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Old 01-18-2004, 03:18 PM   #1
srempel
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Restoring Windows XP MBR


First, my apologies for asking a seemingly Windows-only related question, but restoring my MBR may be crucial to attempting to reinstall RH 9.

I'm trying to wipe the slate clean on my hdb but would like to restore the MBR on hda (Windows XP Home) just to be safe. If all goes well, hdb will be devoted solely to Linux.

I understand that "fdisk /mbr" would accomplish this but XP documentation claims that fdisk is no longer supported and directs one to the diskpart application instead. I've found no way within diskpart to do this (but am certainly no expert, either in Windows or otherwise!)

Alternatively, would a complete reinstall of Linux, say, using LILO instead of GRUB overwrite the old MBR?

My thanks for any info.

- an optomistic newbie
 
Old 01-18-2004, 03:33 PM   #2
XavierP
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Boot from the XP cd, get to the recovery console and enter "fixmbr".

Welcome to LQ
 
Old 01-18-2004, 06:15 PM   #3
srempel
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Thanks XavierP,
I think I erred pretty badly on the Recovery Console idea: I installed the option to boot to the Recovery Console and now upon restart, I get the message:

"File \minint/system32\biosinfo.inf could not be loaded.
The error code is 14
Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit"

Pressing any key doesn't actually exit but keeps producing the same message.

Booting Windows from the floppy seems to work, in that it brings up "A:\", but here is where I'm at a loss.

I apologize for wasting anyone's time on this Windows crap. This must seem elementary but I'm at a standstill at this point.

Thanks guys.
 
Old 01-18-2004, 07:39 PM   #4
benjithegreat98
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How did the MBR get corrupt? Could it be possible that what happened caused corruption in biosinfo.inf. If you are using NTFS, it shouldn't have gotten corrupted with a power loss or anything like that. Can you check to see if that file exists?

Also I think the fdisk /mbr will still work. Just do it off of a Win9x/ME boot disk.

Quote:
Alternatively, would a complete reinstall of Linux, say, using LILO instead of GRUB overwrite the old MBR?
Yes, If you use LILO or grub you can overwrite the MBR and then give yourself the option to boot into windows or RH. I would use grub, as it is the RH default, unless you have trouble with it for some reason. If you have RH up and running right now you don't have to re-install. You can install grub from within redhat while it is running. You'll have to reseach that. I can't remember how to do it exactly.
 
Old 01-21-2004, 08:12 PM   #5
srempel
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Thanks for the replies,
RH 9 seems to be installed and running fine now.
Two unfortunate things have resulted though:

1. Lost everything on my main Windows drive (can't make an omelette without cracking some eggs I guess...)

2. After the last install of RH9 on my slave drive, everything seemed to be fine and upon rebooting, GRUB offers the expected choices of DOS and RH9. Choosing RH9 boots up no problem, but attempting to boot DOS (Windows XP Home) always leads to the "Compaq System Recovery" routine and won't let up until I simply quit the recovery and reboot. If I go through the recovery mode of windows, a reboot will not present GRUB again. It's as if the Recovery routine is rewriting the MBR so that subsequent reboots have no recognition of Linux on the slave drive.

I've read all the installation info I can find, and read every related thread on the forum (that I can find!) so anyone's help is appreciated - I'm sure it's nothing complicated.

If it's any help, I'm running the following:
Compaq Presario S4200NX
Celeron 2.60 GHz
512 MB RAM
2 IDE Hard drives: Master (Win XP Home) 120GB
Slave (Linux RH 9) 60GB (Maxtor)
 
Old 01-21-2004, 09:43 PM   #6
benjithegreat98
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Yes, when you do the recovery the MBR will get over-written. THere are recovery tools that you can use to get back your data when something like that happens. One that I've used that runs in Windows it called Easy Recovery.

I've had that where windows and linux just wouldn't play nice and I lost it all (before my final reboot that time windows reported I had 999 terabytes of free space. I didnt' remember adding that much..... ) Windows just doesn't like anything non-Microsoft on your harddrives, especially if it on the same physical drive.

You never really asked a question in your last post.... What did you need help with? I can't tell if you can get into linux or not. Did the MS recovery work as far as getting you back into windows? or is it still gone?
 
Old 01-24-2004, 01:58 AM   #7
skzzi
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I beleive this will solve your booting problem.

http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux...w2k-HOWTO.html
 
  


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