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Old 12-27-2007, 12:21 AM   #1
shane1689
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Boot Problems Freespire and XP


OK, I ma fairly new to Linux and thought I would give it a shot. I looked at several distros and decided to install Freespire because of the CNR. I have a 500 GB Seagate drive partitoned 80GB for XP and the remainder for media files. I also have another 80GB drive that was sitting around. Both are IDE drives. My intention was to install freespire on the secondary drive and dual boot. That was crap, the first boot said "GRUB Hard Disk Error". Well this sucks. After 2 days of reading everything I could find about my problem, not wanting to make things worse, I tried the Restore option with the XP disk - FIXBOOT followed by - FIXMBR. Now it starts to boot and get to the XP flash screen then I get a blue screen that says "can not find autocheck.exe - skipping autocheck" a few seconds later it try to reboot again. I installed a fresh copy of XP Pro on the spare 80gb drive and set the 500 to secondary. I can pull data from the second partition, the first partition that previously contained XP is like unlabeled and it won't even allow me to view the properties of the drive. If I look at it in disk management it says it is a "Healthy(Active)" drive but there is no drive label assigned to it. One more thing, when I attempted to fix the boot it had changed the drive letter to "F" where it was "C" to begin with. I really just would like to save some picture files and some documents from the drive. Any help will be greatly appreciated. By the way I'm not giving up on linux, I just need to get past this problem and will try again.
 
Old 12-27-2007, 02:17 AM   #2
roy_lt_69
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Have you tried booting from a Live CD (like Knoppix) to see if Linux can see your disks?
If the Live CD works you can try mounting the drives and then copying your files to a safe drive/device.

I am wondering if your original problem could have been becuase you moved the hard drives around physically or via BIOS after installing th OS's.
 
Old 12-27-2007, 02:39 AM   #3
shane1689
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Thanks for the Reply

I can see the partition with the Freespire live CD and can see it with the windows disk manager. If I Pull up the volume with a command prompt in windows it shows the partition but list it as unknown. I did not physically move the drives until after I tried FIXBOOT and FIXMBR. The partition and volume is there but like a ghost. Like I said the 2nd partition had a bunch of video files and I can access them. I have backed up or deleted all of those files. Also, the second partition is shown as Primary now where the 1st partition is listed as unknown. It is like when the boot record got messed up it just deleted the partition drive letter. I am at the point that saving or rebooting to the install is not as important as saving my music and picture files. If I could retrieve those, I would just start over. Any help?
 
Old 12-27-2007, 02:43 AM   #4
shane1689
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One more thing. As I said I am new to linux and not really sure what you mean by mounting the drive with knoppix live CD. I am not illiterate to this but inexperienced with command line operating.
 
Old 12-27-2007, 04:04 AM   #5
roy_lt_69
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Ok, lets see if I got this right:
1)your 500G drive has been partitioned into an 80G partiton (where you originally installed XP);
2)the rest of the 500G drive (about 420G partition) for media files;
3)you originally intended to install Freespire to a 2nd 80G drive;
4)something went wrong with the install;
5)you re-installed XP onto the 2nd drive (80G);
6)you are now booting XP from the 2nd drive (80G);
7)in XP you see the 500G as 2 partitions;
7a)an unknown partition (size is probably 80G??);
7b)an XP readable windows partition (420G??)
Is this correct?

Well my GUESS is this:
Linux is on the 7a "unknown" partition, and since XP knows nothing of Linux that is why it says unknown.
You had accidentally installed Linux ontop of your original XP partition.
Sorry to say whatever was there (ie XP) is gone.

The 7b partition is now assigned the drive letter 'F:' by XP, and your new XP that you are booting from (on the spare 80G drive) is now drive 'C:'.

You can confirm this by checking the sizes in Windows disk manager.

If you can boot and sign in using the Freespire CD, type the following command fdisk -l, and tell us what it returns.
 
Old 12-27-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
shane1689
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Well you were right. It says it is a linux system. What the h***. During the install I know I chose the right place to install freespire. Why would it install in a different location than the one I specified? I would still like to try this out but don't want to have to load windows again, that crap takes forever. If the freespire is installed on the harddrive at hdb1, how can I boot it? And better yet how do I dual boot, which is what I wanted to do in the first place? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 
Old 12-29-2007, 02:27 PM   #7
archtoad6
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Just to be sure that we're all working from the same info., w/ no unverified assumptions, it would be nice if you would go through roy_lt_69's 7 Q's & formally answer them. No need to copy them over, just provide a list of 3'ed answers. Also, please do post the output of fdisk -l, preferably in a "Code:" block.


Quote:
Both are IDE drives.
So you aren't up against the BIOS/SATA "where's my drive now" shell game that some seem to experience.

Vis--vis Knoppix, the last time I used it it had an icon for each drive it found, & mounting them was as easy as clicking on the icon.


