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Old 01-21-2004, 09:45 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Distribution: Red Hat 9
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Can't bypass WinXP recovery to boot RH9

My RH9 seems to have installed and runs correctly
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...) (made a back-up).

2. After the last install of RH9 on my slave drive (Linux Drive only), 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, 09:58 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Posts: 748

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You might be correct, though I thought this kind of stuff died years ago. Anyway, If you have "emergency" boot floppies, try them out. First, the one for Linux, then the one for Windows. They should (in theory) work regardless of any MBR problems (because they exist only in case your MBR is screwed).

If both work, then you need to use your windows boot floppy to boot windows, and search through control panel or the compaq setup stuff (compaq was a BS company back in 1993, and even now I get shivers when I see that name ), then turn off stuff like virus checking the MBR (which might be a bios setting, by the way--in fact likely), and such in that group of settings. Otherwise, each time you try to boot, the computer will try to wipe out anything written by Lilo or Grub (whichever bootloader you happen to use).

Basically, your computer is seeing (whether it's the Bios or other Compaq software is up for debate) Linux as a virus, because in order to boot linux, you have to modify the MBR, which is a staple of virus writers. (Well, it used to be. Nowadays, virus writers are more interested in "owning" your computer, in other words, using it for their own needs.)

Oh, and are you sure you lost everything on your Windows drive? The only way that would happen is if you accidently (and you'd have to hit okay a couple times without reading the red warnings) overwrote your windows partitions. Windows, as well as Linux, may seem to "disappear" on some installs, but that's only an illusion. Unless you agree to overwrite a partition, there is no way for an install to erase data on another partition. To the computer, they are completely different items, and might as well be on different sides of the planet.

Last edited by scott_R; 01-21-2004 at 10:02 PM.
Old 01-22-2004, 07:26 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: Fedora 7
Posts: 75

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give a try to this link...
Old 01-22-2004, 07:43 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2002
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I'm guessing that the installer thought the recovery partition is the real windows partition.

Boot using the 1st install CD to rescue mode. Your root partition will be mounted to /mnt/sysimage.

To change /mnt/sysimage to /
chroot /mnt/sysimage

Too see the windows partitions on the hard drive:
fdisk -l /dev/hda

You will need to edit the grub.conf file to change the windows location. I'm guessing it will say (hd0,0) and it should be (hd0,1) for /dev/hda2. fdisk will tell you what the actuall partition is. grub starts at 0 instead of 1.

Then to restore grub to the MBR.


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