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Old 02-13-2004, 01:56 PM   #1
jimmjet
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Question i need help with my hard drives


hi, im very new to linux, never used it before, and im having a huge problem, hope you can help me:

Look, i have two hard drives 1 of 4GB and the other of 20GB, i formated the 4GB one so i could install linux there, and the otrher HD had Windows XP, after istalling linux in drive c: i cant enter anymore to windows xp, it says that "Operative System not found" i entered the bios so it run the d: drive to access winxp but it sent me that message, so i cant use that drive now, i tried to connect that drive in other computer running windows so, from there i could do it format, but windows didnt recognize that drive. then i found that... (well i have linux mandrake 8.0) ...linux have a program called diskdrake, that with it i can repair the partitions or do format to the drives, i dont know how to use please help me
 
Old 02-13-2004, 02:42 PM   #2
synaptical
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Re: i need help with my hard drives

i hate to be the one to break the bad news, but if you installed linux to drive "c:" it sounds as if you overwrote your windows system. sorry amigo.
 
Old 02-13-2004, 08:32 PM   #3
jimmjet
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Arrow but...

but what you are sayin is that even if i installed linux in a formatted drive, and not the windows one, i cant use it anymore?? or something like that?? but can i recover the other drive?? the 20 gigas one? that was the one where i didnt installed linux.
somehow the linux instalation made some kind of unique partition in the whole drive, it says that kind of disk drive is only supported by MSDOS not by Lilo..... whats lilo?? a linux system or somethin like it??
 
Old 02-13-2004, 08:37 PM   #4
jimmjet
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oh i forgot to tell that the 20 GB drive is NTFS.
 
Old 02-13-2004, 09:37 PM   #5
synaptical
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lilo = Linux Loader, one of the linux applications that writes to your master boot record (MBR) and handles booting your computer.

it would help if you could post your partition scheme, and tell exactly what you believe you installed and where. hopefully windows is still there, and it's just that your MBR is messed up. if you can post your partitions, we can help you get lilo set up right so you can boot either one.

what kind of linux are you using, btw? mandrake, fedora, suse, slackware, etc. ? that will help to know, also. thx
 
Old 02-16-2004, 06:05 PM   #6
jimmjet
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Exclamation ok look...

first i have linux mandrake 8.0 as ive said on my first post.
I installed the linux in the maxtor harddrive (4GB, and it was formated) it made 3 partitions on it:
one on linux native format, one on linux swap (i think), and the other on twilo or something like that cant remember the name, it said that partition was for interchange or something like that.

i dont know why the samsung hd (20GB) had a unique whole partition of almost 20 GB but it was marked with a " / ", and it was with the NTFS disk format. So it said "other type" or something like it.

but now, i've changed that format of that disk back to fat32 so MSDOS could read it. OK now msdos can read that hard drive, but the message of "Operative system not found " is still there every time I boot the PC readin from that disk. when de Command prompt appear I type:
D: <enter> tryin to access the cd rom drive where the win xp installation cd is, but it says "Drive letter not valid" nor E:, F:, etc.

So now i know that this drive is still there, but how can i do to install windows if i cant even read the cd rom

linux got all of my drives letter changed, well what i really think is that it converted them to its own format, right?

Hey sorry, if i cant answer so fast, it's because i cant configure my modem too, maybe its not compatible, so ive been going to Cyber-coffee's to check the forum....

That MBR u said is the one that if it's damaged i can say goodbye to my harddrive?? Hope not
hope u have an answer for my problem, and thankyou very much!!! Amigo
 
Old 02-16-2004, 06:34 PM   #7
Rick485
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How to tell what partitions Linux is using

I sounds like you at least have Linux running. I would help if we knew for sure which partitions on which hard drive Linux is using. Try this, open a terminal windows and type the command df. It needs to be in lower case letters. It will list all of the partitions that linux is currently using using. You should see a list that includes things like hda1, hdb1 or hdb2. It might help if you would post that short list. Lets hope that hda1 is not being used. That would be the most likely one that Windows should be using. Anything that starts with hda is your 1st harddrive, anything that starts with hdb is your 2nd harddrive. So hda1 would be the 1st partion on the 1st harddrive.

I am just about to leave for a part time college class that I am taking. I did not carefully read all of the previous posts. So I hope what I said is applicable. The main question that I have is if you overwrote you old partition or if you created new partions instead but overwrote the master boot record. If Linux is using hda1 you probably overwrote the Windows partition. Using hdb1 would normally be OK but, overwriting hda1 would not be good.

