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Old 06-27-2005, 06:12 AM   #1
tarwood
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Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Utah
Distribution: Knoppix, SuSE
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Question Linux install gone wrong, Now Theres no windows boot...


SPECS:
AMD 2800+
NF7-S MB v.1.1
1GB ram
ATI 9700 pro
NEC DVD-RW
Yamaha CD-RW

Primary Drive= Maxtor 200GB
C:\ windows xp 25GB (NTFS)
D:\ misc 55GB (NTFS)
E:\ misc 55GB (NTFS)
F:\ Linux 55GB
Slave Drive= Fireball 30GB
G:\ misc (NTFS)

Internet= ADSL, i.e. DHCP

Ok my first mistake was to install linux for the first time @ 0200. I have WIndows XP pro on my C: dirve and installed SUSE 9.1 pro on my F: (same hard drive). I goofed with the partitioning and now am not able to boot from Windows. Get a missing Hal.dll error. I am able to boot from Linux just fine and am able to access all my partitions. When I've tried to access the Windows partition from the boot disk (repair mode). It does not recognize the partitions any longer. Shows up as 135GB of unpartitioned space...

First question; How do I recover my Windows partitions? Without loosing my data.

Second; How do I fix the Windows boot?

Third; How do I set up the internet connection from the SUSE 9.1 install. I am currently using the SUSE 9.3 Live disk and it set everything up automatically. P.S. Knoppix is also able to recognize my internet connection.

Fourth; Should I continue to use SUSE or try something else. I had a copy of SUSE 9.1 pro eval DVD on hand and decided to try it. SHOULD HAVE READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST!!! My main concern is my wife. I'm tired of using Windows and want something that will be easy for her to use. She's not very computer savy, though she's a good learner. Any ideas/suggestions?
 
Old 06-27-2005, 06:44 AM   #2
gkiagia
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NTFS resize troubleshoot
Suse 9.1-Windows No longer boots

These links might help you fix the windows problem. It is known that suse 9.1 makes windows not to boot. You should have tried a newer version like 9.2 or 9.3 that includes these bug fixes.

To configure the internet connection use yast.

I think Suse is good but I have not used any other distros exept knoppix and mandrake 7.2 (once upon a time).
 
Old 06-27-2005, 07:39 AM   #3
Hosiah
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Well, my guess is, you're hosed! Either the entire Windows partition got wiped, or Suse stepped on the Windows boot sector when it wrote the Lilo boot record, but didn't touch anything else. If the case is the later, it could be that your data is still there, but inacsessible because there's no file-system-index "pointer" to it. You might as well try all of this before you just give up:

Ummmmmm.....what a mess!

OK, first off, do you have a Windows boot disk? This would be a disk with some DOS tools on it, should be enough to get the system running so you can *see* your files, at least. If not, I believe you can get one off the net.

If you turn the computer on and it at least starts Windows from the DOS screen, try holding down the "F8" key when you turn the machine on. This gets DOS/Windows "safe mode", where you can look at your disk from a DOS prompt.

Lacking the above measures, an excellent site is http://www.toms.net/rb/ , Tom's root/boot floppy. Good floppy-based Linux for disk rescue, but my guess is you wouldn't even need it when you can already get Suse going.

You should try mounting MS file systems from Linux as "vfat" or "fat32" or something, try "man mount" for details, it will list every available mount type. For instance, I mount my Windows drive from Linux:
"mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/hd"

If missing "Hal.dll" is the only problem, perhaps if you downloaded it from the net and re-installed it? Most dll files reside in C:\Program Files\Common Files, but actually they're scattered all over the system.

All of the above were no help: It's a slim chance, but I've seen Windows, when re-installed, find files from the previous installation. This will louse up your Suse install, but if it finds your previous data...

If you *ever* get to see your files again, my advice would be: (a) to copy them all to either disk or USB drive, (b) erase the entire drive, (c) install Windows again, and (d) install Suse again, this time taking it slow! Visit:
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/howtos.html and check out the "HOWTO's" (by convention in the Linux world, HOWTO's are topic-specific guides written for the layman level, the equivalent of "For Dummies" books), pay attention to anything mentioning DOS/Windows.

