How to Delete an MBR Partition From a Hard Drive

By Josh Baum

A typical computer hard drive is divided up into two or more partitions, which are sections of the disk space that have been separated for technical or organizational reasons. A common type of technical partition is called the MBR partition, or master boot record partition. This partition is usually located in the first section of the disc, which is where the computer looks first to determine what to do. It is a very small but important partition, as it contains boot instructions for all of the remaining partitions on the disc. But if it becomes infected with a virus or needs to be changed for some reason, you may need to delete it.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access

Step 1

Back up all of the data on the computer, since you are about to make a fundamental change to your hard drive that may adversely affect stored data, including all of your software and your operating system. Make sure you have the original install disks for your operating system and other programs in case you need them.

Step 2

Connect to the Internet and use your Web browser to download an FDisk utility program. FDisk is short for fixed disk, which is a computing term for the utility that controls hard disk partitioning. There are a few freeware FDisk utilities to choose from. A link to a readily available FDisk utility, Super FDisk, can be found in the resources section.

Step 3

Run the .exe file you downloaded in the previous step to install Super FDisk.

Step 4

Run Super FDisk using the "Start" menu or "Desktop" icon that appeared after the installation.

Step 5

Click on the drag-down menu in the top left corner of the Super FDisk window. A list of all the hard drives in your system will be displayed. Select the master hard drive for the computer, which should contain the MBR partition.

Step 6

Look in the main window for the partition with the label MBR, then left-click that entry once to highlight it.

Step 7

Click the "Partition" heading at the top of the window and select "Delete".

Step 8

You will be presented with two choices: "Delete" and "Delete and Secure Erase". Which one you choose is up to you, but should depend on the circumstances. If you're deleting the MBR partition just because you're installing a new one, you might want to select "Delete", which will make the data recoverable later using system restore utilities. If you're deleting it because you have found it to be infected with a virus, you may want to select "Delete and Secure Erase", which will completely remove it from the system and make it unrecoverable.

Step 9

Wait for the utility to finish deleting the MBR partition, then close Super FDisk.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have a plan in place for installing a new MBR partition before deleting the existing one.

References & Resources