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Old 06-14-2008, 08:31 AM   #1
Bill41
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Smile Fixing deleted boot partition


Hi, I'm very new to using Linux and not well informed about what goes on 'behind' the screen, as the following scenario will demonstrate!!! But I would like to learn.

I have a dual boot setup with XP and Ubuntu, but the latter didn't run properly because I had done something which slowed it to a snail's pace. Yesterday I needed more space in the XP partition so I used XP to delete the Ubuntu partition and the small third partition - disaster!! I think I have seriously damaged the boot files as at startup the system hangs at GRUP loading, Error 17!!!! So I used Ubuntu CD startup to go to GParted and look at the partitions which I then messed about with - knowing little about what I was doing! But with no obvious result.

I need to use XP and would like to install Ubuntu 8, if possible, without loosing my existing XP files and data. I have looked at similar threads but not been able to make much sense of these. I would very much value any help anyone can give me. Many thanks. Bill
 
Old 06-14-2008, 08:41 AM   #2
pixellany
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Welcome to LQ!!

When you installed Linux, the GRUB bootloader was installed to the MBR. It's files were put in the /boot directory on the Linux partition. Remove that partition and GRUB does not know what to do.

The easy fix is to just install Linux again. Be sure to use the install option that creates new partitions in the empty space--ie don't let it simply take the whole disk.

If you are careful, there is minimal danger to your Windows files. If there is critical data there, you should be sure to have it backed up before doing anything to the drive

The links below may be helpful also.
 
Old 06-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #3
Bill41
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Question How to deal with 'unknown' filesystem partitions?

Many thanks, Pixellany.
I have started the install process and reached the point where GParted displays the partitions. There are 3, one of which seems to be subordinate to the second. hda1 is ntfs, 42 GiB (that's the one with XP in it), hda3 is 'unknown'and 110 GiB ( the one Ubuntu was in), hda2 is 'extended' and 2.89 GiB with what seems to be a subordinate partition hda5 which is unknown and 2.89 GiB. In the diagram hada5 is shown as inside hda 2.

When I go to the next screen only 2 lines of mount point options are shown. I image this is because GParted has not recognised or included the 'unknown' partitions. If I make line 1 the root '/'with partition hda3 should I tick the Format box to enable Gparted to recognise the partition?

If I make line 2 the swap file with (logical) hda5 it come up as 3Gb. Do I need to tick Format for this as well?

Edit: When I do the above I get an error message 'No root file system' and this was after I had used GNOME to format the 'unknown' partitions. What have I not done right here?

What about the other mount point options? E.g. Boot, /home, etc. Do I need to include these and to what partition should I allocate them, and do they need formatting?

Bill

Last edited by Bill41; 06-14-2008 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Used GNOME to format 'unknowns' but with no result.
 
Old 06-14-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
pixellany
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The least confusing way to do this is something like the following:
  1. When the installer gets to the partition stage, delete all the partitions except what you need to keep (eg the Windows one)
  2. Make a new partition for / (aka "root")
  3. Make a new partition for swap

There is no need to bother with separate partitions for /home, /boot, etc.

If you have lots of space, leave as much as you can empty (unpartitioned). Then you will have room to grow. The Linux "/" partition can be 10GB or less. Swap can be 1GB.
 
Old 06-15-2008, 03:27 AM   #5
Bill41
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Talking Sorted!

Many thanks again, Pivellany. Boot is now working as before All I need to do now is learn on Ubuntu 6 and install Ubuntu 8 when I'm ready.
 
  


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