How to fix WinXP MBR with HBCD???

Hi Tom's Hardware forum members.

I am nowhere near as learned as most of you about computers, but I hope I am smart enough to figure out the problem with your help.

I am trying to resurrect my son's stock Gateway CX2618 Convertible Notebook.

Processor options Intel® Centrino™ Mobile Tech. with Intel® Pentium® M Processor 740 (2 MB L2 Cache | 1.73 GHz | 533 MHz FSB)
LCD display panel 14.0-inch Widescreen WXGA TFT with Digitizer and Executive Stylus
Chipset Intel 915GM
Memory 1024 MB DDR2 (2 × 512 MB) Dual Channel Memory
Video Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (GMA900)
Hard Drive 80 GB HDD (5400 RPM) SATA
Optical Drive DVD +/- RW Multi-Format Double Layer
Network 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port) Intel® PRO/Wireless LAN 802.11g SecureEasySetup™
Interfaces 3 - USB 2.0 Ports, 1 - VGA External Connector, 1 - IEEE 1394 port, 1 - RJ11 (Modem), 1 - RJ45 (Ethernet LAN)
PCMCIA 1 - Type I or Type II; Card Bus

It came with WinXP. Recently it could not connect to the WiFi. It would connect when tethered to my son's droid, but I wanted to fix it.
I did all the basic computer fixes that I know of:
updated drivers
checked with anti-malware and anti-virus programs
defragged the HDD
error checked and auto-fixed the HDD

When I had finished it would not boot into WinXP because of an MBR error. All his original discs that came with the laptop are now gone so I tried to reinstall WinXP. This failed because I could not figure out how to install the SATA drivers, even with the benefit of nLite which adds drivers to an ISO image. I burned about 10 different DVD's while selecting different drivers before I gave up.

From a suggestion on another thread I was told that Hiren's BootCD 15.2 could repair my MBR. I dl'ed and burned HBCD. There are so many sites out there on HBCD. I have read many of them and watched numerous videos, but I have not found one with simple step-by-step instructions on how to use one of the tools on HBCD to fix the MBR.

I have found these programs after booting the disc:

I looked in:
Dos Programs

and then:
MBR (Master Boot Record) Tools

and found:
MBR Work
MBR Tool
Bootfix Utility
MBR Save / Restore
Boot Partition
Smart Boot Manager Installer
Partition Table Editor
MBR Utility
XOSL Boot Manager

I have tried what I think to be the user-friendly MBR fixes that a few of these programs have, but nothing has worked. I would greatly appreciate any step-by-step instructions or a link with such for one of these programs on Hiren's BootCD.

Thank you very much,
4 answers Last reply
More about winxp hbcd
  1. I hope the hard disk is backed up. MBR changes have the potential to ruin all the data currently present on the hard disk.

    Try to enter Windows Recovery Console using any Windows XP installation disk. When booting from the Windows XP installation disk, at a certain point, you need to enter 'R' to get inside the recovery console. Once in the recovery console, type "fixmbr" and press enter. Normally, this fixes the problem.
  2. @ coolvap,
    Thanks for the response. To my knowledge, there have been no back-ups of anything made on this thing.

    When I enter Windows Recovery Console using a generic Windows XP installation disk, I have the same issue:
    "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer"
    From what I understand this is an issue with the SATA drivers which I have struggled with here:

    As you can see on that thread, I still do not know how to determine which SATA drivers need to be installed. I know how to use nLite to make a disc with the drivers on them, but I guess there are more than one.

    I thought that HBCD could by-pass that need for SATA drivers, allow me to fix the MBR, fix the laptop and save any data already on the HDD before I upgraded to Win7 (if I can ever figure out the SATA drivers that I need).

    So, I am stuck.

    Thanks again,
  3. Is it possible for you to get hold of a Windows XP SP2/SP3 installation disk instead of Windows XP installation disk that you are using currently? As far as I recall, they had built-in SATA drivers. If you are having a hard time trying to determine the compatible drivers, this could be helpful!
  4. I am using the Win XP SP3 disc. I do not think it has the SATA drivers. If it does, I have no idea where they would be.

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