Install a new MBR to your USB Flash Drive

Do you need to Install a new (MBR) Master Boot Record? Some USB flash drives are notorious for having problems with corrupted Master Boot Records. If your system suddenly refuses to boot from the flash drive, the MBR may be at fault. To fix this, you can use the Linux mbr package included with most Debian and Ubuntu based distributions to install a new master boot record. Credit goes to BHSPitMonkey for pointing out this fix. The troubled drive he encountered was a Kingston Data Traveler.

The following instructions were written from a Ubuntu Linux operating environment. Similar systems may or may not work as well.

Fixing the Master Boot Record

First we add the Debian Linux mbr package. Then we use it to create the new MBR on the USB flash drive.

  1. Open a terminal ctrl+alt+t and type sudo su
  2. Type apt-get install mbr
  3. Then, type fdisk -l to find out which device is your flash drive
  4. Finally, type install-mbr /dev/sdx (replacing x with your flash device)

Hopefully this helped you get that not so cooperative flash drive to boot.