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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] backing up the master boot record
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Re: [vox-tech] backing up the master boot record





On Tue, 19 Jun 2001, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

> i'd like to know how to backup the master boot record, but the trouble is
> that i don't know how "big" the mbr is.
>

Take all 512 bytes -- it won't hurt.  Disk sectors are usually 512 bytes
or multiples of 512 bytes.  Lilo may not use the last set of bytes - but
usually MBR's and bootsectors have 0xAA55 written at the end.  Some
systems might let you get away with that 446 byte count MBR, but others
will demand that the 0xAA55 signatures is written to the end of the
sector.  In any case, just take all 512 bytes.

> also, a question about dd.  according to the man page, bs=BYTE tells dd to
> read and write BYTE bytes.  count=BLOCK tells dd to copy only BLOCK input
> blocks.
>
> what is a block?

Probably the equivalent of a sector.  Read the man pages. :-)  I've never
used dd - I usually just use my own tools.  My guess is that you can
selectively choose how much data from each sector/block you want to write,
and the number of blocks from which you want to only take a portion of the
data from.

-- 
Pavan xxxxxx (xxxxxx@uiuc.edu)   http://www.students.uiuc.edu/~xxxxxx
Computer Engineering Student     University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign

"[...] the problem is almost certainly with your OS, not with the kernel."
- Peter J. Salzman, former chair of Linux Users Group of Davis, CA
(LUGOD), assisting youngsters on proper Linux kernel recompilation.


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