Corrupted MBR on Windows Server 2012 (R2)
Master Boot Record (MBR) is the first place system BIOS trying to access when you power up a machine. Then the code stored there searches the drive for active partition. Next, the system locates the boot sector and begins executing the file that the boot sector points to. And it moves to NT Loader (Ntldr) file part.
If you get Windows Server 2012 R2 not booting problem, one of the possible causes is that the first part of boot process goes wrong. Bad boot sector, virus infection, hacker attacking, etc. could be the possible causes account for that problem. The return messages that along with the corrupted MBR issue could be, Invalid partition table, Error loading operating system, or Missing operating system.
As a matter of fact, corrupted MBR issue also happens on Windows Server 2003/2008 (R2)/2016. Anyway, what counts next is to repair MBR for Server 2012 (R2).
Two ways to fix MBR in Server 2012 effectively
Windows Server operating system actually provides a way to solve the MBR issue when you buy it. In other words, you can repair MBR problem with the help of the Recovery Console in the Windows installation disc.
Repair corrupted MBR in Server 2012 via Recovery Console
1. Insert the installation CD to your machine. Boot the system from the CD by setting boot order in BIOS.
2. Select Recovery Console option when prompts.
3. Go to C:WINNT or C:\WINDOWS. You may need to enter the local administrator’s password in this step.
4. At the Command Prompt, type fixmbr and press Enter. Confirm what you’re about to do.
5. Remove the CD and boot from the hard disk.
You can type FIXBOOT if there is something wrong with boot sector.
If there is more than one Windows copy, make sure you’re locating the right one.
It is quite simple to fix the MBR issue with the help of Windows installation CD. Nevertheless, what if there is no suitable installation disc in hand? In that case, turning to professional tool as a workaround is not a bad choice.
Rebuild MBR for Server 2012 with an easier way
AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is comprehensive hard drive partition manager that designed for Windows Server OS in particular. With this software, one can easily rebuild MBR for Server operating system even if the machine is not bootable, because the Make Bootable Media feature is embedded. Let’s take a closer look.
Preparations: since the Server 2012 is not booting, please prepare these two things in advance:
A USB flash drive (or CD/DVD disc) to make bootable media.
A work machine where to execute the making process. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server needs to be installed on this machine.
1. Plug the USB drive to your computer, and install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Click on Make Bootable Media in the left side and follow the wizard to complete. Certain drivers for Server 2012 could be added during this process.
2. Set your Server 2012 boot from the created bootable device by changing boot order in BIOS.
3. Once logged in, you’ll see AOMEI Partition Assistant Server started automatically. Find the disk that has corrupted MBR, right click it and select Rebuild MBR.
4. Choose the right type of MBR for Server 2012 in the pop-up dialogue. Choose the Windows 7/8/10/2011/2012 choice in this case.
5. Click Apply and then Proceed to commit the change. Wait for the process to be completed.
6. Disconnect the bootable device and restart your Server.
Above steps also apply to fix MBR in Server 2003/2008(R2). Just remember to choose the right MBR type accordingly.
Run CHKDSK in elevated mode after all steps to see if there is any other error on your disk.
Other tips for Windows Server 2012 not booting
If the boot problem is not caused by corrupted MBR, you can try repairing boot files for Server 2012 (R2).
1. Boot from the installation disc and choose Repair your computer in the lower left corner. Open a Command Prompt at Advanced option.
2. You can run system files check and use the offline options in the prompt.
SFC /OFFBOOTDIR (for offline repair specify the location of the offline boot directory)
SFC /OFFWINDIR (for offline repair specify the location of the offline Windows directory)
3. Remove the CD and reboot your computer.
If it is the problem of Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store, you may want to refer to Windows Server 2012 boot BCD error.
Two reliable ways are introduced to fix MBR in Server 2012. Just choose the most suitable one according to your own situation. You may want to backup Server 2012 on a regular basis after suffering the boot failure, just in case things go wrong in the future.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a good helper that you don’t want to miss. For example, you can easily convert MBR to GPT in Server 2012 without data loss, regardless of the disk usage (system disk or data disk).