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Dell Restore Partition MBR


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Dell Restore Partition MBR

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My Mother's dimension 2400 had a bug and my sister in-law decided to "fix" it. Well she failed and I was called. I tried the "control+ f11" combo to invoke the restore partition, only to realize that by using the generic XP Install disk she had wiped away the Dell Master Boot record on the hard drive making the Restore function unavailable.


Is there any way to restore the MBR to what it was? A Dell download, perhaps?. If not, What manual steps do I need to run the restore utilityty on the hidden partition?



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  • Once you have altered the MBR the factory restore function for all intent and purpose is done for. there is somewhere in the board a lenghty way to try an rebuild it but you need a working system to do that.

    What you need to do now is a clean install using the reinstall disk. 

    Not sure how messed up it is but  you could try are repair reinstall first and keep your fingers crossed it works.

     Home Built Sandy Bridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 GHz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
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  • Thank yuo for the reply!


    The Dell MBR only directs the computer to the hidden partition and runs the image restore utility. There has to be a way to manual run the restore utility from a dos prompt. I realize you would have to unhide the partition, but it has to be possible.

  • If any one is interested, I found the answer.


    Thanks to:


    Manually Restoring the Ghost Image (DSR-DOS)


    1. Obtain the ptedit.exe utility. Copy the file to some place you will be able to run it from when booted to DOS, such as a floppy disk, CD, or USB flash drive.


    2. Bypass the Dell MBR. Boot to DOS, load a mouse driver, and run ptedit. Use ptedit to change the 'Type' code of the third partition from 'DB' to '0C'. Make the third partition active by changing the 'Boot' indicator to '80'. (Note there must be only one '80', so zero out the '80' in any other rows.) Now when you reboot, the third partition will become the C: partition.


    3. Boot to DOS. You cannot boot directly from the third partition because you won't be able to keep its autoexec.bat file from running automatically. So boot from a Win98 boot disk. Note a DOS 6.2 or Win95 boot disk will not be able to access the third partition because of its FAT32 format, so make sure you use a Win98 or ME boot disk. Once you've booted to (usually) the A: prompt, switch to C: and you should be able to see all files in the restore partition.
    4. Restore the Ghost image. Launch c:\bin\recover.exe. Locate the source file, c:\img\fi.gho, and restore it to the disk's second partition. (See here for step-by-step instructions.)

      Warning: Do not use c:\bat\recover.bat. This is a script file to run recover.exe without user intervention while within the DSR environment. Since you are not letting DSR go through it's normal system pre-checks, it is unwise to let recover.exe run without user intervention.


    5. Restore the partition table. Launch ptedit again and change the partition-type bytes to their regular values (DE, 07, and DB) and make the second partition the active partition.


    The restored Windows partition will startup the next time the computer is booted.

  • Search google for Dell Dsrfix burn the iso to a cd then boot to it and type dsrfix to check, and dsrfix /f to repair.  This is much simpler than the above fix.  Sorry for the simple answer, it has been a while since I did it.