And last of all: when I first put Linux and Windows on the same machine, I put two different disks on it. A 6-Gig or so hard drive can be bought used out of the local comp store's "bargain bin" for as little as five dollars. I already had Windows running on the machine as it came out-of-the-box (incidentally, this was never my Windows. I got the whole machine free when a friend tossed it out. Replaced the powerbox.), I put the second hard-drive on the second socket in the IDE cable, set it to "slave", and installed Linux on that. When the Linux installer asked me how I should set up boot, I told it to make a boot floppy *only*.

I did this specifically because I'd read one post too many just like yours, and didn't want to end up in the same fate! The way I have it now, the machine runs no differently from before - Windows is blissfully unaware. When I stick in the boot floppy and reboot, *presto*, it's a Linux machine, and Linux can even mount the Windows drive, (essential for de-virusing Windows!). Anyway, Windows insists on owning sector 0 of drive 0 - the "Master boot record", and anything written there breaks it. How bootloaders like Lilo and Grub handle Linux is something of a mystery to me.

Don't worry too much about Linux space requirements: unlike Windows, Linux can run in a shoe-box, it doesn't care. I have one machine with a new motherboard, a Gig of RAM...and the only permanent memory on it is the 270-MegaByte hard drive, originally pulled out of a box running Windows 3.0! Damn Small Linux runs just fine, there, and it's a fully-capable modern system. Actually, it's main purpose is to run live distros and be a "crash-test-dummy" for my C programs.

By the way, the thing you're trying to do (recover lost files) is a whole art in itself known as "forensics", as in when the police get a hard drive in a criminal case and have to recover deleted evidence from it. Just to say, there *are* ways of recovering data in just about every scenario. There are even Linux distros specifically made to handle forensics, check out: http://distrowatch.com/ and go to "search" page and select both "forensics" and "rescue".

Good Luck!!!
 
Old 06-27-2005, 10:38 AM   #4
mdg
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How are you booting into linux? Lilo, grub or floppy?

If you can mount your windows partition in suse and can open files/directories in it, your data should be safe. Don't give up hope and reformat, unless you feel that's the quickest fix for your situation.

There are a few ideas here about hal.dll problems and how to fix them.
 
Old 06-27-2005, 10:47 AM   #5
TheGiantPotato
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Dual-boot safe distro

I'm horribly sorry about your Windows partition. That would really suck if you had a lot of data you needed on that side of your computer. However, you did mention that you can access both drives from SuSE. My suggestion, in the event that you absolutely cannot fix your boot problem (as the one reply stated, SuSE is known to have a few problems dual-booting, as it eats into the Windows boot loader when it installs LILO), and Windows it entirely pooched:

- Determine if you absolutely need a Windows OS running on that computer or not (games are generally the determining factor in this decision for most people, unless you have some Windows-specific software you absolutely must use for work...)

If you must have Windows:
1. Boot to SuSE
2. Access your user-level data on the Windows drive (images, pdfs, music, any other documnents, game saves, financial record data if you use any money-manager programs, ticker records if you mess with financial analysis, etc.)
3. Back all that up to a CD or two... or three... or a DVD if you are so fortunate to have this capacity
4. With all that data safetly tucked away on good, durable, external media, reinstall whatever version of Windows you happen to like. (Definitely recommend XP in this case for tha average user)
5. Dual install a popular distro that uses a more robust and modernized boot-loader such as GRUB (hope that doesn't start a flame war by itself), and is known to have no dual-boot issues.

If you don't need Windows:
1. Boot to SuSE
2. Access whatever user-level data on Windows that you like/need.
3. Back that all up on CD/DVD.
4. Single-install SuSE if you like it, or another flavor of your choice. You can always change what you are running without too much pain so long as you make a separate partition at least for /home.

I would recommend Fedora Core 4, personally, as it is what I use now after trying a few others. I do dual-boot two different systems, a laptop and a desktop. The laptop has one physical drive multiply partitioned, the desktop has two physical drives multiply partitioned.