<rant>
Because of their Gates/Barnum attitude towards security, i.e. root privilege, I have never thought well of Lindows/Linspire/Freespire. The "get in bed w/ M$" deal did nothing to increase my respect for them. As a result, I don't bother to keep up to date on how their installer works. What follows reflects my prejudices:

My recollection is that the Lindows/Linspire/Freespire installer is one of the arrogant & ill behaved ones that does this kind of thing. Of course another possibility is that you made an honest mistake trying to use it.

IMNRHO, CNR is no reason to choose Lindows/Linspire/Freespire -- any Debian based distro offers KPackage, Adept, & even Synaptic (my un-favorite). Any of these is only a few clicks more difficult than CNR at accessing the same, or possibly larger, body of free software. And that's usually "free" in both senses.

Back when CNR was never 0-cost, I thought it was one of worst software scams ever seen -- they were tricking you into buying it by not telling you how large a majority of the packages were 0-cost from the regular Debian repos. Although they have fixed this, for many of us the bad taste still lingers.
</rant>

You might think about SimplyMEPIS or some other distro w/ a known-to-be well-behaved installer. I mention SimplyMEPIS because I believe (no log or log book ) that I am nearing my 100th install of it.
 
Old 12-29-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
shane1689
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Sorry, For some reason this double posted.

Last edited by shane1689; 12-29-2007 at 08:47 PM.
 
Old 12-29-2007, 08:45 PM   #9
shane1689
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archtoad6,

Sorry, I have already wiped the drive and I am planning to start from scratch. I still have some questions about partioning the drive, so I have been doing some reading on the subject. As for freespire, I'm not sold on anything just yet and would gladly install SimplyMEPIS if you think it would not give me as much trouble. Thing is I don't have just a tremendous amount of time to keep installing all of this stuff. I just want to load a distro that I can dual boot and learn at my own pace.

Here is the list of what I want to do, so thanks for any help.

1. Install XP again, because the drive letter problem. (Now is E and I'm just more comfortable with it being C:
2. Install Linux (I'm open to suggestion on which one)
3. A partion for share files between the two. I asume must be Fat 32.
4. Abilty to dual boot, so I don't have to keep swapping cables.
5. An extra partition for all of my media and documents. I prefer the NTFS file system for this.

This a 500GB Seagate drive.
So I,m counting 4 partitions and would like the media to be 200GB or more.

Thanks again,
shane1689
 
Old 12-30-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
archtoad6
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This may sound off the wall, but what are the speed & RAM specs on this box, & have you considered VM software as an alternative to dual-boot?

Having done many, probably hundreds, of dual-boot installs for potential new users; I now favor Virtual Machines if the hardware will support it. Although not "free as in speech", VMware Server is 0-cost & easy to install.


Your plan seems sensible, even using NTFS for the media -- that will give you read access from both OS's &, of course, write access from XP. The one weakness is NTFS write support in Linux. The most promising driver is called "ntfs-3g". It was released in July 2006, & claims (on its webstie, http://www.ntfs-3g.org) to be stable since Feb. 2007.

The present limitations of this driver seem to be:
- access to encrypted files
- writing compressed files (reading is ok)
- change file ownership and access right

From 6.5 SimplyMEPIS comes with NTFS-3G already installed and configured.

The only necessary partition you do not mention or imply is the Linux swap.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 01:39 AM   #11
shane1689
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This is an Alienware PC
Asus Motherboard P4 2.53GHz
512 MB Ram
Radion 9700 Video Card(AGP)
Creative Labs Sound Card(PCI)
This box is about 4 years old but runs great, so far I have only had to replace the power supply.

Yes, I have considered the VM Software, but like I said in the beginning, I am very new to Linux and am just more comfortable having XP where I have always had it. I have read in other post where some are dual booting and running XP from the VM software. This was really what I planned to do, run XP and Linux as a dual boot and then try running XP in the Virtual Machine.

So what do you suggest as to the partitining.
Should I partition first and then install or will the install set up the partitions as I go?

I'm really confused as to the order here.
Partition, Format, then insatll?
Or Install(let the install format) and then Partition what is left over?

I found in a post a link to a video, http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...90811311898236, They set the partitions as they went along, but did not have the other storage partitions that I want to have.

I have, by the way, looked at a several reviews on SimplyMEPIS and no one has anything really bad to say about it. So I will be using it for the first install.

Thanks,
shane1689
 
Old 01-02-2008, 12:15 PM   #12
archtoad6
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Technically, it's: Partition, Format, Install; but most distros, including SimplyMEPIS, include an optional side trip to a re-partitioner early in the install process, they also automatically do the necessary formatting before starting the actual copying of the files. However, even though Linux partitioning tools can resize NTFS partitions, it might save time to set the XP partition during the XP re-install.

The main thing is to understand the partitioning requirements for what you want to do & devise a suitable plan to implement it.

