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Old 06-05-2005, 02:17 PM   #1
baxam
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Suse Linux 9.2
Posts: 3

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Question Two Grubs? And Windows partition problem after dual Linux install.


I am a Linux newbie, but I try hard so I get into trouble.
I have a PC with an Athlon 3000+ that started out with just Windows XP.
I bought and installed Suse Linux 9.2.
On the first Linux install, I let the installation re-partition a 180 GB drive,
100 for Linux and 80 for Windows (not the windows boot drive). No problems,
For various reasons I have been switching (re-installing) back-and-forth between the 64 bit and 32 bit Suse versions. I finally decided to try and have both installed at the same time. The 32 bit was already installed, and during the 64 bit install, I resized the original (Linux) 100 GB partition down to 50 GB, and added two new partitions for the 64 bit installation. All seemed well.
In the new 64 bit version, I used Yast to add the 32 bit section into the Grub Loader.
All seemed well.
The issues: When I boot into either the 32 or 64 bit Linux systems I can mount and read the original Windows "E" drive (the 80 GB partition), but when I boot into windows, it now thinks that the partition is 130 GB's and unformatted (would you like to format it now) ((no thanks)).
I'm guessing that there is something in the partition table that Linux is OK with, but Windows has a problem with. So, does anyone know what tools I can use to identify what might be the problem and how to fix it without wiping out the Linux partition. Basically, I need to let Windows know
that it's partition is 80 GB not 150 GB. I wouldn't mind formating the 80 GB partition if I had to, but if I let it format a 150 GB partition, that will have to include one of the Linux partitions.
Also; Do I have two Grubs now? The 64 bit (last install) Grub seems to be the one that is booting.
It has both Linux sections. The 32 bit Grub only has the 32 bit Linux section and is not the one that is displayed when the PC boots.
Is there a way to safely remove it?
Or do I just ignore it?
Is it possibly related to the partition issue?

Thanks.
 
Old 06-06-2005, 03:04 AM   #2
Emmanuel_uk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
Posts: 1,606

Rep: Reputation: 53
Hi, newbee here, so add a pinch of salts to my comments:

Only one grub, but two files (one in each linux partition)
/boot/grub/menu.lst (not 100% sure of name).
Nothing to be removed.
If you want to be on the safe side you can copy the 64 menu.lst
to replace the 32 menu.lst. But your boot looks fine, no worries.

Cannot help with zinblows, sorry, neither the partion issue

If you post the output of
fdisk -l

somebody might be able to help or have some more ideas
 
Old 06-10-2005, 12:11 AM   #3
baxam
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Suse Linux 9.2
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks for the help Emmanuel_uk.

I am beginning to piece it all together. The Grub loader is a program that uses the menu.lst file to get the sections for the boot-able operating systems (or something like that). And the last installation just wrote over the stage 1 file to point at the new menu.lst file. So, like you say, there should be no problem.

Yes, windblows.

Since I have no problem reading the files from Linux, I can always copy them to some cd's and then remove and recreate the partition again. Maybe I should just give the whole disk to Linux.
I think that I will try the fdisk first, just for curiosity.
 
Old 06-10-2005, 02:11 AM   #4
Emmanuel_uk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
Posts: 1,606

Rep: Reputation: 53
Hi, whatever you do keep a backup if you start to play
with the partitions.

Note that in most cases people recommand to install zinblows
before linux, so if you say
- reformat the zin partition with linux
- reinstall zin
you probably will lost grub (menu.lst and all the linux partition
will still be there) and you will have to reinstall grub.

Does not cost much, you could make a bootable CD for linux.
Usually there is also a rescue menu on your distro you can use
to reinstall grub.

Best way is to try and learn really, dual boot is fun.

I had a thought: you have not indicated in your profile (cp button
top right of lin questions) what distribution you are using.

If you are ready to take risk, usually the linux format/disk utility allows
to resize partitions, so once you have defrag zin and backed up
data you could try to resize the zin partition...
that might force the system to see the right size partition
FAT resizing well supported, NTFS resizing, so-so from what I read

Anyhow this is not without risks
 
Old 06-10-2005, 10:56 AM   #5
baxam
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Suse Linux 9.2
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Updated my profile.

The drive and partition are used (by window) only for data.
The windows system is on a different drive that I haven't messed with.
And I can access and copy the files from Linux, so the risk is minimal.
Also, I did do a backup of the drive not too long before this happened, so most of the data is already backed up.

Since everything else is working ok (including windows, except for this one partition), this isn't a high priority for me, and I would prefer to find a way to fix the partition without having to redo it all. Mostly for the learning experience.

I used the partition manager from the Suse distro to resize the partition that I had the 32-bit installation on and created a third partition from the free space for the 64-bit installation. This is when the windows partition started to have a problem. It acted like the freed up space belonged to the windows partition (but un-formatted). I did not change the size of the windows partition, so if I let windows format it, the format will wipe out one of the Linux installations.

The boot loader seems to be working just fine. I can boot into Linux 32-bit, Linux 64-bit, or Windows. It is fun.
 
  


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