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Old 01-30-2010, 04:09 AM   #1
urentity
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dual boot problem: acer aspire one d150


Hi,

I got an Acer Aspire One D150 netbook the other day with only Windows xp on it. I wanted to also install linux.

It has a 160G harddisk and I used ntfsresizeto reduce this to 70G. I rbooted to see if it worked. Yes, no problems.

I went back into linux (using an Arch usb key) and set about using fdisk on the hard disk. This acer (in common with a few other acer laptops) has a first partition of some 500MB or so given over to recovery and diagnostic utilities. The windows is then on partition 2.

SO, in fdisk, I deleted the 2nd partition and cretaed a a new one of 72GB in size, thinking this would allow my resized windows partition enough room. I commit these changes via "w" and then quit the procedure.

I reboot again (to test) and this time windows does not come up. I get a black screen with flashing cursor, and flashing led HD light.

So I'm trying to work out what's gone wrong. Maybe the acer is undertaking some sort of recovery. But it doesn't say anything. I'm going to leave it on, on soak, so to speak and see if leaves this state at all.

So based on this experience I have some questions:
1) should I really keep the machine on for a long time like that, when it just seems to be cycling?
2) should I have used sfdisk instead? I tried cfdisk, but it failed to access the disk, complaining about a cylinder not ending n the right place or something like that.
3) have other acer laptop owners come across this problem and should I abandon this attempt to access the windows installation and give it up for lost?

Cheers.
 
Old 01-30-2010, 04:46 AM   #2
aus9
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hi

yes if you delete the second partition that had windows on it .....what were you expecting different pls?

1) it is safe now.....assuming you had no data on the windows to wipe the mbr and create a new partition table the way you want to.
But only you can decide if you want that....if you don't then you need to look at recovery of overwritten partition.

linux ...gparted would have shown you (with luck) the true state of your hd.

you can search for recovery techniques if you need to recover data.....but even if you had none to collect.....now is a good time to ask before doing stuff if you are unsure of what you want pls
 
Old 01-30-2010, 06:43 AM   #3
urentity
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Quote:
yes if you delete the second partition that had windows on it .....what were you expecting different pls?
Well, I have used cfdisk before and this is the way I have done it. Can you remember the last you did it? Don't forget, "delete" means slightly different things depending on the application. It might not mean a complete flushing out of the OS. I was under the impression that fdisk/cfdisk delete the old partition, and creates a new one in the same place simultaneously, whatever bit of magic it uses.

Quote:
But only you can decide if you want that..
You must be referring to my frequent use of "should I?".

That was a figure of speech. I meant to ask for suggestions only. I wasn't putting my self-autonomy into question.

Anyhow, back to my problem, I'm coming aroudn to the conclusion, that what's happened is that my MBR is damaged and that at this stage I might as well install linux.

I don't think I've lost my windows partition. I'm still holding out hope for that.
 
Old 02-01-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
urentity
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OK, I've tried a few more things with this, and have decided to report back even though
1) I am unsuccessful still
2) nobody seems much interested.

Overall, and despite aus9's suggestion, I still stick to my guns and say that in fdisk to resize the partition (not the OS mind) you will need to delete and then create new, no matter how much this sounds as if you are actually deleting your windows. From what I've read, it's important to make sure the starting cylinder is the same.

Of course, actually understanding how fdisk does what it does is another matter. I admit it sounds counter-intuitive. If anybody can explain, that would be great.

Anyhow, I heard about this ntfs-progs tool called ntfsfix, and had a go ... unfortunately it couldn't help me with my system. I think sometimes it works, but not in my case. The Ubuntu guys also have a bootscript allowing you to see what the partition might contain ... I did get WIndows XP coming up but the other entries were blank.

So for me it all looks pretty negative. I am not aware of having messed around with the first cylinder on this partition, but these are hairy operations, and they will go wrong, sometimes.

I suppose I could try running the chkfsk utility on it ... or using the diagnostics .. though I have already got one negative from the diagnostics. Returning to the previous installation and user name failed for me. The first option of reinstalling the system may still work, althgouh equally it may not.

However now that I have Linux up and running, I don't want to run the windows diagnostics and have it erase my linux for me.
 
Old 02-01-2010, 11:56 AM   #5
urentity
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well, what little I had to go on slowly fades from view.

I decided to go with this tool called ms-sys. It can recover windows xp MBR.

SO I used it. No go. Now the bootscript doesn't even recognise it as windows. Going going ...
 
Old 02-01-2010, 01:11 PM   #6
urentity
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OK, well, I only continue writing here, because I reckon someone will eventually google this thread up just when they're having a similar problem.

I would say, that in fact I have pulled back the infant from the fire, because I managed the Acer e-Recovery tool allowed me to get a default Windows back up, without, I repeat without erasing my linux.

Initially I thought it would zap the whole hard disk ... all partitions. But it didn't, it simply stuck to the partition that Windows was previously on, without complaining about the smaller partition either. It also did not overwrite grub. I also did not ask for any password. I have to say I was surpirsed at how well it re-installed windows.

Now I spent a few hours installing and customising the previous Windows, and that effort has now been lost. Equally I must say, that I spent longer investigating how to get it back.

So there it's all done. May this thread now fall into obscurity ....
 
Old 02-01-2010, 01:15 PM   #7
colorpurple21859
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might try ultimate bootable cd, has some partition recovery programs on it.
 
Old 02-01-2010, 06:47 PM   #8
aus9
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hi

well when I get a chance to read lq....I am 8 hours ahead of London time.

Yes I am still interested but I think the new issue is that you have tried so many tools....its now harder to recover.

Since your first reply was to ask for suggestions here are mine

1) get yourself a good recent live cd that has some tools on it and some docs

http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page just had an update....what a co-incidence!

there are a lot of nice dox starting with
http://www.sysresccd.org/Sysresccd-P...k-partitioning

2) I strongly suggest you give up recovery now and start a clean table

Code:
su
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
will wipe your current mbr....so of course you do this only on your borked computer pls

then run gparted and create your partitions

3) if you want to dual boot.....create a fat32...yes fat32 for first partition = c ...a second partition fat32 for sharing between ms and linux.....and third partition ext3....and a fourth linux-swap

4) only if happy with (3) reboot your ms install and allow it to format to ntfs and install ms......this overwrites the mbr but you have windows back

5) only if happy so far...now install linux and let it install to third partition....and let grub or grub2 be installed to mbr....overwriting mbr again

but linux can see windows a heck of lot easier than ms.

see my signature on grub stuff

good luck
 
  


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