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Old 04-28-2004, 08:41 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Re-install corrupted windows on dual-boot

Hi everyone,

apologies if this has been covered before, but I havn't seen it covered so far in the searches i've done.

I have a friend who has an existing dual boot machine with Win2K & RedHat 9. The boot loader is Grub.

For some reason Win2K has gotten itself corrupted and none of the people around here have any idea what's happened (explorer has been corrupted and file associations are kaput).

So the ideal plan is to re-install win2K (or even change to XP pro) in the same windows partition and keep the existing linux partition.

Will the windows installer detect the existing windows partition and install there, and (fingers crossed) will it leave the MBR alone? Even if we selected an upgrade as opposed to an install option? Or will Windows more than likely overwrite the MBR in which case I guess we'd need a linux bootdisk to recreate the linux partition? (i'm pretty sure I saw a thread on doing that).

Any advice greatly appreciated


Old 04-28-2004, 09:02 AM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Sheffield, UK
Distribution: Debian Sarge
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Before I give you an answer, let me just state that I've not actually tried this, so what I say may not be accurate, but from experience I can make an educated guess.

When you run the Windows installer, pretty early on it shows a list of hard drives, and asks which you want to install to. The partitions which Windows can see will have a drive letter, so you should select the orginal 2k partition, and use that one. It shouldn't touch the linux partitions at all. Given that Windows can't read/write to linux partitions anyway, there's no reason to assume that the installer can!

As far as grub is concerned, I believe it works by pointing to the appropriate dsk partition, but I've not altered that at all before, so I could be wrong.

If in doubt, my advice would be to run the installer by booting from the CD, and see if it gives any error messages at the disk selection stage. But be careful not to actually re-format that partition until you're ready!

Hope this helps
Old 04-28-2004, 09:08 AM   #3
Mega Man X
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Hi pete-wilko!

Windows 2000 will overwrite the MBR. There's nothing we can do against that. Still, Win2k and XP plays nice with Linux(seriously). During win2k installation, you will see all your hard-drivers and partitions. Linux partitions may appear as non-dos or non-formated, but Windows won't touch them if you don't want it to. Meaning you can simply install Win2k on the partitions it was and it will work perfectly. I've done it .

But you will lose your boot loader. What you could do is to reinstall _only_ grub again after Win2k.

With Slackware, I put the first disk on the drive and start Slackware as a normal installation. I then mounted the Linux partitions _without_ formating then, skipping a lot of process until I reached the boot loader part (lilo) and reinstalled it. It works perfectly.

I believe Redhat has a repair mode that should work for fixing grub loader. I will leave it for the Redhat experts in this forum since I've not used Redhat for ages (kinda miss it though..ghehe).

Good luck!

Last edited by Mega Man X; 04-28-2004 at 09:11 AM.
Old 04-28-2004, 12:46 PM   #4
bruno buys
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Distribution: Debian
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Just take care to backup the menu.lst file, in case you need to copy those lines that grub uses to init the systems.
When I did that, I printed the file, to re-enter manually in the bootloader install part, just in case.


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