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Old 09-02-2008, 08:45 AM   #1
hilliard
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Windows reinstallation issue


I've a dual boot on a HP 6715b laptop. working fine (Xubuntu & Windows XP).
But I need to reinstall windows.

I've the grub/menu.lst backedup.

The problem is I cannot begin the installation - when I boot from the Windows Setup disk, it begins with the line "Setup is examining the system hardware..." and then the screen turns blank and nothing happens after this.

Is Setup not liking the linux partition?
 
Old 09-02-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
ronlau9
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Never reinstall windows , but dual booting XP and opensuse.
Windows even do not notice the linux partition
So in my opinion when you are reinstalling windows it only recognize the windows partition
In kubuntu is also gparted do not know if Xubuntu have it too if it so you can make a windows partition if you need it
 
Old 09-02-2008, 01:06 PM   #3
FewClues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilliard View Post
I've a dual boot on a HP 6715b laptop. working fine (Xubuntu & Windows XP).
But I need to reinstall windows.

I've the grub/menu.lst backedup.

The problem is I cannot begin the installation - when I boot from the Windows Setup disk, it begins with the line "Setup is examining the system hardware..." and then the screen turns blank and nothing happens after this.

Is Setup not liking the linux partition?
I've had to do this several times for folks taking their computers back for warranty repair. Windows is egotistical enough to believe that it is always the primary partition. The problem resides in the Grub loader and the moved MRB. Microsoft expects its MRB to be available.

If you come up with a better answer I would like to share it - because I'm backing up the XP or more frequently Vista and then using Wipe Drive to clean the hard drive and reinstalling the XP/Vista OS.
 
Old 09-02-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
hilliard
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having read several threads, others have managed a reinstallation without wiping the entire drive.

any ideas how I can pull it off?

i've spent the last week getting the wireless to work on the laptop and am reluctant to go through that again soon.
 
Old 09-02-2008, 03:12 PM   #5
Shadowmeph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilliard View Post
having read several threads, others have managed a reinstallation without wiping the entire drive.

any ideas how I can pull it off?

i've spent the last week getting the wireless to work on the laptop and am reluctant to go through that again soon.
personally I wouldn't do it
 
Old 09-02-2008, 03:53 PM   #6
JonnerR
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Reinstall Windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilliard View Post
having read several threads, others have managed a reinstallation without wiping the entire drive.

any ideas how I can pull it off?

i've spent the last week getting the wireless to work on the laptop and am reluctant to go through that again soon.
As others have mentioned, Windows likes to be in the first primary partition (or at least a primary partition) and may refuse to install if there isn't space available there. I've designated the first primary partition just for Windows on my dual boot drive for this reason. I can then install Windows without disturbing whatever's on the other partitions.

What's your current partition table? You can probably get this from "cfdisk -P s". If Windows finds an empty primary partition or unallocated space immediately after the last primary partition, it may be able to install even if something else is still in the first primary partition.

If that fails, you may be able to move the OS from the primary partition to the second or third using a rescue disc with parted or partimage. In any case, make sure everything important is backed up, since it's very easy to make destructive mistakes, as I've done a number of times.

If Windows manages to install itself, it will probably mark the partition it installed into "active" and overwrite the MBR which means you probably won't be able to boot the other OS at least until you mark its partition "active." If Grub, LILO, or some other bootloader was installed into the MBR instead of a partition, it'll be gone and you'll need to reinstall it completely. For that reason, I always make sure Grub is installed into a partition on my dual boot machine.

All of these complications and potential pitfalls mean you may find it easier to back up the entire OS, reinstall Windows in the first primary partition overwriting whatever's there, then restore the old OS from the backup. In any case, you should have such a backup to fall back on before starting something as potentially dangerous as moving partitions around.
 
Old 09-02-2008, 03:56 PM   #7
thomas.hedden
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> ... I need to reinstall windows.
> ... others have managed a reinstallation
> without wiping the entire drive.
> ... any ideas how I can pull it off?
I would echo the caution advised in some
other responses to this thread: Windows
could decide to overwrite your Linux
partition. However, I have installed XP
from scratch on a computer that had Linux
installed, and in my case I DID want to
overwrite the Linux partition. I seem to
recall being presented with a hard disk
partitioning screen that showed the
existing partitions, and I had to choose
to delete the existing partition before
it would proceed.

Before going any farther, have you tried doing
a system recovery, rather than a reinstall?
I think that there is a way of doing this with
the installation CD-ROM.

