You might have heard the term ‘Boot Sector‘ while talking about the internal hard drive of your computer or an external hard drive which you often use as an external storage drive. Now, what a Boot Sector really is? It is actually a physical sector, or section, on a hard drive that includes information about how to start the boot process in order to load an operating system.

%name What is a Boot Sector and how does it affect the working of your PC?
Working of The Boot Sector

Boot Sector comes into the action right after a computer is started. While you turn on the PC, BIOS looks for an OS to start with and the first sector of each storage device connected is the place from where the search starts. Each hard drive has one boot sector and in that section, the hard drive may be one of two things:

  1. Master Boot Record (MBR)
  2. Volume Boot Record (VBR)

Common Boot Sector Errors

To search for a boot sector, a specific disk signature is necessary for the BIOS. The boot sector’s disk signature is 0x55AA and is contained in its very last two bytes of information. This signature is the most important thing and if it is corrupted or changed, the BIOS will have problems looking for the boot sector. In short, a malfunctioning Boot Sector will not even your Operating System to start.

screenshot005 What is a Boot Sector and how does it affect the working of your PC?

The error alerts for a corrupted boot sector can be:

  • BOOTMGR is missing
  • Missing operating system.
  • Invalid partition table.
  • Couldn’t find BOOTMGR
  • Setup has determined that your file system is corrupt
  • A disk read error occurred.
  • NTLDR is missing
  • Error loading operating system
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These are the alert messages for a corrupted boot sector and to troubleshoot this problem, look out for the solutions on trusted websites and manuals or contact an expert.