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HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 08:29 AM

Getting rid of GRUB
I used family machine to test drive Linux (dual boot with Windows 98). I love Linux and have since built my own machine with only Linux on it. This morning I tried to rededicate the old machine to windows for the kids. Using Partition Magic, I removed the partitions for Linux. When rebooting, Grub prompt comes up and I can't seem to get around it.

Anyone have suggestions? This is a pretty serious situation here as far as the kids are concerned.

HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 08:48 AM

More info...
Possible commands are: background blocklist boot border cat chainloader cmp color configfile debug display displayapm displaymem embed find foreground fstest geometry halt help hide impsprobe initrd install ioprobe kernel lock makeactive map md5crypt module modulenounzip partnew parttype password pause read reboot root rootnoverify savedefault serial setkey setup shade splashimage terminal testload testvbe unhide uppermem vbeprobe viewport

deadbug 01-11-2003 09:01 AM

Been there, done that and got the tee-shirt.

Grub was in your MBR and now cannot find its files it had put on the now-deleted Linux partitions. You want to put your Windows computer back to the way it was. It is as simple as having Windows put its boot loader back in the MBR.

If you have a Windows boot disk, use it to start the computer and type this:

fdisk /mbr

Windows will overwrite the non-working Grub with its original, working boot loader.

If you don't have a boot disk, use the Windows 98 CD and have it do a Rescue boot (I think it does that). You do not want to reinstall the program, though! This would start your computer and allow you to access fdisk from the hard drive.

Your computer will work, the kids will be happy, you will be a hero!

Good luck

HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 09:25 AM

Deadbug, I do appreciate your suggestions. Unfortunately, the system did not come with a windows CD--a practice I think is terribly wrong--and I could not find a boot disk. Royally screwed here...

I am reinstalling Linux right now to see if that helps me.

HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 09:55 AM


It would appear that all is well here after reinstalling RH8 and letting it create the partitions again. (Wiping sweat from brow)

I guess I will get my act together before I try that again. I was drastically unprepared. lol

Thanks, man!

deadbug 01-11-2003 10:06 AM

Yeah, reinstalling Red Hat, put Grubs configuration files back on and will now let you start both programs. If you still want to remove Red Hat from the computer, first, use Windows to fix the MBR, then delete the partitions. With Windows now working, load it and at a DOS prompt type:

fdisk /mbr

This will overwrite Grub and then you can delete the Red Hat partitions and rededicate that space to Win98.

Glad to hear you are at least out of the dog house now!

HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 10:28 AM

Deadbug, I have my courage back and so I did the fdisk /mbr at DOS prompt. I then thought I'd reboot to see the effect. My assumption was that it would boot Windows. Instead it says "Missing operating system"

What now, mate?

Should I boot with Partition Magic disk and just delete the partitions? It doesn't feel right...

HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 01:58 PM


A couple of things... First: I am having trouble with affero. Don't know why. I have used it before, but can't seem to today. I will get it straightened out and I won't forget you for the help with smartes' post.

Second: I am back to square one--a dual boot system that I'd like to re-dedicate to windows exclusively. The last thing you told me was to fdisk /mbr and then remove linux partitions with Partition Magic, but I am a little gun shy as a result of what I just went through. I can only assume that I should do it again and carry on to the second step which is remove the linux partitions, but I am very weary, as Linux was what enabled me to fix the missing operating system problem. If it's gone I fear I will be hopelessly lost.

deadbug 01-11-2003 02:04 PM

Don't delete them yet--we need to get your system running until we can make sense of this.

Put the Red Hat boot disk in and get linux running. In a terminal window, type:

grub-install /dev/hda

That will get Grub working again.

Now, back to the basic idea--obviously, "Missing operating system" wasn't supposed to happen!

Does Windows boot with Grub installed?

Anyone else who is looking at this have any ideas? A non-NT system (Win98) and fdisk /mbr didn't fix the MBR.

deadbug 01-11-2003 02:17 PM

Looks like we're posting at the same time!

Sorry about the confusion over grub-install and /sbin/grub-install. I thought Red Hat would put the /sbin directory in root's path; apparently not. I'll keep that in mind in future posts!

Anyway, your system is back working as a dual boot and I'm heading away for the weekend. Let's give it til tomorrow evening to see if someone can help us with why fdisk /mbr didn't work.

Have a good one

HwzrHlslndr 01-11-2003 02:41 PM

Deadbug, ok. I am happy to sit on my hands for a while. I am still having trouble with affero, but I want you to know I really do appreciate your help.

Have a great weekend and be safe.

Kind regards,

mcleodnine 01-12-2003 02:34 PM

Just a thought - check the partitions (with msdos fdisk) and make sure that the Windows partition is marked active. You may need to try the fdisk /MBR again.

HwzrHlslndr 01-12-2003 02:40 PM

msdos fdisk? I'm afraid I may need some very specific instructions here to do what you suggest, i.e., to check if they're active.

Regarding trying fdisk /MBR again: I have done that per your suggestion to someone else. In fact, I did it twice and with the capitals (MBR). No luck. I get "Missing operating system" just as before.

mcleodnine 01-12-2003 03:03 PM

You need the windows/dos version of fdisk and it has to be the same dos/win version as what's on your machine.

The fdisk application is menu-driven dos utility and it''s pretty much self-explanatory. Unfortunately I don't have a dos console to test on at the moment otherwise I could refresh my memory.

HwzrHlslndr 01-12-2003 03:34 PM


I am not sure how to proceed from here.... "You need the windowos/dos version of fdisk...[same as what's on your machine]"

I'm lost

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