how to copy MBR??

Gayn Winters gaynw at
Sun Dec 4 10:02:14 PST 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at 
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at] On Behalf Of Javier Matos
> Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 5:50 PM
> To: freebsd-questions at
> Subject: how to copy MBR??
> Hi, I will change the hard drive of my computer and I was 
> thinking that maybe it can run if I make partitions in the 
> new hard drive (the same number of partitions using the same 
> device name), copy all the files contained in the old hard 
> drive to the new one and finally copy MBR from old hard drive 
> to the new one... .
> Can it be a solution to the problem of changing hard drives 
> of my computer or that that I tell is a stupid thing??

You should do a little reading first.  The Handbook has a good section
on this, and there are MANY posts on the topic.  The bottom line is that
a naïve copy using dd or cp won't work.  (Well, dd will work but
assuming your new disk is larger, it won't be optimal.)  You are
probably better off with a new install on the new disk, and then doing
dump and restore to transfer the relevant user data.  This is a good
time to rethink how your data are stored, and the handbook has a section
on rearranging your directories.  This is a popular topic and there are
any HOWTO's out there that Google will find for you.  If you have room
physically, using the old disk as an extra drive is something I'd
suggest as well.  In fact, it makes the dump|restore work particularly


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