How Can I Tell What’s On The MBR Of /dev/sda?

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Subject says it.

I would like to find out if I have anything written on the MBR of a disk in my system /dev/sda, or any other device. If there is something there, is it readable, or recognizable to humans?

thanks,
-chuck

3 thoughts on - How Can I Tell What’s On The MBR Of /dev/sda?

  • the MBR contains both binary boot code, which is not human readable, and the master partiion table for the device. you can display the latter like…

    $ sudo parted /dev/sda print Model: ATA Crucial_CT512M55 (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sda: 512GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
    Partition Table: msdos

    Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
    1 1049kB 525MB 524MB primary ext4 boot
    2 525MB 512GB 512GB primary lvm

    note tho, that if “Partition Table” instead says gpt, then the disk is formatted GPT and doesn’t use the MBR.

    $ sudo parted /dev/sdb print Model: ATA ST32000644NS (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sdb: 2000GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
    Partition Table: gpt

    Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
    1 65.5kB 2000GB 2000GB pri raid

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