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Old 11-02-2006, 10:36 AM   #1
lfjhn
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Win Recovery CD not usable. A Linux question?


Hello,

I am in a bit of a fix with a multi boot pc. And having done a keyword search over past questions, it seems likely that someone might be able to help here - windows forums were not very helpful.

Setup: 15 month-old P4 pc with all original hardware. Bought as a box with winxp installed. BIOS untouched. Currently installed with Winxp/Ubuntu 6.06.1/Suse 10.1. All of them working fine. WinXP works ok right now as I type.

Problem: Tried the Win recovery CD for reformatting the disk. After the "Press any key to boot from CD..." + <enter> screen goes and stays blank.

Note: Test on another pc suggest that the recovery CD is ok. Also, the boot CD-ROM drive seems fine too. Previous Win/Ubuntu set ups never gave any problem of this kind.

Has the above problem anything to do with the Linux installations? (Posters in win forums suggest yes.)

Any questions or suggestions?

Thanks,
J
--
 
Old 11-02-2006, 10:45 AM   #2
b0uncer
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Difficult to think so. If you consider a Linux installation, it's basically just some files on a formatted partition, which is quite all the same than if you had the same amount of mp3 music there. The files don't affect your system if you're not using them, and before you've booted any operating system, you don't use the files effectively (except that they do use disk space). Then there is bootloader; this is the only part that could affect your booting, but if that would be the case, you'd need to first enter the Linux bootloader. You can test this by crashing/removing/fuzzing your bootloader completely, after which none of your operating systems boot, but you are still able to enter BIOS and boot from a cd/dvd. So no, even the Linux bootloader can't affect your CD booting.

The problem is, I guess, that either your BIOS or more likely your screen settings have been changed in some way and once you boot off the Windows CD the screen can't comprehend with the information. This sounds most likely to me, since you're using a read-only filesystem when booting that cd, and since no operating system is running at the time, the only things that affect are BIOS and pre-set prefences like your screen's refresh rates etc.

Last edited by b0uncer; 11-02-2006 at 10:46 AM.
 
Old 11-02-2006, 12:00 PM   #3
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfjhn
Also, the boot CD-ROM drive seems fine too. Previous Win/Ubuntu set ups never gave any problem of this kind.
Can you boot from a Linux CD now? "Previously" does not count, and I can't tell if you've tried booting any other CD recently (not your Windows recovery CD). Your Ubuntu CD should serve as a LiveCD to test booting from.

Is your Windows recovery CD an original (i.e., a CD-ROM) or a copy (e.g., a CD-R or CD-RW)? It's plausible that a CD-R/RW would work on one system but not another. Not really expected these days, but still plausible. Also, if the recovery cd is scratched or has gunk on it, one CD drive may be able to error-correct it's way through the boot process while a different CD drive may not.

I do not know Windows recovery CD's (never used one). But you would have to expect that the thing should boot no matter what was found/not_found on the harddisk. It's whole purpose is to recover something that may be trashed. To have it die because something unexpected was found on the harddisk would make for a really stupid recovery CD. Microsoft may have made a stupid recovery CD, but I suspect you problem is elsewhere.
 
Old 11-02-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
lfjhn
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What you both say makes sense, but then again I am not sufficiently in-the-know to be quite certain.

Few notes that I did not put in the original post:

The recovery CD is the original CD-ROM - the one that was in the pc box when I bought it.

When I insert the Ubuntu installation CD I get the screen that gives the option to install it. This is one of the first things I tried after the problem started. This suggests that the screen settings are ok and the boot CD reader is ok too.

The installation CD-ROM when used in another pc proceeded (before I aborted it) beyond the stage that I get on my pc.

The last time I reformatted the disk and re-installed windows (and later the Ubuntu and later still Suse) was less than two months ago.

Hmmm.

Last edited by lfjhn; 11-02-2006 at 01:53 PM.
 
Old 11-02-2006, 02:00 PM   #5
farslayer
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Is the Windows CD Dirty, Covered with fingerprints, or scratched ? It does sound like the hardware is fine, so the problem is with the Media and that particular CDROM Drive.. Some Drives are better at recovering from Disc errors than others which may be why the CD can boot just fine on another system.

Clean any dirt or fingerprints from the CD
Quote:
To clean the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, use a disc cleaning kit, or gently wipe the silver side of the disc with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Do not use paper cloth as this can scratch the disc. Wipe the disc from the center, outward. Do not use a circular motion as this can scratch the disc.

If this does not resolve the issue, clean the disc by using a water-dampened cloth or a commercial CD cleaning solution or DVD cleaning solution. Dry the disc thoroughly before you put it into the drive.
 
Old 11-02-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
Zmyrgel
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Mine WinXP restore disc didn't operate until I had remove linux partitions from the HD altogether. I don't think M$ included support for ext3 or any other linux partition which could cause the problems. Create atleast a single fat32 or ntfs partition and then try the win cd.
 
Old 11-02-2006, 03:37 PM   #7
lfjhn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zmyrgel
Mine WinXP restore disc didn't operate until I had remove linux partitions from the HD altogether. I don't think M$ included support for ext3 or any other linux partition which could cause the problems. Create atleast a single fat32 or ntfs partition and then try the win cd.

But I use the Win CD-ROM to create and delete partitions. It would not be great to buy a partioning tool for just one use. I will look for freeware disk partitioners.

Thanks.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 09:27 PM   #8
royceH
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I myself use QTParted for partitioning, even windows partitions. It's an X program that I frist encounted when using Knoppix. It seems to come with most Debian flavours (I've used it in Knoppix,MEPIS,DSL and feather Linux live CDs for fixing windows of all kinds). I've never used Ubantu, but you might already have it if you've installed a KDE bundle.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 09:50 PM   #9
2damncommon
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Quote:
Problem: Tried the Win recovery CD for reformatting the disk. After the "Press any key to boot from CD..." + <enter> screen goes and stays blank.
Have you tried it with all devices removed except keyboard and mouse? Have you added new hardware?
 
Old 11-06-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
Duck2006
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Hello,
It may be in the MBR on the hard drive. As windows recovery CD is not can't read the MBR. If you will have to recover the MBR, by going in to the recover console and recovering the MBR.
 
Old 11-06-2006, 11:41 AM   #11
lfjhn
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Thumbs up Thank you all for you help

As expected the Windows Recovery CD was ok.

I took the less stressful option recommended here and in a Windows forum and I zapped the master boot record. This made the Recovery CD to load the installation program.

I downloaded the Ultimate Boot Basic freeware (among others) and I burned a bootable CD. I used that for booting up and then I nuked the MRB.

This is obviously not ideal as I do not have a diagnosis. But my knowledge of the innards of either OS is not sufficient for such dissection. But for now I know how to get out of such bind.

I am running now a WinXp/Ubuntu setup which never troubled me in the past.

A heartfelt thanks to all who posted.
++
 
  


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