many free MBR repair tools will come into your sight. To save your
time, here we would like to recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This free MBR repair
tool comes with a feature named Rebuild MBR, which could help you easily and quickly repair the
corrupted MBR of both external and internal hard drive in Windows 7/8/10/XP/Vista.
Now free download the powerful MBR repair software and learn how to repair damaged MBR on
external hard drive.
Attention: If the corrupted MBR has caused your Windows unable to boot normally, you can also use
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to make a bootable USB stick to access the currently non-bootable
operating system. If your Windows can boot successfully, you can skip this part.
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on your Windows computer, right click the
external hard drive and select Rebuild MBR.

Step 2. Select the type of MBR for your current operating system.
Step 3. Click Apply->Proceed to execute the pending operations.
Same steps can be applied to repair MBR on internal hard drive.

Fix the damaged MBR from Command Prompt


Besides using a professional MBR repair utility, another popular MBR repair solution is run the
bootrec.exe/fixmbr command in the Command Prompt window. This always requires Windows system
repair or installation disc.
Step 1. Put the original Windows installation DVD into the disk tray and boot your computer from it.
Step 2: Follow the wizard to choose “Repair your computer”> “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced” >
“Command Prompt” (Windows 8/8.1/10). In Windows 7, select “Next” after choosing the operating
system, in the System Recovery Options window, click on “Command Prompt”.
Step 3. When the Command Prompt loads, type the following commands:
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /ScanOs
bootrec /RebuildBcd
However, it might not be considered as a wise choice for the common computer users without enough
IT knowledge.

Conclusion
No matter you want to fix MBR via a MBR repair tool for external hard drive or using Command
Prompt in Windows 7/8/10, above content can help you a lot. If you need to repair MBR on Windows
Server computer, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server version.

Get Corrupted MBR on External Drive


“I have 1TB HDD used as external hard drive in my Windows 10. I found it does not show up in
Windows Explorer this morning. I also check it in Disk Management where it shows up as unallocated
space. I cannot create new partition with that space, nor formatting it. Then, I check it with a third-party
analysis tool, and it says the MBR on my external drive is corrupted and needs to be fixed. What does
that mean? How could I fix MBR on external drive?”
Google online, you may find there are many users report that MBR of external hard drive get damaged
or corrupted unexpectedly without a reason. Then, what MBR of a hard drive is and what caused the
damaging?

Something You May Want to Know about MBR


Master Boot Record (MBR) contains the Partition Table for the disk, and a small amount of executable
code for the boot start, if it is a boot drive. MBR will be created when the first partition of the hard
drive is created, and usually locates on the first sector of the disk.
When you get a corrupted MBR on internal hard drive, Windows will not access to that drive and
system will not boot. Errors like “Operating System Not Found”, “Invalid Partition Table” and
“Missing Operating System” will come into your sight.
When you get MBR damaged on external USB drive or hard drive, you’ll not able to access to any
partition of that disk, because partition table for that disk is damaged. Therefore, data on that drive will
be lost and you cannot use the drive for new purposes.

Possible Causes for Corrupted MBR of External Drive


Whether it is an internal hard drive or an external drive, the reasons for MBR error seem the same. In
general, there are three main possible causes for external hard drive master boot record corrupting.

 Virus infection. When a virus loads on your hard drive, the MBR sector is the first target that
the virus is likely to infect. When the MBR part locked, no data on that drive can be accessed.

 MBR overwritten. Some programs may accidentally write part of the MBR when they are
installed on the external drive.
 Hard drive failure. Defective cluster of a hard drive makes MBR unreadable.
Other behaviors like shut down PC without disconnecting the external drive also do harm to the MBR
sector. MBR of external hard drive can be damaged, yet it can be fixed as well. You have choices to
repair MBR of external drive in Windows 7 and Windows 10.

How to Fix MBR for External Hard Drive Effectively in


Windows 7/10?
You’ll learn how to fix an MBR of inaccessible external hard drive through three methods in following
parts. Choose the one that is suitable for you.
Note: All data on the external hard drive will be lost. If you have important data need to be recovered
on the external drive, turn to professional data recovery software please.

Repair MBR on External Drive via Windows Installation Disc


If you have a Windows installation disc in hand, you can fix MBR of the drive easily.
1. Connect the external disk to your computer. Shut down the machine and insert the installation disc.
Boot from the disc.
2. Select language, time and keyboard input, and click Next.
3. At this step, click Repair your computer in the lower-left corner.
4. Press Shift + F10 key combination to call out Command Prompt.
5. At the prompt, type the drive letter of your external hard drive partition, like F:, followed by a colon
and press Enter.
6. Type these commands in sequence and press Enter after each.

 bootrec.exe /fixmbr

 bootrec.exe /fixboot

 bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
7. Restart the machine when it completes.
Tips:

 If Windows falls to the internal disk, you’ll need to change boot priority to the installation disc
in BIOS.

 If Shift + F10 combination does not work, try this approach with the installation disc. In
Windows 10, Choose an option > Troubleshoot > Command Prompt; In Windows 7, Next >
System Recovery Options > Command Prompt.
MBR Repair on External Hard Drive via Advanced options
If you don’t have a Windows installation disc or repair disc, you can try this way to enter the command
prompt interface.
If you’re running Windows 10: go Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Restart now > Choose
an option > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
If you’re running Windows 7: restart your computer and keep tapping F8 to enter the repair interface
automatically. And then, go Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command
Prompt.
Then, at the prompt, follow the step 5 to step 7 in above method to rebuild MBR of external hard drive.

Easiest Way to Fix MBR on External USB Drive


Whether you have Windows disc, you can fix MBR for external USB hard drive at last. However, you
may find the bootrec /fixmbr command disappoints you sometimes with the return error “Access
denied”, “File not found”, “I/O device error”, or “Element not found”.
What’s more, above two steps are advanced command line operations that may not suitable for all
users. As a result, it is not bad to have a look at this solution.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is free partition manager that allows you to fix MBR partition
table for external drive in graphical user interface (GUI). Windows 7/8/10/XP/Vista supported. More
important, you don’t have to restart your computer to do MBR repairing. Download this freeware and
have a try.

 Repair Corrupted MBR on External Drive Step by Step


1. Connect the external drive to your PC. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant.
2. Right click the external disk and select Rebuild MBR.
3. Select the type of MBR for your current operating system.
4. Click Apply and then Proceed to execute the pending operations.
5. At the pop-up confirming dialogue, click Yes, and wait for the process completes.
Tips: If you want to fix MBR without booting Windows, you can create a bootable media with the
software and perform the repairing in WinPE mode.

Conclusion
When you get corrupted MBR on external USB drive or external hard drive, don’t worry. You can fix
MBR for external drive with the help of Windows installation disc, Advanced options of Windows, and
the professional partition table repair tool.
As you can see from the screenshots, AOMEI Partition Assistant is a qualified helper in solving other
issues as well. For instance, you can check hard drive for errors after rebuilding MBR on the external
drive. For more advanced features like command line operations, please upgrade to AOMEI Partition
Assistant Professional.