New: HDHacker Portable 1.4 (MBR and boot sector manager) Released

Submitted by scriptdaemon on March 4, 2011 - 7:01pm

logoHDHacker Portable 1.4 has been released. HDHacker is a stand-alone micro-utility that saves, visualizes, and restores the MBR (from a physical drive), the BootSector (from a logical drive) or any specified sector from any disk (even removable disks). [PLEASE NOTE: This is an advanced hard drive tool for system administrators. Improper use can result in inaccessible hard drives.] It's packaged in Format so it can easily integrate with the Suite. HDHacker is freeware for personal and business use. Read on for more details...

HDHacker is packaged for portable use with permission from Dimio. Platform 2.0 Beta 5 users who already have this app installed, simply click 'Check for Updates' in your PA.c Menu to update to the new version.


ScreenshotHDHacker can be used, for example, to save and restore a particular boot manager (such as LILO, for example) before a new Windows setup (which, obviously, overwrites it). An MBR and BootSector backup can also be useful for simple precautionary purposes too, since sometimes viruses or other OS setup (like Linux) could overwrite and/or alter the MBR/Boot Sectors, making it impossible to start up previous OS and/or access datas stored on the disk. HDHacker can provide "insurance" against all these types of loss.

Learn more about HDHacker... Installer / Format

HDHacker Portable is packaged in a Installer so it will automatically detect an existing installation when your drive is plugged in. It supports upgrades by installing right over an existing copy, preserving all settings. And it's in Format, so it automatically works with the Suite including the Menu and Backup Utility.


HDHacker Portable is available for immediate download from the HDHacker Portable homepage. Get it today!

Story Topic:


Am I missing something? How do I restore the MBR using this utility if I can't boot into Windows? (Hi John. Did try to post under Support, but no entry as yet for this app)

My freeware Avast! AV warned that this "app" was rated dangerous/suspicious and asked if I wanted to download and run it "sandboxed"...although I also have the freeware app "Sandboxie" installed in my now ancient Sony VAIO P4 1.8 GHZ 1 GB RAM desktop computer with Win XP Pro installed on one of the 4 PATA HDD partitions. I can't afford a new desktop or laptop computer, (that include newer and better SATA, HD-DVD, internal IDE slots for graphics cards instead of just ONE AGP slot, and USB 3.0 and Firewire 400/800 connections) and is primarily due to my now being disabled and relying on a small fixed income, so I am always looking online for free Windows-related tools, apps, and software programs that I can install instead of directly into my Windows OS and/or into a separate NTFS/FAT32 formatted and created partition, and then they most often ALSO insist or require that they are included starting up immediately upon boot, as well as accessing and installing themselves into the Windows registry, but MUCH preferably those that can be configured or are already pre-configured (Portable Apps .paf for example :-)) to install instead into a thumbdrive, CD, DVD or external HDD to save on/ or reduce the use of physical RAM, virtual and pagefile memory, and best of all, they run ONLY when I WANT to run them.

Despite being able to run this app sandboxed at first, and checking it out, I instead decided to remove and delete the download and did not install it, b/c of installing either or both LILO and Grub bootloaders corrupting a MBR or maybe a user with or using admin/root privileges, somehow messing up a Windows MBR can often be repaired, that is, IF one knows how and what to use to do it. All you need is a downloaded version of the live Knoppix OS (calls itself the "Swiss Army Knife" of Linux-based distros) then burn the ISO file to a CD or DVD and use the OS to repair the MBR that included a Windows OS boot file record that likely was corrupted by installing a different Linux or Unix-based distro after a Windows OS was installed beforehand. It happened to me recently when I installed a variant version of the Free BSD (Unix-based) OS into the same HDD but into a pre-formatted and completely separate partition, which for some reason, corrupted a previously installed Linux OS LILO, that did detect and include a boot option into my WinXP Pro OS.

After running a live Knoppix DVD, (that operates and loads itself solely and only into RAM, (although the OS can be installed as Debian Linux into a HDD partition) and then completely disappears w/o a trace after shutdown) I was able to repair the LILO boot-loader and once again boot into Windows.



John T. Haller's picture

It's just a warning from Avast as this app, if used improperly, can result in your computer being unable to boot. The exact same thing can happen if you use a Live Boot CD to mess with the MBR.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

The avast autosandbox is a precautionary thing. It has various flags for things that may generate an alert.
The location (i.e. flash drive) plays a part, as does the where the file came from, or what it does...

It is a suggestion that it *may* be wise to sandbox it, not a definite indication of anything.

A better to be safer than sorry approach.

Personally, being a PA.c user with a load of apps, the AutoSandbox is a pain...and I often end up disabling it when I use more than one or two apps.

It actually gives a lot of prompts for a lot of the PA.c apps...

Some discussion about PA and autosandbox here:

This is actually an avast issue, so not really needed to post here. Maybe it should be moved? (I'm thinking OffTopic forum?)

EDIT: (sorry) ahh.. replied to wrong person...was meant to be one up...

“There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them!”Richard Feynman