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Linux Gazette: Clearing out the Master Boot Record (MBR)

Feb 19, 2001, 13:43 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ben Okopnik)

"Experimentation is fun. After all, one of the things that makes Linux so interesting to a number of people is the ability to twiddle settings and see what happens - I'll admit that it's a major factor for me. One of the problems with that, though, is that some types of twiddling can lead to serious problems. A bit like sawing off the branch you're sitting on, in fact..."

"A number of people write to the Answer Gang with a query that goes something like this:

"Dear TAG: I have a stick of dynamite strapped to the CPU, and I'm not afraid to use it. Now that I have your undivided attention: I ran into a problem while trying to reinstall..."
What it turns out to be - after the police, the fire department, and the burly men in the white coats have come and gone - is that they've run into the classic "fried MBR" problem: install Linux, realize that Windows will screw up the boot record, delete the Linux partition, try to install Windows first... OOPS. The Windows setup runs into a problem and stops."

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