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remove MBR and PBR from the external USB hard drive

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'chris'
Super Advisor

remove MBR and PBR from the external USB hard drive

hi

I have cloned my notebook using HDClone:

http://www.miray.de/products/sat.hdclone.html

on the external USB hard drive.

howto remove MBR and PBR from the external USB hard drive ?

kind regards
chris
3 REPLIES
Solution

Re: remove MBR and PBR from the external USB hard drive

You should not really need to do this, as generally you cannot boot most versions of Windows from an external device, so the MBR on such a device is not accessed during the bootstrap or OS load stage. Secondly Windows (and many other applications) write entries in the registry and elsewhere that identify the drive/partition on which it was originally installed. Thus copying/moving/cloning the OS to another drive, even using various imaging utilities, won't allow it to run unless you put it back where it came from.

However, this can be done with Linux if it has been configured carefully beforehand.

If you have a floppy drive on the laptop, it is a good idea to create BOTH a set of Setup Disks (on floppy disks) and a set of Recovery Disks (floppies again) before you do anything else. You should also identify and download the appropriate MS-Dos mode drivers for the USB controller, USB Stick and CD-DVD Drive AND TEST THEM. All these various utilities should be copied to the original HDD, USB HDD, and a USB stick into MS-Dos FAT-12, FAT-16 or FAT-32 formatted partitions - NOT NTFS.

I presume you are replacing the HDD in the laptop, or installing a larger one, and are trying to avoid reinstalling Windows and the applications from scratch.

What you probably need to do is use a MBR utility, installed on an MS-Dos Boot Disk or USB stick. You really need at least the Windows/ME Release 2 version of MS-Dos to do this, or one of the non-Microsoft DOS versions, as only these will work with multi-Gb sized drives. MBRTool from

http:\\www.DiyDataRecovery.nl

is pretty good for the MBR/Partition backup. Use this to back up both the MBR and Partition Data from the original laptop HDD to a floppy/USB. You can then completely wipe the original/replacement HDD using a HDD manufacturers utilities (or replace it with a new/larger one).

Restore the original size and order of partition(s) to the new HDD using your HDClone utility. Then restore the MBR and Partition tables using MBRTool.

Reboot and allow Windows to load, auto-install its new HDD drivers, re-validate, etc.

ONLY THEN start to move and resize partitions, once you have confirmed that Windows is booting successfully.

You should consider creating a seperate partition to hold your data (Drive D) and perhaps set this as a 32-bit FAT partition. It may also be worth creating a tiny MS-DOS partition to hold the MBRTool and other utilities on the HDD. If you have a hidden Recovery partition, plus the OS partition, this gives you the maximum 4 primary partitions on a single HDD.

If you want to wipe the MBR/Partition table from the USB HDD, you can use MBRTool, after renaming existing MBR backups and taking a backup of the USB MBR. MBRTool uses the same file name each time for some of its backups. It is also a very well behaved utility.

BE VARY CAREFUL WITH OTHER DOS OR NON-CURRENT UTILITIES, MANY OF THEM DON'T WORK WITH MULTI-Gb DRIVES OR 4GB+ PARTITIONS, OR WILL APPEAR TO WORK WITH NO WARNING THAT THEY WILL TRASH THE HDD, THE PARTITION OR THE OS INSTALLED ON IT. MANY ALSO HAVE OS VERSION BASED INCOMPATIBILITIES.
'chris'
Super Advisor

Re: remove MBR and PBR from the external USB hard drive

thx, but my problem is, my external USB hard drive is 1 Terabyte.
After clonning using HDClone my external USB hard drive is only 100GB, because the MBR and PBR was overwritten.
I need to format it back to 1 Terabyte.
Shoghi Martinez G.
Honored Contributor

Re: remove MBR and PBR from the external USB hard drive

Hello, you can use a utility such as partition Magic.

Or Maybe if you use de disc management MMC on windows there you can repartition your disk.

Or you can use a linux box and the zero out the first block of the disc using the DD command (Be ware!), no linux box? use a live CD.

Shoghi.