OK, here's the problem.
I have Gentoo, and since this morning everything went fine. I was able to boot into Linux as well as into WinXP. Unfortunately, some programs that I have run only under Windows, and Wine isn't ready to run them. My IBM Thinkpad comes with the preinstalled data on a "strange partition", which isn't shown into the main table. There's why I don't want to reinstall XP: it'll erase my Linux partitions.
I had some unallocated space, so I created another partition that it has been written BEFORE hda1 (who knows why...), my former NTFS part., now called hda4. I did it with WinXP (big mistake, I know), under the "Administration tools" that M$oft provides. When I booted to linux, I discovered that my swap partition passed from hda3 to hda2, and that I had to rewrite my /etc/fstab in order to have everything working again.
I had then to modify lilo.conf (changed "other=/dev/hda1" (original NTFS) to "other=/dev/hda4"), and I rerun lilo. See below, there's my partition table:
The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 5168.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
(e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)
Comando (m per richiamare la guida): p
Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 5168 cylinders
Units = cilindri of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes
Dispositivo Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 1 2 15119+ b W95 FAT32
/dev/hda2 3 68 498960 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda3 69 3390 25114320 85 Linux esteso
/dev/hda4 * 3391 4763 10379848+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda5 69 2007 14658808+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda6 2008 3390 10455448+ 83 Linux
Comando (m per richiamare la guida):
Now, whenever I try to boot into Windows, it says, on a black screen of death, that hal32.dll in windows\system32\ is missing. Then it stops. Ugh.
Where's the trick? hal32 is there (mounting the ntfs under linux in ro mode). Probably something to do with initial windows booting. I cannot write to ntfs, obviously. Is there a way to manually alter the partition table and/or to have WinXP again on hda1 instead of hda4?
Else, where the problem?
Thank you for any response.