Linux - NewbieThis Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question?
If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
I put forward an explanation why Grub installs two booting entries for a hard disk with a utility partition in sda1 and a Windows in sda2.
It is common for a PC manufacturer to load the drivers into a utility partition with a partition ID number specific to the manufacturer but foreign to a MS Windows. Inside there would have been the installation image of the MS Windows.
Here is the partition types supported with couple of the utility partition types reserved for some manufacturers
01 FAT12 12 Compaq diagnostics 4F QNX4.x 3rd part 81 Minix / old Linux A8 Darwin UFS E1 DOS access
02 XENIX root 14 Hidden FAT16 <32M 50 OnTrack DM 82 Linux swap / Solaris A9 NetBSD E3 DOS R/O
03 XENIX usr 16 Hidden FAT16 51 OnTrack DM6 Aux1 83 Linux AB Darwin boot E4 SpeedStor
04 FAT16 <32M 17 Hidden HPFS/NTFS 52 CP/M 84 OS/2 hidden C: drive B7 BSDI fs EB BeOS fs
05 Extended 18 AST SmartSleep 53 OnTrack DM6 Aux3 85 Linux extended B8 BSDI swap EE GPT
06 FAT16 1B Hidden W95 FAT32 54 OnTrackDM6 86 NTFS volume set BB Boot Wizard hidden EF EFI (FAT-12/16/32)
07 HPFS/NTFS 1C Hidden W95 FAT32 (LB 55 EZ-Drive 87 NTFS volume set BE Solaris boot F0 Linux/PA-RISC boot
08 AIX 1E Hidden W95 FAT16 (LB 56 Golden Bow 88 Linux plaintext BF Solaris F1 SpeedStor
09 AIX bootable 24 NEC DOS 5C Priam Edisk 8E Linux LVM C1 DRDOS/sec (FAT-12) F4 SpeedStor
0A OS/2 Boot Manager 39 Plan 9 61 SpeedStor 93 Amoeba C4 DRDOS/sec (FAT-16 < F2 DOS secondary
0B W95 FAT32 3C PartitionMagic recov 63 GNU HURD or SysV 94 Amoeba BBT C6 DRDOS/sec (FAT-16) FB VMware VMFS
0C W95 FAT32 (LBA) 40 Venix 80286 64 Novell Netware 286 9F BSD/OS C7 Syrinx FC VMware VMKCORE
0E W95 FAT16 (LBA) 41 PPC PReP Boot 65 Novell Netware 386 A0 IBM Thinkpad hiberna DA Non-FS data FD Linux RAID autodetec
0F W95 Ext'd (LBA) 42 SFS 70 DiskSecure Multi-Boo A5 FreeBSD DB CP/M / CTOS / ... FE LANstep
10 OPUS 4D QNX4.x 75 PC/IX A6 OpenBSD DE Dell Utility FF BBT
11 Hidden FAT12 4E QNX4.x 2nd part 80 Old Minix A7 NeXTSTEP DF BootIt
When a user purchases a new PC and power it up the utility partition sda1 will get booted and MS installer will be installed the Windows into a second partition sda2. The active partition can then be switched from sda1 to sda2 and Windows will get booted later on. The manufacturer's partition is regarded as foreign and won't get mounted but otherwise available when needed.
I have seen enough Linux installers to confirm that a Linux installer always searches every partition of every hard disk and includes it as a booting alternative if the boot sector is not empty and has a boot sector code inside.
Since sda1 has to be a bootable partition when the PC is first switched on and sda2 now has a MS Windows so both could have entries in Grub's boot menu.
Grub never knows what kind of Windows inside sda2 so it would just name it as Windows and whatever information it could obtain for sda1.
This is no an error as normally the installer would give the user a chance to re-name each booting choice but most users simply accept the default and never think of it again.
I have tried booting 100+ Linux before and the simplest way to do it is by putting the boot loader inside each partition. This fills the boot sector and triggers the partition being included for booting. Once a boot loader constructed the entire booting menu from every system. This behaviour is pretty standard in the Linux installers.
0ok its win 7 and both partitions have a boot folder in them like when i look at sda1 and sda2 ive tryed to boot into both of them both have failed i have not tryed reply num 29 but its not my computer so i cant just be there to look at it....
To restore a Sony VIAO, press the F8 key during boot-up (booting into the recovery partition from bios as mentioned a few hours ago). This is assuming it is running the operating system that came pre-installed on the computer. You should have the option to keep all data and just recover the operating system, which should in turn get it booting properly. You may also have the option to just fix the boot loader.
If you cannot boot into your recovery partition, there may be utilities available from Sony's site that can be burned to CD or similar which will boot it, (again, as previously mentioned).
This page may be of some help. After a little reading and clicking on links provided. I recommend using the "Reinstall Programs or Drivers" which should also give the option to access VAIO Hardware Diagnostics which may resolve the problem without a recovery. Click on the links of the options you have in the recovery partition and read up.
After you get Windows back, come back here for help to restore grub with your Ubuntu Live CD, OR... god forbid...Super Grub disk.
