L 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99

by Josh Highland on February 23, 2006

To most of you out there, the above string of numbers mean nothing, to me, and the others who find this post through search engines, this is a horrible thing to see on your computer screen. but I have found a fix for it, so don't worry!

In my living room I have a machine running windows MCE 2005. I like it. After installing some patches from Microsoft and doing some minor work to the computer, It started acting funny. The TV output would flicker, so I would have to reboot the computer.

When the computer was booting, after the POST, I would get "L 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99" on the screen, and the computer would halt. What an awesome and useful error message!

I found a temporary way around the problem. During boot, I could go into the BIOS, and hit "save and exit", and I was good for one boot. But that's not a solution, that's a hack!

After looking around online, I found that the problem comes from a damaged Master Boot Record (MBR). It can be fixed by booting up from a Windows 2000, or Windows XP CD, going into the Repair Console, and running the "FIXMBR" command.

After I did that, I was able to boot up like normal. I fixed my MCE video flicker problem by updating my NVIDIA Drivers. It feels good to figure things like this out; it makes me feel like I'm actually winning, for a change.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike August 24, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Thanks for posting this. I haven’t seen this error in years, and was surprised when I saw it this time. The last thing I wanted to do was reinstall the OS (again) on this ancient box I inherited.

Since This happened to me on a linux box, I thought I’d contribute. The principal is the same, you have to fix the mbr. If you’ve installed your boot loader to MBR, which is common for multi-boot systems, You’ll have to boot from your install cd (or floppy) and reinstall your boot loader. Depending on which OS you’re using, this may be a bit tricky. You may have to go through your setup menu again, specify your target partitions, (don’t format, that defeats the purpose of trying to fix the mbr) and then install your boot loader.

2 CerberPl April 21, 2007 at 1:59 am

Big thanks for this inforamtion. It was really useful.

3 jon June 21, 2007 at 1:45 pm

hey if you could give me a email or something im having the same issue yet it doesnt fix the problem but it gives me a BSOD and reboots my computer instantly now

4 joel June 26, 2007 at 7:17 pm

You are the best!

5 Coolman June 28, 2007 at 9:34 am

please help, is there any tools to fix this problem under unix? i also get this message, and my computer haver no cd drive, and i can’t afford an internal one.

6 anil August 21, 2007 at 5:25 am

i’m having the same problem but i don’t have the windows xp cd. i can get one but will i be able to save the data on my hard drive if i boot via the CD?

7 Martin March 2, 2008 at 1:19 am

God bless google and God bless your good self for posting a Fix.

8 Tigger March 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Thank you SO much Josh! You just saved me 6 MORE hours of pulling my hair out and puzzling over this one!

Regards, Respect, and Thanks Again!


9 jB June 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm

If you think I’m going to give a windows install disk that kind of access to my linux boot drive, you’re crazy. They probably broke the damn thing to begin with: #include stdio
if (linux)
printf(“L 99 99 99 99 99 99….

10 1337801 June 3, 2008 at 9:04 am

iT’s OvEr 9000!

11 Wolfgang June 23, 2008 at 1:29 am

Thank you for this help!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!



12 DarkByte June 29, 2008 at 11:41 pm

I have had a similar problem a few days ago, when I connect non-bootable HD as master drive :)

13 Bill July 16, 2008 at 10:12 am

Hi, I got this message having cloned a disc and then switching to the new disc which I had cloned using Acronis. I needed a bigger disc. I used mbrfix, an excellent tool. It has an option to Repair an mbr. This creates a standard windows mbr. I am not a technie in anyway but this worked lovely.


14 Bill July 16, 2008 at 10:13 am

Forgot to mention I had dual boot with linux and windows! Whoops.

15 Josh Highland July 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm

@bill : “I am not a technie”, i dont know about that! You are using disc images and dual booting linux and windows

16 Niceguy September 12, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Thank you very much!!!!!!

Your a life saver!

I am going to try this tomorrow when I get my laptop charger back. One question before I go, I tried the hack ‘bios/save/exit’ and it didn’t work. So how can I get to the command prompt? Maybe load a live cd of linux? same command [fixmbr] for linux?

17 iKostia September 20, 2008 at 12:35 am

Thanks a lot! You’ve written a great topic! It helped me very much!

18 freeformlife October 10, 2008 at 8:39 am

same problem, also oem’s couldn’t get me any further than a diagnostics tool which found no problems. Thank you for the fdisk/mbr solution worked like a charm.
(I found an old windows 98 disk to run it!!! glad my mom is a pack rat!)

19 kickernl December 20, 2008 at 1:07 am

I hope u can help me to; I have a live usb of linux, i accidentally installed it to my hd. When booting from hd i get L08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 or sometimes the L99. I can boot linux from the live usb, if i boot from hd with the usb mounted the lilo install screen appear. So repair the mbr ok but i get the same error codes when booting of vista cd/dvd.

20 sime April 12, 2009 at 10:53 am

thnx, you saved my life

21 Erin June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

L 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99…etc. EVERYTIME I boot. I keep forum hopping, but everything talked about concerning Linux seems over my head. To make matters worse, I am not familiar with Linux.

I have an Acer Aspire One AOA 110, and I am trying to run the rescue disk with Linux V1.0.13. I am trying to restore to factory settings using system recovery management from the original Acer One rescue disk.

I have tried to use this feature using the disk through my external HDD hooked to the netbook, and I have also tried from a “rescue USB” thumbdrive. Both get to Welcome>Selection Partition>Copying Data and freeze somewhere during the copying data process, and I have to unplug computer because it stays frozen.

I’m at a loss. The Acer has a 16 SSD drive, and I’m about ready to trash it, I’m so frustrated. Where to begin? Windows won’t load on it either – it freezes.


22 Jeff Arbor September 17, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I found your blog doing a search for PC repair.

Interesting. I wish I could help more with the discussion.
I solved my problem so my systems are working fine at the moment.

23 PeterD January 10, 2011 at 1:39 am

Thanks Josh – still valid!

24 GotMyNina March 18, 2011 at 8:24 am

I had this problem today. This site helped the most so this is where I’ll post my solution.
First off:
Win7 Home Premium x64 ONLY OS installed EVER (still factory fresh)!
1-250GB SATA<-I added this

Worked fine for 2-3 weeks then L99 99 99…
For me the solution was to go into BIOS and set the boot priority from 250(storage) to 1tb(os).

I don’t know if it was always set this way. but this was the first BIOS setting I have changed and as I said It had worked fine for about a month before I had to specify the OS drive.
random windows failure but linux has shitty x64 support

Hope this Helps

25 ptrakk May 28, 2011 at 3:24 am

this thread just got changed into a lilo thread.

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