I'm going with Louis on this one. When installing FreeDOS, I'd expect 
the installer to overwrite my MBR with clean boot code, so I don't have 
any troubles booting FreeDOS post install. That's what MS-DOS did, and 
that's what I expect from any OS in fact.

Naturally, an appropriately big warning must be presented before doing 
so, and if the user knows he has some tricky configuration (multi-boot), 
he should be able to select an option "leave my MBR alone please, I will 
take care of it myself".


On 22/02/2016 23:24, Louis Santillan wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 3:41 AM, Eric Auer <e.a...@jpberlin.de> wrote:
>> Hi Louis and Jerome,
>> as advanced user, I am against installers zapping my MBR without
>> even looking at it. I would need a bootable CD to repair my boot
>> menu, or would need to know how to do that with DOS. Enough users
>> neither have boot repair CD prepared nor know how to use DOS tool
>> methods for restoring a backup of their MBR.
> I am not advocating this.
>> As mentioned probably a few weeks ago, please overwrite the MBR
>> ONLY if it was empty... By EMPTY, I mean no code present at all.
>> Which is the state that you will probably see when you bought an
>> empty harddisk or made a new virtual computer to install DOS on.
> This almost never happens for 99.999% of users.  I have a hard arguing
> for this as the only sane behavior.
>> You can mention in the readme that users can issue [some command]
>> at the DOS prompt after booting from the CD to overwrite the MBR.
>> That will allow them to do that at their own risk IF they want.
>> You could even add a dialog to ask the user whether they want to
>> overwrite their MBR, but this includes the risk that people would
>> say yes without careful thinking. Also, as said, this should ONLY
>> be required if the MBR was empty before. So I suggest to grab and
>> backup a copy of the MBR first. Second, check if it had boot code
>> and only third, only if not, write the boot code which was missing.
> I am advocating this.  Big red warning screen.

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