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Old 12-31-2002, 02:09 AM   #1
shantor
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Registered: Dec 2002
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First Post Please Help


I am not yet even a linux newbie as I have not yet been able to successfully install linux properly. At this point, I am just trying to get access to a hd which was "changed" by my botched linux install attempt. Let me explain briefly.

I had three separate hard drives, each partitioned. On the first hd, (hda) win me was installed and was fat 32 (at the time). The second hd was also fat 32. The third I formatted with partition magic to give myself a linux swap and ext2 partition.

I attempted to install red hat 7 on the third hd. Initially, the computer seemed to hang/stop/stall at the formatting screen for over 15 minutes and I was not able to detect any sound from any of the hd and the cd light was not on. I then rebooted (I know, big mistake).

I tried the install again, this time choosing to install linux on the 3rd hd, hdd, by selecting hdd and typing "/" in front of the ext2 partition. This seemed to work, but I was not able to get past the graphic choice screen as my options were 8 meg, 16 meg and 32 meg. I have a 64 meg geforce vid card, which I can swap out with a number 9 imagine 128 card which I know rh7 supports.

Deciding to put linux away for the rest of the day, I rebooted the computer and to my surprise, the computer would not boot after I got past the ram count and the initial hardware identification. I attempted to reinstall windows me on the first hd, but the dos boot would not even find the hd.

I then switched hda to another computer and once again, windows could not find hda. I was able to find it using partition magic, which identified the drive as being a "Disk Manager" partition. I am hoping that this if a false reading, as hda was partitioned into 4 10 meg partions.

So here are my questions. 1. Is the information on hda still accessible or does the hd need to be reformatted? 2. If the files on hda are accessible can a good installation of linux allow me to dual boot and get that information. 3. If the installation of linux wont fix my problem, what are my options?

I am planning on trying to try to load linux one more time, after swapping vid cards and this time using LILO, to try to get access to hda, so windows can read it, hoping that does the trick.

Any better ideas out there? Be gentle. I know I blew it and I may have jumped in over my head.

Sorry for the long rendition, but I believed it was necessary.

Thanks for any help anyone out there may be able to provide. NOTE, after this fiasco, I went a bought a book which would allow me to install rh8.

Thanking everyone in advance who persevered reading through this post.

--Shantor
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:12 AM   #2
MasterC
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Wow, that sucks.

I'd guess that you are probably still gonna have that data on your drive. It's possible that a good install would recover your data, but you won't know until you try. Another option, just for the data recovery is to use a "live CD" version of a linux distro. My personal favorite is called Knoppix. What this will allow you to do is boot up using nothing but a CDROM and then you can mount and attempt to recover the HD. You will have to have a working PC with a cdburner to get the iso and burn it to a disc to use (obviously).

Here's a link for the knoppix if you choose to go that route:
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

Ok, your other option is you could go ahead and get the install of RH done, and then do the same thing, the difference being that with Knoppix you really don't have to worry about whether you get a good install done, you won't have to worry about filesystem support in the kernel (because it has it), and you probably won't have to worry too much about major problems with your video card as it uses "safe" settings to ensure it works on a wide range of hardware.

Anyway, once you get to the point where you can mount the HD, if you run into problems let us know, someone will probably be able to help you out with that.

Cool
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:40 AM   #3
rootboy
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Re: First Post Please Help

Quote:
Originally posted by shantor
I am not yet even a linux newbie as I have not yet been able to successfully install linux properly. At this point, I am just trying to get access to a hd which was "changed" by my botched linux install attempt. Let me explain briefly.

I had three separate hard drives, each partitioned. On the first hd, (hda) win me was installed and was fat 32 (at the time). The second hd was also fat 32. The third I formatted with partition magic to give myself a linux swap and ext2 partition.

I attempted to install red hat 7 on the third hd. Initially, the computer seemed to hang/stop/stall at the formatting screen for over 15 minutes and I was not able to detect any sound from any of the hd and the cd light was not on. I then rebooted (I know, big mistake).
No, there shouldn't have been any problem.


Quote:
I tried the install again, this time choosing to install linux on the 3rd hd, hdd, by selecting hdd and typing "/" in front of the ext2 partition. This seemed to work, but I was not able to get past the graphic choice screen as my options were 8 meg, 16 meg and 32 meg. I have a 64 meg geforce vid card, which I can swap out with a number 9 imagine 128 card which I know rh7 supports.
I'm not following you here. It seems that both times you attempted the install on hdd. Yes? No?


