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MrLizard 05-29-2005 08:55 AM

wiping/reinstalling windows
 
Hi,

my winxp installation keeps completely freezing whenever i try to play some games, listen to music or watch videos, so i plan to completely wipe the windoze partition and re-install it.

if i do this, however, i'm rather worried that, at worst, windows will destroy my linux installation and, at best, grub will get extremely confused and not know how to boot into linux.

...so my questions:

a) if i just make a clean windows installation, is there any chance that linux will magically still work perfectly and my grub menu will automatically be the same as it is now...?

b) safely assuming not, how do i go about sorting out the bootloader so things are back to normal afterwards?

c) if i do have to make a completely clean install of *everything*, how do i back up my linux configuration...?

and, finally, if anyone's prepared to directly help with windows....

d) what the hell is wrong with windows in the first place? the whole system completely freezes when i listen to music in anything other than media player, start playing starwars galactic battlegrounds (jedi outcast also freezes but not until you exit the game and go back to windows, while call of duty *seems* to run perfectly, albeit off an external hdd) or try to watch dvds, avi or mpegs? everything works perfectly in linux and there're no obvious ram errors according to memtest86+ but windows alway insists on doing disk-checks at booting but never finds anything wrong with them. needless to say, i've updated my video/sound drivers but that doesn't help and i get the same problem no matter how recently defragmented the disk is. there's also no error reports in the event viewer.

vharishankar 05-29-2005 09:06 AM

Ok, to answer your first two questions.

Quote:

a) if i just make a clean windows installation, is there any chance that linux will magically still work perfectly and my grub menu will automatically be the same as it is now...?
No. You need to reinstall grub. You can always create a boot floppy from Linux, then go into Linux and then rerun the grub installer.

Quote:

b) safely assuming not, how do i go about sorting out the bootloader so things are back to normal afterwards?
As long as the /etc/grub.conf or the /boot/grub/menu.lst file is unaffected, correctly reinstalling grub should restore your boot manager.

vharishankar 05-29-2005 09:08 AM

About Windows destroying your Linux partition. I don't think you need to worry about that. If you already have a FAT32/NTFS partition at the beginning of the drive, to the best of my knowledge the Linux partition(s) should not be erased.

MrLizard 05-29-2005 09:26 AM

wow, thanks for your instant reply!

now, about making that boot disk...?

i'm about to look it up and i imagine it's straightforward but any comments would be greatly appreciated

thanks again

vharishankar 05-29-2005 09:35 AM

Since you use Ubuntu, I think you can search the apt repositories for these packages:
grub-disk and another called mkrboot

Alternative to boot floppy: If you have a LiveCD (Ubuntu must have come with one if you ordered it from their site) then you can use it also to restore grub. ;)

jschiwal 05-29-2005 11:21 AM

Check your manpages to see if you have the mkbootdisk or mkrescue scripts, and whether they have an --iso option. This option creates a boot.iso or rescue.iso file that you can burn to cd and use that to boot with.

It would be a good thing to have in the future in any case.

MrLizard 05-29-2005 11:48 AM

thanks for the rapid replies, guys.

i seem to have sorted out the problem by doing a repair installation of windows which didn't affect the bootloader...

MrLizard 05-30-2005 03:57 AM

hmm, turned out that repairing windoze didn't actually help at all. all that did was reduce fragmentation to 0% so that it didn't freeze up....

turns out that my MFT file was at 98% usage so that even a minute amount of fragmentation would result in system instability. fixed it thanks to diskeeper.

i know this may not be relevant for the vast majority of users here but it may be useful for people in the same situation as i was...

just another reason not to use windoze, i know. i do find it's rather suited to games though...


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