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Old 06-08-2004, 11:59 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2004
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Why is Debian showing up when I installed CL over it?

I've recently been trying to go to Linux. I tried installing Debian, but no matter what I did, I could not get XDM to work with my video card under Debian. I then tried Trustix Secure. This installed well, but it appears from what I could find on the net, Trustix isn't really designed with a GUI in mind.

I gave up and decided to go with College Linux, but no matter what I tried, I could not get rid of GRUB, Trustix's boot system. GRUB refused to acknowledge the existence of my College install, so I tried re-installing Debian so LiLo would be functioning properly again.

Soooo, then I tried installing College Linux again. It appeared to have installed properly, except for a couple of errors reading installation files but acted as though it could continue. It finished and seemed ready to go - so I rebooted.

LiLo kicked on instead of that damned GRUB, and then....

booted into Debian as if I had never installed College. I don't understand this - I repartitioned the drive, thinking surely that would have killed any trace of Debian or Trustix.

My computer still insists that Debian is alive, well and installed, and that my 45-minute installation of College did not happen. No trace. Nothing. The directories look as if Debian was freshly installed, minus a functioning GUI of course.

Where is my College Linux? It looked really promising, with a great deal of packages (IRC, Mozilla, movie players, etc.) and so I'm even more disappointed. Did the CD actually fail to write anything to my harddrive?

Someone please help me. I don't want to go back to Windoze. But after four days, 10 different Linux installations and a completely useless computer, I'm getting ready to give up. I know, RTFM, but I just don't have time around my work schedule right now.

Can somebody please get me an answer? Pray ye help, all ye here?


Gabriel on behalf of Andrew...
Old 06-09-2004, 12:18 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 498

Rep: Reputation: 31
first off -- to remove a boot loader you want either install another one in the same place, or run the command "fdisk /mbr" from a DOS win98SE bootdisk (available from

Okay...lets try to tackle this.

I repartitioned the drive, thinking surely that would have killed any trace of Debian or Trustix.
Partitioning only gets rid of the partition table, it still leaves all the data intact, but yes, effictively this should have deleted Debian and Trustix. Let's go over what could have happened

--Maybe you didn't delete the partitions right

--Maybe you deleted the wrong partitions

--Did you use a terminal tool such as fdisk or cfdisk, or did you use a GUI offered with College Linux, if you used a GUI, I would assume the GUI is at fault here, use a linux or DOS boot disk and use cfdisk or fdisk to properly delete the partitions.

--I'm not quite sure about what I am going to say and if it could even happen, but it sounds logical. Since repartitioning only redoes the partition table, it is possible if you used the same size partitions that if the college linux install really did nothing because of the errors that you rewrote the same partition table and it just kept all the data because college linux never wrote over it and repartition does not delete the data.

I am going to have to guess that the errors college linux experienced may not have seemed serious but probably were. Burn the CD's again or get more specific with the errors (or just try again, computers are goofy) and if still no luck then Try a distro like SuSE or Fedora or Mandrake, they are all very GUI oriented and spiffy like you say College Linux is.

Last edited by vdogvictor; 06-09-2004 at 12:20 AM.


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