Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (924 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Boot Probs with Opensuse 12.2
Greg Freemyer said the following on 10/01/2012 08:37 AM:
Anton Aylward <opensuse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Is there a tool which shows the non file system stuff on the disk, what
boot records there, in an intelligent (aka non-hex-dump) format, so
we can see how the bios is going to boot?

I know that the partition editors flag bootable partitions, but what is
"in there"?


I think the answer to your question is no.

== details
Sector 0 (or "master boot record (mbr)") is what drives a standard bios boot
sequence. (I don't know about efi).

The partition table is in a portion of sector zero and various tools will
dump that for you.

But much of sector zero is a small machine code boot loader. You can of
course dissassemble it, but I doubt it would tell you much. Most boot
solutions (lilo, grub, windows) replace the boot loader section of sector 0
with their own code.

No need to reply to me as well as the list :-)

Yes, I understand that, but as you say, I'd have to disassemble it.
What I'm talking about is _interpreting_ what's there.

For example, when I install Linux I'm given an option of where I want
the boot loader to go. What if I forget? Is there nothing that can
take a walk through the chain from the MBR an tell me where everything is?

Well obvious there is: its how things get booted!
But how can I _inspect_ that?

Suppose I have boot records on each partition. How can I tell the
disk-level mbr to chain to one rather than another? Is there an
inspector/editor for this?

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?"
Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown in "Peanuts"
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