Backup Master Boot Record?

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by laserfan, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Lately I've become obsessed w/backups and at least one of the computers I own has a custom MBR (Gateway w/F11 recovery), and several friends that I help-out have Dells with similar. So I wonder "how to backup MBR" and it seems ADDS doesn't have such a feature?

    I also use ATI and in this post MudCrab says "If you have a TI backup of the drive prior to installing OSS, you could restore the MBR from that." How would one recover just the boot blocks from a tib image?

    Thru searching I found MBRwizard and I also own Active Partition Recovery Enterprise, both of which do MBR backup & restore, but I'm curious as to why Acronis doesn't seem to do it. o_O
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    laserfan:

    TI will do what you need to do. Any backup created with TI versions 10 or 11 (and the later builds of version 9) will also back up Track 0 and MBR. To restore your custom Gateway or Dell MBR, simply restore Track 0 and MBR from one of your backups. You'll see it listed as a separate item in the restore wizard.

    Note that this operation will replace everything in the first 63 sectors of the disk (Track 0), including the boot code in sector 0 and any additional boot code located in sectors 1 - 62, but it will not replace the partition table in sector 0. Therefore, it is safe to restore Track 0 even if you have changed the partition structure on the disk since the date of the last TI backup.

    Another way to do this is to use Disk Director (DD) to save the appropriate sectors in Track 0 to a file. You can examine the first few sectors with the Disk Editor feature in DD to see which ones have nonzero contents. Most likely you will find that only sector 0 has stuff in it and the others are zeroed. Just be aware that if, for example, you save Sector 0 to a file that this sector will also contain the partition table. If you later restore this sector it will restore the old partition table that was in use when you originally saved the sector, and if you had subsequently made any changes to the partition structure on your disk (adding, deleting, moving, or resizing partitions) then your changes would be lost, and you'd probably lose access to some of the data on your disk.

    For this reason some of the other MBR backup and restore utilities can be dangerous to use. It is safer to use TI for this function since it keeps the existing partition table when restoring sector 0.
     
  3. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Wow, what an awesome post! :thumb:

    I must tell you k0lo, I've searched and searched and Googled and read and read and read some more (why oh why aren't program Help files searchable?) but the one place I didn't think to search was TI11's user manual--there I see the "MBR and Track 0" selection! I'm new to TI11 and have yet to do any Restores so never knew about this, nor frankly did I expect to find any MBR-specific features therein, thus my failure to search TI's pdf in the first place.

    I'm still a bit puzzled as to why DD doesn't include "safe" MBR save option(s), but I suppose it's truly an expert's tool. Many thanks for your thoughtful answer to my question. I will try to wean myself completely off of TI7 onto 11--it has A LOT of features I've yet to encounter much less personalize. Thanks again. :)
     
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