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Old 02-09-2003, 02:58 PM   #1
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HELP!!! I messed up my installation!

I have an IBM Aptiva, with a Pentium II, 133 MHz processor. It has about 1 gigabyte of memory. I started out trying to install VectorLinux, and ended up with a total mess. When I partitioned the HD, the DOS files that boot Windows and the main VectorLinux files got deleted. The computer cannot recognize the CD-ROM drive, but I know it is working, because when I ran the product recovery disk, it worked. But that did absolutely nothing to recover the DOS files for Windows. Now Iím stuck with a computer that does nothing. Can anyone help this complete ?
Old 02-09-2003, 03:32 PM   #2
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have you got a windows boot floppy?

if so sys c: to copy the three files back to the hard drive that windows needs to boot

then start the machine

i'm afraid i dont know VectorLinux at all (only Mandrake and RedHat) and so don't know what the install bit is like.

you can partition with fdisk (on winboot floppy)
or with disk druid under linux
Old 02-10-2003, 02:53 PM   #3
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You may only need to re-establish/reset the Master Boot Record. With the MS-DOS boot disk and the FDISK.EXE program (some would call a "command") simply boot DOS and type in:


This is NOT the same as repartitioning your hard drive which is what FDISK's main purpose is (Microsoft's FDISK that is)! Lilo and other OS "loaders" have a tendency to mess up the MBR if all you want to do is run a Microsoft OS later on (that's the short answer anyway). One word of caution though: if you want to be able to boot and SELECT the OS (ie. Linux, Windows, OS2, Etc.), which is what Lilo and other similar loaders do, then you need to reinstall Lilo or whatever it was that you used to do that with (I can't tell you how that's done since I'm still just a Linux newbie myself and know very little about the inner-workings of Lilo). Resetting the the MBR for MS-DOS/Windows will permanently disable Lilo (or whatever) from allowing you to select ANY other OS when booting. This is usually the LAST step AFTER you resize any partitions BACK to their former parameters too. Of course, re-establishing the Microsoft boot files can't hurt either. To do that type in:


from a command prompt. Then again, that's assuming you have the SYS.COM utility on your floppy boot disk too (you really only need to do that if MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS and/or COMMAND.COM are gone or corrupt which is NOT very likely). More often than not, simply copying the COMMAND.COM is all that's required. Hope it helps. L8R...
Old 02-17-2003, 10:14 PM   #4
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Thanks! Your sugggestions would have worked, had I been awake while I ran fdisk. But since I was intelligent enough to make the wrong partition the primary DOS partition, the computer is now trying to boot from 2 mb. I think I'll re-format it using another computer...


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