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I lost the older Knoppix CD , and it seems the features are changing from one version to the next. I want to clear out the MBR (Master Boot Record), but I can't do it. (I am trying to to a windows re-install after using Linux, and I believe the problem is the MBR) I tried "sudo install-mbr /dev/hda" and it did not work.

Also, does anyone know why so many Linux distributions have problems with WiFi Home Network stations? Is it because the hardware vendors release the drivers without the source code and the Linux distribution people decide not to include them?

thanks, Robert

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migrated from Apr 27 '12 at 19:12

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You can't "clear out" the MBR, you can only put something else there. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 27 '12 at 19:02
Even back in the Windows XP days if doing a completely fresh install of windows you could delete all existing partitions on a disk and start again. – BJ292 Apr 27 '12 at 19:29
@Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams you could format the drive since the MBR is on the HDD. :P – Jeff F. Apr 27 '12 at 19:52
@JeffF.: Right, it's on the HDD, but formatting affects the partition, not the drive. – Oliver Salzburg Apr 27 '12 at 19:55
@Oliver Ah yeah your right, I forgot the MBR is not stored on the partition since it includes partition information. – Jeff F. Apr 27 '12 at 19:58

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

should clear your mbr right out.


for your second question about linux wireless, you probably have a broadcom wnic. sucks to deal with, and requires some fighting with b43-fwcutter and such messiness. as far as why it sucks in doesn't. in my experience, wireless on linux is better managed than on windows, excepting picky devices like broadcom wireless chips or ones that require ndiswrapper trickery.

if you're dumping linux because you have had a bad experience with wireless lately, i recommend to give it another shot on a modern, up-to-date distro. my preference is arch, if you're not afraid of a little command-line tinkering (you only have to tinker on cli for the first few hours though, after that you can be up and running with gnome-shell or kde4 or xfce4 or whatever else you like)

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