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Old 07-06-2004, 01:46 PM   #1
thejmfc
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Jenison, MI
Distribution: Debian 4.0
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SuSE not working out for me. How to remove it and grub? (dual boot w/98)


First off, just let me say that I did a search or two on the subject, and got some good information, but no post that I saw was exactly my situation, etc... And so, I hoped that I could get some specific direction from you all.

Secondly, I am a newbie; a windoze citizen blindly paddling his homemade raft across the sea to the land of freedom, the land of Linux. Please don't hurt me for my ignorance.

Okay, my problem. I have windows 98 on my primary drive (c, or hdc, as the linux install programs recognize it). Driven mad by the instability of windows, I tried to install SuSE 9.1 (personal download version) on a second drive (hdd). The install did not go well, errors happened, it took about 4 hours, and KDE will not run. But that is a whole other post, I'm afraid. As I'm sure most all of you know, SuSE installs GRUB so that I am now able to select windows or linux on boot up. I want to wipe my second hard drive clean and try another distro, perhaps Mandrake, but I tried that already and could not get windows 98 to boot at all. I had to reinstall SuSE (4 hours), just so that GRUB would let me get back to my native windows. I am quite sure that I had SuSe put GRUB in the default location, the mbr.

So... how can I remove GRUB and revert it back to it's previous behavior of simply loading up windows on startup?

Also, is there a better way of doing this next time, so that I won't have this problem? Not using Grub? Placing Grub in a different place? I've seen a floppy suggested...

And like I said previously, SuSE did not work for me. When I try to boot it up, it has warnings of missing files. I can get a simple command prompt and login, but when I type in KDE, it tries to open it and fails with many error messages (missing files, etc). Have you any ideas where I went wrong with SuSE, or should I consider another Distro? I have heard that Mandrake is easier to use, but less stable.

Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
Old 07-06-2004, 01:52 PM   #2
XavierP
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http://support.microsoft.com/search/...&srchExtraQry=

What problems exactly were you having? With the missing files, it could be that you had simply not installed everything you should have, didn't follow the correct procedure or have a corrupted disk.
 
Old 07-06-2004, 02:20 PM   #3
thejmfc
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Jenison, MI
Distribution: Debian 4.0
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Well, I regret that I did not copy down the list of errors upon installation, or what files/folders it claims to be unable to find on bootup. I installed everything recommended. The only settings that I did play with were the hard drive partitions, since it was by default going to partially install it on my c drive, and I wanted to have it all on my second drive.

I suspect that it is either a bad download or burn. The install program doesn't allow for much deviation from their procedure. It's quite automated. Deathly slow though. Does it always take 4+ hours?

Another possibility, in my mind is that I have a bad hard drive. It was given to me, and I was told that it worked when it came out, but all I have done to verify that was to partition it, format it and run scandisk from windows, all of which checked out just fine. I didn't actually write anything to it though, until I tried to install Linux.

Funny thing is, I first tried to install Mandrake 10.0, but apparently I had a corrupt disc there too. I couldn't even get through the install process there. (sorry, don't remember the error messages there either...)

Right now though I am mostly in damage control mode, and want to get grub off and back to where I was, pre-SuSE, just for my own piece of mind.
 
Old 07-06-2004, 06:46 PM   #4
vdogvictor
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QWhat are your specs? takes me about 40 minutes. you may be bad about the file download or cd being bad, I have had damaged floppies that still managed to be readable but the read time was lengthened by like 10-20 times, maybe the same happens w/ bad burnt cd's. Oh yeah, i fyou want to keep windows safe then take out the windows drive and install w/ only the suse drive in, also tell suse to check it for bad sectors. Does it make loud clicking sounds? Getting the MBR back to normal is just a matter of typing fdisk /mbr from a win98SE boot disk you can make from the add/remove programs thing in control panel I believe.

Last edited by vdogvictor; 07-06-2004 at 06:49 PM.
 
Old 07-06-2004, 07:33 PM   #5
2damncommon
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If you are unsure of a hard drive, download the manufactuerer's utility disk and check the drive.

More than the default can be done during a Suse install, but it is not easy to find how. I had to look around in and out of menus to find how to set up install partitions the way I wanted.

A Windows boot floppy containing Window's fdisk program is the way to get rid of Grub. A search for "fdisk /mbr" should turn up about a million hits. Making a floppy or booting from the Suse CD should work if you would rather not install a boot loader. I booted Suse 6.4 from a boot floppy the whole time I was using it.

As for your errors, you really need to note the exact error to be able to follow up on it very well.