> The problem is I cannot begin the installation
> - when I boot from the Windows Setup disk,
> it begins with the line "Setup is examining
> the system hardware..." and then the screen
> turns blank and nothing happens after this.
I am not certain it matters, but did you do
a cold boot or restart after running Linux?
I have another computer that is a dual-booting
system, and recall having to do a cold boot
when switching back and forth, which I have
assumed had to do with clearing certain drivers
from ROM or something like that. If you simply
rebooted rather than doing a cold boot before
you tried the Windows install, you first might
want to try doing a cold boot first.

HOWEVER, if all else fails, you might consider
the commercial product ($$$) System Commander.
Although you probably don't need it, I highly
recommend it. It has a wizard that guides you
through all the steps, provides visual portrayal
of the disk partitions to make it easy to
understand where things stand and what needs to
be done. It can hide partitions from one another,
for example to keep Mad Dog from biting or
overwriting Linux, etc.

You can do it, just be careful. Good luck!

Tom
 
Old 09-02-2008, 04:00 PM   #8
thomas.hedden
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P.S. The problem of Windows overwriting JUST the MBR
is no problem if you are using System Commander: It
can put the MBR back the way it was very simply.
Also, if you decide to change around the order of
the partitions, there is another product called
Partition Commander that makes it easy to move
partitions around, assuming that you have free disk
space. And, if you don't it will help you resize
your partitions. That is, you can shrink a partition
to gain free space to allow you to move its position
or the position of another partition on the disk.
Tom
 
Old 09-02-2008, 04:55 PM   #9
yancek
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First thing you should do is run 'fdisk -l' to know where your partitions are. I imagine xp is on the first? hda1 or sda1? Do you still have the Opensuse installation CD or another Live CD?

If the problem can be resolved by removing the grub entry in the mbr all you have to do from Opensuse is run the command:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

need to do this as root and this assumes you have one drive, hda. This will mean an unbootable machine, so if your windows install fails and you have no Opensuse or other Live CD or install CD, you're out of luck. If you do have the CD, after you install xp, load your Opensuse CD in rescue mode, log in as root (no password) and get to the grub prompt (grub>) by typing grub. Then,assuming Opensuse is on hda2 /sda2 you would re-install grub by entering the following commands consecutively:

root (hd0,1)
setup (hd0)
quit

These commands will install Grub to the mbr and overwrite the xp entry. If you've installed xp to the same partition, you should be able to boot xp. Assumptions made here are that the Grub entry in the mbr is the cause of the problem. I saw a post earlier with almost exactly this situation and that seemed to be the problems.

xp and other windows installs do not need to be on the first primary partition but need to be on a primary unless another windows version is on a primary, in that case windows can be booted from a logical partition (info on this at support.microsoft.com)

With regard to the installation setup for xp, can't help you. There must be some indication in the installation process for xp that would indicate where it's going to install?

Good Luck!
 
Old 09-02-2008, 06:07 PM   #10
Gryyphyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnerR View Post
=All of these complications and potential pitfalls mean you may find it easier to back up the entire OS, reinstall Windows in the first primary partition overwriting whatever's there, then restore the old OS from the backup. In any case, you should have such a backup to fall back on before starting something as potentially dangerous as moving partitions around.
This is one of the reasons I don't use Ubuntu: it doesn't have a self-healing method for the boot loader that's got an easy interface. Grub isn't easy.

Ideally, what would happen is you reinstall windows and it rewrites the MBR. All that's in there is pointer code that mounts the windows partition and looks to ntldr.sys to pull the OS information and chainloader locations. (You can always add a line to ntldr.sys that points to the linux partition, if you know how to format the config calls). After you reinstall windows you run the boot loader repair to rewrite the MBR. It just puts generic boot code in to the MBR of the first, bootable drive (active partition drive), just like windows, but it points to the /boot partition for linux, which then points to all the chain loaders. I don't have the grub commands to do so but you should be able to find them here on the site.

Gryyphyn, out.
 
Old 09-02-2008, 07:28 PM   #11
JonnerR
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Which distribution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryyphyn View Post
This is one of the reasons I don't use Ubuntu: it doesn't have a self-healing method for the boot loader that's got an easy interface. Grub isn't easy.

Ideally, what would happen is you reinstall windows and it rewrites the MBR. All that's in there is pointer code that mounts the windows partition and looks to ntldr.sys to pull the OS information and chainloader locations. (You can always add a line to ntldr.sys that points to the linux partition, if you know how to format the config calls). After you reinstall windows you run the boot loader repair to rewrite the MBR. It just puts generic boot code in to the MBR of the first, bootable drive (active partition drive), just like windows, but it points to the /boot partition for linux, which then points to all the chain loaders. I don't have the grub commands to do so but you should be able to find them here on the site.

