Networking HowTos
Networking HowTos

Backup your master boot record

February 14, 2012 Linux

The Linux DD command allows you to read and write directly to block devices. If you are playing around with boot loaders, dual booting, etc, its a good idea to take a copy of your master boot record just in case things go astray and you need to restore it.
To backup the master boot record (MBR):

$ sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=boot.bin bs=512 count=1

/dev/sda is the device of the hard drive you want to take the backup from.
boot.bin is the file that will get created, containing the backup. Keep this in a safe place.
To restore the MBR backup back to the hard drive:

$ sudo dd if=boot.bin of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

Note: Don’t mix up the ‘if=’ (input file) and ‘of=’ (output file) options, as you may overwrite your MBR accidentally.

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