Just as a note of advice on partitioning. Partition the Windows drive into at least two (three if you want a "recovery partition"). One partition would be where the OS resides, the other partition would be much larger and be where your documents and third-party software reside. This way you can upgrade, reinstall, completely screw up, or do whatever to the OS portion without having to affect the user data you have. Windows doesn't naturally conform to this idea the way Unix does with mount points, so you will have to spend a little time making links (shortcuts) to your other partition's MyDocuments folder, etc.

The Linux drive should be similarly partitioned. I tend to believe in three or four partitions. The first being the OS's realm, the second being where /home is mounted (the same concept as splitting where your user data and your OS reside on your Windows drive), an optional partition for /usr if you don't want to re-install third-party software every time you install a new flavor of Linux (or commit to a full-install to upgrade instead of choosing "upgrade" for whatever flavor you like... this is another point to recommend Fedora Core on, as their upgrade option tends to work with far fewer kinks than SuSE so far... and these are the best of the bunch in this area), and a swap partition.

Hope this gives you a foundation to base whatever decision you make.

Sorry to hear about your mishap. Good luck. Any other questions, fire away!
 
Old 06-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
tarwood
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Location: Utah
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Re: Dual-boot safe distro

First before I get to anymore, do I need to keep SUSE 9.1 installed to recover my partitions? Or can I install another version, and then go back and recover all the data? Or is it just better to keep 9.1 up till I do recover the partitions? This is a simple case of "leap than look" huh??? LOL Most of my previous problems were simply corrected with a reinstall. Never figured that all my partitions would be wiped out. At least make windows think they are... Time to really play doctor...

AND

How do I go about getting my ADSL connection up in 9.1??? With this 9.3 live disk & Knoppix, they have no prblem recognizing my connection. Just this darn 9.1 version.




Quote:
Originally posted by TheGiantPotato
If you must have Windows:
1. Boot to SuSE
2. Access your user-level data on the Windows drive (images, pdfs, music, any other documnents, game saves, financial record data if you use any money-manager programs, ticker records if you mess with financial analysis, etc.)
3. Back all that up to a CD or two... or three... or a DVD if you are so fortunate to have this capacity
4. With all that data safetly tucked away on good, durable, external media, reinstall whatever version of Windows you happen to like. (Definitely recommend XP in this case for tha average user)
5. Dual install a popular distro that uses a more robust and modernized boot-loader such as GRUB (hope that doesn't start a flame war by itself), and is known to have no dual-boot issues.
Couple questions here,

one; when I retreive the files from linux am I going to be able to use them later on in Windows? With Windows as NTFS & isn't Linux FAT32?

two; with the partitions being able to be seen from linux, is there anyway to rebuild the partitions without performing a reinstall? They are there, just whatever WIndows uses to recognize them has been wiped out.

three; GRUB? This is my first experience with Linux, (should have read up more before installing...) How do I go about using this GRUB program before installing Linux & Windows.




Quote:
Originally posted by TheGiantPotato
The Linux drive should be similarly partitioned. I tend to believe in three or four partitions. The first being the OS's realm, the second being where /home is mounted (the same concept as splitting where your user data and your OS reside on your Windows drive), an optional partition for /usr if you don't want to re-install third-party software every time you install a new flavor of Linux (or commit to a full-install to upgrade instead of choosing "upgrade" for whatever flavor you like... this is another point to recommend Fedora Core on, as their upgrade option tends to work with far fewer kinks than SuSE so far... and these are the best of the bunch in this area), and a swap partition.

So your saying to do the same with Linux as windows? I have learned the hard way to do this with windows. Now what would this swap partition be used for? And with a 200GB dirve what % would be recommended? I do play games when I get some free time (which as you get older, seems to be less of...). What is the recommended size of a windows partition? I have it currently set @ 25GB, too much? I am going to try and use Linux as my main system here. So maybe I'll just look for programs that have Linux support. Though I would still like to have the windows, just in case.




Quote:
Originally posted by mdg
How are you booting into linux? Lilo, grub or floppy?

If you can mount your windows partition in suse and can open files/directories in it, your data should be safe. Don't give up hope and reformat, unless you feel that's the quickest fix for your situation.

