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Old 06-04-2004, 09:34 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2004
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How to restore partition table without a CDROM?


I have an IBM Thinkpad X30 which doesn't have a CDROM, but it can boot from a Flash floppy via the USB port. There is a Windows XP Professional installation on this machine already, and I installed FC2 on a free partition by means of harddisk ISO images. The installation is smooth, and the dual boot works fine. I guess it is because that the BIOS has set the LBA mode for my harddisk by default cuz I cannot change it in the BIOS. (Pretty lucky, ha?)

But still, the partition table is overwritten by the FC2 installer, the heads number and the cylinder number is wrong because of the new kernel. If I boot into DOS and run Partition Magic, it will tell me that the LBA value and the CHS value doesn't match, the LBA one is correct but the CHS one is bad, and ask me if I agree to fix it, I didn't dare choose yes and then Partition Magic will display error 108: partition table error.

I know this can be fixed by booting from the FC2 rescue CD and running sfdisk. Since I don't have a CDROM, I tried this: boot into FC2, su to root and run sfdisk. But this will report:

sfdisk: unrecognized input: extended partition does not start at a cylinder boundary.

I searched google, and the answer is: boot from the rescue disc or a bootable Linux diso and use chroot first, and then run sfdisk.

What if I don't have a CDROM? How can I boot another Linux with only a floppy?

Thanks for your patience.
Old 06-04-2004, 05:04 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
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Distribution: OpenSuSE, RedHat, Knoppix, IRIX + MacOSX
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How about "The most GNU/Linux on 1 floppy disk." :
Old 10-11-2005, 03:30 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
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Give a try to Active@ Partition Recovery tool. It works really great and can restore lost partition. IT helped me before so try it out, great utility indeed.

Last edited by XavierP; 10-11-2005 at 05:36 PM.


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