Did a little deductive reasoning, you did not mention the model number of the VIAO, using the model number one would probably find it originally came with Vista. And the recovery partition has been deleted. The small partition is either a boot or system partition. If one tried out Win 7 by installing in a second drive, it would have created a boot partition on the first drive. Then, after becoming fond of Win 7, turn around and installed over Vista on the first drive and deleted the now not-required recovery partition, since one create recovery CDs before deleting Vista and recovery partition, it is not needed. But the little partition had to stay. Why?...
Well, I had a friend whose Vista broke down on a Toshiba lappy. I told him I would fix it and also install a trial of Win 7 since the drive had lots of space. But I opted to put Win 7 in the first (fastest) partition as I knew he would eventually prefer it. Trouble is, when I deleted all four original partitions on the drive, (boot, system, recovery and OS partitions), there was no space left on the drive to recreate partitions. That caught me off guard, never seen that before, good thing I had a dd backup image of the drive before I did anything and recovered everything.
Then I proceeded to delete/wipe just the last three partitions and keep the little one at the beginning, (similar to this case). I created a partition (primary) for installing Win 7 and allocated it high on the drive to leave 1 GB of free space at the beginning of the drive including the little partition as there was a bad sector in this area that originally put Vista on hiatus, then deleted the little partition. This worked, it seemed that without that little partition, the drive appeared useless and could not be used till the partition table contained information regarding another partition, only then the little one could be deleted and the drive still had a partition and remaining free space. I then shrunk the new partition to make room for installing the original Vista off newly created recovery CDs at the back of the drive.
I'm starting to think we are facing a similar situation and that's why the little partition is still there. Because by rights, this VIAO should have at least three original partitions, (system, recovery, OS), possibly four like the Toshiba I worked on, but all that is left is the little one and the OS partition. And the little system partition is still there because there appeared to be no usable drive without it.
Go ahead and get rid of it like I did on the Toshiba, you have the recovery CDs you created before getting rid of Vista to fall back on.
well actually i have a win 7 recovery disk but my issue is that i cant even get into any thing to try to save the boot loader for windows i can boot into the cd and i have tryed to repair the installation though and have had no such luck and yes it did come with vista but i wiped and reformated the WHOLE disk so i have no idea whats going on though
I'll drop a link to the best tutorial for restoring Windows 7 boot loader with installation media, and a link to restore Windows boot loader in the MBR without installation media (Section 16), and pull out of this one because I don't think you are being straight up with us, or to quote Saikee, a lack of information from the OP. In post #12 it is clearly obvious there are two NTFS partitions, neither of which I'm sure was created by the Linux installer. I've installed Windows 7 umpteen times on single drive systems and it does not create a separate boot partition unless specified during installation. So you obviously did not reformat/wipe the entire drive.
You're telling me you don't know what's going on, and a couple people in this thread have told you umpteen times to eliminate the little partition and reinstall grub which should do the trick licketty split, but it appears we are talking to a rock.
Members in here can rebuild your Win7 boot loader system files from scratch but we need to know the history of what you have done to the Win7 partition.
If Win7 has been installed as the first partition recognised by its isntallaer then the system files will have "drive C" stamped all over. IF you formatted sda1 as a ntfs partition then the Win7 boot loader will have to call your Win7 in sda2 as the drive D while giving the drive C status to the newly formatted sda1because it would be unavoidably detected fefore sda2. Your Win7 will never boot again because the system files no longer match the drive letter.
Our strategy in Post #24 is to hide the sda1 so that your Win7 in sda2 can become a c-drive again.
If you don't want to try it let us know and we shall stop. If you have tried it and it doesn't work let us know the error message. We have assumed your Win7 partition was previously bootable and has not been damaged. There Grub should be able to fire it up.
We could also advise on how to rebuild the boot loader files inside WIn7 partition with the intsllation DVD, so that it is booted by Win7's own boot loader, but we need to know the error information why it isn't booting now.
look guys i am trying but A this is not my computer so i dont have access to it all the time and B i have tryed every thing you have asked except removing the partition i have hid it i have tryed to force boot the sda2 partition and i have tryed to recover windows i have put the cd in and booted into windows and selected command line to see if i could fdisk it and all i got was error this command does not exist in fact i have tryed even basic commands and it says error command does not exist so i have tryed all you asked except removing the partition cuz the people im working with WILL NOT LET ME
edit: also when i select it it only reboots i get no error at all there is nothign it just puts it back to post and then bios then grub agan.
Step one says to put the vista/win 7 INSTALLATION CD/DVD...
You indicate you are using a Recovery CD?
You might take a look at this site, I've not used it and am not sure if it will work but neosmart makes the EasyBCD software used to modify windows vista/win 7 bootloader which seems to work quite well:
or do a search of MS knowledge base for fixmbr or for the above link forum
2) One of the issues...which occurs on a frequent basis....is MS users not being told the truth....MS calls its first partition C drive....when it might be C partition or if you have a recovery partition ....it might be D partition.
Linux calls those partitions other things....but I know it can get confusing for a MS user.....so go to MS site and get it fixed please.
ok ive deleated the partition and now windows has defaulted its self back to c drive and it still restarts when i try to boot into it i have my grub to boot into (hd0,2) which means its trying to boot from sda2 right so it should be booting but its not now im not getting a boot.ini file or boot.exe in the boot file on the drive it says a large amounts of files that have different languages then bcd bcd.log bootstat.dat and memtest.exe