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Old 04-02-2006, 09:27 AM   #1
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Angry HELP! Can't install XP after installing Linux


Recently I tried to put Linux (Red Hat Fedora 3) on my computer and didn't really know what I was doing. After that I tried to boot from the Windows XP CD and nothing happens. Actually, after 'pressing any key to boot from CD' the screen says 'looking at hardware configuration' (or something like that) and then goes blank for a very long time. I have waited up to two hours for something to happen.

I would really like to get to know Linux at some point but right know I desperately want to put XP back on my computer so that I can use it since I already know how to use it.

I installed Fedora using 'Partition Automatically'

Is anyone able to help me with clear instructions as to how to wipe the whole bloody lot clean and start again with XP. I will repartition and install Linux at a later date when I know more about what to do.

I have a DOS 6.22 boot disk that seems to work.

Alternatively, can I put Windows back on and keep Linux. I know this is possible, but involves partitions etc which I know very little about (but learning very fast).

Thank you

Old 04-02-2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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I have heard of cases where Windows had trouble using a harddisk that had been used for something else. (Naturally, Linux does not have silly issues like this.... )

The sure-fire solution is something like DBAN (Darik's boot and nuke)--available on Sourceforge. You boot from a floppy, and see a bunch of options to wipe the various disks on the system. Naturally, you'll want to be sure WHICH disk you are wiping.....!!
Old 04-02-2006, 10:23 AM   #3
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I believe that when you did the "Partition Automatically" with the Fedora disc it may have completely taken over the drive. You mentioned you have a dos 6.22 boot disk. If you are sure that the hard drive has been completely taken over by linux (eg: the windows install has been deleted) you could do the following.

1) Boot from the dos boot disk
2) Run fdisk
3) Delete all partitions using fdisk
4) Reboot (again boot from the dos boot disk)
5) Run fdisk again and this time create a new partition
6) Remove the dos boot disk
7) Boot from your XP installation CD and see if you are now able to continue with the Windows XP installation.

Let us know how it goes!
Old 04-02-2006, 10:43 AM   #4
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Unhappy Linux taken over hard drive


Actuatlly I think in the first instance I checked the option 'Delete all partitions', which has resulted in my laptop becoming a Linux only computer (What's the problem with that I hear you ask) and I can't now boot from the XP CD. From what I can gather, this has altered the boot sector somehow.

I'm not pannicking as much as before, but I still want to put Windows back on. So, how does a complete novice, repartition the drive (from within Linux) and change the boot sector, or whatever it is, so that I can boot from my XP CD and put it on the newly created partition.

That way I can get my computer back and all the programs and files I have backedup and still be able to play around with this great OS (or so I'm led to believe) Linux.

Also, how do I look at the current partitions from within Linux so that I know what to delete using fdisk, if need be.

Old 04-02-2006, 12:42 PM   #5
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i think that you can run (as root) 'fdisk /dev/your drive (i.e sda, hda...). now you can delete all partitions with d option. press m for help to see which options you have. after pressing 'd' you can chose which partition you want to delete. after deleting of all patitions you can now create new one.

if you want to have windows and linux you can create two partitons. pres 'n' for new partiton, then 'p' for primary, chose partition number and take default option for first cylinder. you can now chose how big should be your first partition. for example if you have 60 GB you can take 30 for win so that you type +30000M. now type n for new again for new partitions. i think you can now chose p or l (logical), but let's say that you are going to chose p, press p and now chose two times default for first and last cylinder.

NOW press t to change a partition's system id. chose partition 1 and then 7 if you want to format partition with ntfs. now press t again, 2 for second partition and than 83 for linux partitions. ok, now w for write partition table to disc and now try to install windows. while you are installing fedora you have option to install it on existing linux partition. chose that and install grub to mbr. don't forget to add windows to grub you'll be asked for that. hope this helps.

Last edited by den15; 04-02-2006 at 12:46 PM.
Old 04-02-2006, 02:22 PM   #6
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Smile Start again

Well, I tried a few different methods and my computer still didn't boot from the XP CD.

I got a copy of the XP Boot CD from (bootdisk dot com) and used a few of the utilities on that.

First I deleted all the partitions using, aefdisk /delall, within the aefdisk folder.

Next I wiped the hard drive using the command, wipe 0, within the wipe folder.

After that I tried to reboot with the XP CD and, bingo, it worked and started to install XP. The big difference now was that when it came the section about where to install XP, there was one big unpartitioned space. I chose to create a partition for windows of a size about 10 GB less than that available.

So, this should leave an upartitioned space on hard drive that I can use to put Linux on at some point in the future when I know what I'm doing....although this whole rigmorole has been a real learning curve.



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