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Old 06-14-2004, 07:43 PM   #1
thom
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SuSE 9.1 Warning: you may lose Windows partition!


Windows No Longer Boots Following the Installation of SUSE LINUX 9.1

see above support issue
I had this problem with 3 installs. It is a major problem with SuSE 9.1.
They say it has something to do with 9.1/kernel/grub and certain hard drives.
I have been very faithful to SuSE in the past and it has been my favorite distro, but this really sucks, and shows a lack of quality control.
WARNING you may lose your Windows! For me there was no repair option and i was not able to recover windows. It was the worst experience I ever had with Linux. I had tried every single disk doctor and repair utility as well Tech support.
I may go back to Slackware if Yast continues to fail (another issue). I would not install suse 9.1 on any company computer without seriously backing everything up, in fact i am afraid to.

sorry for the rant.

Thom
 
Old 06-14-2004, 08:15 PM   #2
benjithegreat98
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This is basically the same thing that has been happening with Fedora Core 2 (it happened to me. You may want to browse to the Fedora section to see how people have fixed their drive. I think that the real problem lies in the kernel it looks like. You may also want to go here: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedor.../msg00908.html to see if the anything in there helps.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 09:26 AM   #3
thom
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Thanks.
Great link. Yes I was in panic and did all the wrong things according to the article. SuSE support technicians did nothing but use me as a case study.
Awsome article. Still, most poor souls will attempt to use system tools and won't find this article after their first experience with Linux or SuSe 9.1. A serious problem and blow to the easy as XP thing.

I wonder if newer kernel versions of 2.6X are working better.

Last edited by thom; 06-15-2004 at 09:33 AM.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 09:28 AM   #4
benjithegreat98
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I don't know. FC2 uses 2.6.5-x. The next one to be releases is 2.6.7. I would think this would be a pretty big priority.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 09:44 AM   #5
thom
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I need to install Linux on a few business machines and don't want this problem to come up. The steps are too much repair for the average client i would recommend Linux to.
Do you know of any distros that might have this fixed/patched using the newer kernel?
My Linux partition in SuSE keeps unmounting and Yast fails to find it unless I repair the partition table repeatidly. Another bad sign.
Hopefully un-related.

Last edited by thom; 06-15-2004 at 09:48 AM.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 10:17 AM   #6
Big Al
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I've heard Mandrake 10 also has this problem. IMO, the major distros were a little too hasty including the 2.6 kernel.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 11:04 PM   #7
MacrossV
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I'm sorry but, WTF are you talking about? I installed Suse 9.1 pro and 9.1 Personal on my laptop dual boot with no problems accessing XP. What type of hard drives are affected by this? I did screw up once and had the same problem, but I never lost the Windows partition, my Linux partition wouldn't load after I had to reinstall XP. XP wrote over the Grub bootloader, but all i had to do was "repair" my Suse partion and tell it to re-make the grub loader.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 09:32 AM   #8
thom
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"The problem occurs if

* The BIOS and Linux "see" different disk geometries AND
* The Windows partition is larger than about 8 GB (more precisely: if the first hard disk partition ends on cylinder 1024 or beyond this point)."

When the system is booted, Windows may use the values in the partition table, which causes a failure.
I also have SuSE 9.1 pro on my laptop with no problem.

The 3 desktop systems I worked on were all a disaster. SuSE had no support issue (see 1st link) so I went about my merry way fixing Windows according to the PC repairman method and lost all data. My bios options contained no LBA option either.
A SuSE technican investigated and logged my problems for the support issue. He mentioned something about certain hard drives being the problem and said they were trying to recreate my problem if they could get a test machine. It was also mentioned that the problem was "breaking out" with other users.

All I can say is "Bollocks!" .
I would not recommend SuSE or any other distro with the new kernel if this is the issue. My confidence in SuSE has gone way down in their rush to slap on the new kernel. Where the hell is the quality control. Does ayone test these things for dual-boot on different hardware first? Also their hardware database has a "green light" for the desktop systems I used. Athlon, Soyo, etc. At least mandrake released a community edition for testing first.

From SuSE......
""The problem cannot be solved by restoring the original MBR with YaST or by writing a new MBR with Windows tools (with the command FIXMBR or with FIXBOOT from the Windows rescue console). Repairing the partition table with proprietary partitioning tools does not solve the problem either, but may even destroy the entire partition table.

