Building a Boot Sector With Recover It All Professional

NOTE: This walk through is good for a SINGLE partition hard disk, running an NTFS operation system. You will need to contact technical support for situations out side of that.

The boot record is one of the keys to initializing the operating system. If this cornerstone has somehow been corrupted, or you are receiving error messages such as “No operating system found.” “NTLDR is missing.” “A disk read error occurred” , then this little utility may be the answer to your problem.

NOTE: This function will WRITE data to sectors of the hard drive.

Use Data Recovery Software To Build a Boot Sector

Anytime that a write is performed there is a possibility for more corruption, so use this function only in emergencies. You can also avoid causing further damage to the hard disk by using speed clone first to be sure you have a back up of your data before you go rooting around in a system area of the hard drive. See our post: How to Slave a Hard Drive

Under the ‘Utilities’ menu option click on the menu item which displays ‘Build Boot Record’. You will be presented with a dialog box, very similar to the one below.

boot sector recovery
There are several fields that need some explanation. They are as follows.

LBA Sector:
This box contains the sector where the boot record is to reside.
On a single partitioned hard drive that is normally 63, however placement of the boot record depends upon how the drive has been partitioned.

NOTE: Diagnostic partitions are very common in all computers being built today. Because of the 2-3 gig off set due to the diagnostic partition, the actual boot sector for your primary working drive is further down the hard drive.

Total Sectors:
In order to figure out if you have the correct total sectors you will need to get out your trusty calculator and do a little math. To properly report the total sectors on a drive partition you multiply the heads, times the sectors, times the cylinders minus the reserved sectors and minus 1 sector for the Back up MBR (master boot record) You can find this information but clicking the little plus sign next to physical data and then the plus sign next to geometry.

recovery of boot sector

I am running the software on a Maxtor 6Y120P0 (120 gigabyte) hard drive the heads are 255, the sectors are 63 and the cylinders are 14946. That gives you 240107490 sectors, minus the 63 reserved sectors and minus the 1 sector for the MBR for a final tally of 240107426 sectors for a single partitioned drive.

NOTE: You will notice that the software reports the total sectors with out removing the reserve sectors; you must make sure you remove the reserve sectors.

Start Cluster:
On an NTFS file system the values could either be ’4′ or ’786432′. With older NTFS (i.e. NT4 and Server 2000) using the 4. Newer NTFS (i.e. Windows XP Professional, Sever 2003, and Windows Vista) using 786432.

Sectors Per FAT:
You will not need to fill in this information on an NTFS file system.

Sectors Per Cluster:

Under an NTFS file system this value is almost always 8, unless the file system was converted from FAT32, then the value is usually ’1′.

Now that we have all of the fields filled in, we can send our boot record to the hard drive. Just click on the ‘Write’ button.

rewrite boot sector

You can download the demo for Recover It All here.

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You will receive a warning telling you that you are writing to the hard. Ignore said warning if you TRULY want to write the boot record. If you have any questions, please feel free to call technical support. Click the link if you require hard drive recovery.


  1. Judy Wherry says:

    I have a HP 563W. For now I have (2) hard drives to put in which is in front of the unit between the floppy drive. I need to use one as a slave (jumper one and connect to it in the middle). I do not understand this? I have read, new to this but I know I can do this..just need some help. I am actually building a new system, hard drives, have cd’s to start system. Tried it once already, I am suppose to go into setup ..I did …Need to make (1) primary and (2) secondary I do not know what to put in setup. It shows up now the H Drive Maxtor in Primary in setup but slave states (None), secondary is showing nothing and slave as well. How do I do this? What hard drive cables go where? Can someone help me ..I am disabled and need more room/ram on my pc so someone gave me this one and drives/cd’s to put together only and can’t afford a new computer. Please email me at my address if you can help. I have pictures I can send as well once I get a response on this from somone. Thanks

  2. Judy,
    Hi this is Jacqui from the tech support department you can get me at or and I will be able to answer all your questions. I have some for you as well.

  3. Hi
    My d drive cant open. It said u did not formatted the file. What should I do. All My file(Pic) are store in d drive. How can I recovery my file from d drive?


  4. Was unable to boot due to a boot sector error. Originally ran ms recovery console & found the corrupted dll in the boot sector. From the c prompt, I attempted to fix, but unsuccessful. As suggested, I then attempted to load the recovery partition of the disk. This did not load. Put in the HP recovery disks. Was told to insert system disk. Borrowed an XP disk & loaded it & was unable to complete installation as hard drive failed. Originally, it appeared in the bios, but no longer does. I’m assuming it was failing & eventually failed. I put in an old h.d. & installed win xp on it from my friend’s disk. I then followed the directions & slaved the broken h.d. to the operating one. Bios nor windows explorer recognized the h.d. Can one use the recovery programs if the drive it not even recognized by the system? Is there anyth that can be done to recover some of the data outside of giving this to a pro for mucho $’s?

    Thanks so much for any help you can provide.

    • Len,
      If the hard drive is not being seen by the bios then nothing else can see it. It would be a good idea to call in an get a price for data recovery. It is more then likely something to do with the green board or power since if it was just a problem with the internal working parts of the drive then the bios would see it.

  5. Jacqui, Thanks for posting this. It helped me understnd some stuff that was unclear. Kudos!

  6. Hey, I really appreciate the info here. This article really saved my bacon when I was trying to create a new boot sector on my hard drive. You da man.



  1. [...] (In my example I am going to use a previous article I wrote) In my document I was discussing how to build a boot sector with Recover It All Professional. I have a good idea of what was contained in the article and most important I have some key words I [...]

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