the problem with buying machines second hand is that you never know what the hell is on them. take for example this error that i got as i was trying to migrate from Grub to Grub 2:

/usr/sbin/grub2-bios-setup: warning: Sector 32 is already in use by the program `FlexNet'; avoiding it.  This software may cause boot or other problems in future.  Please ask its authors not to store data in the boot track.

what the fuck is FlexNet and why is it embedded into sector 32 ???

after some googling, this is the link i got as to what FlexNet is.

Due to the inappropriate way the Digital rights management (DRM) works in FlexNet Publisher, it damages bootloaders; this makes FlexNet Publisher incompatible with drives encrypted with TrueCrypt[4] and renders Linux-based systems unable to boot.

great…

now lets remove it.

the next couple of commands may cause a lot of damage to your partition table so be cautious.

lets first make a backup of the mbr and 62 sectors:

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/tmp/mbr.img bs=512 count=63

now lets blank it out:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=62 seek=1

at this point we re-install grub or grub 2 without any of that FlexNet crap installed.