MBR overwritten

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by skir0987, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. skir0987 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #1
    I have a big problem- my macbook pro is now not bootable at all.
    I had bootcamp with windows XP installed, and the windows XP partition stopped functioning. So, after doing some research, I found I had to go to the recovery console and do a fixboot command. So, I typed fixboot C: and it seemed to work. However, now my computer does not recognize the Mac OS X partition at all and the windows partition STILL doesn't work. To make matters worse, I can't find my restore disk, but I can borrow one from a friend in a day or two. Also, I tried to go into single-user mode but it doesn't work. I am pretty much stuck- is there anything I can do without erasing everything on the hard drive? If worse comes to worst, I guess I'll just have to do a clean restore, but I really don't want to do that. I think all I have to do is somehow restore the MBR, but I'm not sure how to.
     
  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #2
    The first thing you need to do is to see whether the Mac OS X partition is still there. XP and non-existent Mac OS X/MBR partition seems to be a trend as I've had customers call in with the exact same problem.

    At this point, you will need a Mac OS X Install DVD but it has to be RETAIL or a Drop In, not a install DVD that came with another Mac as that disc is only meant to be used on that specific computer.

    Once you have the appropriate DVD, run disk utility and see which partitions are there before we can move forward.
     
  3. skir0987 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #3
    Ok thanks... I'm pretty sure a friend has a restore disk for the same macbook pro I have, so it may work. Otherwise, is there some bootable image I can download that has just the essentials (disk utility, terminal, etc)? I've seen some sort of flash drive that had that sort of thing, so it would be very helpful.

    Thanks for the quick response.

    EDIT: I just found this: http://sportman.freeflux.net/blog/archive/2006/11/27/restore-darwin-bootloader-to-mbr.html

    I'm not sure if that would do the trick, but all I really need right now is the DVD.

    Also, I don't think the partition could have been deleted... all I did was run a fixboot command in the windows install disk which took about 2 seconds to complete.
     
  4. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #4
    That bootloader won't work, those are for those trying to put Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware. Any Mac OS X install DVD will have disk utility, terminal etc. the only difference is those that came with Mac's are only to be used for those specific computers.
     
  5. skir0987 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #5
    Ah OK... that makes sense.

    I made contact with my friend who has a restore disk, and he'll give it to me tomorrow, so I guess I'll just hope for the best. I'd be perfectly fine restoring the computer (I was planning on doing it soon anyways because the startup time was getting a bit slow) except for that fact that I have some information that hadn't been backed up for a week or two... I'm just hoping I can recover that.

    Thanks for all your help :)

    EDIT: I just read that I could go into the windows recovery console and type "fixmbr". I'm doubtful that this would do anything to the OS X partition, but it may fix the windows side. I don't want to screw it up any more, so what do you think? I'm pretty sure I've done that command once before when my ubuntu install messed up the windows partition, but I'm not quite sure...
     
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    No problem, all we want to do is make sure you Mac OS X partition is still there. If your friends DVD doesn't work, that really isn't a problem as well, just call up AppleCare and request for a replacement, maybe you'll get me and Ill just ship you one w/ no charge! :p. hah! If not then maybe the agent might just give you one if you explain the situation nicely.
     
  7. skir0987 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #7
    Well, I got the DVD and it works. However, when I looked in disk utility, I only see one drive: NO NAME , with a capacity of 232gb and 9mb available. I doubt that I can recover anything now... I went into terminal, cd'd into the NO NAME volume, and only see three files there: .Trashes, ._.Trashes, and BOOTEX.LOG. Should I just restore?
     
  8. skir0987 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #8
    Hmm... I think I'm just going to restore, I had most of my stuff backed up anyways. I'm gonna start backing up more regularly :p
     
  9. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #9
    Yeah, with the MBR deleted or overwritten, chances are everything is gone. It's good that you did have a backup of some of your files. Just delete all partitions and create a new one for Mac OS X and once everything is up and running, install XP through Boot Camp and be careful of the whole installation.
     
  10. Uma888 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    #10
    Not really, The MBR points the user to an Operating System, since in this case the MBR is missing that doesnt mean the OP's data is missing too. One way of recovering the data is to use a Linux Live CD (Save my ass many times). It will allow the OP to Copy Data on External Mediums. Once backed up the OP can proceed to restore his MBP.
     
  11. skir0987 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #11
    Thanks for all your help... but I wish I'd known that I could do the live CD thing before I restored :p

    However, the disk that I used to install leopard didn't work... it said that the "Essentials" package could not be verified. I'm guessing that this is because the DVD is scratched. I already tried the toothpaste method, but that didn't work. So now I'm just installing Ubuntu until I can find a working leopard disk... unless anyone knows how to fix the leopard disk I have now.
     

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