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Sorry, I thought that was what you wanted to do. You probably would need to if your Windows partition got corrupted or definitely if it was overwritten. Be sure to add an entry for Windows when you set up your bootloader during your Linux installation, that should let you dual boot.
Windows must be the ACTIVE partition on hda1 (in other words, must be the active partition on your master hard drive). Otherwise, it won't boot. I had this trouble when I tried to format a UNIX partition as an NTFS partition from within WINXP. To fix the problem, it required me to use gdisk to change the active and hidden partitions and then manually configure GRUB (which is the bootloader that I was using at the time). I can't remember exactly what I did, it was just playing around with the hidden partitions and the syntax for GRUB is a little awekward. My recommendation, don't install Linux if you want to just try it out. Many distros now offer "live" cd's that let you check things out without installing everything. They run basically out of your ram from the CD. Check out SuSE and Knoppix for popular distros. Personally, I use SuSE 9.3 pro, so I guess I'm jaded. Also, Linspire is a great Newbie distro but its software support does cost $25/year. They were giving away free copies last I checked.
No need to re-install here....jeez. Is this XP or older? If it's XP, just put the install cd in and reboot. When it comes up to the boot screen select repair existing installation. This will give you a command line login. Hopefully you remember the Administrator Password because you will need this. If you don't recall entering one, you may not have...you don't have to Windows...in this case, just press enter at the password prompt.
At the prompt, type "fixmbr" and answer yes to anything. Then type 'exit' to reboot and remember to remove the cd. This is all that's necessary to remove the bootloaders for linux and get windows working again. In some cases there may be more issues with the boot sector, but 9 out of 10 times, the "fixmbr" is all you need.
In win9x, you can boot with dos boot disk and use something like "fdisk /mbr" to accomplish the same goal....read up on that one though, as it has been a while for me in the 9x world.
Hope this helps.... "reinstall...." .... man, I know this is a Linux place, but data is data, you need to be careful with the Windows suggestions here too.