Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 06, 2016, 12:08:43 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: MBR Backup & Restore  (Read 6247 times)

MerleOne

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 949
  • 4D thinking
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
MBR Backup & Restore
« on: December 27, 2008, 03:55:32 AM »
Hi all,

Could someone recommend a good, preferably free, MBR manager.  I am about to install software that will change my current MBR on my Lenovo and I am pretty sure this MBR is non standard (I am running VISTA). I'd like ideally to backup the full first cylinder.

Thanks.
.merle1.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 04:13:46 AM »
Google - first link.

PhilB66

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 04:30:44 AM »
HDHacker (Scroll to bottom of the page).

Raymond recently reviewed 5 Free Tools to Backup and Restore Master Boot Record (MBR)

MerleOne

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 949
  • 4D thinking
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 10:13:13 AM »
HDHacker (Scroll to bottom of the page).

Raymond recently reviewed 5 Free Tools to Backup and Restore Master Boot Record (MBR)

Thanks.  I have tried some of them in the past, but will look again.  HDHacker seems indeed quite close to what I'd like.

For 4wd, I agree Google is often a good place to start with, but I was looking for a real experience from DC readers, not just some pagerank data.
.merle1.

kartal

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,529
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 12:33:44 PM »
Have you used that one before?

Google - first link.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 06:01:14 PM »
For 4wd, I agree Google is often a good place to start with, but I was looking for a real experience from DC readers, not just some pagerank data.

One of the reasons things are usually on the top of the PageRank is because people are willing to link to them, ie. for example, it's the best of it's kind.

Have you used that one before?

Google - first link.

I don't use any MBR only backup/restore software because the partition/disk backup/restore software I use always backs up the MBR and I can choose to just restore it if necessary.
Plus I consider the data on the drive more important than the MBR - loss of the MBR I can get around, loss of the data I can't.

The times I have screwed the MBR without a backup available, (I'll never learn), I've always fixed it using XP in Rescue Console mode.

Honestly, if you're going to screw around with the MBR or your partitions in general, backup the whole disk.

eg. The PING disk imager I mention here backs up the BIOS settings, the first few sectors, drive/partition geometry (I think) and drive data to separate files within a directory.

Raymond recently reviewed 5 Free Tools to Backup and Restore Master Boot Record (MBR)

For 4wd, I agree Google is often a good place to start with, but I was looking for a real experience from DC readers, not just some pagerank data.

Then you would of noted that the second link on Google is the one PhilB66 mentions.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 05:51:48 PM by 4wd »

MerleOne

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 949
  • 4D thinking
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2008, 03:29:28 AM »
Thanks a lot 4wd !  I had a bit of trouble getting MBRTool, the main site seems to have problems, but they had it on download.com.  In my case the Lenovo MBR is proprietary, non standard, because it can activate Lenovo Recovery Partition.  I want to install DriveClonePro 6 from Farstone which comes with an excellent optional instant recovery system, like Returnil or Rollback RX, except that it seems nicer so far.  So I want to be able to restore the original one.

You're right by saying most image software also backup the MBR, it is the case for instance with TerabyteUnlimited Image for Windows V2, but I am always afraid that I need to image the full HDD and not a single partition.  Also, MBR restoration (or HDD cylinder 0 which I prefer, in case of non standard MBR) is usually tricky.

All that to say I was hoping to find a nice straightforward tool that does is.
.merle1.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2008, 03:59:19 AM »
Thanks a lot 4wd !  I had a bit of trouble getting MBRTool, the main site seems to have problems, but they had it on download.com.  In my case the Lenovo MBR is proprietary, non standard, because it can activate Lenovo Recovery Partition.

Yes, my Acer laptop, (XP), was the same - you push F11 or similar at boot to access the recovery program/partition.

However, since the laptop also came with a recovery CD that does exactly the same thing as the MBR version, I decided I'd rather have the extra HDD space for something more useful and deleted the recovery partition and installed a standard MBR.

I also created a XP install CD from the pre-installed system so I could reinstall XP without using the recovery CD which would wipe the entire HDD contents - not very friendly.

Quote
I want to install DriveClonePro 6 from Farstone which comes with an excellent optional instant recovery system, like Returnil or Rollback RX, except that it seems nicer so far.  So I want to be able to restore the original one.