On the positive side, who needs Windows anyway? At least you have Linux working, that is the important thing right?
 
Old 02-16-2004, 06:49 PM   #8
synaptical
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sorry, i missed where you said mandrake.

i'll have to say i'm having trouble understanding your description of the problem. if you installed linux to the 4GB drive and left the other 20GB drive alone, windows should still be there on the 20GB. linux won't "convert" anything unless you specifically tell it to.

if you installed linux to the c: drive of your 20GB by mistake, windows is most likely gone. it might be possible to restore it, but that would not be easy or guaranteed, and most likely you would need to get some recovery software like easy recovery or even hire a professional recovery service to do it.
 
Old 02-16-2004, 11:47 PM   #9
Rick485
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Sorry about jumping in on the conversation without carefully reading the previous posts, especially when you already had someone knowledgeable helping you. After reading everything again, I can see that what I said did not fit you situation.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 01:01 AM   #10
Rick485
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Some of what you said about your problem is not very clear. For instance, did you have both hard drives installed and working under Windows before attempting to install Linux? Was Windows still able to boot up after you first installed the 2nd hard drive? Did you initially format the hard drive with Windows or Linux?

From what you said, it sounds like Windows XP should have just one partition on the 20 GB drive and Linux with 3 partitions on the 4 GB drive. Let's hope so! Which hard drive did you stick into the other computer to try and read it? You said something about being able to format the drive but not read from it. Well, formating a partition on that hard drive would erase whatever is on that partition. If you formated it as a FAT 32 partition you would then have a brand new empty FAT 32 partition. It is possible to convert some types of partitions into another format without destroying the data. Is that what you actually meant? If you reformatted one or more partitions I hope it was the Linux partition.

Did both computers have Windows XP? Not all versions of Windows can read NTFS partitions. Only Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP can do that and even then they do not all format their NTFS partitions exactly the same. You said that your 20 GB partition was still NTFS. Lets hope so! If it had been converted for Linux it would be either ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, or Linux swap. You then said something about converting to to FAT 32 so that DOS could read it. I hope you did not just insert a DOS disk and do "Format C:" Tell me that you did not actually do that. That would erase everything on whatever partition you did that to.

If that is what you actually did then it would not boot from the hard disk unless the the three DOS system files had been copied to the hard drive from the DOS disk. The DOS sys command could be used to transfer the files. Even then DOS can only boot from a partition that is on the first physical hard disk and that partition must also be marked as active bootable. Of course Windows XP does not use DOS for anything. Older versions of Windows did run on top of DOS. If you install both your boot loader could be configured to boot up into either Windows XP, DOS or Linux.

I do not understand the part where you said something about "/" being the NTFS partition. That does not make sense. The "/" partition would be the root partition for Linux. Linux can not use a NTFS partition as its root partition. What were you running that said that?

It should be possible to run the Windows Installation CD no matter how messed up your hard disks are. You would need to go into the BIOS setup menu and make sure that the boot order is set so that the CD-ROM drive is first and the hard drive is second. Right now you probably have it set to boot first from the floppy drive and then from the hard disk. If you change that you could just insert your Windows installation CD and turn your computer on. Some older computers could not do that and a boot disk for Windows had to be used before the CD could be read. I have never actually done that with any recent version of Windows.

If your NTFS partition is still undamaged, it could be booted up without the Master Boot Record (MBR) or your boot loader. A floppy disk that is a Windows XP boot disk could probably still boot up Windows XP. Unfortunately, it sounds like your NTFS partition might be erased. An experienced Linux user could just insert a Linux rescue disk to see what types of partitions you still have. A computer that has Partition Magic could also be used to examine either hard disk. If you try to reinstall Windows it might allow you to try to save your NTFS partition if it is still there. I am not sure if I understood all of what you did.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 01:29 AM   #11
Demonbane
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What it sounds like to me is that you had your 4gig( C: ) and 20gig( D: ) attached while you installed windows, therefore nt os loader got installed in C:, now that the drive is formatted by linux, nt os loader is gone thus you cannot load windows.
Give this a try:
If you have access to another winxp machine, create a winxp floppy disk( just do format a: ) then copy these files to it: boot.ini ntldr ntdetect.com
modify boot.ini so it looks something like this:
Code:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="WinXP"
that is if your 20gig is on primary slave, if its on second master try
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)
or
multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
it depends on the bios

After thats done boot with the floppy, see if it can load winxp.
 
  


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