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.


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.

20 comments so far

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  1. big THANKS !!

  2. Did this worked great thanks!
    Seems flexnet also comes with installing Rivatuner which I found out is really shitware in itself.

    I just replaced sector 32 only however, but after that grub was happy to reinstall and update :)

  3. It looks like flexnet can be installed with any Adobe Products. The non-free in ubuntu still has Adobe Flash.

    I also encountered this on a drive that previously had a full windows 10 installation which I wiped out and replaced with Xubuntu 64. Not sure what was going on there as I wasn’t dual booting.

    This method works! Thanks.

  4. More information about Flexnet is here: http://timtrott.co.uk/uninstall-flexnet-software-updates-manager/ Photoshop is the answer I guess.

  5. There’s one claim here saying this method did not work for him.

    John Doe said: 2013.06.12 13:18

    I am about to try this a Linux Live pendrive.

    How could one determine if it works or it doesn’t? Is there a way to look at what’s on these sectors, 32 and 33?

  6. Thanks!

  7. Is there a way to protect it so FlexNet can’t come back?

    • from some of the googling i have done, i have no clue as to what program is it that installs it.

  8. Thanks!
    I really needed this!

  9. Thank you so much. It worked perfectly.

  10. Thx guy

  11. Nice ! :)

  12. With Ubuntu forums down, your the only answer on Google!
    +2 Linux Jihadist Points

  13. I have to say….”precious”….thank you

  14. Tried your method. However, after overwrite with /dev/zero, reinstalling with grub2 still reported both sector 32 and sector 33 occupied by FlexNet.

    • what happens if you do “dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1 seek=33” ?

  15. How that piece of shitware could have ended up in the sector 32 of the disk?
    Thank you so much for your solution, Sir!

  16. Perfect, thanks

  17. second HUGE thanks, Dear Sir ;)

  18. HUGE thanx, man!