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I have just install a new Linux Mandrake 9.2 on my machine today. There was a previous installation of Windows XP before it.
My computer hard disk drive state is currently :
1. Drive C : Linux Mandrake 9.2
2. Drive D : Windows XP Pro
3. DRive E,F,G : Just for files
I know it sound a bit weird that I installed my Windows on Drive D instead of on a drive C. But I was doing a dual boot also on Win98( which was previously on DRive C. Since I no longer use win98 and I wanted to use LInux for a change, I formatted the whole drive C. It appears that the bootloader for windows xp and win98 was sitting right on drive C that I had formatted. Now, after installing Linux Mandrake, I couldn't get myself back to Windows.
What should I do to fix this?
Any help and advice would be greatly appreaciated
OK, for w2000, what I used to do was to begin the installation process until the point where it asks permission for installing files ( of course avoiding formatting). At that point, the install program used to have written down the win boot loader.
You should have a linux rescue disk prior to this, because you may lost linux boot loader.
So my sequence would be (always keeping LILO, the linux boot loader on MBR and not on the first partition):
w2000 cd "pre"install
linux boot disk
on linux prompt run lilo.
This should get you a LILO menu which will offer you an entry for WXP.
AND ALL OF THIS ONLY IF F**NG W XP WORKS LIKE W2K, which is something I'm not wanting to know as at last I abandoned Windows world.
Just boot from the windows xp cd, enter recovery console, and type fixboot, that will fix the boot on the MBR, and now you can enter windows. I recommend using partitions programs like partition magic to clean the hard discs from linux partitions.
I have done almost this exact thing-- removed a Win 98 installation that was on C:\, changing my triple-boot to a dual-boot-- but I'll go you one better by having moved the Win 2K system root from D:\ to C:\ as well .
You could try booting to the recovery console from the XP CD, log in as administrator, and type /fixmbr to restore the Windows bootloader, but unless you have a Mandrake floppy disk, you would be unable to boot into Mandrake to fix LiLO, except by booting with the Mandrake recovery disk (CD 1 of the install disks) and using their recovery disks to reinstall LiLO.
However, there's a good chance that even after all that, Windows wouldn't boot. At least, it didn't when I tried it that way and the only solution was that which Demonbane gave. You will most likely need to do a repair installation. It is possible that XP is different from 2K in this respect, but I doubt it.
Start the install, and when you get to approximately the third confirmation that you intend to install, XP will notice that you have a current installation and will ask if you want to make a new install, or repair the current one. Choose "repair". If Windows does not find your previous installation, then your install is somehow so borked that you need to do a full reinstall anyway, so the whole thing is fairly foolproof (as long as you have any important files on the system root drive backed up ).