Windows XP VBR on System-Parition somehow not working


New Member
Hallo Forum,
once I've made a backup of my System-Partition of Windows XP 64 Professional including the MBR. As you can expect by this topic it doesn't work out as expected. To keep it short, after a lot of trouble I'm at the point where it seems that I have the VBR/Bootsektor at partition 2 while the System Partition is partition 1.
... The resulting problem is when I mark partition 2 as active it tries to boot (also) from partition 2 but complains (reasonable) about missing ntoskntl.exe; While when I mark partition 1 as active it *could* find everything on the partition but it just hangs on a black screen with blinking cursor.

I checked the 512 bytes of the 1 partition and from my understanding and research there is a bootsector:
00000000: eb58 904d 5357 494e 342e 3100 0208 2a00  .X.MSWIN4.1...*.
00000010: 0200 0000 00f8 0000 3f00 ff00 c5fa 3f00  ........?.....?.
The most confusing/ironic part is: it is the same computer, (pretty) same hardware, even the same physical disk at the same stupid port.

What do I miss?

If you need more information or elaboration do not hesitate to ask.

Thanks in advance
Are ntldr and boot.ini on the system partition and is boot.ini configured correctly?
Yes sure, it is a full partition backup via dd. The first trail and expected to work method was:
  • Recreate the exact same partition table. (Reminder: it is the even the same physical disk.)
  • dd back MBR
  • dd back Windows image.
But kinda surprisingly it failed with the above mentioned black screen with blinking cursor.
If you have it can you upload a binary copy of the MBR and the first sector of the partition.
The MBR is fine. As said in the first post, I skipped the stages I am already passed on my own, to keep the post short. (The first 32 bytes of the partition I already posted in my first post.)

The problem is (maybe) the VBR. Eventhough I wonder, because I installed WinXP64 clean, extracted the the bootsector and merged the new bootsector with my image and it doesn't boot as well. Albeit I cannot remember anymore exactly what "doesn't boot" means in this context. To be clear: I never managed to reach the login screen. Anyway twice I got into some kernel stage before login screen appears and windows stuck there (s. upload).

Last approach was to copy over all files (incl. kernel etc.) from my backup image to the installed disk. The result is also a right before login.

Also a repair from boot CD doesn't help because in fact the repair doesn't do anything different. It's kinda said. I give up here.

In fact I would already have started over a lot earlier but I suspect Microsoft's Windows installation routine ruined my GPT partition on the disk where I store all my backups so also the old windows drivers by writing some crap into the last sector of the disk.


