Sometimes, some viruses or other OS setup could overwrite or make changes in the MBR or Boot Sectors, due to which it becomes impossible to start up previous Operating System and access data stored on the disk. So, to provide an insurance against these types of losses, there is a simple and handy software known as HDHacker. We have already reviewed a utility which can keep an eye on such changes called – MBR Info Tool
HDHacker is a stand-alone micro-utility of only 32KB that allows you to save, visualize and restore the MBR (from a physical drive), the Boot Sector (from a logical drive) or any specified sector from any disk (even removable disks).
Whenever, we install a new Windows setup, it overwrites the pre-installed boot manager (for example, LILO) so, to save and restore this particular boot manager HDHacker is a smart and good utility that can be used. This utility is very simple to use with few options on the main window whether to read/write to/from a logical or physical drive.
Option1 ‘READ SECTOR FROM DISK’ allows you to load a sector into memory reading it directly from the disk.
Option2 ‘LOAD SECTOR FROM FILE’ allows you to save sector into memory, which was previously saved in a file.
Option3 ‘SAVE SECTOR TO FILE’ saves the sector in memory to a file on any designated disk or medium.
Option4 ‘WRITE SECTOR ON DISK’ writes to disk, the sector in memory, in the specified (MBR or boot sector) location.
It performs basically two main operations:
First, to save the data (MBR or Boot Sector). For example, if you want to save MBR (from a physical drive) then, you just have to follow 3 simple steps:
a) Select a Physical drive.
b) Select ‘READ SECTOR FROM DISK’.
c) Select ‘SAVE SECTOR TO FILE’.
Second, to restore MBR ( taking the same example), again you can complete the process in just 3 steps only:
a) Select Physical drive.
b) Select ‘LOAD SECTOR FROM FILE’.
c) Select ‘WRITE SECTOR ON DISK’.
It is compatible with Windows NT/2000/XP/VISTA with the restriction that the user must have permission to read and write in any part of the disk. In Windows 95 and 98, this is by default if you have signed in with a password (otherwise you must create an administrator account).
However, in Windows ME or any NT-based systems (Windows 2K, Windows XP, etc.) you must be logged in as “Administrator” to read, save or restore any MBR or Boot Sector. Similarly, for Linux, you must be “Administrator”, and you must also have read/write permissions in FSTAB.
You can also read article on How To Create Hard Disk For Full Computer Recovery.