Volume Boot Record

What Does Volume Boot Record Mean?

A volume boot record (VBR) is the first sector in a data storage device that is not partitioned or the first sector in a partition of a data storage device that itself has undergone partition. Volume boot records often contain the computer code to initiate the boot process, or the code for loading and invoking a standalone program or operating system installed on the device or on the partition.

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A volume boot record is also known as a partition boot sector or volume boot sector.

Techopedia Explains Volume Boot Record

An example of the volume boot record is the original DOS boot sector. Creation of a volume boot record happens when formatting of a partition occurs, and this would reside on the very first sector found on the partition. Volume boot records have two components: the disk parameter block and the volume boot code. The code contained in the volume boot record is operating-system specific. The code can be only invoked by either the machine’s firmware or by the code found in the boot manager or the master boot record.

If the code is invoked by the boot manager, then the process is known as chain loading. The volume boot record in certain file systems like FAT12 or FAT32 would also contain the BIOS parameter block, which provides the specific details and structures of the on-disk data structures used in the file system.

In case of corruption or incorrect configuration, volume boot record can be repaired by creating a new copy of the necessary code to the appropriate partition. The procedure for writing the new code will depend on the version of Windows in use.

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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.