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I've realized i not started to write back the new Image backup yet while writing your answer. So I will try a last time to let the Windows CD to repair it. But for the reason Windows install is even to stupid to find/boot it's own initial copy without wiping all partitions on the related disk I don't expect any outcome by it.
Okay, again it was just starting to do bullshit.
While I was out for washing dishes it silently started over from repair to install windows .. on the god damn f*%$ing wrong partition! :mad:
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It's going to the wrong partition because it's finding valid code to begin a boot process, but not on the partition you want. It may help if you can post the MBR and the partition boot sectors as well (first sector 512 bytes) of each partition.
I don't see where this shall go as long as you are not a professional ASM coder but here is the MBR:
00000000: 33c0 8ed0 bc00 7cfb 5007 501f fcbe 1b7c  3.....|.P.P....|
00000010: bf1b 0650 57b9 e501 f3a4 cbbd be07 b104  ...PW...........
00000020: 386e 007c 0975 1383 c510 e2f4 cd18 8bf5  8n.|.u..........
00000030: 83c6 1049 7419 382c 74f6 a0b5 07b4 078b  ...It.8,t.......
00000040: f0ac 3c00 74fc bb07 00b4 0ecd 10eb f288  ..<.t...........
00000050: 4e10 e846 0073 2afe 4610 807e 040b 740b  N..F.s*.F..~..t.
00000060: 807e 040c 7405 a0b6 0775 d280 4602 0683  .~..t....u..F...
00000070: 4608 0683 560a 00e8 2100 7305 a0b6 07eb  F...V...!.s.....
00000080: bc81 3efe 7d55 aa74 0b80 7e10 0074 c8a0  ..>.}U.t..~..t..
00000090: b707 eba9 8bfc 1e57 8bf5 cbbf 0500 8a56  .......W.......V
000000a0: 00b4 08cd 1372 238a c124 3f98 8ade 8afc  .....r#..$?.....
000000b0: 43f7 e38b d186 d6b1 06d2 ee42 f7e2 3956  C..........B..9V
000000c0: 0a77 2372 0539 4608 731c b801 02bb 007c  .w#r.9F.s......|
000000d0: 8b4e 028b 5600 cd13 7351 4f74 4e32 e48a  .N..V...sQOtN2..
000000e0: 5600 cd13 ebe4 8a56 0060 bbaa 55b4 41cd  V......V.`..U.A.
000000f0: 1372 3681 fb55 aa75 30f6 c101 742b 6160  .r6..U.u0...t+a`
00000100: 6a00 6a00 ff76 0aff 7608 6a00 6800 7c6a  j.j..v..v.j.h.|j
00000110: 016a 10b4 428b f4cd 1361 6173 0e4f 740b  .j..B....aas.Ot.
00000120: 32e4 8a56 00cd 13eb d661 f9c3 496e 7661  2..V.....a..Inva
00000130: 6c69 6420 7061 7274 6974 696f 6e20 7461  lid partition ta
00000140: 626c 6500 4572 726f 7220 6c6f 6164 696e  ble.Error loadin
00000150: 6720 6f70 6572 6174 696e 6720 7379 7374  g operating syst
00000160: 656d 004d 6973 7369 6e67 206f 7065 7261  em.Missing opera
00000170: 7469 6e67 2073 7973 7465 6d00 0000 0000  ting system.....
00000180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
000001a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
000001b0: 0000 0000 002c 4463 3005 3005 9080 8001  .....,Dc0.0.....
000001c0: 0100 0cef ffff 3f00 0000 61b8 ff01 00ff  ......?...a.....
000001d0: ffff 07ff ffff 0098 0c02 00f8 1b05 0000  ................
000001e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
000001f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 55aa  ..............U.
Anyway I guess you are wrong because as said I already managed to pass to the kernel, but here is your first sector of the partition (eventhough the VBR is 3 sectors long by definition):
00000000: eb58 904d 5344 4f53 352e 3000 0210 2400  .X.MSDOS5.0...$.
00000010: 0200 0000 00f8 0000 3f00 ff00 3f00 0000  ........?...?...
00000020: 24db bf01 ee37 0000 0000 0000 0200 0000  $....7..........
00000030: 0100 0600 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000040: 8000 2909 97c8 044e 4f20 4e41 4d45 2020  ..)....NO NAME 
00000050: 2020 4641 5433 3220 2020 33c9 8ed1 bcf4    FAT32   3.....
00000060: 7b8e c18e d9bd 007c 884e 028a 5640 b408  {......|[email protected]
00000070: cd13 7305 b9ff ff8a f166 0fb6 c640 660f  [email protected]
00000080: b6d1 80e2 3ff7 e286 cdc0 ed06 4166 0fb7  ....?.......Af..
00000090: c966 f7e1 6689 46f8 837e 1600 7538 837e  .f..f.F..~..u8.~
000000a0: 2a00 7732 668b 461c 6683 c00c bb00 80b9  *.w2f.F.f.......
000000b0: 0100 e82b 00e9 4803 a0fa 7db4 7d8b f0ac  ...+..H...}.}...
000000c0: 84c0 7417 3cff 7409 b40e bb07 00cd 10eb  ..t.<.t.........
000000d0: eea0 fb7d ebe5 a0f9 7deb e098 cd16 cd19  ...}....}.......
000000e0: 6660 663b 46f8 0f82 4a00 666a 0066 5006  f`f;
000000f0: 5366 6810 0001 0080 7e02 000f 8520 00b4  Sfh.....~.... ..
00000100: 41bb aa55 8a56 40cd 130f 821c 0081 fb55  [email protected]
00000110: aa0f 8514 00f6 c101 0f84 0d00 fe46 02b4  .............F..
00000120: 428a 5640 8bf4 cd13 b0f9 6658 6658 6658  [email protected]
00000130: 6658 eb2a 6633 d266 0fb7 4e18 66f7 f1fe  fX.*f3.f..N.f...
00000140: c28a ca66 8bd0 66c1 ea10 f776 1a86 d68a  ...f..f....v....
00000150: 5640 8ae8 c0e4 060a ccb8 0102 cd13 6661  [email protected]
00000160: 0f82 54ff 81c3 0002 6640 490f 8571 ffc3  [email protected]
00000170: 4e54 4c44 5220 2020 2020 2000 0000 0000  NTLDR      .....
00000180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
000001a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0d0a 5265  ..............Re
000001b0: 6d6f 7665 2064 6973 6b73 206f 7220 6f74  move disks or ot
000001c0: 6865 7220 6d65 6469 612e ff0d 0a44 6973  her media....Dis
000001d0: 6b20 6572 726f 72ff 0d0a 5072 6573 7320  k error...Press
000001e0: 616e 7920 6b65 7920 746f 2072 6573 7461  any key to resta
000001f0: 7274 0d0a 0000 0000 00ac cbd8 0000 55aa  rt............U.
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Yeah if you're getting to the welcome screen than it is getting past the boot loader code in the MBR. (PS Not a pro, but I'm pretty good with assembly code).

A possibility is that if you copied the image straight to the disk, there's a good possibility there are bad sectors that have been written to. During a normal install process the bad sectors should get marked bad and skipped. If you used dd to write the image back it would not check for bad sectors.
For the reason I also moved the first partition on the disk once out of multiple different tries I guess the chance is incredible low to (a) hit with a different broken sector the exact same spot in the image as before (b) by hitting a different spot coming up with the same exact problem.
Moreover I think bad sectors are managed by the disk controller and should not be used anymore no matter if I write onto a file system or to the disk directly.

Just let's face it: Windows cannot even manage it's own crap procudes just 60 minutes before.
Moreover it messes with disk's it is not supposed to touch. :ergh:
XP is pretty limited and it's always good advice to remove other drives before installing in Windows land.
I am not the profession, but it must have some problems of the buckup image. you'd better find the third-party software to check the image rather than guess reasons there. Not an ad. Because I know a software: EaseUS Todo Buckup software. It has a function to check your image of backup. and if there is any problem, it will check and record it. and you know what missed in your backup. It has a free version and support 16tb Hard drive capacity. Google it and you can find the official website. to be honest, I use it to backup my files and system.