Originally Posted by yancek
I assume this is a typo: It get the menu i press <Enter> then i can select XP using arrow keys.
You should get a menu, use the arrow keys to select, then hit enter?
The menu.lst you posted shows hiddenmenu which should mean you boot default without seeing a menu? Your post of menu.lst shows default 1 and your menu.lst shows 1 as xp, Grub counts from 0 and your 0 entry (first one) is Fedora? Not really sure how this is working.
These are very easily changed including the default boot partition.
Possibly the order gets changed between my posts as i dont sit about waiting for replies. My situation is urgent. With respect to the menu i did say i get a 5 sec countdown, i only get the menu if i press <Enter> although it could be any key....which sounds "hidden" to me. As it stands i dont believe menu lists are the problem.
The fact that i can go to the command line using 'c', and type my own commands would suggest the menu list is irrelevant..... if the partition is there i should be able to boot it from the command line. I cant.....although i receive no errors.
And yet all the partitions are accounted for when looking at them via FDISK. I can access the NTFS partitions from within Fedora as they get mounted via media/. This suggests the partitions are in good order.... at least as far as the partition acting as a container and having a filesystem tables, etc is concerned.
It also suggests the partition tables are still in good order, at least as far as addressing is concerned, because if addressing was bust then i wouldn't be able to access them.
As i understand it the MBR is comprised of a couple of sections, one for the boot loader code and another for partition tables. It seems the latter is in good order as per my reasoning above. The fact that i can get a boot menu/command line also suggests the first section of the MBR has been properly filled with GRUB code. So I dont see anything wrong with that section in terms of structure.
So then i thought that the problem lay with the PBS of the NTFS partition. But I downloaded a tool called TestDisk. According to TestDisk all the partitions are there and accounted for. It reported no problems. It also has a function to test PBS. It said the actual PBS of the NTFS partition matched its backup. I read online that Windows actually backs up the first sectors of the partition at the last sectors of the partition. So i assume this is what TestDisk was checking. This says to me that the PBS of the NTFS partition hasn't been altered by the FC9 install. Which would make sense - FC9 should be nowhere near the PBS of the NTFS partition.
There is a discrepancy between my PBS hex dump and that of a website i posted earlier - that said they should always be the same for XP installs. But then I looked on Wikipedia and the hex dump there was different again in certain addresses. So now I'm thinking that's probably just service pack differences etc and very unlikely to be the problem.
At this stage Im thinking the structure of my disk and partition is still perfectly valid and that the problem lies with some kind of activation parameter. I think FC9 has turned "something" off. I now understand what a previous poster was trying to do when he suggested inputting the hide - unhide commands. But no sequence of doing this seems to work from the command line. So now I'm totally stuck.
In my limited capacity to diagnose the problem it seems Ive tried all there is to try... and this whole situation now officially sucks.