How to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR) on Windows 10

The Master Boot Record (MBR), sometimes also referred to as the “master partition table” or “partition sector”, is the most important piece of information that enables your PC to find and identify the location of the operating system to allow Windows 10 to boot.

Many times due to viruses, system reconfiguration, or when your PC doesn’t shut down properly can cause the Master Boot Record to get corrupted, and sometimes you may even come across the Bootmgr Is Missing error that will prevent your PC from booting.

If you ever have such a problem, you’ll need to fix the MBR to enable Windows 10 to load again on your PC.

In this Windows 10 guide, you’ll learn the steps to repair the Master Boot Record on your PC. However, keep in mind that you can use the same instructions on Windows 8.1.

How to repair the Master Boot Record

  1. Download the Windows 10 installation files.

  2. Create a Windows 10 bootable media.

  3. Change your PC BIOS settings to boot from the bootable media. This process usually requires to press one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC or Delete key. For more accurate instructions, visit your PC manufacturer’s support website.

  4. Boot your computer with the bootable media to start the Windows 10 Setup.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Click the Repair your computer on the lower-left corner.

  7. Click Troubleshoot.

  8. Click Advanced options.

  9. Click Command Prompt.

  10. You’ll now enter into the Command Prompt environment, which will allow you to launch the Bootrec.exe tool to repair the Master Boot Record on your Windows 10 PC. Bootrec.exe supports a number of options depending on your situation.

    Use the FixMbr option when you need to repair Master Boot Record corruption problems, or when you need to clean the code from the MBR. This command will not overwrite the existing partition table in the hard drive.

    Bootrec /fixMbr

    Use the FixBoot option when the boot sector was replaced with another non-standard code, the boot sector is damaged, or when you installed an early version of the operating system alongside another more recent version.

    Bootrec /fixBoot

    Use the ScanOS option when the Boot Manager menu doesn’t list all the operating systems installed on your computer. This option will scan all drives to find all compatible installations and it will display the entries that are not in the BCD store.

    Bootrec /ScanOS

    Use the RebuildBcd option when you don’t have another option and you must rebuild the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) store.

    Bootrec /RebuildBcd

  11. If you are trying to troubleshoot a “Bootmgr Is Missing” error and rebuilding the BCD store doesn’t fix the problem, you can use the following commands to export and erase the BCD store and using the RebuildBcd command again to try getting Windows 10 to boot.

    While in the Command Prompt using the recovery environment, type the following commands and press Enter on each line:

    BCDedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
    CD boot
    Attrib BCD -s -h -r
    Ren C:\boot\bcd bcd.old
    Bootrec /RebuildBcd

    Press Y to confirm adding Windows 10 to the list of bootable operating system on your computer.

  12. Close the Command Prompt.

Once you have gone through all the steps mentioned above, you should now be able to load Windows 10 again on your computer.

If you are not sure exactly what’s the problem with your computer, you should try all the commands in this guide in order to see if any of them repair the issue allowing you to boot again into Windows 10.

While Bootrec.exe should be good enough to repair the Master Boot Record, there are other related issues that may require the use of other command line tools, such as Bootsect.exe or BCDboot, but they are beyond the scope of this guide.

Were you able to fix the Master Boot Record problem in your Windows 10 PC? Let us know in the comments below. If you have a different fix share it with us so other users can also find a solution.