Sunday, February 01, 2009

HDHacker backs up and restores Master Boot Records

The Master Boot Record (or MBR) of a hard drive contains the information your computer needs in order to know how to boot any operating systems installed on your system. In other words, if something happens to your MBR or BootSector, you could be left with an unbootable computer.

HDHacker is a Windows utility that lets you backup or restore your boot record in a snap. The standalone program can be run from your hard drive or a USB flash drive. The one thing it does require is a working Windows installation. So if you've accidentally locked yourself out of Windows, you'll need to find a way back in before you can restore your MBR.

Fortunately if you have a Windows XP or Vista installation disc handy you can probably boot into recovery mode and try to fix or rebuild your MBR. But that's not to say HDHacker is useless. For example, if you have a triple boot system running Windows XP, OpenSUSE Linux, and Ubuntu Linux, one of the Linux distributions probably wrote over your MBR with its own GRUB bootloader. If you try to uninstall Ubuntu and keep the other operating systems you might wind up with an unbootable system. The Windows XP installation disc can help you boot into Windows, but you might find yourself without a way to boot into OpenSUSE unless you use a program like HDHacker to restore the boot record.

At least that's one example off the top of my head. If you can think of other uses for this program, let us know in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment

[Please do not advertise, or post irrelevant links. Thank you for your cooperation.]