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Old 03-31-2005, 10:17 PM   #1
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Missing Linux Partition - Please help!

I've been running Mandrake 10.1 and no windows on my system for about 6 months now. MxO came out and so I needed to install Win2k on the disk. On the 80gb hd I have, the first partition was the linux ver that I was using (4gig or so), there were about 3 partitions that I had for other OS's for when I try them out and what-not, all about 4 gigs apiece. Then I had a 40-somethin gig partition that was used for everything - ripped dvd's, mp3's and oggs, Limewire, digital cam pictures, and backed up information. And at the very end of the drive, I had a 2 gig Linux swap - I don't recall the exact size, though. All partitions were ext3 (except for swap).

Here's what I did to put 2k on there: I tried throwing it onto one of those empty partitions I had. Good 'ol Winblows would NOT freakin install - it said that there were no partitions that it could install on. I found out later that windows pretty much needs to be installed at the beginning of the drive, so here's what I did next.

I backed up my documents and checkbook type stuff from the first partition onto the big 40gig partition. I made all of the smaller partitions on the beginning of the drive into 2 partitions. Then, I was able to install windows. Windows installed fine, and I was able to start playin some games.

So here's my problem: I just tried to install linux on my system. That big fat partition that I absolutely NEED is NOT EVEN RECOGNIZED. I don't know what to do, and I'm just short of freakin out lol. The big partition and the swap partition that were at the end of the drive just show up as unpartitioned space.

I threw in my MandrakeMove cd in and took a look at the disk - same thing as in the Linux install part.

Someone please help me - I don't know what to do. I absolutely need the info on this partitions.
Old 04-01-2005, 03:25 AM   #2
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oh dear.
so fdisk, cfdisk don't see the partitions?
Old 04-01-2005, 05:33 AM   #3
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And then there are:

though not necessarily in this order (try reverse... )
Old 04-01-2005, 06:39 AM   #4
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I have found that with dual OS you need to install $M on the first 4 gig of hard drive then you can install Linux. Must be within first 4 gig not of partition but of hard drive. Partition magic don't help. Then if you need more space for $M you use an extended partition. Make sure you set up enough space for Linux the first time if you try to make another you will erase the first 4 gig that contian the boot.ini.
Old 04-01-2005, 10:06 AM   #5
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Fortunately I've never had to use it for this purpose, but I think the "parted" utility (so maybe the gparted GUI has it too) has the ability to "guess" where partitions boundries are in absence of a partition table. You'll probably have to really read up on the utility because I'm sure it going to take some odd combination of modes or switches to get it to ignore any existing but wrong table and try to figure out what is out there. Hopefully your bootable Mandrake CD has this utility (probably does), otherwise you'll have to find another live CD that does (like Knoppix).
Old 04-01-2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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Just as an added note, the RIP disk that JZL240I-U linked to (the bottom two links) has parted and several other utilities useful for guessing lost partition boundaries. It also might be worth downloading RIP just for the help files it contains.
Old 04-01-2005, 10:55 AM   #7
Registered: Apr 2002
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Originally posted by dping
It also might be worth downloading RIP just for the help files it contains.
Agreed! The hardest thing about these utilities is learning how to use them. It is something you don't want to make a mistake with!
Old 04-01-2005, 01:33 PM   #8
Registered: May 2003
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i don't know if this is related or not, but i had a similar problem where i screwed up my mbr. i gparted the drive and it regonized the original partitions. unfortuately, no matter what i did, i couldn't fix the mbr. i ended up buying a new harddrive and started from scratch. afterwards, i plugged in the old drive as a secondary drive on my system and it was recognized, with all the partitions and data in tact! i was able to recover all my original data, reformatted the original drive and it works like normal again.

Old 04-01-2005, 09:02 PM   #9
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You can unistall $M you can get the stuff off that you need. Just some advice before you change your configeration on the computer back up the info that you need. Before you install $M read the directions it tells you that this will happen to some Linux OS actually all but Fedora that I have tried. Every installation proccess I have read states that $M has to be on the first part of the partition and then you use the extended partition tool. This is an operator error not $M or Linux. I would like people to understand all OS has faults we should not bash microsoft if you don't like it don't use it. If you have to use it they must be doing something correctly Gates got to a billion you can call him everything but poor and a fool


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