Just an idea: If it was my laptop and a Recovery DVD was supplied I'd do the same thing I did with my Acer.  (However, I'm not sure whether a Vista DVD can be created from a pre-installed system.)

kartal

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,529
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2008, 12:35:21 PM »
It is always good idea to recommend the tools we use not the ones we never use especially when it comes to things like partitions, mbr etc. We would not want fellow Dc members to get into an accident. The reason I am mentioning this is that everytime I ask for software recommandation someone pops up and says google is my friend blah blah. I think it is silly to think that google search is a some kind of skill that needs to be reminded by someone else.

On the otherhand I actually did use google search to find a partition tool to use on my mac-windows boot. The tool ended up totally messing up partition mbr tables which ended costing me over couple hundred dollars because original Bootcamp expired and was  no longer usable so I needed to upgrade to Leopard. And this tool was from a reputable company like Paragon, called camptune. I did not do anything really, just put the cd into drive, boot and watch. Boommm, my hd was doomed. So again google search is not the best deal at all times.





One of the reasons things are usually on the top of the PageRank is because people are willing to link to them, ie. for example, it's the best of it's kind.


4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2008, 04:48:23 PM »
I think it is silly to think that google search is a some kind of skill that needs to be reminded by someone else.

Whereas I do, simply because searching on Google is a skill.  I could put in the same words as someone else and end up with different results simply because of the order in which I entered them.

So if someone gives a link to a Google search result, I'll look at it simply because they might have thought to put something in the search that I didn't or wouldn't have thought of.

Quote
On the otherhand I actually did use google search to find a partition tool to use on my mac-windows boot. The tool ended up totally messing up partition mbr tables which ended costing me over couple hundred dollars because original Bootcamp expired and was  no longer usable so I needed to upgrade to Leopard. And this tool was from a reputable company like Paragon, called camptune. I did not do anything really, just put the cd into drive, boot and watch. Boommm, my hd was doomed. So again google search is not the best deal at all times.

Honestly, I you're going to screw around with the MBR or your partitions in general, backup the whole disk.
             ^ should be 'if' of course but you get the idea  :)

Personally, I don't consider Paragon's partition tool as very good - it had, (more than a few years ago when I was using it), a nasty habit of creating non-standard tables.

And I'm not saying a Google search is the best deal at all times - however, it is the best deal if you want to know what's available and user's opinions simply because of the breadth of information you now have available.
Just as before HTTP was invented, newsgroups were the best place to ask/search (for) technical questions about software/hardware.

FWIW, I learnt back in the mid-90's that you should always image the drive before screwing with the partitions or RDB, (Rigid Disk Block - Amiga), while beta testing the then new OS3.5 - I lost an entire partition and all the data on it, (email db, etc, etc).

Didn't cost me anything except some annoyance and :wallbash: but you only really learn a lesson when what you trying to do fails AND you don't have adequate safeguards.

Nowadays, before I modify the MBR, partitions or re-install the OS I always image the entire disk because if I don't good old Murphyw will step in and take over.

BTW, no offense to all the members on DC but I'm far too cynical to take any recommendation on DC or elsewhere as a blanket qualification that some software is 'good' - I will just add it to a list of software I might be compiling for a purpose but I will still try and find out as much as I can about it before using it.  It always comes down to: What works for you might not work for me.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 06:02:05 PM by 4wd »

The_Doomer

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 04:36:45 PM »
PGP Fingerprint: F8FC 92DF AAD2 D91C 1B07  01A6 118F 251B 85EC 1FCE

MerleOne

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 949
  • 4D thinking
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: MBR Backup & Restore
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2009, 04:12:37 PM »
Again, thanks all for all these tips.

I did try MBRtool by burning  a CD but it wouldn't save the MBR on anything.  HDHacker seemed easier to use even if I had to be extra careful when performing the save (a restore could have been catastrophic).

To be on the safe side, I also performed a full image backup of the entire HDD with Image for Linux bootable CD (TerabyteUnlimited).

I then installed the software that was rewriting its own MBR, DriveClone Pro 6 (Farstone) and I must say I am quite impressed with it.  It's a mix of Rollback RX and Acronis True Image, with the difference it doesn't crash so much.  But I guess I should give more details in another thread, even write a minireview, if only I could figure how to use the post model.
.merle1.