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OK. Let me begin by saying I'm really enjoying Linux. I'm currently a C++ student, so I thought I would give the opensource world a chance =)
After many new topics on which distro to download, I went with Debian. Don't ask why. I was absolutely clueless to what I was doing, but I did manage to make it to a command prompt, but I wanted GNOME/KDE or some other desktop environment, and was looking for a distro for newbies, so I went with Mandrake 9.0. I installed Win98, then installed XP over top of it on my 80 gig harddrive (hda). I then installed Linux immediately on my 15 gig harddrive (hdb).
My problem is, I can't get into Windows anymore at all. I went with the recommended installation (as opposed to the expert installation), and it installed Mandrake with no problems. I'm typing this post while sitting in Mandrake as a matter of fact.
When I reboot my computer I come with a menu (which I assume to be LILO - I could be wrong) that has a bunch of options: linux, linux-nonfsb, windows, failsafe, floppy (not necessarily in that order). I pick linux, and it loads up KDE 3.0 fine. I later reboot and pick Windows, and then it goes to what I think is DOS< and it says Loading Windows:
And then on the next line after that is a bunch of scrambled garbage. Looks like all the weird characters from the Start->Program Files->Accessories->System->Character Map, there is about 10 of them though...and it then locks up and doesn't do anything.
I put in a boot disk, and it cd into c: and type dir, and it doesn't even list anything, and lists my harddrive as having 76gig free.
I find it hard to believe that an operating system sitting on D: somehow reformatted my C: drive.
Does anyone know how to fix this? I'm consider reformatting c:, then reinstalling my 80 gig harddrive, putting win98, then xp on it, and seeing if that will fix my problem, but that's sort of a last resort.
I'm getting really turned off by this, because I really want to learn linux, but I need windows for some programs that I have for school.
Your problem is that you loaded 98 (Fat32) and XP (NTFS) on the same partition. A complete reinstall of both is your only option. You can install 98 first and then use the XP partition program to make an NTFS partition and then install XP on it or install XP as FAT32. If at all possible, I would not install 98. This will overwrite your MBR but you can recover Mandrake with your install CD (F1) and rerun Lilo or make a boot floppy.
I was under the impression that when I was loading up XP, that it gave me an option of converting the drive to NTFS or leaving it the way it was (FAT32).
Some more information on the problem. I installed 98, then picked the option of a full installation (completely deleting my old windows drive - then installing XP over it). Then it asked me did I want to convert to NTFS, or leave it alone. I picked leave it alone.
I did this 4 times, installing Linux everytime afterwards...and everytime it wouldn't work =/ BTW, before I installed Linux, I made sure I could boot into WindowsXP if that makes any difference.
Bane you definitely get an A+ for persistance. First make a boot floppy for ML if you haven't already. Put your XP CD in and go to Recovery Console. At the prompt type "fixmbr". It should give you a "Do you want to " say Yes. This should restore XP. Check your C to make sure it's FAT32. (XP has been known to lie.) You can still boot ML9 off the floppy. You may have to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to A,C,whatever. When you get to there we'll rebuild Lilo to the Root partition instead of the MBR and boot Linux off the "ntldr".
This is an example using the Windows "ntldr" to boot XP,Debian,Slackware and Minslack (CLI only). I created a softlink from the /boot/image (vmlinuz or bzimage) to "/" in order to forego the pleasure of having 2 bootscreens and
booting straight to the kernel. The examples are from Slackware but they're generic. Here's an example of lilo.conf with everything commented out except the essentials.
# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hdb6
#message = /boot/boot_message.txt
#timeout = 1
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal
# End LILO global section
# DOS bootable partition config begins
# DOS bootable partition config ends
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /vmlinuz-ide-2.4.18
root = /dev/hdb6
label = Slackware
# Linux bootable partition config ends
Note that the image= is not in the /boot. Run "/sbin/lilo" If you get a "Warning" that this is not the first partition. You did good. Now create your bootsect file.
Copy the bootsect.slk to the drive where "ntldr" and "boot.ini" reside. (Normally C)by using a dos format floppy or e-mail it to yourself.(Not my idea but it was too cool) If your Windows drive is vfat just mount the drive and copy straight to it. Then add a line to "boot.ini" Here's mine.
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
Ahhh! I'll try that, thanks. I ended up deleting and reinstalling both my harddrives and reinstalling XP for now, because I have a COBOL program due that I need to work on. I'll probably retry this weekend.