MBR Trouble

  • Paul Victor

    Paul Victor - 2012-11-30


    I hope there’s someone who can help.  I used DBAN in dodshort mode on a Dell Inspiron 530.  My intention was to clean the HD thoroughly, but I didn’t know it would also wipe out the MBR.  When I try to reinstall XP Home and it comes to the “Boot from CD” window, my keyboard stops responding, (although it works to get into BIOS) so I can’t try a solution I found online which is to type fdisk /mbr.

    I have another computer running XP Home as well, and according to what I read online, was looking for the i386 folder off the C root.  I found a few folders for i386 but saw none that were on the C root.

    Obviously, I’m in over my head, so if someone out there is in a kind mood, please assist me with this mess!


  • Scott

    Scott - 2012-12-01

    If you used DBAN, it will clean your hard drive, including all files and the MBR.  DBAN does not offer any option to retain the MBR.  I don't know why you would want to retain it, especially if you are going to reinstall windows.  When you reinstall windows, you can choose "quick format" if you believe you don't have any damaged sectors.  Quick format only takes a few minutes.  To answer your question, if you ran DBAN, your hard drive has been cleaned.  You would need a data recovery specialist to restore data - this may be possible since you chose dodshort method.  Since you wiped the drive, data recovery will be require special equipment and be very expensive.  I don't think you are over your head, you don't need the MBR.  You need to wipe the drive and reinstall windows - that simple.  I hope this helps.

  • Paul Victor

    Paul Victor - 2012-12-05


    Thanks for your reply.   I used DBAN specifically because I wanted to completely wipe out the HD, so I understood there would be no recoverable data (at least nothing I could do to recover it), and that's fine. 
    Having only ever reinstalled Windows using the formatting that comes up during the installation, I didn't know the MBR was part of the installation.  What caused any of this to be a problem was the keyboard becoming non-operational when it came to the "Boot from CD" screen, and so I couldn't get the process started for reinstallation. 
    I happened to notice the F12 Boot Menu, which I wasn't aware of and never needed because I was always able to boot from the CD.  Anyway, that took care of it, and now I know in the future, should I ever need to use DBAN again, how to go about reinstalling.

    The one thing I'm still curious about is why did the USB keyboard stop working?


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