Had you tried the Suse live CD on your computer? It runs from CD without installation to the hard drive.
Gives a nice idea of what to expect.
Knoppix is a great Live CD version of Linux you may want to try also. Knoppix is a better all around Live CD.

Good Luck

Last edited by 2damncommon; 07-06-2004 at 07:35 PM.
 
Old 07-06-2004, 10:33 PM   #6
vectordrake
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This sounds like a possible RAM issue. Try downloading memtest86 (or runningit from the suse disk if its an option) and running it for a few hours to see if you have bad ram? Are you checking the md5 sums of the downloaded files?
 
Old 07-06-2004, 10:53 PM   #7
C T
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Cape Cod
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suse 9.1

I also have had no luck in booting suse. i have the 9.1 cds but all I get is errors usually about error in booting attempt. no amount of coaching could get this system on to my computer.
C T
Quote:
Originally posted by 2damncommon
If you are unsure of a hard drive, download the manufactuerer's utility disk and check the drive.

More than the default can be done during a Suse install, but it is not easy to find how. I had to look around in and out of menus to find how to set up install partitions the way I wanted.

A Windows boot floppy containing Window's fdisk program is the way to get rid of Grub. A search for "fdisk /mbr" should turn up about a million hits. Making a floppy or booting from the Suse CD should work if you would rather not install a boot loader. I booted Suse 6.4 from a boot floppy the whole time I was using it.

As for your errors, you really need to note the exact error to be able to follow up on it very well.

Had you tried the Suse live CD on your computer? It runs from CD without installation to the hard drive.
Gives a nice idea of what to expect.
Knoppix is a great Live CD version of Linux you may want to try also. Knoppix is a better all around Live CD.

Good Luck
 
Old 07-07-2004, 12:05 AM   #8
thejmfc
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Jenison, MI
Distribution: Debian 4.0
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Thank you all for your helpful replies!

For vdogvictor, My Specs:

Pentium III 800mhz
256 meg ram
That's all I can think of that would be relevant... Not anything slow enough to cause such a slow install, if it can be done in 40 minutes.

Good call on removing the windows drive entirely next time. I just may do that.

Before going any farther, I will do a thorough test of both the hard drive and memory.

I was going to check the md5 sums, but I got impatient and or lazy. You can bet I will next time though.

Again, thanks for putting up with my ignorance. I'll post again after I test a few things.

<edit>This is somewhat unrelated. My motherboard has two places for IDE cables to plug in, labled IDE1 and IDE2. Does it matter which of these cables go to the hard drives or to the CD drives? Right now it's set up so that the IDE1 is the CD drives, and IDE2 being the hard drives, and that seems backwards to me. Anyway, just curious if it actually mattered or not? </edit>

Last edited by thejmfc; 07-07-2004 at 12:27 AM.
 
Old 07-07-2004, 06:33 AM   #9
James-jmpm
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: uk
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I am a newbie also. I tried downloading and installing mandrake 10 twice and re-burning the iso's many times but failed. I am using the mandrake 9.1 disks I downloaded about a year ago, they work fine. I don't know about suse but when I boot from my mandrake disk one I can press f1 for more options (instead of install) and type rescue at the prompt. This gives me options to restore the windows mbr or repair the linux one (lilo, grub). I'm not so sure about hardware errors though if your hardware had a fault I would suspect you having the same problems with windows. For a windows solution though simply insert your win98 cd, boot from it then insert a blank floppy type format a: /s this will copy the system files (io.sys, msdos.sys) to the floppy. Then you can just copy them to your c: drive. oh! run fdisk /mbr first to restore the windows mbr 'cos you may not need to copy the system files if it's just the mbr that's bad... I think that's how it works
 
Old 07-07-2004, 11:43 AM   #10
thejmfc
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Jenison, MI
Distribution: Debian 4.0
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Well I did a few tests last night. The memory checks out just fine, but the hard drive manufacturer's utility says that the drive has problems which the utility cannot fix. I suspect that the hard drive is part of the problem, if not all of it. I'll have to try a live version while I try to find another cheap, lightly used drive.

Thanks again for all of the help, I've learned alot.
 
Old 07-07-2004, 12:26 PM   #11
Basslord1124
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I was about to say it sounds hardware related. I had a computer one time I picked up from a friend to use as a Linux box, "Luckystar" (sounds like a winner right?) motherboard and what not and had Win98 on it...needless to say I couldn't get anything to install without some errors...various distrib. of Linux, Windows 2000, nothing. It was a 400mhz AMD machine. Now Linux (Fedora) is on a 1.5GHz machine so yeah, major upgrade too from that previous hunk of junk.
 
  


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