GRUB Detecting Left Over Windows Data From Old Boot Disk
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GRUB Detecting Left Over Windows Data From Old Boot Disk
I have a hard drive that was once a boot drive for windows(vista?). However, I eventually switched boot drives and used a utility like unlocker to remove the system and/or system32 folder and any other windows related folders as the HDD had acumulated alot of data at that point and I had no avaliable way to store a back up of the data and format it. Now I am trying to install Debian(and of course grub) to a loan SSD(former boot drive that has been formated completley), but grub still detects that the 1TB was once used for windows because if I do an install of Debian and grub with only the SSD hooked up, it does not detect windows. How can I remove all traces of windows on my 1TB? Can I back up only the data to another HHD and format the HDD then restore data? Is it possible I simply need to delete or alter the mbr of the HDD?
I realize this is partially linux related but it is also partially windows related so I hope it is ok here. If this should be moved elsewhere on the forum, my apoligies for having posted in the wrong forum.
Syg00, thanks for the quick reply! I can run the script first thing tomorrow after my back up is done(unlike the earlier time mentioned above aka many years ago when I was far less knowledgable then I am now, I have more storage available that will hopefully be sufficent to store a temp backup). Anyways, yes it is NTFS. My apoligies for leaving out a key detail. I do have another question in the mean time. I am using Acronis True Image Home PP Boot CD to perform the current back up. While browsing the contents of the drive, I notice that a System Volume Information folder is present. I did a quick google but I have been up over 24 hours. From what I gather this is actually a windows based folder. Is this correct? If yes, then I should be able to exclude this should I need to do a restore, correct? If I do not restore, which seems unlikley, this folder is safe to remove? Thanks again for the response!
If your aim is to use the HDD for a final Debian install, it might be better to backup your data and then re-format/re-partition the drive as necessary during the Debian install.
Anyway, to prevent GRUB from picking up the drive as having a Windows install, you can do two things:
1. Disable the os-prober. Open you /etc/default/grub file and uncomment this line:
then update GRUB.
Note though, this will prevent GRUB from detecting all other OSes installed. If that's not a problem for you, then this is by far the simplest method.
2. In NT and Windows 2000, it uses the hidden ntldr file on the root of the Windows drive. I'm not sure if it's the same in Vista, but if it exists, it will be safe to delete together with any boot.ini file. These are all hidden files. The os-prober package searches for the existence of these files to determine the type of Windows installation. Deleting these files will prevent os-prober from seeing the Windows drive as having a Windows installation. Run update-grub afterwards.
Yes, I think that is on every NTFS - even non-system ones; but I'd have to go check somewhere to be sure. Never considered deleting it, so can't offer any advice.
Personally I am no fan of imaging products (for backup that is). Plenty of filesystem aware tools around - the ntfsprogs ones on Linux probably the pick of them for speed/function/usability.
I tried deleting it but no such luck.
I was simply using it from a file system aware perspective, not imaging perspective.
I think my goal was clear but perhaps I should explain what all is going on here and include an idea of my set up. I have a custom built rig. Core i7 2600K, MSI P67-G45, 8GB Corsair Vengance Ram, ATI Raedon HD4890, 2x2TB WD HDDs, 2x1TB WD HDDs, 1x80 GB SSD(boot). Now I am unable to use all the drives at once due to case/mobo/video card/SATA ports design, so I hotswap the HDDs as needed. They are all just data storage for music, movies, and such. Despite the swaping of drives, I want my system to boot under any combo of HDDs with the SSD being a constant. Now I go to install debian and everything goes fine, but when it comes time to choose to install grub it says Windows Vista (Loader) was detected. I choose to install and then reboot as instructed. The boot process goes through the normal steps and shows Welcome to grub or some reference of grub for about a second and then sits at a black screen with a flashing white underscore terminal doing nothing. I also notice that iduring grub set up, it briefly says /sda1, but sda1 is one of the 2TBs but my SSD is in port 6 on the mobo. However, I am using Hierens Boot Cd and the mbrfix utility. When checking partions on the 3 drives, the 2 HDDs simply report 1 partition that has the boot flag with type 7 and "NTFS or HPFS" but the SSD shows 2 partitions, the first is marked boot, type 131, linux native (usually ext2fs), while the second is not set as boot, size 3137MB, Type 5, Dos 3.3+ Extended Partition. So looking at it, nothing seems to reference windows, so I am confused as what is preventing the boot.
EDIT: on advice elsewhere I tried installing again with only the ssd hooked up. Boot was succesful! Power down, reconect HDDs and another sucesfull boot! This is now resolved.
Last edited by Xplorer4x4; 06-01-2012 at 01:24 PM.