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tc--obo 06-21-2005 06:02 AM

Problem: Hard drive partitions, Grub/ Lilo and Ubuntu.
Hi, I have a very long and seemingly hard-to-fix problem. I've installed Ubuntu, using expert mode primarily because I wanted to keep my existing files/ data on Windows. The installation proceeded with some hitches-- the installer told me several times that it was unable to load (or something along those lines) the files/ whatever ide-mod, ide-probe-mod, ide-detect and ide-floppy. However, the installer said that I should proably proceed with installation as the files may become available later. The real problem came when I came to install a bootloader. I chose to install the GRUB loader in the MBR, which seemed to install fine, but when it came to the reboot I was presented with an Error 17. Fine, I thought, I'd just put the LiveCD in and search for a resolution. No such luck. On the advice of a friend, who used Slackware before migrating to FreeBSD, I reinstalled Ubuntu, overwriting the partitions. Hoping to avoid the problems with GRUB, I installed LILO instead. I chose to install it in out of the MBR. This time on reboot I got the error message along the lines of "NO PARTITION MOUNTED PLEASE INSERT SYSTEM DISK". Lacking a Windows system disk, and seemingly without a Ubuntu system disk (the installer, I know, but utter beginner etc), I just inserted the LiveCD again. Following the same friend's advice, I did a few commands, found partitions etc but after what was probably a nasty command, which, unfortunately, I can't remember, the system seemed to either not recognise or merge the partitions into a single hda. As you can understand, this didn't make matters much better. My friend did point out several tools, including gpart, but as I am running off a livecd version installing or running them isn't totally easy or, perhaps, possible. I have toyed with using a Windows boot CD; however, I don't have one and obtaining one may be somewhat difficult- unless they sell them at computing shops.
Regarding the hda mashup, it will not recognise any partition, if any still exists. A fdisk -l returned

Disk /dev/hda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System

to me earlier, but now it will not execute an fdisk at all (this was yesterday; now it does return results, although it is the same as above). I am wondering, actually, whether Windows still exists on my computer (although I have been reassured that it does). The boot loader still returns an error with mounted partitions, telling me to insert a system disk. Meanwhile, loading Synaptic, it says that I haven't installed Grub or Lilo, which is worrying, to say the least. I am assuming that it is possible to fix this problem; I am hoping that the way to fix it doesn't require me to lose all my data or pay someone to do it, and that it can be done using a LiveCD. Bear in mind that I haven't got a Windows boot disk, or at least one I can find, and my knowledge of Unix/ Linux commands is rather limited.
(Sorry about the horrible formatting here. Similarly sorry if it's in the wrong forum; I just assumed this would be the place to ask!)

My current system specs, if you need them:
AMD Athlon 2700+ (2.16 GhZ)
512 MB RAM
NVIDEA GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card
A Sound Card
One 120 GB Hard Drive

I posted this on the Ubuntu forums proper, and one user suggested I put the drive into and use R-Studio on another Windows computer. However, the only other computer running Windows in the house is P166 with Windows 95 installed, so that would seem to be out of the question. =//

Moloko 06-21-2005 06:58 AM

To bad you didn't write down what you did in full detail. This makes it hard to say whether or not the data is still there.

Try to find out if there are any partitions left with cfdisk (not fdisk) if that's available on the LiveCd and mount it and copy the data to another hard drive.

Putting the hard drive in the Windows 95 pc probably won't help. Even Partition Magic can't handle Linux partitions that well.

tc--obo 06-21-2005 07:23 AM

cfdisk returns:

                              Disk Drive: /dev/hda
                      Size: 120034123776 bytes, 120.0 GB
            Heads: 255  Sectors per Track: 63  Cylinders: 14593

    Name        Flags      Part Type  FS Type          [Label]        Size (MB)
                            Pri/Log  Free Space                      120031.52

Interpreting that, I'm thinking that my whole drive has been wiped? Either that or it just really can't read the drive?
As regards to full detail- most of what I did was just choosing defaults. The only time I actively changed something was with partitioning, when I told it to use the largest continuous empty space. The second time, I told it to overwrite the Linux partition I had made before.

Moloko 06-21-2005 07:38 AM

Likely the partition table is wrong. Perhaps the following may help. It's still a risky procedure:
Partition Table Destroyed Or Corrupted -

tc--obo 06-21-2005 07:55 AM

Thanks. Is there any way to install gpart to disk whilst using the LiveCD, or does it require me to be using an actual system, as it were?

Moloko 06-21-2005 07:46 PM

I believe Gpart is included on the Knoppix LiveCd. I have never tried installing a program which wasn't on a LiveCd, but in theory it should work as all information is retained in memory. You can do pretty much the same with a LiveCd as with a normal installation with the difference that changes are lost when shutting down.

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