Gryyphyn, out.
I'm curious which GNU/Linux distribution has a "self-healing method for the boot loader that's got an easy interface" that can recover from Windows installer stomping on it. By the way, I have been using Ubuntu for several years on a system which also dual boots with Windows and my Grub setup is almost exactly like you describe except I haven't added chainloading instructions to the Windows bootloader, but always choose from the Grub menu.

My first primary partition is NTFS for Windows and my second is for Ubuntu's /boot and is marked "active". A regular DOS style chainloader is in the MBR; it's probably the one installed by Windows. When I need to reinstall Windows, I put the disc in, it finds the existing partitions, and I choose the first one. Before rebooting, the Windows installer says it needs to mark the first partition active and then it goes on its merry way.

After Windows is all installed, the one thing I have to change is to mark the second partition active again. I don't need to repair the MBR, reinstall Grub or even edit the Grub config file and booting is back to the way it was before I installed Windows with entries for both Ubuntu and Windows in the Grub menu.
 
Old 09-02-2008, 07:43 PM   #12
vectordrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilliard View Post
...The problem is I cannot begin the installation - when I boot from the Windows Setup disk, it begins with the line "Setup is examining the system hardware..." and then the screen turns blank and nothing happens after this.

Is Setup not liking the linux partition?
I had this problem a few years ago. he only way that I got myself out of it was perseverance, I'd say. What actually worked for me was this solution that I wrote about when another had a a problem getting back into the XP installer. Its not orthodox, but it has worked.
 
Old 09-02-2008, 08:35 PM   #13
jcoleman
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Windows re installation issue

I know it can be done but its not easy. Most recommend a fresh install of windows and then reinstall Linux.

Another option - have you thought of running windows as a virtual machine? Maybe it won't work in your case but that's what I decided to do. I use XP at work "when necessary" as a system administrator in a windows domain environment using Virtualbox. I'm running Linux Mint as my main system and XP as a virtual machine. I had played with VirutalBox while the Laptop was still set up to dual boot but found it cumbersome. Saved the "XP" virtual file on a thumb drive, reinstalled "Mint" as the only OS, reinstalled VirtualBox and just reloaded my "XP" file, didn't lose a thing. The only thing I have not worked out yet is, it won't recognize my USB thumdrives. Linux does but the XP virtual machine won't. I don't know if this is a Mint problem or Virtual Box (time, time, time). It will let me share files/folders between the two systems so I use it as a work around for now.

trying OpenSuse 11 and Sidux as virtual machines now
 
Old 09-02-2008, 10:54 PM   #14
huangpeng
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Unhappy Possibly partition problems

In linux, you can have many PRIMARY partitions and it runs well. Since windows does not know linux partitions, it will run well. But when installing windows with MORE THAN ONE PRIMARY PARTITIONS on disk, it will stop at the beginning of your installation. The only solution is to change partitions of disk, make sure you have only ONE primary partition, and your installation will continue.

Last edited by huangpeng; 09-02-2008 at 11:36 PM. Reason: wrong word spelling
 
Old 09-03-2008, 12:01 AM   #15
PaulFC5
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I've found an excellent little winDoze utility called MBRWiz which takes a copy of the MBR before winDoze overwrites it. You can then overwrite the winDoze-clobbered MBR again and return it to the way it was. I did this a year or two ago and it seemed to work fine.

AAMOI I think I used a slightly earlier version of MBRWiz which would fit onto a floppy. One then has to use a DOSish commandline script to do this which made my brain creak a bit :-).

But for heaven's sake keep a hundred miles away from Norton - it's morphed into something like a rootkit virus! I foolishly installed the "trial" version (it was only 90 days anyway :-() having used and liked it a few years back, but it now needs a complete "clean" reinstall to get rid of it. However the Norton Defragger is much better than the Richmond one and I still use that - but their new AV app is garlic and crosses stuff!

Interesting how linux is now easier to install, upgrade, and "rescue" than the main 4thReich OS - Heil Bush!

I run XPSP! as a cassette recorder substitute - 98% as good as my best Nakamichi (an MR-1) when using a 96K samplerate and about 10% of the price of chrome cassettes. And SP1 works fine as long as I don't go onto the www - all the AVs now seem to require SP3 which turns XPro into a snail. Yes, I know I could probably do the sound recording in linux (I've played around with Audacity), but I still find the linux sound architecture a bit too complex - even in FC8 - a great OS - I'm one of the minority who prefer the KDE GUI.

I only go onto the www from linux of course - am just about to start playing wuth Ubuntu since it seems to be getting such good reviews.

Paul W
Te Henga Recorder Workshop
 
  


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