Quote:
Deciding to put linux away for the rest of the day, I rebooted the computer and to my surprise, the computer would not boot after I got past the ram count and the initial hardware identification. I attempted to reinstall windows me on the first hd, but the dos boot would not even find the hd.

I then switched hda to another computer and once again, windows could not find hda. I was able to find it using partition magic, which identified the drive as being a "Disk Manager" partition. I am hoping that this if a false reading, as hda was partitioned into 4 10 meg partions.

So here are my questions. 1. Is the information on hda still accessible or does the hd need to be reformatted? 2. If the files on hda are accessible can a good installation of linux allow me to dual boot and get that information. 3. If the installation of linux wont fix my problem, what are my options?
I can't see what if anything that you have done to /dev/hda. Unless you meant that you attempted to install linux on hda at some point in your trials.

If that is the case, and the drive has been re-partitioned, then your chances of recovery are slim.

But not impossible, Partition manager mentioned in their docs that if you knew what the original partitioning info was, it would be possible to put things back the way they were. I've played with this in the past during a fit of boredom and IIRC, it seemed to work.

http://www.ranish.com/part/

This obviously works best for a drive that only has one single partition...

So, assuming that you haven't made any other changes to the drive, then you might get lucky if you put things back the way that they were.

Regardless, you should still see the drive during the boot phase, partitioned or not. So what's up with that?

Quote:
I am planning on trying to try to load linux one more time, after swapping vid cards and this time using LILO, to try to get access to hda, so windows can read it, hoping that does the trick.

Any better ideas out there? Be gentle. I know I blew it and I may have jumped in over my head.
Nah, you're just having a rough time with the install. No shame there.


Quote:
Sorry for the long rendition, but I believed it was necessary.
When it comes to long renditions, you haven't seen anything yet


Quote:
Thanks for any help anyone out there may be able to provide. NOTE, after this fiasco, I went a bought a book which would allow me to install rh8.
I like to hear that, use the most recent version available (short of slumming through the CVS'es of the world )


So, to get you back on track assuming that /dev/hda was erroneously partitioned.

(I'm going to have you do it the old-fashioned linux way since I know that one pretty much by heart).

1) Boot up using your RH8 CD. Ignore the installation stuff and once it loads up hit <CONTROL><ALT><F2>

2) This brings up a tty (think DOS shell), type in "fdisk /dev/hda", hit enter.

3) Type "p" to print out the partition table.

4) Look at the partition types, if any of these say "linux", then it's been changed.

5a) If this is not the case, then turn off your PC, drop back 10 yards and punt. It would seem that you have some other problem other than an accidentally partitioned hard drive.

5b) If the partition types do say "linux", and you seem to have more partitions than you should have, then you can try deleting the partitions and then create one large partition that takes up the entire disk.

Disclaimer time:

My advice up to this point has not made any permanent changes to your drive. Past this point it will.

Be absolutely sure that this is what you want to do before proceeding. I can't guarantee that you will recover your lost information (but at least it shouldn't get any worse).

As they say, "you have been warned".



6) Write down your existing partition data. Where they start, where they stop, everything.

7) Hit your "d" key and the highest partition number. Do this for each of your partitions. This will delete your existing partitions leaving the disk ready for a new partition(s).

8) Hit the "n" key. This tells fdisk that you want a new partition. Hit "p" for a "primary" type partition. Hit "1" for partition one.

9) Fdisk will now ask you where you want to start and end the partition. I would just hit enter twice and accept the defaults.

10) Hit "t" to change the partition type, "l" for list.

11) Find your old partition type in the list (type "b"?). Enter it.

This is your last chance to get out without making any changes to your drive. Up to this point, all of your changes are "pending".

12) Flag partition #1 as bootable (I can't remember the actual command, so hit "m" for a list of commands).


Pick one of the two:

13a) Hit "q" to quite without making any changes.

13b) Hit "w" to write your new partition information to the partition tables.

14) Cycle power.


But I am still curious as to why you can't seem to get past the boot phase. Have you chaged anything hardware wise to your drives? What about your CMOS? Has that been changed?

We aren't going to get very far if you can't boot up...


Once you do get things somewhat back to normal, put the actual hardware that you would like to use into your box prior to installing linux. You newer version should be able to handle these devices with no problem.


Quote:
Thanking everyone in advance who persevered reading through this post.

--Shantor
Anytime


John
 
Old 12-31-2002, 04:12 AM   #4
MasterC
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
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OMG! That was excellent! Sure makes my dinkie rundown, look dinkie and rundown

I just had one question after re-reading the original post though:

What's a number 9 imagine card? I realize it's a video card, but is it really old, or what?

