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OS Selector, MBR Error 3 after reboot from Windows 7

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Beginner
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Hello,
after the last Windows 7 update, I have to reactivate OS Selector on every reboot from Windows 7 to see the OS menu.
If I don´t reactivate, I can only boot into Windows 7. The boot screens shows a "MBR Error 3" message after a Windows 7 reboot. Windows Xp is working fine.

Any solution? Thanks for your help ;)

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Are the main OSS files on one of the Windows partitions (XP or Windows 7)?

If possible, exclude the OSS files from any defrag. Most likely, one or more of the files are being moved and that's causing the problem. You might also check if any security software is preventing proper updating of the MBR.

More information can be found in this KB article.

Beginner
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Comments: 6

after installing windows 7 i reinstalled true image 2009 upgrade.j i had a USB hd F:\ for my back up drive. something caused that drive no to be recognized so in acronis i did add a drive and after that i still could not find drive f:\. I uninstalled acronis thinking that would clear it up. now i get the MBR eorrot 3 message when doing a cold boot. how can i fix thhis and get the computer to recognize my USB HD?

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TI 2009 does not support Windows 7. Quite a few things just don't work correctly when installed in Windows 7.

Have you tried TI 2010 or TI 2011?

Beginner
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Yes, installed TI 2011 latest version and still getting MBR error 3 at boot-up before windows 7 starts. TI 2011 cannot find drive but it is listed on Device manager. Please help, I bought another HD thinking the original went bad.

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Is OSS installed in Windows 7?

If you reactivate OSS, boot to the OSS menu, shut down or reboot the computer, is the MBR error displayed or do you get the OSS menu?

Does the drive show up in Disk Management?

Can you verify which version of snapman.sys is in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder? Right-click on the file, select Properties, then select the Details tab to view it.

Beginner
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Comments: 6

not sure about OSS what is that and how do i reactivate it??
snapman is ver. 3.10.0.550
shows up a disk 3 in disk management and it says "unallocated.

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OSS = OS Selector. Your first post says that you were reactivating it.

If the drive is unallocated, there is no partition on it. You would need to create a partition on the drive so it can be used (DD or Disk Management can be used for this). However, before you do that, did this drive previously have valuable data on it? If so, you could see if DD could recover the partition.

Beginner
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Thanks ofr your help, by installing the latest ver of snapman I was able to create a partition and the drive is working now. It is a brand new drive having no data.
Thanks again for all your help, I sure appreciate it.
Best,
Frank Parmelee

PS If you are ever in Toledo Ohio I'll buy your lunch.

Regular Poster
Posts: 12
Comments: 94

oh, boy. i've also run into this error "MBR Error 3" after rebooting from Win7, just now.
i'm using ATI 2011 plus and OSS 11.

i have checked KB http://kb.acronis.com/content/1866 and i assume that this particular error is caused by the defrag.
in case that's true: what a nasty pitfall!

well the KB article (revision Dec 21, 2010) suggests a permanent solution by putting the OSS into a dedicated partition that will be exlcuded from any automatic defragmentation by the windows os.
the only problem is: the KB article gives instructions how to proceed in case the OSS was installed and activated via DD installation from within windows. i have never installed it in windows - i have installed and activated it via DD bootable rescue media, only.

any advice how to permanently cure the symptoms in my scenario?
i mean: where and how exactly do i need to "uninstall" the OSS? where and how exactly do i need to invoke any "fixmbr"? where and how exactly do i create the new, dedicated partition? and where and how exactly do i "install" the OSS, again?

and the next question would be:
right now i can find various OSS files at the following locations of the individual operating systems:
 - <root directory>\bootwiz.sys
 - <root directory>\BOOTWIZ\<various files>

so once i have installed the OSS on a "dedicated" partition: can i remove that OSS stuff from all the other partitions?

PS:
i'm also attaching my partition layout and boot concept as screenshot.

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You can deactivate OSS just by restoring the MBR: Boot to the Windows 7 DVD, select Repair Mode, go to the Command Prompt and run: bootrect /fixmbr

Then delete all of the BOOTWIZ folders. That way they won't be there to cause any confusion when OSS is reinstalled. Deleting these folders after installing OSS will destroy the installation.

Create the small partition for OSS. This can be as small as 100MB and can be Primary or Logical. It does not have to be located on the booting drive. Format as either FAT32 or NTFS.

Boot to the DD CD and select to install OSS. Choose to do a Custom install and select the OSS partition.

Regular Poster
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doesn't seem to work. i have created a hidden logical partition with 100MB NTFS at the very end of my 500 GB drive.
- pri - ntfs
- pri - ntfs
- pri - ntfs
- log - ntfs "OSS" (hidden)

when i boot from the rescue media and select "custom instsall" it says: "there isn't sufficient space on the selected partition".

-

and i'm also a bit confused regarding the general concept, now.

an MBR contains the following: the partition table and the 440 byte boot loader.
in a regular windows installation this boot loader from the MBR will load the boot sector of the windows partition. so that's a microsoft / windows boot sector.

1) if i now install OSS on the windows partition it will replace the microsoft / windows boot sector with an acronis boot sector. and the acronis boot sector relies on the absolute adress of the BOOTWIZ configuration files?

