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I want to reformat windows, and just wanted to make sure that in doing so, I would not touch linux. Also some questions about how I do it. I have formated before, but never with linux installed. I will boot up with my windows disk and go through everything, but will that have any effect on the linux bootloader? Any comments on the process welcome. Thanks guys!
Most probably yes (I don't know if there is a way to make windows install NOT install the bootloader). Have a boot disk of any sort available to load linux, and run lilo to replace the windows bootloader.
If your win partition is bootable, and depending on your bootloader, yes, it can mess the bootloader. I saw this happening before.
Just to make sure: download, install and create a boot floppy with smart boot manager. This way you will be able to boot your linux no matter what happens with your hd bootloader. Smart boot manager is a piece of art, and its free software: http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/3.7/
You can format your win partition from linux, which is, I think, safer than doing with win tools. Then you can reinstall or reconfigure your boot loader. If you use grub, its just a matter of editing the /boot/grub/menu.lst file, very easy.
For Mandrake, you should download and install btmgr-3.7-1.i386.rpm (320k). Sbminst.exe should be choosed for a win machine. Both will produce the same thing: a bootable floppy that will let you choose and boot any bootable partition on your harddisks.
It seems some mess happened to this project's page at sourceforge. When hitting btmgr.sourceforge.net, a index.html page was supposed to appear, but instead, there is a dir listing. But it's no problem: hit http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/ and then open the about.html to take a look at this project and know what smart boot manager can do.
sorry to bring this thread back after so long, but I am probably going to be formatting soon. I was wondering about this formatting windows through linux that you talked about, how can I do this. The only thing I am concerned with is that I dont have the actual xp disc, but rather the recovery discs that came with my computer, so I will not be able to do a complete re-install of windows. Another thing is how do I create that floppy disc. I downloaded the windows version, but what do I do? Thanks for all the help!
Another thing is how do I create that floppy disc. I downloaded the windows version, but what do I do?
If you are referring to smart boot manager, run the win program and insert a floppy in the computer. Smart boot manager will create a boot floppy with which you can boot your computer wthout need to have grub/lilo properly configured.
sbminst.exe is what I downloaded. I was also wondering about the formatting through linux that you mentioned. Will that remove everything, because like I said, all I have are the recovery discs, and not the windows installation discs. Thanks for your help.
Took a while, I was doing a bit of research on it.
Here it is:
sbminst.exe is correct. But you have to run it from the command prompt of your windows. "cd" to the dir where it is and do "sbminst.exe -d a:". This shall write a bootdisk for you. Optionally, do a sbminst.exe without arguments, to see the help. when you get to the first screen of your bootdisk, hit F1 to see the options.
Smart boot manager is the ideal utility in case youi have more than one bootable partition on your system, and you are in the works of editing/experimenting with diff tools or OSes. With btmgr you can detect and save new bootable partitions on your floppy, without messing the mbr of your hard disk. I like it very much. And I tested it against my brother's winxp, and it can boot it ok.
Formatting through linux is possible. The formatting utility will format only what you explicitly tell it to, so, I guess its no problem. But take care with it...
Regarding the recovery partition, honestly, I don't know. I read a bit about it, but I have no idea how it works. You'd better post on a win-specific forum about it.
Last edited by bruno buys; 09-04-2004 at 02:22 PM.