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Old 08-11-2004, 09:58 AM   #1
Sven Korner
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Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 4

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Partition damaged at suse 9.1 install

Hi all,

I have (had, more like) an XP and RedHat 9.0 dual booting system. I have a single 76gb harddrive. My partitions looked more or less like this:

hda0: (c:) where my windows resided 29gb
hda1: /boot 100mb
hda2: / 7gb
hda3: /swap 1gb
-logical partitions-
hda4: ext2 filesystem 6gb
hda5: (d:) fat32 29gb
hda6: unused 12gb or so

I inserted suse 9.1 install disk I have downloaded. Chosen manual install. Deleted old partitions from redhat and accepted the default behaviour of trying to mount the win drives on the new suse system. Tried installing new partitions pretty much the same size and locations (but tried raiserfs). I accepted all the choices, started install and it complained about failure to mount hda5 (d:) and failure to create swap dir. I aborted, as it suggested and reshuffled the partition a bit more (all the while making sure I don't format drive d:) and unselected the `mount d:` option. It complained again. Rebooted to windows and to my absolute horror, drive d: was unreachable, saying it is unformatted. Tried Partition Magic. PM8 says `check fail` for the drive d: and `properties` return a silly `not enough memory` error. Tried to install suse again, this time at standard install. It installed, but it took -literally- 2 hours to install it. It was obvious that something was very wrong at this stage. The installation ended with suse reporting errors on an awful lot of modules. Obviously, it failed to start. Grub was installed and I can now run windows via the commands:

rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

PM's utility PartitionInfo reads drive d: and returns all parameters as zero, which is a bit baffling, as it wouldn't return anything if the drive was really unformatted.

I tried booting with the XP CD to access rescue mode but it was waaaaaaay to slow too (took more than 5 minutes and it still couldn't reach the rescue/repair/reinstall menu)

I have so far downloaded suse 9.1 live eval. The green splash screen appeared but when I tried to start suse, it returned with some cd read error and forced me to reboot. Same happened in another computer.

And the final straw.The computer refuses to read copied CDs in Windows. It returns `not a boot disk` or something to that effect if you want too boot with Suse. Drops to grub command line if you insert XP CD.

So, the possibilities are:
- CD writer went belly up, screwed Suse Cd's, which in turn screwed the partition.
- Partition is screwed and for some reason the computer is doing silly things (hence the CDR/W idiocy), a low level format will be our saviour (aka `I love the smell of napalm in the mornings` approach)

I'm totally baffled and at the end of my tether. I would welcome a solution which will help me rescue the data in d:, or perhaps an explanation as to what the hell is happening.

Thanks for your time.

Other specs:
AMD 2400 w/512mb DDR
Asus A7V8X-X mobo
Nvidia Ti4200 AGP 8x
LG 52x CDR/W
Wireless Modem (Don't remember the make now)
Smartlink 56k modem
Ps2 mouse, usb keyboard etc etc
Old 08-11-2004, 10:12 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Suse 9.1 Pro
Posts: 54

Rep: Reputation: 15
It sounds as though Suse made you Bios ill, and you bios then had trouble reading your cd writer. I had a similar problem with suse, where windows didn't want to read linux, and linux didn't want to read windows.

My best advice, and I hope others post better ideas, is to do what I did!

Bite the bullet.

If you have a lot of data on the FAT partition, are you networked? You could try booting from a linux floppy like Floppix and then transfer your data over your network to some temporary storage. Even a usb connection to a palmpilot should be enough to save your data. My advice after that is simply to erase all the non-Windows core partitions. I had problems with trying to boot windows at all before I reformatted the drive.

I would harvest as much data as possible, then reinstall windows seperately. Then do a Suse installation, using 1 part. swap, 1 part. suse, and 1 part Fat32. Suse don't need a boot partition.
Old 08-11-2004, 10:28 AM   #3
Sven Korner
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 4

Original Poster
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Thanks for the answer, I was trying to find a floppy based mini linux and so Floppix is the answer, then.

I have also downloaded and written fresh CDs of suse-install and live eval and will also try that. I don't mind deleting the whole hard drive and start afresh, but I'd like to exhaust all means of extracting my data from d: .

I'll post the results later in the day, hopefully.
Old 08-11-2004, 11:02 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Suse 9.1 Pro
Posts: 54

Rep: Reputation: 15
Sorry bout my absent mind, but Floppix cannot access hard drives. Doh.

I can't' think of any floppy recover disks off-hand, but I'll be googling for you.
Old 08-11-2004, 06:35 PM   #5
Sven Korner
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 4

Original Poster
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FYI: I have solved the problem! Well, sort of. Having no luck with creating linux boot floppies, I went for a win98 floppy, booted the system. Lo and behold! I couldn't access the ntfs partition (as per normal) but my `lost` partition was there!

Now that I have rescued my files, I'll have to reinstall the whole system.

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by Sven Korner; 08-11-2004 at 06:37 PM.
Old 08-12-2004, 09:24 AM   #6
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Suse 9.1 Pro
Posts: 54

Rep: Reputation: 15
Congrats! Soon you'll be using suse, one of the best distro's available.


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