install failed, GRUB freezes on boot.
I had a dual boot running on my laptop with WinXP Home and RH9. A friend of mine convinced me to try using Debian, so I got the CDs and tried installing Debian over rh9. Something went wrong with the debian install halfway through and I decided that I would rather stick with RH9. So I popped my RH9 install CDs back in and installed with the Lilo boot loader. However, when I rebooted my computer, after the initial bootup screen, I recieved a black screen with the word GRUB at the top, and the computer locked and allowed me to do nothing. I had the forsight to create a linux boot disk, but I have no such disk for Windows. I really really need to get back in to windows because my critical documents are in there. Does anyone know how to repair this so that I can just boot into Linux or Windows from GRUB, Lilo, or the Windows boot loader normally? I have a feeling the MBR may have been overwritten when I tried the debian install, but I have no idea. I tried using the Windows recovery option on the bootable install CD, but it did nothing to solve the problem.
[Did you say you can boot up with a boot disk? Doh! Less /etc/lilo.conf and see what you see there. Do the same with /boot/grub/grub.conf. If RH is running, and the .conf files are correct you should be able to run /sbin/lilo or the grub equivalent. Actually, I have never had precisely what you describe happen to me--it's kind of interesting. If that doesn't work, or even if it does, put in another entry. OK?]
Oops! Did you finish the RH9 reinstall? Can you boot up using the first linux RH install disk under "linux Rescue"?
Put in the first RH 9 disc, type in linux rescue. It will mount your /root in /mnt/sysimage. After that it is a matter of your layout. /boot needs to be explored to see if you still have a kernal image and everything in there.
If all looks okay, then less /mnt/sysimage/etc/lilo.conf. If that looks okay, then the scripts didn't run lilo before you shut it down. If all looks ok, type a full path to lilo--I think it would be /mnt/sysimage/sbin/lilo check my spelling, caps, and path.
Also check /boot for /grub/grub.conf see what you see there. Frankly, I think grub improved a whole lot since the days of RH 7.2. It is my boot loader of choice today.
I would worry, though, because you now no longer have any way to restore the MBR without using the windows XP repair console. (Maybe I held my lips wrong, but I had the damn thing hose some of the linux partitions when I used it.)
(1) setup the current hard drive as a slave;
(2) get another blank hard drive, set it up as the master, install XP on it and see if the new XP install will recognize the partition on the original hard drive and be able to read it. If it does, copy all of your critical data files into the new XP install, wipe the old hard drive, reinstall your RH9 and XP on the old hard drive and restore your documents from the spare hard drive.
(3) If the new XP install doesn't recognize your original XP partition, you will need to manually rebuild the partition table in your master boot record. That will take some doing, but, if the XP partition boot record is not damaged, it can be done.
Did you set up XP home on FAT32 or NTFS?
You, if worse comes to worst, install the module/package which allows read only access to the NTFS and back up your Documents to another media and do the whole thing over.
This would not involve finding another hard drive for your laptop.
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