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Old 02-10-2006, 10:06 PM   #1
GothicSheep
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Bootloader won't load Windows


Dear everyone,

I used to dual-boot Windows XP and 2000 on my computer. Our company is shifting to Linux, so we decided to make a new partition on one of my drives and install Linspire.

Installation was smooth. No errors whatsoever. When I decided to boot into Windows though, it just spit out two random characters.

Irritated at this development, I decided to replace it with a copy Mandrake 10.1 since it was also available at the office. It did install, but refused to boot into Windows too.

My Windows data is intact and accessible in Linux, but I'd still like to boot into Windows since I don't have programs like Yahoo messenger.

Any ideas on what I can do?

Thanks in advance!
 
Old 02-11-2006, 12:25 AM   #2
J.W.
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It sounds like your PC likes Linux so much it doesn't want to go back

More seriously, based on your description your boot manager (ie, GRUB or lilo) has errors. Please post the contents of it (whichever one you use) and that should be a good start.

Welcome to LQ!
 
Old 02-11-2006, 05:36 AM   #3
saikee
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The information that will help others to diagnose your booting problem are

(1) List the screen content of typing at root terminal
Code:
fdisk -l
so that your partitioning scheme of all the disks are known. That tell us where are your Windows partitions and in which disk.

(2) The boot loader configuration file. You haven't even told us what boot loader your Linux uses. May be you do not know. There are two major boot loaders; Lilo and Grub. My Mandrake 10 uses Grub and its configuration file is /boot/grub/menu.lst. If it is Lilo then you will have a non-empty /etc/lilo.conf. List the one that is relevant or both if you got them here.
 
Old 02-12-2006, 09:40 PM   #4
GothicSheep
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Oh sorry, I forgot to indicate my bootloader. I'm using GRUB.

Anyway, thanks for your replies. Here's the output of fdisk -l.
-------------
Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40020664320 bytes
16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77545 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 12190 6143728+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 12191 77535 32933880 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 12191 13205 511528+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda6 22636 50790 14190088+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda7 50791 77535 13479448+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda8 13206 22635 4752688+ 83 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sda: 126 MB, 126091264 bytes
16 heads, 32 sectors/track, 481 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 512 * 512 = 262144 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 481 123120 6 FAT16
------------

And here is the menu.lst for GRUB

timeout 10
color black/cyan yellow/cyan
default 0

title Mandrakelinux 10.1
kernel (hd0,7)/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 devfs=nomount acpi=ht resume=/dev/hda5 splash=silent vga=788
initrd (hd0,7)/initrd.img

title Windows XP Professional
root (hd0,5)
chainloader +1

title Windows 2000 Professional
root (hd0,6)
chainloader +1

------------
I hope this info is sufficient. If you need more, I'll try to find it.
 
Old 02-13-2006, 03:35 AM   #5
saikee
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You have NTFS partitions at hda6 and hda7 but they are logical partitions not bootable by XP or Win2k directly. I suspect both of these systems were booted previously by a primary partition possibly overwritten in hda1 which is 6Gb large and bootable.

Can you also list /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/device.map of your Mandrake?

My guess is your second drive is a flash USB memory stick

Last edited by saikee; 02-13-2006 at 04:53 AM.
 
Old 02-13-2006, 05:18 AM   #6
saikee
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I have a more deatiled examination on your disks and have the following comments.

From the partition table the disk seems to have originally primary partitions hda2 and hda3 so that the last primary hda4 was converted into an extended partition holding hda5 to hda8.

If hda2 and hda3 did not exist the hda4 extended partition would have been named as hda2 in Linux. Thus your current hda1 might be a consolidation of 3 primary partitions together.

I bring this out because a MS system must be booted from a primary partition but you haven't got any.

The history of formation of hda6 and hda7 also an interesting point

Code:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 12190 6143728+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 12191 77535 32933880 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 12191 13205 511528+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda6 22636 50790 14190088+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda7 50791 77535 13479448+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda8 13206 22635 4752688+ 83 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order
It shows according to the cylinder locations that last partition hda8 was created immediately behind hda5 with hda7 physically at the end of the 40Gb disk. This would suggest hda8 was likely a result from resizing hda6 because hda5, currently being only 0.5Gb large, is just a small Linux Swap partition and has little scope to squeeze 4.7Gb out.

I don't know if your two NT-version of Windows can be booted at all at their current positions. From my experience XP and Win2k may be booted "indirectly" by a Dos or Win98 partition as a "C" drive. Inside the "C" there should be the various NTldr files like boot.ini to guide NTLDR to boot the XP or Win2k in another partition, which as far as I am aware should be in a primary partition only. Although there are cases where people managed to hack the MS's MBR and put the Windows systems in a logical partition, which always starts at the 5th position in Linux.

I am of course assuming your hda6 and hda7 are XP and Win2k but they could well be data-only partitions or simply migrated to there without due consideration of the consequence.
 
Old 02-14-2006, 12:17 AM   #7
GothicSheep
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Ok. I'll get the file you need and post it when I get access to the machine.

Initially, here's what happened.

Before there was only one partition. It had Windows 2000 installed on it. Then after some time, the system got slower so we decided to do a reinstall. However, there was a lot of files and we didn't have a DVD burner so we decided to use PartitionMagic and make another partition. We installed a fresh copy of Windows 2000.

This partition didn't last any longer than the previous though. Annoyed, we made another partition and bought a copy of Windows XP. This OS was ok for a longer time.

Then last week or so we decided to install Linux (Linspire). Since we had backed up all the data on the first Windows 2000, we decided to just let Linux delete the data there and format it. It then installed, refused to boot Windows and left us to install Mandrake.
 
Old 02-14-2006, 03:35 AM   #8
saikee
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If you have used Partition Magic to move your XP or Win2K system from a primary to a logical partition then it will not boot and you can start planning a re-installation.

Linux can be booted from logical partitions but not MS systems. Therefore a user should put all the Linux partitions, including swap in logical partitions leaving the primaries to MS systems.
 
Old 02-15-2006, 12:10 AM   #9
GothicSheep
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I see. Well, I'm comfortable working in Linux now so won't mind not having a Windows system on board. Thanks for the help!
 
  


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