Cool
 
Old 12-31-2002, 06:42 AM   #5
shantor
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Registered: Dec 2002
Posts: 7

Original Poster
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number 9 imagine vid card

hehe, well, somewhat old, by computer life standards. at this point i am very tired, and I do not recall the spec on the hardware, but I believe it is an 8 meg card and is about 4 years old. Number 9 (the company) is now defunct. I think, but do not quote me on this, that Cirrus bought the company.

Thank you for responding to my post!
 
Old 12-31-2002, 07:10 AM   #6
shantor
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Registered: Dec 2002
Posts: 7

Original Poster
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This should have been my first responsive post.

Rootboy and Master C, thank you both for you advise and insight.

I tried several d/l or linux, including knoppix. Unfortunately I used Netscape for my browser, and I recall reading that Netscape d/l in ascii and not binary. Still I have one working computer with a burner, so I may try that again. It is my safest bet, at this time and for now (as I am very fatigued) I am gun shy.

rootboy, I will definately definately print out your post. It was awesome and easy to follow. To respond to a couple of items in your post.

Yes I was loading linux on my hd both times, as your correctly surmised. It is possible that I inadvertently attempted to load linux on hda, but that was not what I intended. I was expecting that the install would ask me what hd I wanted to load linux.

It is possible that I responded to a screen without realizing that the installation would load on hda, as I used a default install, initially. If that is the case, then I would guess (using your words) that my "chances of recovery are slim." Still, at this point I have a never say die attitude and will give it a try.

I will check out partition manager and see what I can do once I get there. I like that approach.

I appreciate your cautions and warnings.

It will be several hours or even a day before I post again. I am going to try to get some sleep and this being new years eve day, I have some plans outside of the home.

Thanks again and have a happy new year!!!!!!!
 
Old 12-31-2002, 08:06 AM   #7
rootboy
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Registered: Oct 2001
Distribution: Mint 15
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Quote:
Originally posted by MasterC
OMG! That was excellent! Sure makes my dinkie rundown, look dinkie and rundown
Well, shucks Thanks


Quote:
I just had one question after re-reading the original post though:

What's a number 9 imagine card? I realize it's a video card, but is it really old, or what?

Cool
It used to be the bees-knees when it came to video cards. And it was well supported too (this was back in the RH5.1 days).


John
 
Old 12-31-2002, 08:25 AM   #8
rootboy
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Rep: Reputation: 51
Quote:
Originally posted by shantor
This should have been my first responsive post.

Rootboy and Master C, thank you both for you advise and insight.
You're welcome


Quote:
I tried several d/l or linux, including knoppix. Unfortunately I used Netscape for my browser, and I recall reading that Netscape d/l in ascii and not binary. Still I have one working computer with a burner, so I may try that again. It is my safest bet, at this time and for now (as I am very fatigued) I am gun shy.

rootboy, I will definately definately print out your post. It was awesome and easy to follow. To respond to a couple of items in your post.
Thanks


Quote:
Yes I was loading linux on my hd both times, as your correctly surmised. It is possible that I inadvertently attempted to load linux on hda, but that was not what I intended. I was expecting that the install would ask me what hd I wanted to load linux.

It is possible that I responded to a screen without realizing that the installation would load on hda, as I used a default install, initially. If that is the case, then I would guess (using your words) that my "chances of recovery are slim." Still, at this point I have a never say die attitude and will give it a try.

I will check out partition manager and see what I can do once I get there. I like that approach.

I appreciate your cautions and warnings.

It will be several hours or even a day before I post again. I am going to try to get some sleep and this being new years eve day, I have some plans outside of the home.
Yeah, get some rest and try it again. Like I said, Partition Manager has a short blurb on how to recover a lost partition. And I remember reading this once before and it might help:

http://tsaling.home.attbi.com/linux/lost_partition.html

And I had never seen this one before, but it looks pretty good (it's linux specific, which won't be of much help to you at the moment, but it gives some excellent background).

http://www.linux-france.org/article/.../howto/t1.html

And the How-To mentions "gpart" which is a linux utility that's used to guess lost partition(s).

You can use a non-intrusive distro like "Knopplix" or "Tom's Root-n-Boot" as a rescue OS and run "gpart" from there.

Whatever you do, do not try to install any OS.

Now go get some sleep


Quote:
Thanks again and have a happy new year!!!!!!!
And you too!


