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Old 08-26-2004, 11:33 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: mandrake 10.0
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backing up the mbr

Hello There !

I'm a total newbie trying to back up the MBR just in case I need to reinstall windows, and can't quite do it. The bootloader is Lilo. The computer has 2 harddrives, one is 80 GB for windows, and the 40 GB is for Mandrake 10. The instructions say to type in (no quotes) "dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0/mbr.bin bs=512 count=1"

When I type that in, it tells me that /dev/fd0/mbr.bin is not a directory. I've searched for anything named mbr.bin without success. How would I make a MBR backup disk ? Where is the mbr.bin hiding ?

Also, another question. Can linux handle more than 512 Mb memory ?

Thanks in advance,

Old 08-26-2004, 11:39 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Arch
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Linux can handle as much memory as your BIOS can. So look at your motherboard manual. Even if you do successfully make a backup MBR you will still need a working linux environment to copy it back to the MBR. It is probably easier to do one of these two things:

1) Make a Boot floppy and boot from it and run "lilo"

2) download a live CD such as Damn Small Linux, change the /etc/lilo.conf file on the cd to the /etc/lilo.conf file from your linux install and boot off the live CD and run "lilo"
Old 08-26-2004, 11:50 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: FreeBSD 6.1, NetBSD 3.0.1
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This is how I would do it:

dd if=/dev/hda of=/tmp/mbr.bin bs=1 count=512

now mount the floppy:

mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

then copy it:

cp /tmp/mbr.bin /mnt/floppy

and finally:

umount /mnt/floppy
Old 08-27-2004, 08:51 AM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: mandrake 10.0
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Thanks for the help so far.

In case of a crash or windows install I've got a copy of a Knoppix CD that is bootable, and it is good to know that I can add more memory later.

Still having a bit of trouble... with the backup Lilo. I get as far as "mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy" (no quotes) and receive a Permission Denied message. I think it might be already mounted (I can see it from the KDE desktop) so on to the next step... "cp /tmp/mbr.bin /mnt/floppy" The error message states No Medium Found. The floppy was previously formatted to linux native (ext2), and i'm working in root.

I also can't copy the file to the floppy drive using the graphical interface. This is a bit worrying
Old 08-27-2004, 10:30 AM   #5
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Mandrake uses supermount where you do not need to use the mount / umount command.
Old 08-30-2004, 07:40 PM   #6
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Got it !

OK Thanks for your help.

The problem with the floppy was fixed by using a different one. Go figure !


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