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Old 02-14-2008, 05:59 AM   #1
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Boot Disk and MBR question.

Hello there.
My system boots perfectly via Grub. Upon start up I get a Grub boot splash screen which gives me the choice of 3 different systems to boot into.
Now I decided to make a boot disk of sorts :

$ sudo dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0 count=1 bs=446
This I understand copies the boot record but not the partition table.
I can boot from this floppy and get the usual grub boot splash screen which offers me my 3 choices of OS again. Could someone kindly explain what is exactly copied during the above dd command. Is it the instructions for the computer to use the "grub" on the hda and its related menu.lst file to boot the computer ? I just need clarifying as to what instructions these magical 446 bytes contain. Correct me if I'm wrong but what parts of grub are found in the mbr ?
Is the above method a good and quick way to make a boot floppy for a specific system without having to install grub and all its related files onto the floppy disk ? Should I change "bs=446" to "bs=512" ?


Old 02-14-2008, 07:01 AM   #2
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The command copies the initial part of the boot record. If you extend it to 512 it also includes the partition table. A real boot record with the information belonging to grub etc. is larger than that; this first part only contains the information where to look for the rest. On your system, that's enough to boot your system, but take the disk to any other computer and it won't work.

Probably more than you wanted to know about that:

Old 02-14-2008, 07:02 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure you have copied stage 1 of GRUB from hda.

I'm pretty sure stage 1 was customized when installed to include the exact physical location of stage 1.5, so it wouldn't be a correct stage 1 for some other sda.
Old 02-14-2008, 07:03 AM   #4
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bitpicker beat me to it.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 02-14-2008 at 07:05 AM.
Old 02-14-2008, 08:41 AM   #5
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Excellent ! Thanks a lot for the replies guys. Cleared some things up

Thanks again,



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