Backup And Restore The Master Boot Record

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 27, 2008
Updated • Dec 16, 2012
Software, Windows software

The Master Boot Record contains important boot information which are essential to boot a computer system. A corrupted master boot record usually makes a system unbootable until the issue is fixed, which can be problematic if you do not have a Live CD, recovery CD or second computer at hand. Users who installed multiple operating systems might have also experienced difficulties when the operating systems installed their own boot manager which erased the previous one without providing them with options to load the previous operating system using the newly installed boot manager.

It is therefor always a good precaution to backup the Master Boot Record so that you can restore it at a later time. This could be handy before installing another operating system or if the Master Boot Record gets corrupted in another way.

HD Hacker is a portable software compatible with Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista that can be used to backup and restore the Master Boot Record or any other sector the user specifies. It offers the option to select the drive by drive letter or physical drive.

The software supports two read and write operations. A sector can be read from disk or file and can be saved to disk or file as well. To backup the Master Boot Record one would Read the boot sector from disk and save it to file afterwards. This ensures that the Master Book Record can be recovered anytime in case something should alter or corrupt it.

Update: The program is listed as being compatible with Vista as well, which makes it very likely that it also works under Windows 7 and Windows 8. The developer website lists all programs by the developer on a single page. I suggest you use Ctrl-f and the built-in browser search to search for Hacker to be taken to the program listing on that page directly.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. shahed said on April 10, 2012 at 3:29 am

    do you know How to do the master boot record make more than 4 partitions?

  2. Claw said on December 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for this beautiful tip! :)

    […] Una estupenda utilidad que hará las delicias de esos “manitas” que toquetean muchas veces las particiones instalando y probando sistemas operativos. [via gHacks] [..]

  3. Rick said on October 27, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Nice. The site has a really great task manager too. It provides features that my usual favorite, SysInternals Process Explorer, lacks:
    – Immediate forced termination without even asking the program nicely
    – Multiple select (ProcExp only lets you terminate one at a time)
    – No confirmation

    Hooray for ruthlessly killing processes! :)

  4. gokudomatic said on October 27, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    funny. I just messed yesterday evening (very late) my MBR by trying to resize a linux partition and to allocate the free space to windows XP. Both linux and windows were very angry after me.

    this stuff would have helped me if it came 12 hours before (no, don’t feel guilty. I only lost everything. not a big deal ;)).

  5. kevinn said on October 27, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Prolly, you could run it on bartPE.

  6. Enigma said on October 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Looks like your test worked lol

    Is there a dos version of this or something like it though, just that if your boot sector goes on holiday how are you suppose to get into windows to restore it.

  7. Martin said on October 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm


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