John
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:21 PM   #9
shantor
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Registered: Dec 2002
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WooHoo! went to Ranish and d/l the partition manager software. it appears that the fat 32 partitions are still in place. I believe the problem is occuring because there is MBR in the first sector with the mbr executable code being unknown IPL. (Note: After that, the part of the first sector and the next 62 sectors of the primary partition being unused.) I am not sure whether to change the executable code to standard IPL or boot manager. I am assuming that I should change it to boot manager, but I still need to a bit more surfing of the sites rootboy listed in his third post. Just wanted to give you an update.
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:57 PM   #10
shantor
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Well, after believing I had the right solution, I checked my working computer with windows and discovered that Ranish Partition Manager also has the unknown IPL for its MBR executable code. Wheh! glad I did not change it.

Um... rootboy, how the heck did you remember where to find an article after only reading once? That is truly incredible...unless you read it recently, of course.

Now I will try to follow the suggestions listed in the two articles that you posted.

This part of the post is to MasterC or any other who wants to give their insight. Assuming I am able to d/l and get knoppix running, how will that help me to get windows accessible? Does Knoppix allow for dual boot option? I will check their site.

Thanks again!

--shantor
 
Old 12-31-2002, 04:45 PM   #11
MasterC
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What knoppix, or Tom'sRTB, or any other non-hd distro will do is allow you to recover your information to a readable state, or even better, to a CDRW/CDR.

Knoppix is only ran from the CD, no HD is needed, so there really is no boot option or dual boot option AFAIK.

Netscape eh? In win? I'd see if you can get your hands on a download manager of some sort, maybe Download Accelerator or something.

If you are in linux though (which I am guessing not), and downloading with Netscape there, switch to command line and use something like wget.

In the knoppix download page there is a smaller utility called kit. This might work for you as well, but I've never used that one myself, only knoppix. I'd think kit might be for dial uppers who don't have the time/bandwidth to get a full size iso. But I'm sure it'd still have the tools necessary to recover your files (if they are recoverable) to a CDR/RW.

Cool
 
Old 12-31-2002, 05:05 PM   #12
shantor
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Angry Well, I blew it and it is irreversible

I thought I had the correct answer. After comparing the non-bootable hd with the hd on the second computer which is running windows, I made a change using the Ranish partition manager file. All that I accomplished was to create a hd that cannot be fixed with finesse. The sectors changed, as did the formatting. (not that I have much finesse computerwise anyway).

Who would have thought that switching from fat 32 windows to fat 32 windows lba (which was how the working hd on the other computer was identified) would change the format to one that is not recognizable? Ok I am sure many would have figured it out, I just wish I was one of them.

Oh well.

I will have to format the hard drive and start over from scratch.

Thanks to MasterC and rootboy for time spent and information provided. I think I am done with this thread. Cya all on another post hehe

--shantor
 
Old 12-31-2002, 05:29 PM   #13
MasterC
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That's too bad, you could still give something a try? I think toms rtb is all of 1.44MB or less. I think that's the ultimate floppy distro, more than that, it'd have the tools to at least check the drive to truly see if it's unreadable.

Cool
 
Old 01-01-2003, 03:41 AM   #14
rootboy
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Quote:
Originally posted by shantor
WooHoo! went to Ranish and d/l the partition manager software. it appears that the fat 32 partitions are still in place. I believe the problem is occuring because there is MBR in the first sector with the mbr executable code being unknown IPL. (Note: After that, the part of the first sector and the next 62 sectors of the primary partition being unused.) I am not sure whether to change the executable code to standard IPL or boot manager. I am assuming that I should change it to boot manager, but I still need to a bit more surfing of the sites rootboy listed in his third post. Just wanted to give you an update.
I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but to get your old Windows MBR (Master Boot Record), run "FDISK.EXE /MBR from a bootable DOS (or Windows, same thing) floppy.

This is the IPL that Ranish is talking about. However, it would be better to use Microsoft's own MBR.


John
 
Old 01-01-2003, 03:46 AM   #15
rootboy
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Quote:
Originally posted by shantor
Well, after believing I had the right solution, I checked my working computer with windows and discovered that Ranish Partition Manager also has the unknown IPL for its MBR executable code. Wheh! glad I did not change it.
Don't worry too much about the bootloader for the moment. Having a bootloader, not having one, or even having the wrong one isn't going to affect the actual data on the disk.


Quote:
Um... rootboy, how the heck did you remember where to find an article after only reading once? That is truly incredible...unless you read it recently, of course.
They call me the "Googleator" on a different help site

That, and I've been doing this for just a wee bit


John
 
  


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