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Old 04-14-2008, 07:30 AM   #1
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Does Windows Vista erase Linux on USB sticks??

I received an email from my son who had an experience with a laptop running Windows Vista. I'm quoting him below.

"I put Slax on a 1 gig USB stick and it works well. The problem is my
computer can't boot from a USB device, it's too old. No problem. I just
configured LILO on my hard drive to boot Slax. However, I wanted to see if
Slax would boot from Windows using Loadlin. So I went to Best Buy, plugged
my stick into the laptop that had 1 gig of ram, launched Loadlin and was told that the laptop didn't have enough memory. Well that makes sense, it was running Vista. I was going to reboot the laptop. The problem was I couldnot figure out how to shutdown Windows. I am serious! I got home and tried to run Slax on my computer to find out that Vista had wiped Slax off my USB drive!!!!!!! I was not happy.

When you install Slax, you will have two directories: one called /boot that contains all the needed boot info, and one call /slax, which is the OS itself. The /boot directory was still there, but /slax was gone. I also put a third directory called /Books in which I put some books in pdf format and that was still there."

Has anyone had an experience like this? I've run dual boot computers for years now and, while I've had the occasional conflicts with Window$ trying to take over control of the boot process, I've never lost an entire system directory

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Many Thanks
Old 04-14-2008, 10:53 AM   #2
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That is odd, but it can happen if you didn't unmount the drive before removing it, but then it wouldn't be completely erased, just corrupt. In Window$ you usually unmount from the bottom right corner, right click on it and unmount or remove or whatever. Haven't used Vi$ta, so I wouldn't know about there. Hopefully I'll never get a chance to use it ... if they make me, I'll just bring along my unmarked floppy with dban on it and boot into that instead.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 04-14-2008 at 10:54 AM.
Old 04-14-2008, 11:06 AM   #3
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bloze can't read ext2. I have seen it try to format a perfectly good ext2 fs on USB since bloze thinks there's no filesystem. However it did prompt me before trying to format it so I removed the drive. If your son had a non-bloze readable filesystem on his USB drive something like that could have happened.
Old 04-14-2008, 11:58 AM   #4
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I'm the one that keithk2 was referring to and I had slax installed on a fat16 file system, that way I could use the stick on Windows or Linux. I followed all the instructions that Slax said to do, Vista had no problem reading the stick, I properly removed the stick, got home, and the /slax directory was gone, not corrupt, gone. The loadlin config script was properly wrote. I have been using nothing but Linux for over 9 years. That's probably why I couldn't figure how to reboot Vista.
Old 04-14-2008, 12:54 PM   #5
koen plessers
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I've put Vista on the internal harddisk of my desktop. Ubuntu is on an external disk via usb. I didn't have the patience to find out how to boot from the usb disk, so I configured the Vista bootloader with EasyBCD: Might be a workaround for you.


Koen Plessers


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