Having gotten yourself into
this mess ..
.. here is the big-picture of how to get back out.
Let us assume for the moment that you did successfully repartition the drive. It looks like you actually have two drives in the machine: hda
. Each number means a partition: /dev/hda1
is the first partition and so-on. (Notice
counts them from zero.... la differencia es muy importante!)
If you want to blast-away Linux and forget that you ever saw it, the XP loader can probably figure that out... just reinstall XP.
Otherwise, the most probable problem will be found with the boot-loader,
which is grub.
Grub must be installed in the master boot record,
Grub works off of entries in a file called /boot/grub/grub.conf
which provide the menu that you first see when you start your machine.
This being the
section, let's review exactly what that means.
When you first start the computer, the built-in BIOS
runs the show first. It checks memory and so-on, then starts to boot the machine. To do that, it looks for disk drives that are "bootable," which means that they have a valid MBR as the first blocks on the disk. The BIOS loads the MBR and executes it. And what the MBR does is to load the boot-loader, grub. Grub does a few more checks and displays a menu... which it determines from reading grub.conf.
be seeing a menu that offers you a choice of Linux or Windows-XP. If you don't see that, then Grub is not getting started. If you see "no boot device found," it means the MBR is not found. And if you see a tangle of digital debris instead of
a menu, it probably means that XP's SBL (stoopid boot loader
) is trying to run. First question is, "which one of the three?"
If you get the menu... can you, or can you not, boot Linux? If a message whizzes by about "starting Linux," or in fact if any
messages "whiz by," then you probably can. (If you get "kernel panic" and a sudden stop, well, you can fix that, but at least grub is working.)
If you get this far, can you .. or can you not .. boot XP? Obviously not, but how
does it fail?
Probably the most common cause of failure, including kernel-panics, is that the operating system (OS) cannot find itself. OS's start-up in stages. After grub
finds Linux and starts it, for instance, several things happen to get to the main startup, of a process called init.
Kernel-panics usually have to do with the inability to find init.
And XP startup-failures usually happen for the same reason.
The grub.conf file has many parameters which tell it how to boot operating-systems. In the case of XP, we actually load XP's SBL (stoopid boot-loader) and it
does whatever it's supposed to do. There are about 413,000 hits to my Google search on grub "windows xp"
so I'm not going to repeat those here.
Maybe this little explanation will get your feet back on the ground. It's a tough way to get started with Linux and I sincerely hope that you did not, and do not, "blast it to smithereens" to get back to what you're used-to. Do you happen to have another
computer, say in your closet, that you can set-up and use to learn Linux?