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Alright, lets start with the standard disclosures:
I am a fantastic newbie to linux, but I have a good working knowledge of Windows. I do not have any programming experience (at least none that is of any use today as Commodore 64 BASIC is very obsolete now).
Now, after having to install Mandrake about 3 or 4 times, I finally had it up and running and was beginning to enjoy using Linux, when, one day while booting up, I was presented with the error something like "Unable to mount fs on 03:05", at which point I can get no further. Now, as I understand this is that linux has become unable to mount a filesystem on the partition /hda5. I also have tried many things to regain access to Linux, however, have been unsuccessful (regular booting, failsafe, and bootdisk)....is there a way to fix this problem from within windows, without reformatting the HDD. The best solution I can figure is to uninstall Linux, re-size the partitions back to a full windows partition, and then re-install linux....problem is I have no idea how to do this. Any help (in plain english) is greatly appreciated.
What is your current setup as far as the partitioning goes? It may depend. You can always use the install cd to get to the disk partitioning and use that. If you want to get rid of linux (the bootloader) from the MBR, pop in your windows rescue disk and at the prompt type fdisk /mbr.
Thanks for the help, however, I'm thinking something real bad has happened to my Fat32...when I slip in my Mandrake 8.0 install CD and boot from it, I get as far as the partitioning tool with it, and then get stuck there.... 'cause the partitioning tool included doesn't recognize my harddrive partitions now, at least any further than recognizing that some type of hard drive is there. Oh, if it matters, I'm not really trying to delete linux, I find it better than Win95 (all-be-it a bit harder to play with as far as installing new software goes)....it's that thanks to the whole failure to mount 03:05 makes my dual-boot impossible to get into linux....and my only thought is to delete and re-install, something I don't want to do without first correcting my partition problem.
I have tried free partitioning software that recognizes all the partitions, but it really isn't intuitive for a newbie like myself, and it's not something I'm into messing up. Oh, and ms_dos' version of fdisk sees nothing at all wrong with my HDD, however, it doesn't see the Linux partition.
So, I guess the question is twofold, will deleting the MBR automatically resize my partitions (something that seems remarkably unlikely and I don't expect it), or is there a way/utility to fix this whole 03:05 (failure to mount /hda5) problem?