8 Free Tools to Backup and Restore the Master Boot Record (MBR)

5. MBRFix

MBRFix

MBRFix is another command line based Master Boot Record fix, backup and restore utility, but has some other partition and volume tasks available that are similar to those found in the Windows DiskPart tool. They include information about volumes and drives, listing partitions, cleaning the drive of partitions and setting the active partition. The MBR itself can be backed up with the savembr {filename} argument and restorembr {filename} to do the opposite with an added option to save any sector range to a file. This utility should NOT be used for GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks.

If you like the idea of using MBR Fix from the comfort of a GUI, a small frontend tool called Ultimate MBRGUI will enable you to run both MBR Fix and MBR Wizard essentially using point and click to execute all of the command line functions. The GUI will run with the latest version of MBR Fix but not MBR Wizard as mentioned.

Download MbrFix


6. MBRUtil

MBRutil

MBRUtil is actually from PowerQuest many years ago before they got swallowed up by Symantec in 2003. This utility is quite basic and has an option to save the Master Boot Record to a file, and then another to restore it back again. It can also save and restore the first head of the drive which is the first 62 sectors, MBR is only the first sector. Usage is MBRUtil.exe /S={filename} or /R={filename}. The zip file also contains another small tool called WipeTrk which will wipe sectors 2 to 63 leaving the MBR itself intact.

Download MBRUtil


7. MBR Backup

MBR Backup

If you want a nice and easy to use Master Boot Record backup and restore tool, then MBR Backup could be what you’re looking for. Simply start the portable executable and it will display the MBR of disk in Hex, the drive can be changed from the drop down. Then all you have to do is click on Save or Print MBR to back it up, and choose the Restore option to put the Boot Record back again. Apart from being able to show the partition table of each physical drive, MBR Backup has no other options and is surely a simple tool for simple MBR backup and restore tasks.

Download MBR Backup


8. MBR Scan

MBR Scan

MBR Scan isn’t able to restore your Master Boot Record, but it does let you view it and make a backup of the MBR which can be restored by other tools such as MBR Wizard etc. What makes this tool useful is the information about the drives and partitions is all nicely laid out in an easy to understand format, which makes it also a useful security tool for checking on any suspicious activity in the Master Boot Record itself. There’s also a hex sector viewer where you can save specific sectors. Press Scan to populate the window with the available drives and the Dump button will save the MBR to the same folder as MBR Scan.

Download MBR Scan

Special Note: It’s well worth mentioning that one of our favorite bootable Live Windows and repair CD’s is loaded with a number of Master Boot Record tools in both its DOS and Live Windows sections. Hiren’s Boot CD has over 20 tools including BootICE, HDHacker, MBRWizard, MbrFix and the MBR Tool from this list. It’s well worth a look if you want to have a set of tools ready to go in the event your computer corrupts its MBR unexpectedly.

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