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[bug #27058] Save current MBR before Grub installs itself & provide undo

From: mike
Subject: [bug #27058] Save current MBR before Grub installs itself & provide undo commmand
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 16:34:29 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)


                 Summary: Save current MBR before Grub installs itself &
provide undo commmand
                 Project: GNU GRUB
            Submitted by: mikec001
            Submitted on: Mon 20 Jul 2009 04:34:27 PM GMT
                Category: Installation
                Severity: Major
                Priority: 5 - Normal
              Item Group: Feature Request
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
         Originator Name: mike
        Originator Email: address@hidden
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
                 Release: n/a
         Reproducibility: None
         Planned Release: 



New Feature Request:

Save current MBR before installing grub to MBR and
provide an new mbrUndo command to restore MBR to previous state.
As a Gnu/Linux user of many many years I have found that the most common
problem/complaint of grub users is the 
accidental installing of GRUB onto a computer's MBR.  

This is usually due to either a discrete user error - or due to a wayward
distribution's automatic install to the MBR without asking the user for
confirmation of the action.

(e.g At time of writing a standard Ubuntu 9.04 desktop install, is a  classic
example of an distribution that installs
grub to the MBR without seeking prior approval or confirmation)

To counteract this, I propose that GRUB take the initiative by:

1. First backing up the current MBR to a file, before installing itself to
the MBR ( or to the first sector of a partition).
2. Provide a new  MBR 'undo'  command that would reinstate a previous MBR of
the users choosing.

Grub could store the previous MBR  in a file in  /boot/grub/MBR.000

A new grub 'undo' command  could restore the MBR to a previous state, thus
a user with a quick remedy to the situation.

                mbrUndo  <filename>

e.g  mbrUndo  /boot/grub/MBR.001

Invoking mbrUndo without  a  filename could default to the last MBR.xxx  
file  created.

By doing this, a user who accidentally installed  grub to the MBR, or  to a
partitions first sector, could
quickly rectify the situation.


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