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I have a dual boot system on a 320GB HDD that contains 3 partitions. The first partition contains a Windows XP installation for tests, the second partition holds another XP install for daily use. The third partition is for storage.

  • hda - First hard drive
  • hda1 - Test OS
  • hda2 - Daily use OS
  • hda3 - Storage

I have another 500GB HDD (hdb) and I want to move hda2 to hdb1. I no longer need hda1.

I've tried various programs such as Paragon disk, Acronis, and Norton Ghost. I backed up hda2 and successfully restored it on hdb1. (Sizes of hda1 and hdb1 matched.) The problem is that the partition is not bootable, the message i get is "Bootmbr is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del."

I've tried various aproaches from recovery console trying to rebuild the MBR and the boot MBR, then setting hda2 partition the as primary and I've tried to edit the boot.ini of the dual boot system.

I think I need to move the hda2 partition to hda1. (Problem being that hda1 is smaller than hda2, or maybe to copy the partition sector by sector then edit the MBR of the hda and paste it into hdb.

What should I do? What is wrong with the boot process?

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Have you changed boot.ini on hdb? – Maximus Aug 22 '12 at 9:42
hi there r.tannerf and Maximus :) #Maximus: no i didn't, I don't know what exactly should i changein the boot.ini of the hdb, as i can't boot into windows after the hda2 is restored. I get the error described above. #r.tanner.f thank you for editing my question it looks better this way – iulian p Aug 24 '12 at 15:42

First of all I've been using hiren's boot dvd and booted up from that DVD. I chose to boot Windows XP Mini from that disc just to get access to the partitons of hda and hdb. I quickly format hdb1 as there existed hda2 – restored but non-functional.

Rebooting the system and booting up into Hiren's DVD once again, now in the "hard disk tools" the choice was Seagate DiscWizard. I backed up hda2 once again using the "by sector" option. Using the same DiskWizard I restored the partition in hdb1 as an active partition.

Reboot and again boot into Hiren's DVD and again into Windows XP Mini. Checked both hda2 and hdb1 if they look the same, but before that I set up the file manager to show me the system (hidden) files too.

I noticed that in the restored partiton (hdb1) I had no autoexec.bat, config.sys, io.sys, msdos.sys, and ntldr. So copy-paste was my friend.

The last thing I did was to open the boot.ini with a notepad and edit "daily windows" as a solely operating system existent on that partition.

A last restart and into BIOS changing the boot order and setting hdb as the first boot device. After a restart it booted up from the first try.

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Get a windows 95 boot disk, floppy, or you can put them on a bootable CD.

Boot the computer from this disk, and at the command prompt, run

fdisk /mbr

This is an unpublished, but commonly known command that will fix just the Master Boot Record of your primary drive, allowing for normal booting.

UPDATE (response to comments): I've used the Win95 disk for repairs to SATA drives without issue. They were primarily SATA2 drives, and they were not in IDE mode via the BIOS. I don't believe the Win98 disk had fdisk included, as it was a much more "scripted" boot sequence for that OS. So I'm not sure where you ought to proceed from here.

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thank you music2myear for your answer. I've got the win95 iso image, burned it on a cdrw and booted up from it. The problem is that the boot disk for win95 can't recognize the hdb drive. It is a 500GB Sata3 Seagate working in ide/compatible mode. I guess it is either too big in size or the controller from my motherboard that emulates the ide mode is too strange for a win95a bootable disk. Should i try with win95b. iso or maybe win98.iso boot disk instead? I'm afraid none of them will know how to deal with a sata disk working in ide mode. On the other hand I've tried from recovery console with – iulian p Aug 24 '12 at 21:42
(continued) fix mbr and fix boot commands and it didn't worked, while the fix mbr had no effect whatsoever, fix boot turned my booting error messange into "ntldr is missing". I have another idea now, i try to backup the partition hda2 sector by sector and then try to restore it in hdb 1. I guess it is going to be another failure but i'll try once again. – iulian p Aug 24 '12 at 21:46
I also successfully repaired a cloned Windows XP partition which refused to boot with a Win98 CD image downloaded from here:… – MostlyHarmless Feb 21 '15 at 8:42

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