There are a few ideas here about hal.dll problems and how to fix them.
I assume that I am booting with Lilo, because from windows my partitions are no longer being recognized. Honestly I don't think the hal.ddl is something to worry about now. It just might be missing BECAUSE so is the partition... lol. oh well, I don't have time to monkey around with this right now, will get to it tonight after work. I'll try all you suggestions, a appreciate the advise. Cross the fingers, huh...
 
Old 06-28-2005, 06:41 AM   #7
Hosiah
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Quote:
Cross the fingers, huh...
lol, and next time save installing new operating systems for a weekend project...
 
Old 06-28-2005, 08:00 AM   #8
d1l2w3
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I understand that running a dual boot XP and Linux box is a headache.
I really don't know since I dumped XP.

The following is how I solved the same problem.
Using W98 and MDK 10.2.
MDK uses 'lilo' as a boot loader.
Suze uses 'grub'.
It may or may not work for you.

Use the first install CD as a rescue disk.
The rescue menu has several options.
Select 'restore the boot loader'.
Do not select Restore Windows MBR.
Remove CD and reboot.
You should now have Windows and Suze.

As I said; this worked for me.
It may not work with Suze.

As far as the easiest to use; all distros have live cd's.
They run off the CD and install nothing on your box.
They are free to download.
Just Google with '[NAME OF DISTRO] live cd'.
Also, take a look at www.distrowatch.com
Try them all.

My preference is Mandrake (now known as Mandriva).
However, I just installed Ubuntu on my laptop.
Ubuntu is a spinoff of Debian Sarge.
Talk about an easy install. Ubuntu found everything.
All I had to do was reboot.

dlw

Last edited by d1l2w3; 06-28-2005 at 08:34 AM.
 
Old 06-28-2005, 10:22 AM   #9
steve007
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If you can get your hands on ERD Commander, write it to a cd and boot from it. It may be able to at least do a system restore of your system. if your pc is on a network you can transfer files across to another pc on the network. you can do allot actually with ERD Commander, 2005 is the latest edition. it will only work if you can boot from the ERD disc, hope it works for you but not sure if it will if the partitions have gone.
 
Old 06-29-2005, 06:14 AM   #10
tarwood
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Question Partitions???

Ok I'm just going to scrap the old config and start over from scratch. I just downloaded SUSE 9.3 (any other recommendations on distro's???) and will install this along with Windows XP.

Now how should I partition my HD? As mentioned earlier I have a 200GB drive. I was thinking at least 15GB for windows, 50GB for a spare partition in windows, 2GB for the Linux swap and what??? That leaves 133GB, I was reading that they recommend having /boot, /home, /usr and /tmp partitions at the minimun. I want room in the future to try other distro's.
 
Old 06-29-2005, 06:15 AM   #11
tarwood
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P.S. Thanks for all the advice...
 
Old 10-29-2005, 10:21 PM   #12
joschi1
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I've had this problem a couple of times with Windows XP complaining that it couldn't find hal.dll after I installed Linux (ubuntu and debian) on a separate partition. This article was useful, although not very encouraging at first:

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm

(Take the hardrive out of my laptop and fixing it with some suspect Windows utilites on another machine? Yikes.)

I was lucky this time though because I had Windows 98 on the first partition, XP on the second and Debian on the third and fourth. After Debian massaged my partitions they were identified as:

Win98 on 1
XP on 5 (?)
Linux on 3
Swap on 4

So, the Windows boot.ini was actually on the first partition which I could still get to with 98. In Notepad it said:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP

The 4 didn't make sense so I changed it to 5 (thinking Debian had apparently labeled the partition 5). Rebooted and got a different error message when I tried to select XP. Went to 98 again, edited that value to 2 (thinking its actually the second partition) and got the original hal.dll error. Once again, this time to 3 and voila, everything is back to normal and all my XP files are intact.

So I suggest trying to find a way to edit the boot.ini file and experimenting with that value before trying anything else. I don't know if the XP CD Rescue utility will let you manually edit that file, and trying to access that partition from the linux side is tricky because of not being able to write to NTFS disks. But I'll bet that's where your problem lies.

(By the way, I DID let Debian write Grub to the MBR but appranetly that wasn't the problem. Also I installed in this order: 98, XP Linux.)
 
  


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