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Old 03-01-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
Chief_Leavitt
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:eek:Mandriva overwrote my MBR, can't boot without External HD plugged into USB


I just installed Mandriva 2007 on my sdb (external harddrive) it installed fine. I was all happy and very excited because I think this Linux stuff will be to me, what crack is to Bobby and Whitney. So I installed and rebooted. everything seemed good. BUT the GUI did not load and it brought me to a command prompt, which I lack the knowledge to maneuver through. So that was problem #1. I shut down to boot XP so I could post on here. I unplugged the Ext HD and powered on. Then the screen fill with 1070707070707. At that point I cried, wet myself and told the wife "nothing Dear". I plugged the Ext hd back in and rebooted. It brought me to the linux Mandriva bootloader. I got on XP and all was good in the world.

I would like to continue to use this linux on my external HD. I just need to know what todo to repair my boot issue. I think is would be lame to have a laptop that can't boot up without a ext hd plugged into the wall.

If you can help I thank you. If not .. thank you anyway!
 
Old 03-01-2007, 05:52 PM   #2
syg00
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Hopefully that config wasn't done by the installer without giving you options to change it. If it was, go get a better distro.
If you were given options but didn't know better, that's probably o.k. - you know better now ...

If you can boot that USB, best would be to completely install Linux there - including the loader to the USB MBR. That makes the systems completely independent. Someone here should be able to give you the (lilo) command - or just re-install. Then restore ntldr to the internal disk MBR (see below).
Another option is to have a small boot partition on the (internal) disk, and boot that. Probably will require a re-install in your case if you can provide the partition.
Next best is probably to restore the 'doze loader, and use it to chainload Linux. This takes some work to setup, and with lilo as your (Linux) loader is a significant PITA (that looks like a lilo error code).

In the interim, might be best to just restore the 'doze loader - boot the XP CD, bit the <r> key when it says so. That gets you into recovery console - from there run "fixmbr" (no quotes), and reboot.
You will have lost access to Mandriva - hopefully someone here can show you how to boot to recovery and rebuild lilo.
 
Old 03-01-2007, 07:07 PM   #3
Chief_Leavitt
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Thanks for the post!

I don't currently have the XP disks. But I am making that happen . Once I get the disks(the install disks) all I have to do is boot from it and get to the command prompt? Or will the install process take care of it?

Oh bye the way, are there any distros that will boot off the usb hd. From what I was told it can't be done, of if it can, it is mad hard.
 
Old 03-02-2007, 02:42 AM   #4
syg00
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Just boot the CD - watch the splash screen. Do not allow it to proceed to install.
Booting from USB is a BIOS function - it it doesn't have it, you're dead in the water. Regardless of distro.
 
Old 03-02-2007, 07:30 AM   #5
Chief_Leavitt
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got disk ready to try.
 
Old 03-02-2007, 07:36 AM   #6
Walton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00
You will have lost access to Mandriva - hopefully someone here can show you how to boot to recovery and rebuild lilo.
This can be done quickly and easily from the Mandriva disc, it's one of the options on the main screen - Reinstall Bootloader.

I'm not sure how well it works in 2007, every other mandriva and mandrake that I used would come up with nasty looking error messages when I did this but it still reinstated lilo properly.

Cheers,

Andrew.

P.S. Glad I could answer a question for a change instead of asking them.
 
Old 03-02-2007, 11:24 PM   #7
Chief_Leavitt
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Registered: Feb 2007
Location: In my house is where I live.
Distribution: Madriva 2007 and it is pretty good. I have DSL on a 128 thumbdrive and Knoppix 5.11 on 2 gig TH.DR
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Well, I fixed it.
I tried the fix mbr from the only c prompt I could get to and nothing. I started the XP disc and it broke me too some auto recovery deal. It wanted me to insert a floppy into a laptop with no floppy drive. So that was a bust.

I finally broke down and searched for an answer at dell. They had a media recovery disc that fixed the mbr is a fraction of a second. It was wonderful. Hats off to dell.
 
Old 03-02-2007, 11:35 PM   #8
jschiwal
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You have an option of using XP's ntldr to boot into linux. That may be the best option since you have Linux on a removable drive. There is a howto in the www.tldp.org website and it has been covered in numerous messages on this site. Also entering "NT duel boot lilo" or "NT duel boot grub" will result in a number of websites detailing the process of creating a small image of the linux lilo or grub mbr and editing C:\BOOT.INI to give you a Linux menu entry in the XP boot menu.
 
Old 03-03-2007, 12:37 AM   #9
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief_Leavitt
I finally broke down and searched for an answer at dell. They had a media recovery disc that fixed the mbr is a fraction of a second. It was wonderful. Hats off to dell.
Don't be too quick to congratulate Dell.
The fact that they use a (probably hidden) recovery partition breaks the normal M$oft recovery. Hence you had to use their (Dells) recovery.
This is a *bad* design.

I got bitten on a Toshiba laptop once - needed a Toshi recovery CD, and Toshi utilities. Now-a-days, if a vendor can't/won't provide me with licensed M$oft CD (which implies a "normal" windows build), I won't buy their kit.
Simple as that.
(I need Windows for some of the customers I support).
 
  


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