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I'm playing around with Linux distros that will run from a USB memory stick and will finction as a complete OS, as if running from an HDD. One that I tried installed the bootloader to the stick's MBR. I have since formatted the stick, so the OS is gone, but the bootloader is still there pointing to it.
I need to get rid of the MBR bootloader so that when my laptop boots to the USB stick, the syslinux file points it to the right OS. How do I clear the MBR?
That was a poor decision. Not knowing syslinux, I would have thought the solution offered by madluther would be the best place to start.
What the dd command actually did was also remove the partition table; although the data in the partitions hasn't been touched.
Not only that, it removed the signature bytes on the disk - which means fdisk and cfdisk won't open the disk. These two utilities are the normal way to create partitions.
testdisk probably will do the job although I haven't looked at the code - maybe parted as well.
Probably gparted as well, if you have a GUI available.
oneandoneis2, I suggest you not offer this advice to anyone else.
Once upon a time, a salesman locked himself out of his car in Manhattan. A kid walked up and said “Hey mister, I’ll open your car for $10, but I want the money up front.” So the salesman gave him $10 and the kid picked up a brick and broke the side window. “Hey mister, you didn’t ask me how I was going to do it.”
The OP says the drive has been formatted, implying there was no valuable data on the drive, or I wouldn't have recommended the dd method.
I've never had any problems repartitioning a flash drive that's been dd'd in the manner I mentioned. I forget if I used fdisk or cfdisk, but those are the only partitioners I have installed, so I know for a fact that at least one of them works just fine.
Under the cirumstances, as a simple way of clearing the MBR of a blank disk, I believe the dd method is a good one.
I just had the opportunity to zero a hard-disk prior to the laptop being returned to the leasing company.
fdisk opened and created partitions even with the zero'd MBR just fine.
Didn't work the last time I tried it, did with this version of Knoppix (3.9 - kernel 2.6.11).