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In an nutshell an extended partition allows one to create more then 4 partitions and is basically a container for logical partitions (anything >=5). hda2 was probably the extended partition where hda5 was located. So basically you wiped out everything except swap. Since hda5 does not exist anymore grub can not find the menu.lst file which is why you only see grub prompt. Since your prepared you might as well reinstall everything then try to recover.
Personally I wouldn't touch a disk with a trashed partition table like that. I might try testdisk to resurrect it.
Restoring an MBR (especially the partition table) after deleting partition(s) and reformatting cannot work.
Basically I'd erase the whole thing and restore the lot.
OK, here's what I did. Maybe it'll help some other noob if I post it, eh?
Tried the grub-install, but it didn't work because of the trashed partition table. That was good advice to not mess with it, I agree - it's not worth saving.
When I said I was prepared, of course that didn't mean I had a backup, heh! I got into Fedora rescue mode, mounted a 1GB flash drive and moved about 7GB of zip files, 1GB at a time. That rescue mode really saved my ass! I had to reboot a few times before I got it all right
As I write this I'm reinstalling Fedora, XP is gone gone gone, and now that I know enough to actually USE the 60GB in Linux, Fedora gets the whole drive. !
Here's the commands that I used, to the best of my recollection:
mount /mnt/sysimage/dev/sda1 /media
**zipped a bunch of files to /media
umount -a /mnt/sysimage/dev/sda1
When I was ready to repeat the process, Fedora kept telling me to specify a filesystem, which it didn't ask the first time. So a reboot after each 1GB was the order of the day. I also had to format the flash drive each time, which I did (fat) on an XP machine while rebooting Fedora. It is a Kingston flash drive. The hard drive is a Seagate 60GB circa 1995, ST3600something.
This was a very interesting experiment I hope to NEVER repeat. I'll be back soon as I try to set up my RAID drives! thanks
Last edited by armchair rambo; 02-26-2007 at 09:13 AM.
I was really suprised to see that NTFS partition. After 12 hours (including sleep, heh) I think I was in too much of a stupor to see what you just pointed out. I've broken/revided XP enough times to know fdisk /mbr --
BTW, an observation: it's worth switching from XP to linux just for the ease of backups! I have NEVER been able to restore an XP box to this state of readiness so quickly.
I don't believe v00d00101 suggestion will work, as (NT based) fixmbr looks for a valid partition before proceeding - must be a primary partition, must be marked bootable, and must contain ntldr. Based on some empirical test I have done, not having seen the code.
A small variation after zapping the MBR though - use fdisk to define a NTFS partition with the same start and size as above. This will work if the filesystem is undamaged.
Used to be fdisk wouldn't open a disk that didn't have the disk signature bytes so I habitually only zap 510 bytes.
You know that 60. gb is kind of under par for drive pace now a days. So I'd suggest that sense hard drive pace is $3.05 a gigabyte you could drop about 105.00 at tigerdirect and byuyy 320 gigbyte sata drive and have more than ten times the drive space you do now for 3.05 a gb.
cheap stat hard drive
Last edited by inspiron_Droid; 02-26-2007 at 09:33 PM.