How to alter Master Boot Record from Windows XP Recovery Console so that it points at an extended Linux partition instead of a NTFS one it is pointing at now?

My MBR used to point at extended partition and every time I powered on a Linux loader started where I could choose to start my Ubuntu.

After a failed Windows XP installation my hard drive's MBR is pointing at the NTFS, which contains currupt Windows XP that won't start.

How do I change MBR back to the state when the booting process proceeds from the Linux partition.

Windows XP recovery console from its installation CD is the only one tool I have right now. It has fixmbr command, but it seems only to be able to fix a corrupt MBR, so it can't change MBR to point to another partition.

Is there any way to change MBR with WinXP recovery console?

UPD: I can also rephrase the question like this: "How to change boot parititon under Windows XP recovery console?"


The MBR simply contains executable code to start the bootloader. The Windows Bootloader configuration is stored in C:\boot.ini.

That aside, for a Linux/Windows dual boot situation, I recommend using GRUB in place of the standard Windows boot loader. If you need to get into your Linux partition in order to set this up, I recommend Super Grub Disk. This tool can be used to boot any OS on your computer, or install GRUB to your MBR.

Good luck!


You could download one of those GParted Live rescue CD's and change the active partition back to linux.


This sounds more like a superuser question. Kyle's answer is pretty spot on, you can just edit your boot.ini and have it load up linux, then setup GRUB, you should also be able to boot into your distro using your install CD and setup GRUB.

See: http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/113945 for help with setting up your boot.ini

  • echobeach2s suggestion is also reasonable. Microsoft did not include FDISK in the recovery console, so short of either chainloading GRUB from your boot.ini or using another tool (like gparted or another livecd) you're not going to have much luck. – Tyler Oct 22 '09 at 23:19

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