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Used Bootmagic to select OS, booting directly to HDA or HDD, HDB would present LiLo on HDB to choose that install of 98 or Mandy 9.2
Then, virus or some other horrible MBR and/or FAT snafu necessitated reformat of HDA.
Reinstalled Win98SE on primary master, reinstalled Mandrake 9.2 on HDB, still with Win98SE on same drive, let LiLo write boot sector on HDA.
Booting Win98 on HDA or HDB worked fine as well as booting Mandrake 9.2
on HDB, no capability now of booting Mandrake 9.1 on HDD.
Now, if I remove the second hard drive (HDB, primary slave), BootMagic on HDA will boot that drive as well as Mandrake 9.1 on HDD. (With no drive present in the second position, or primary slave). Put that drive back in and Mandrake 9.1 on HDD will not boot.
If I place the second hard drive (Win98 with Mandrake 9.2) in the primary master position, Windows boots but BootMagic on that drive reports that it can not be installed because there is no bootable sector below 1024. A fresh install of Mandrake 9.2 on that drive fails and the installer can not see the two original linux partitions which, at one time, worked perfectly.
Question 1: Once linux is installed on any hard drive, can it still work if the drive position (and drive designation) is changed? In other words, if it was installed on or as HDB, can it be modified to work as HDA, or HDC or HDD?
Question 2: Is there any way that I can use Mandrake 9.1 on HDD to read my files on the Mandrake 9.2 installation, use that to move them elsewhere then simply reformat that particular drive and start from scratch?
As far as placing the CDRom in the third position rather than the fourth, it's simply a matter of space within the cabinet; things fit better that way.
All drives are on cable select and swapping their designations via bios doesn't seem to help the Mandrake booting problem at the moment.
I have converted a huge volume of RACER tracks to Linux and would really hate to lose them, else I'd simply wipe that drive in its entirety and start from scratch. Any or all ideas and suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks!
I finally managed to boot Mandrake 9.1 on HDD with that questionable primary slave containing Win98 and Mandy 9.2.
I disabled that drive via CMOS, used Bootmagic to boot Mandy 9.1 on HDD. The unhappy news appears to be that the second hard drive's partitions and file tables containing Mandrake 9.2 are corrupt if not wiped out altogether.
In Mandy 9.1, Harddrake reports free space of 55GB when those original linux partitions were roughly half that 30GB drive's size. Win98 is there when booting directly to that drive but, again, Harddrake fails to properly identify even those two FAT32 partitions.
I think I have my answer -- overwrite the heinous thing with zeros and start over. But I'd sure love to hear from anyone who may have a better idea? I'd still like to find a way to salvage some of those files.