spacer spacer spacer
 
 
  arrow Description
  arrow Sample Screen
  arrow Key Facts
  arrow Solutions
  arrow Forum Help
  arrow Research this Issue
  help Solutions Help
 
 
box_image
Fix-It Utilities
Make your PC run like new! Includes Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, hardware diagnostics, registry fixer, and more!
 
  RadarSync
Ensures you have the latest drivers and software updates to make your PC run better and safer.
box_image  
 
 
box_image
Partition Commander
Now it's easy for anyone to safely partition their hard drive! You can reclaim waste disk space, organize files, even add new OSes.
     
 
 
Fatal Startup Solutions
     
 

Invalid partition table

 
  Description  
     
 

The MBR (Master Boot Record) has an invalid partition boot entry so the operating system can not be launched. This issue occurs prior to the start of any Windows code.

It can be caused by a power-failure while the disk is in the middle of writing, a virus damaged the entry or a serious software bug damaged the partition entry (although Windows typically protects against this). This issue cannot be easily caused by any action you performed, unless you turned off the power without going through Windows shutdown.

Although not stated in the message, press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot.

 
   
  Sample Screen  
     
 

Invalid partition table





 
   
  Key Facts  
     
 
Full Title
  Invalid partition table 

Type
  Fatal MBR 

occurance meter
Windows
  All

Vendor
  Unknown
 
   
  Solutions and Fixes  
     
 
  date Votes Ratings
Replace MBR and Fix Partition Table
5
    Add    Flag
solution icon

It's possible the code is damaged in the MBR (Master Boot Record) or the partition table is damaged. While the code can be easily fixed, a damaged partition table may not be repairable.

If you have a graphical partitioning boot CD we suggest using it. These tools can validate the partitions, it's fast and it can fix a some issues not possible with the Windows solutions. Using these tools, you'll replace the MBR with a Generic MBR and make the drive active/bootable. Instructions will vary by product. Remove the boot media, exit and reboot.

You can also replace the MBR from a command prompt if you are using Windows 7 or older. You'll need to boot from the Windows CD/DVD and go into the 7/Vista Recovery Console or XP Recovery Console and select Command prompt. Follow our instructions under recovery console to repair the MBR (instructions differ between Windows 7/Vista and XP).  Windows 8 no longer includes bootable tools, so a third party product is required.

Replacing the MBR does NOT change the partition table, so if it's damaged, it will not be fixed.

Once working, be sure to do an extensive scan for viruses and malware.

 
   
 
transparent
transparent
solves it indicator
risk indicator
effort indicator
 
  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 6-Oct-2008
 
Avatar
 
Change Boot Media
10
    Add    Flag
solution icon

If you are booting from either a DVD, CD, diskette or a USB drive, remove the media and boot from the hard disk. The media is either damaged or is not intended to be bootable.

 
   
 
transparent
transparent
solves it indicator
risk indicator
effort indicator
 
  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 6-Oct-2008
 
Avatar
 
Last Resort Solutions
4
    Add    Flag
solution icon

If you skipped any of the prior solutions, you may want to return and try them out. These next options are when all else fails!

  • Remove the system hard drive and replace it with a blank drive. Install a fresh copy of Windows. If this works, it's unlikely to be a hardware issue. At worse, it may be time to start over with a fresh copy of Windows, although reinstalling your applications may make the problem reoccur.
  • Send the PC in for repair - someone else can deal with it!
  • Time for a new PC?
  • Consider a MAC, but wait - they can have similar hard-to-solve issues and you'd have to buy all new applications.
  • Use your PC as a boat anchor and go for a drink.
 
   
 
transparent
transparent
solves it indicator
risk indicator
effort indicator
 
  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 5-Oct-2008
 
Avatar
 
Update the BIOS and BIOS Parameters
5
    Add    Flag
solution icon

Check with the PC manufacturer if you're using the latest BIOS or not. If not, update to the current version.

A few of the manufacture's download or support links for a motherboard/BIOS update:

    If the BIOS is current, it's possible bad BIOS parameters are causing the problem, especially if the memory or CPU settings are overclocked. The BIOS parameters are stored in CMOS memory. The best way to reset the BIOS parameters is to remove the CMOS battery. To do this:

    1. Unplug the PC, and open the case.
    2. Locate the battery on the motherboard - typically a silver coin cell.
    3. Remove the battery and note if the plus side is up or down, so you can reinstall it later the same way.
    4. Wait at least 1 minute and reinstall the battery.
    5. Attach power and power up. Typically a BIOS warning message will indicate CMOS was corrupted or changed and it may require you to go into the BIOS setup to set the time and date.
    6. Proceed to boot Windows and see if this fixes the issue.

    Some BIOSes have options to enable/disable caching and/or shadowing. If the options are available, disable caching and shadowing. Most newer (2005+) systems do not have these options. There are many BIOS makers and customized versions of the BIOS, so you may have to enter BIOS setup and look a bit to find these options. Typically you press a key like Esc, Del, F1, or F2 before Windows starts (almost right after you reboot) to enter BIOS setup. Consult your computer manual for details. The setup key can also be found in our BIOS access list.

     
       
     
    transparent
    transparent
    solves it indicator
    risk indicator
    effort indicator
     
      FaultWire Staff
    Posted: 5-Oct-2008
     
    Avatar
     
     
     
      Forum Help  
         
     
    Forums on topic

    Check out what others say about this issue and review or add your own comments and solutions!

    Go to Forums on topic.
     
       
      Research this Issue  
         
     
    Getting search results...
     
         
      Notes  
         
      While we believe this information up to date and accurate, FAQware is not responsible for any inaccuracies. If you find something that is out of date or inaccurate, please let us know at so we can correct it.