The other really important thing is to install "Winders" 1st.

The good news is that your 500G is big enough to do every you have asked for.

You will need 5 partitions, not 4 -- Linux prefers its swap space as a partition, not a file.

FAT 32 is, indeed, the conservative choice for the sharing area. I suspect it won't be long before everyone agrees that Linux can write NTFS completely reliably, well more reliably than M$ , & therefore a partition for shared files is no longer necessary.

Using the extra 80G might simplify things a bit, is it available?
 
Old 01-03-2008, 09:56 AM   #13
shane1689
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Well, I went ahead and dove in a couple of days ago. Here is how it went.

1. I re-installed winder 1st and set the initial partion in the setup portion of the winder install. (60GB)
2. Inserted the Mepis disk and used Gparted to set the swap Partition (1G).
3. Created a partition for the Mepis install. (20GB)
4. Created another partition for sharing between the two (80GB)(FAT32) and left about 300GB free.
5. Installed Mepis and set up grub during the install 2 dual boot.

The system booted perfectly and I finally got to choose which OS without swapping cables.
Still have questions about changing the boot order an amount of time to choose, but I think there are plenty of post on that subject to figure it out.
Golly it feels good when something finally works.

I had planned to go back into windows and format the remainding 300GB for personal and media files for winders but evidently there can only be 4 primary partitions. So I just extended the partition for sharing to use the remainder of the disk and formatted to NTFS.
At this point I am just learning the Linux OS and not really as concerned with sharing files as I am with getting comfortable with using linux. Like you said I still have the 80GB drive I can use later.

I want to thank you archtoad6 and roy It 69 for all you help and suggestions.
Finally a happy linux user!
 
Old 01-03-2008, 01:44 PM   #14
archtoad6
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You're welcome, glad to help.

One comment: due to technical limitations, i.e. inherent wastefulness, a single 80G FAT 32 partition is a big (bad pun intentional ) mistake. I never make one larger than 32G, & I try to limit them to 16G. If you really really 80G, I suggest 2-32's & 1-16.

Very happy to hear of your success, especially in figuring out stuff I expected to see post add'l Q's about. Good going!


OT Fun
Trick Q: In FAT 16, which is bigger -- a 514MiB partition, or one of 512MiB?

(Pretending to be gruff CS teacher) "For extra credit, show your search engine input terms & list the 5 best links w/ 25 word or less evaluation of each."

(Still imitating a gruff CS teacher) "For more extra credit, produce an OOo Calc spreadsheet that shows the limits & breakpoints for all 3 historical FAT systems as well as a mythical future FAT 64."
 
Old 01-08-2008, 07:00 PM   #15
j0hnnyb0y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane1689 View Post
OK, I ma fairly new to Linux and thought I would give it a shot. I looked at several distros and decided to install Freespire because of the CNR. I have a 500 GB Seagate drive partitoned 80GB for XP and the remainder for media files. I also have another 80GB drive that was sitting around. Both are IDE drives. My intention was to install freespire on the secondary drive and dual boot. That was crap, the first boot said "GRUB Hard Disk Error". Well this sucks. After 2 days of reading everything I could find about my problem, not wanting to make things worse, I tried the Restore option with the XP disk - FIXBOOT followed by - FIXMBR. Now it starts to boot and get to the XP flash screen then I get a blue screen that says "can not find autocheck.exe - skipping autocheck" a few seconds later it try to reboot again. I installed a fresh copy of XP Pro on the spare 80gb drive and set the 500 to secondary. I can pull data from the second partition, the first partition that previously contained XP is like unlabeled and it won't even allow me to view the properties of the drive. If I look at it in disk management it says it is a "Healthy(Active)" drive but there is no drive label assigned to it. One more thing, when I attempted to fix the boot it had changed the drive letter to "F" where it was "C" to begin with. I really just would like to save some picture files and some documents from the drive. Any help will be greatly appreciated. By the way I'm not giving up on linux, I just need to get past this problem and will try again.
I am not sure how to fix your problem as I had a similar problem with Freespire 2.(whatever the lastest number is). Please don't give up on Linux. I have installed over a hundred Linux OS and never had this problem before. The lastest edition of Freespire apparently trashed the first partition on my hard drive. After reinstalling XP and adding a third party boot loader it trashed that little partition where the bootload was. I was sad at this. Freespire 1.0 dual booted with windows OK. I never got it to boot with multiple XP and other Linux OS. I am never surprised that my MBR has to be reset, but I too am puzzled that the lastest edition of Freespire repeatedly trashed the first partiton on the first hard drive. I finally gave up on Freespire for now. I highly recommend Mepis 7.0 it comes with some of the proprietary things that makes you browser run video and it is very good at hardware detection. If you are new to Linux I would also recommend buying a HP printer. They are well supported with Linux. If you solve this problem let me know.
 
  


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