2) but if i now install OSS on a dedicated partition, it's putting the BOOTWIZ configuration files on this dedicated partition, only? it will not modify anything on the windows partition? neither the boot sector nor any files in the file system?

and also: in case i install OSS on a dedicated partition: any moving or resizing the partitions will also break OSS, right? so it would be best to have the OSS partition as the very first partition on that disk, right? because if it's the very first partition it's very likely it will be ever moved or resized.

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Try using a little larger partition and see if that helps (150MB - 250MB). I'm not sure if "hidden Logical" will work or not, I've never tried it. You could unhide it and see if it makes a difference.

OSS will still place the BOOTWIZ folder on the Windows partition, just as it does with other partitions. However, that is the extent of the changes. The main files would be on the OSS partition.

If the OSS partition is at the very end of a drive it is also likely to remain unmoved.

Regular Poster
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Comments: 94

thanks for your reply, mudcrab!

i have now tried to put OSS into a "primary" partition FAT32 at the very beginning of my drive. it works partially. but i still need some assistance to recover my system and configure the "permanent solution".

here's what i have tried so far:
1) rescue media: uninstall OSS - this removed all the BOOTWIZ folders from all the partitions
2) rescue media: use ATI to make an image of the entire 1st HDD
3) rescue media: use DD to do the following:
 a) delete all partitions on the 1st HDD
 b) create a primary partition (FAT32, active) with label "OSS"
 c) install OSS onto that partition
4) rescue media: use ATI to do the following:
 a) restore my 3 partitions from the ATI image to the unallocated space on the 1st HDD
5) rescue media: use DD to "hide" the OSS primary partition
6) boot into OSS and configure the boot options (to set the active partitions and hide certain partitions)

now, everything works fine with the win7 os on the 1st HDD.

but when i try to boot either the "winxp" or the "win7 test" from my 2nd HDD windows just hangs during booting up.

how can i recover my operating systems on the 2nd HDD? i have also attached the updated booting concept.

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58206-94213.png 5.79 KB
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Can you post a copy of the BOOTWIZ.OSS file along with a screenshot of what DD shows? I need to see what OSS is trying to do.

Regular Poster
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well, as i have set the OSS partition to "hidden" in step 5 i can't access the BOOTWIZ.OSS. is there any other way i can provide the requested information? AcronisInfo.exe (via windows)? AcronisReport.exe (via windows)? acronis system report (via bootable rescue media)?

i'm attaching the file created via AcronisReport.exe

Attachment Size
58237-94216.txt 443.11 KB
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I can look at the info in the report. I would assume it is the same as the actual file. However, changes can't be made so I can't fix anything if I find something wrong.

A screenshot of what DD shows will also help.

You should be able to unhide the OSS partition while access is needed. You can always hide it again later.

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There are errors in quite a few entries. If it's easier for you, just uninstall OSS, use DD to unhide all hidden partitions, and then reinstall. Then disable the Disk Order option for any Vista/Win7 entry (it doesn't work correctly and isn't needed).

Regular Poster
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mudcrab, you are genius!
i just wish that acronis OSS 11 itself was of the same class ...

following your recommendations i have now done the following in addition to my previous steps:
7) rescue media: uninstall OSS from dedicated partition
8) rescue media: use DD to unhide all partitions
9) rescue media: install OSS into dedicated partition
10) boot into OSS and configure the boot options (to set the active partitions and hide certain partitions)

it seems i'm now getting closer to a safe and reliable system. i'm attaching the updated output from AcronisReport.exe

-

there are just two questions remaining:

I) as i have installed OSS onto a dedicated partition there are only few files in the "bootwiz" folders on the various partitions. on all of the win7 system partitions and also on the various data partitions there's just one single file in that subfolder: context.oss.
except for the win xp system partition: it has additional subfolders in bootwiz: 4ee681be, chekfile, uninstal. what are those folders (and files inside) all about?

II) the "disk order" option is required for win xp on the 2nd hdd, for sure. you have said that i should not use that option for win7 because "it doesn't work correctly and isn't needed". so far i have not disabled it - and win7 on the 2nd hdd seems to work fine. can you explain a bit more? is it "strongly" recommended to not use it for win7? does it harm? does it not harm?

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58334-94225.txt 430.46 KB
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Having to unhide the partitions is due to a long-standing bug in OSS (one I have repeatedly requested to be fixed). The problem is that OSS leaves the partition hidden when the menu entry is created. This causes the OS to fail to boot. The fix is to unhide them for detection or edit the BOOTWIZ.OSS file and fix it (you can't fix it directly using OSS).

I) That's normal. It's used for tracking the booting files.

II) If using the Disk Order option is working okay you can just leave it. However, it should not be needed with Vista or Windows 7. I have not tested this with the latest builds of OSS. In the older versions, this option would cause Vista/Windows 7 to fail on booting. There shouldn't be a problem using it with XP.

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Still experiencing SAME problem... why this is not fixed ? Don;t want to create a separate partition for OSS...

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I will submit a request to Acronis regarding this issue. I don't know what the timeline is for changes and what those changes (if any) will be.