The problem cannot even be solved by uninstalling Linux or installing Windows anew without deleting the entire hard disk. ""

Sounds grim huh!

I won't touch the new kernel until Slackware or Debian get it. They seem to be more geared towards playing it safe. Most newbies buying SuSe 9.1 personal won't be able to do the steps from suse support or will not be able to find them.




 
Old 06-17-2004, 11:59 AM   #9
320mb
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someone should email a link of this thread to Pat V.
Slackware 10 is almost ready and hopefully it does not include
any kernel 2.6x version at all
 
Old 06-17-2004, 12:14 PM   #10
MacrossV
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I'm trying go figure this out, so bear with me. From what i understand then is that BIOS screws up by reading two differnet geomaties. Ok then, so that would probably mean that the BIOS is either old and doesn't support the LBA option. There's no way you can try to upgrade the BIOS.(Is it Flash upgradeable?). I think I had that problem when I tried putting Red Hat 7 on my 5 year old E machine. I had put a 60 Gig hard drive in it and thought to dual boot it with Red Hat and the existing Windows 98, but Red Hat trashed the partition table and I could never get 98 to even boot. That cylinder 1024 thing on the hard drive was always a problem with older linux addtions, but I thought that was mainly a BIOS issue and not the distributer's fault?
 
Old 06-17-2004, 12:26 PM   #11
benjithegreat98
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Quote:
Slackware 10 is almost ready and hopefully it does not include any kernel 2.6x version at all
I believe I read that if the problem is still not fixed by the time Slack 10 is released then the installer will run on the 2.4.x kernel and the actuall OS will have the 2.6.x kernel. That would be more safe than having 2.6.x on both.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 01:02 PM   #12
thom
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brand new machines with current bios are affected

The major user issue I think, is that you must know to change your bios to LBA before the fact if you can before you install a Linux system or take some other such measure before installation.
The boxes at Best Buy and CompUSA of SuSE 9.1 do not carry a warning sticker of this. I'm sure some folks probably think they have a broken hard drive after trying the Windows repair options unsuccesfully. Microcenter (in Virgina: lots of newbies swarming around the Linux section) is advertising Redhat that carrys the stable kernel and the sales rep there expressed disconcern at folks taking back newly purchaes hardware/hard drives that folks find to them inoperable( after a SuSe install).
The timing is bad as lots of folks want to try Linux. Most shops here only sell SuSE.

note currently: I'm using the new kernel at home on Fedora core 2 and SuSe 9.1 on a laptop so far without problems and dual boot on both. My seagate hard drive on the Desktop works well and the SoYo mobo I set bios to LBA.

Last edited by thom; 06-17-2004 at 01:20 PM.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 12:39 AM   #13
MacrossV
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That's just weird. Shouldn't new BIOS be set to LBA automatically? I mean, I've installed Fedora Core 1(kernal 2.4.whatever), Suse 9.1 personal and pro(both with kernal 2.6) on my laptop with dual boot configuration and I've had no problems at all. At least you solved your problem though.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 02:59 AM   #14
vrln
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Quote:
Originally posted by 320mb
someone should email a link of this thread to Pat V.
Slackware 10 is almost ready and hopefully it does not include
any kernel 2.6x version at all
As far as I know slackware 10 will still use 2.4 kernel as default, but there propably is an option to use a 2.6. Using lilo I havenīt had any problems dual booting with a 2.6 debian kernel image from unstable nor have I heard of anyone that has had problems. Although I didnīt even the problem with mandrake 10, which should have the bug too.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 07:40 AM   #15
mwettach
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I also have a multi-OS setup and have installed SUSE 9.1 without problems, even though my (old) BIOS does definitely not recognise the (new large) hard disk properly. However, I have used a different approach:

(1) Create the partitions I need for Linux with a partitioning tool under Windows. Partition Magic, for example, lets me create Linux partitions.

(2) Use SUSE YaST tool to just *format* (not create) those partitions with the file system of my liking.

(3) Use SUSE YaST to create the mount points I need etc.

I would assume that parted would not have to write into the partition table with this approach and thus avoid the problems mentioned above.

Cheers
 
  


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