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carrlane 01-14-2004 12:34 AM

Win XP Install Overwrites MBR and Linux Rescue Fails to Recognize Linux Partitions
 
Hello and thanks in advance...

I did the purely stupid and upgraded to Win XP from Win 2K without doing my homework. Shame on me...

I have RH 9.0 installed in an extended partition and now of course can't access my linux parititions. I have tried linux rescue from the CD1 of the RH 9.0 disks and it says that it cannot locate any linux partitions. I have used linux rescue before with great success, but this time it doesn't see my linux partitions. When booted into XP, Disk Management shows the Linux partitions still in tact as it usually does as 'healthy' partitions.
I further tried to reinstall linux hoping that disk druid might see the partitions and it gives two warnings as I reach Disk Druid.

"Unable to align partition properly. This probably means that another partitioning tool generated an incorrect partition table, because it didn't have the correct BIOS geometry. It is safe to ignore, but ignoring may cause (fixable) problems with some boot loaders" <ignore><cancel>

I choose <ignore>.

Then...

"The partition table on device hda was unreadable. To create new partitions it must be initialized, causing the loss of ALL DATA on this drive. This operation will override any previous installation choices about which drives to ignore. Would you like to initialize this drive, erasing ALL DATA?"
<yes><no>

I choose <no> and exit the installation.

So, I'd still like to recover these partitions even though I am backed up, out of principle and to learn something about the MBR, partition tables, and techniques for winning under Linux.

Thanks so much.

Bruce Hill 01-14-2004 12:45 AM

I understand that you'd like to fix your problem, rather than reinstall. Do you have a copy of Partition Magic? It will recognize the *nix partitions and fix the geometry problems.

megaspaz 01-14-2004 12:45 AM

did you make a linux boot floppy? you could try booting into linux with that and then reinstall either grub or lilo. if you can't i think you're pretty much hosed and will have to reinstall linux by first going into windows and deleting those partitions from the disk manager thingymabob. then put in your linux install cds and reinstall linux creating/formatting new partitions.

megaspaz 01-14-2004 12:47 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Chinaman
I understand that you'd like to fix your problem, rather than reinstall. Do you have a copy of Partition Magic? It will recognize the *nix partitions and fix the geometry problems.
highly doubtful. the most partition magic would ever do for me was to say that my linux partitions had errors. fixing them is beyond partition magic's capabilities.

carrlane 01-14-2004 01:49 AM

I do have Partition Majic 7.0 (pre-XP) and will give it a try. I also have a boot disk but for some reason it gives:

"SYSLINUX 2.00 2002-10-25 Boot failed"

I think I'm having bad karma.

Does any one know what may have caused the situation in the original post and what actually happened to the partition table?

Any other suggestions on how to recover the partitions, even serious damage control data recovery methods?

megaspaz 01-14-2004 02:05 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by carrlane
I do have Partition Majic 7.0 (pre-XP) and will give it a try. I also have a boot disk
Does any one know what may have caused the situation in the original post and what actually happened to the partition table?

well i think it was upgrading to xp. but this is the first where i seen corrupted disk geometry stuff. if you used PM 7 to partition/format your linux partition and didn't reformat that partition when installin linux, then i guess it could be because PM doesn't support ext3 filesystem, which is a journaled filesystem and is more robust than ext2.

Bruce Hill 01-14-2004 03:55 AM

This BIOS geometry problem is not going to be easy to fix. You should Google and read the many available threads concerning this type of issue. Start by searching this string ->
Unable to align partition properly

carrlane 01-14-2004 04:29 AM

Thanks for all your help. I used Partition Magic. It found some partition overlaps that it was able to fix enough for me to boot into linux and make the 'backup,' exit, and start over.

All is well.

Bruce Hill 01-14-2004 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by carrlane
Thanks for all your help. I used Partition Magic. It found some partition overlaps that it was able to fix enough for me to boot into linux and make the 'backup,' exit, and start over.

All is well.

Great! Just in case someone else searches this thread, could you post what version of PM you used, and anything specific that you did that may be helpful to others? Or did you just let PM automatically fix what it stated when it loaded and gave you messages. Thanks.


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