By Teresa / Last Updated May 25, 2020

Error: Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged

Some users report that they get the error: Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged after starting up their computer, and they cannot boot up Windows normally. It is a common problem that happens on internal hard drive with operating system installed. Accompanying error about this issue also are Operating System not found, Missing Operating System, Invalid partition table and Non-system disk or disk error.

In some cases, you may get Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged on external HDD especially when you install operating system there and then boot from that device. The error also occurs on many hard drives regardless of the manufacturer like Samsung, Toshiba, Seagate, and WD.

After the brief introduction of the error message, chances are that you are urgent to find out how to make “Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged” repaired. However, it is good to know what Master Boot Record of hard drive is and how it affects your Windows before you take actions.

About Master Boot Record of hard drive

Master Boot Record (MBR), along with Boot Configuration Data (BCD), is an important data structure on the first sector of the disk and which will be created when you create the very first partition on the hard drive. The MBR contains the Partition Table for the disk and a small amount of executable code for the boot start, which means a key part of your computer’s startup system. As a result, when the MBR get damaged, the operating system simply won’t load.

How do you get MBR damaged? It is not that easy to tell. Sometimes, an improperly shutdown of computer may cause MBR file corrupted. Some malware attacking and virus infection will overwrite the Master Boot Record and lead to system unbootable. Under such circumstances, what should you do to solve Master Boot Record is damaged trouble on HDD or SSD?

Fix Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged accordingly

With different conditions of Windows, you have different solutions. Following introduces three methods on how to fix MBR is corrupted problem with and without external media. Let’s take a closer look.

Fix MBR without external media

Some latest versions of Windows like Windows 10 support fix Master Boot Record without the help of external media like USB drive or CD/DVD disc. If you are running Windows 10 and get it updated to the newest, try this method.

When you first boot up a Windows 10 PC it should recognize that there is a problem and enter “Automatic repair” mode. If it does, you’ll see the words “Preparing Automatic Repair” appearing and let it repair. If it does not repair automatically, try this approach: Automatic repair > Troubleshoot > Advanced options. In this page, you have two options available.

Advanced options

  • Startup Repair: it will fix problems that keep Windows from loading automatically. Pretty easy yet may take more time to complete.

  • Command Prompt: use this for advanced troubleshooting. After bring up Command Prompt, you need to input the fix command “bootrec.exe /fixmbr” manually. This method takes less time than the other. When you see “The operation is complete successfully”, reboot your computer to reload system.

Tips: If you don’t see the “Automatic Repair” picture, reboot or reset your computer several times until you see it.

Fix MBR with System Repair Disc

If your operating system is none of Windows 10 edition, or your Windows 10 edition cannot fix the error itself, fix damaged MBR with the help of external tools, System Repair Disc, Windows Installation Disc or Recovery USB drive. It will take fix “Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged” with USB drive for example.

1. Boot from the USB stick. If the system boot from original disk, you may need to change boot priority to USB drive in BIOS.

2. After logging into the drive, you should be able to see Choose an option interface. Go Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt > type bootrec.exe /fixmbr and hit Enter.

With Windows 7 Installation disc, you need to choose this path in installation interface: Repair you computer > Next > System Recovery Options to open Command Prompt. Then, input the same code and hit Enter.

Since you have come to this step, it is not bad to do some other kinds of repairing. Sometimes the error does not go alone, so run these three commands to fix MBR thoroughly. Each command comes with an Enter. Restart your computer after it completes.

  • bootrec.exe /fixboot

  • bootrec.exe /scanos

  • bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

With or without the assistance of external media, command lines operations are involved. In spite of everything, for common users, it is a little bit of complicated. What’s worse, if the system cannot fix itself and there is no recovery drive and system repair disc in hand, what should you do? Fortunately, you always have a “Plan B”.

Rebuild MBR in the easiest way

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is one of the best free partition managers that can help fix Master Boot Record is damaged problem. It is tiny and no bundled adware. Free download to have a try.

Tips: this software support creating bootable USB drive or CD/DVD with the software installed. Install the software and create the bootable media on another well-functioned PC.

1. Insert USB drive or CD/DVD to a work PC. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant to create bootable media. Follow the wizard to complete.

Make Bootable Media

2. Boot your computer with the created device. You may need to change boot order in BIOS. You’ll see AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard started right after login.

3. Right click the disk you want to repair and select Rebuild MBR.

Rebuild MBR

4. Select the type of MBR for your Windows in the pop-up window.

Choose MBR type

5. Click Apply on the toolbar to commit the pending operations. Shut down you computer on completion. Remove USB drive and boot up from the original disk.


It is not difficult to get “Master Boot Record of this hard drive is damaged” fixed as long as you follow those methods strictly. Take advantage of every resource you own to choose the most convenient way.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is able to check hard drive for errors as well. It will check bad sectors on partition and perform surface test for disk. For more advanced features like command line partition hard drive, please upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.