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Old 01-16-2009, 09:32 AM   #31
dasy2k1
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sounds like your bios is not letting the MBR be written,

try using one of the more user freindly linux distroes (eg ubuntu) to install over the entire disk,

this should reset the mbr sort grub out and get everything working. from that stage replacing ubuntu with somthing a little more advanced (eg slackware) should be easy
 
Old 01-16-2009, 04:53 PM   #32
TechniSlave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasy2k1 View Post
sounds like your bios is not letting the MBR be written,

try using one of the more user freindly linux distroes (eg ubuntu) to install over the entire disk,

this should reset the mbr sort grub out and get everything working. from that stage replacing ubuntu with somthing a little more advanced (eg slackware) should be easy
Mmk. what version of ubuntu? just the newest version out? and how will I know if GRUB comes with it?
I'll try finding a version and sorting it out though. I have a feeling if I install GRUB like someone Didier spaier(i think) said earlier, it'll start working again.
 
Old 01-16-2009, 04:55 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
That can't be correct - an 80 Gig disk would have to be LBA (255 heads). Something has screwed the disk geometry, and so the cylinder count will be way too large.Now that's a worry.
No idea what to suggest - maybe a BIOS update ???.
I looked for a BIOS update for it a while ago, but I wasn't sure how to install it without an OS, so I think I'm just going to install GRUB and call it good and hope for the best.
 
Old 01-16-2009, 05:05 PM   #34
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniSlave View Post
I have a feeling if I install GRUB like someone Didier spaier(i think) said earlier, it'll start working again.
Not me, as far as I can remember
 
Old 01-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #35
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniSlave View Post
I looked for a BIOS update for it a while ago, but I wasn't sure how to install it without an OS, so I think I'm just going to install GRUB and call it good and hope for the best.
Your disk geometry is borked! You should do a partition scheme on your hdd that will suit your needs then reinstall your M$ windows first. Then do your GNU/Linux install with the bootloader of choice either lilo or grub.

As for the BIOS update, most updates are done with a boot device with the flash utility and BIOS update on the boot device. Some of the 'LIVE' BIOS updates are handled differently. I prefer the offline BIOS update using the vendor tools. You don't need a OS to do a BIOS update.
 
Old 01-16-2009, 06:55 PM   #36
TechniSlave
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Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,


Your disk geometry is borked! You should do a partition scheme on your hdd that will suit your needs then reinstall your M$ windows first. Then do your GNU/Linux install with the bootloader of choice either lilo or grub.

As for the BIOS update, most updates are done with a boot device with the flash utility and BIOS update on the boot device. Some of the 'LIVE' BIOS updates are handled differently. I prefer the offline BIOS update using the vendor tools. You don't need a OS to do a BIOS update.
Can't I just go into my BIOS and just set it to 255 heads? That'd fix it, wouldnt it?

As for the partition scheme, what would be suitable?
 
Old 01-16-2009, 07:05 PM   #37
jschiwal
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Using "fdisk -lu" would provide more accurate information, by not rounding off to the nearest cylinder . If this is XP, the first partition probably starts on sector 63. See if you can mount the NTFS partitions from your backtrack disk. If you can't you can still try using losetup to attach a loop device using an offset that "fdisk -lu" gives you and then mount the loop device. That will allow you to backup the partitions. Even if the partition table is wrong, you may still be able to mount both partitions and at least create a backup. Create a backup before doing something like changing geometry. If the geometry was wrong before installing XP, you could cause more problems.

Here is the losetup command I mentioned, using an offset of 63 sectors, which is the most common. ( My Toshiba Vista laptop starts at sector 2048 however )
sudo losetup -fs /dev/hdd -o $((63*512))
You would only need to try this if the partition table information were wrong. This and then "df" to determine the size, can help you locate the true values that should be in the partition table.

Have you tried using the windows rescue console from the windows disk?

The error message indicates that the MBR on the disk is missing, possibly even zeroed out.

Last edited by jschiwal; 01-16-2009 at 07:13 PM.
 
Old 01-16-2009, 08:09 PM   #38
onebuck
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Hi,

I would look at trying 'Ranish' on the hdd. You could possibly recover using the right tools.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 01-16-2009, 08:16 PM   #39
dasy2k1
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ALL linux recent distros come with GRUB, its the thing that starts them up

if you have ever had a dual boot situation with the little screen that allows you chose from a menu chances are its grub (slight chance its lilo but thats effectivly obsolete now)
 
Old 01-16-2009, 08:21 PM   #40
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasy2k1 View Post
ALL linux recent distros come with GRUB, its the thing that starts them up

if you have ever had a dual boot situation with the little screen that allows you chose from a menu chances are its grub (slight chance its lilo but thats effectivly obsolete now)
'lilo' is alive and well. Not all distributions use grub as the primary bootloader. Lilo is stable an functional, you are painting with a broad brush.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 03:42 PM   #41
segmentation_fault
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You must type "fdisk -l /dev/hdd"
not /dev/hdd1

Sorry, I didn't notice pages 2 and 3. Only read page 1.

Last edited by segmentation_fault; 01-18-2009 at 07:50 AM.
 
Old 01-19-2009, 02:53 PM   #42
TechniSlave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,


'lilo' is alive and well. Not all distributions use grub as the primary bootloader. Lilo is stable an functional, you are painting with a broad brush.
So then, is there any way to 'replace' my BIOS with something newer?
I'm burning Ubuntu today as well.
 
Old 01-19-2009, 03:06 PM   #43
pentode
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Assuming you have Windows XP CD, you should be able to boot from that and have it restore the XP boot info on hard drive. Then at least you'll one OS you can run.

I would imagine that a Windows 7 BETA may not play nicely with GRUB and other things it is not expecting to find.
 
Old 01-19-2009, 03:58 PM   #44
TechniSlave
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Originally Posted by pentode View Post
Assuming you have Windows XP CD, you should be able to boot from that and have it restore the XP boot info on hard drive. Then at least you'll one OS you can run.

I would imagine that a Windows 7 BETA may not play nicely with GRUB and other things it is not expecting to find.
I really wish I had a windows xp cd, mine miraculously disappeared a while ago. i'm not really worried about running linux on here off the hard drive, since I know i can boot it off the live cd and just use it that way.
Right now I'm just going to try using Ubuntu. going to burn it at a friends right now. I'll post the results later.

-Tech
 
Old 01-19-2009, 07:20 PM   #45
PTrenholme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniSlave View Post
So then, is there any way to 'replace' my BIOS with something newer?
[...]
Tho only way to "replace" your BIOS is to update it with a newer version. And, no, updating a BIOS does not require a working system, only a device (floppy, CD, USB Stick, etc.) from which it can boot. It is, in fact, safer to boot the min DOS to run the BIOS updater.

The reason you can't just replace the BIOS is that a BIOS must be specifically designed for the hardware and mother-board design used by the manufacturer. While such things are fairly standard, using a BIOS tuned for a different mother board would be a crap-shoot.

In any case, instruction on how to update the BIOS will be found (as you noted that you had found before) on the manufacturers Web site.

So instead of all the angst, why nor read the instructions, download the update, and apply it? It just might help. . .
 
  


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