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Old 10-23-2004, 01:28 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Karachi
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Question Linux is not visible after a Windows FIXMBR command


I am a real newbie in Linux world. I installed Linux on my machine. Some details are:
I have two hard drives in my computer. Primary is a 20GB with Windows 98 installed on first, Windows XP on second and a third partition for data. I installed an additional 3GB hard disk for RedHat 9.

I installed RH9 and selected to install Grub on MBR. It worked fine I got grub displaying Linux and Dos. On selecting Dos I got Windows XP's boot menu for either XP or 98.

My computer is also used by my wife who is not a computer person. Sometimes she let Linux load and got confused. What I did was boot from WinXP cd and re-install WinXP loader with FIXMBR. Linux disappeared totally.

How do I get it back? Do I have to re-install or is there a simpler remedy?

Old 10-23-2004, 02:29 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: 1st Brillouin Zone
Distribution: Gentoo (not ricer Gentoo)
Posts: 165

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It's no problem to get it back.

You will need to boot into RH9 via a bootdisk. The install should have prompted you to do so, you could probably download one at or I beleive you can use the RH install disk and go to recovery mode (but that is text mode only)

Get to a terminal and become root

su -
and then your root password

Next type
which will put you into grub's console.

You will know need to tell grub to install on your mbr and show it your boot partition. To do this however, you need to know what partition it's on. Grub labels partions with two numbers. The first number is the hard drive number (starting at zero) and the second is the partition number (starting at zero). (eg (hd0,0) is my boot partition). If you are unsure where your boot partition is open up /etc/fstab (it is a text file) and look for a partition mounted at /boot (second column) and find the device name for it (first coulmn). If you don't have a boot partition, look for the partition mounted as /.

I will explain how to get this info, if I fail, just post your fstab file and I'll tell you.

For example, my boot partiton is /dev/hda1.

a is the first hard drive, so my drive number is 0. If however it were hdc, and I also had a harddrive at hda but nothing at hdb, hdc would be drive number 1 (not 2). The numbering skips all other devices.

1 means the first partition so the partition number would be 0. hda3 would have a partition number of 2.

Suppose your boot partition is at /dev/hda1.

Then you install specify the boot partition
setup (hd0,0)
Install Grub on the MBR with
root (hd0)
then exit grub's shell with
You should now have grub when you reboot.

As far as your grub issues, you can fix them all by modifying your grub.conf or menu.lst file, here's mine

grub.conf or menu.lst (depending on distro, I can't remeber which RH9 uses)
PHP Code:

title Gentoo 2.4.26
kernel /kernel-2.4.26-gentoo-r9 root=/dev/hda3 vga=792 
default refers to which gets booted by default, timeout is in seconds and title is the name for an OS that appears on the screen. The majic of linux is that all the configuration is done with text files so everything is accessible. Just be sure not to make typos on your conf files.

Have fun

Last edited by Tamsco; 10-23-2004 at 02:35 AM.
Old 10-23-2004, 02:30 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: RaMetal
Distribution: Solaris,FC2,FreeBSD
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You just need reinstall grub.
Boot your computer with the linux install cd 1,go into rescue mode,run this two command:

chroot /mnt/sysimage
grub-install /dev/hda

Good luck.

Old 10-23-2004, 02:31 AM   #4
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: 1st Brillouin Zone
Distribution: Gentoo (not ricer Gentoo)
Posts: 165

Rep: Reputation: 30
As a side note, do you know the RH9 is outdated. The Red Hat personal desktop merged with Fedora project. As a result, you will not be able to get updates. If you want to be up to date (which is overrated in my opinion) install Fedora Core 2.

Sky something's solution may be easier fyi. This is the only way I know how to do it.

Last edited by Tamsco; 10-23-2004 at 02:32 AM.
Old 10-23-2004, 11:52 AM   #5
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Karachi
Posts: 13

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Thanks guys!!!

There are still two issues. One I would like my boot loader installed on first sector of linux, not on MBR. Is it possible that XP boots first and gives me an option to load linux?

Second, I am in Pakistan where we get no Linux distribution but RedHad and Mandrek. Is there a website where I can download Fedora from?

I really appreciate your help and cooperation.
Old 10-23-2004, 12:00 PM   #6
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Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 24

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You say you are a newbie and recently installed Linux and choosed to install GRUB on your MBR.

How did you do that? I need to install GRUB on my MBR (everyone tells me but noone shows how to do it) and I dont want to do a difficult manual install.
I'm trying with SuSE9.1 and it might not be very similar to your RH install I guess, but if you have some clue to give me regarding installing the boot-manager so it works with XP I would be glad

I think it says to install it on hda0 (or hd0), and I see nothing about MBR, but it just hangs both Linux and XP after booting during the install so something is very wrong
I have to delete the Linux-partitions to even start XP again.

Sorry for stealing the thread....getting desperate over here
No worries if you dont know or dont want to help, I'm just asking

Last edited by Seb74; 10-23-2004 at 12:01 PM.
Old 10-23-2004, 02:26 PM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Karachi
Posts: 13

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Hi Seb74,

Your question is very interesting, but I am sorry that I can't help you much. When I installed RedHat 9, it gave me three options: install server, install workstation or custom install. I selected the third one and when it came to loader, it gave me an option to install it on MBR or first sector of Linux partition.

First time I selected what it suggested for Winnt users; first sector of partition. But after completion there were no signs of Linux at all. I didn't know what had happend so I simply re-installed it again and selected the other option; install the grub on MBR.

I have no idea about how Suse presents this option. May be you will have to do a custom install instead of express or auto install.

I am really sorry that I'm of no use.


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