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Old 07-23-2003, 04:48 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 3

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Trying to put linux on a windows box, but having problems.

Ok, I think I really messed something up.

I installed linux today, after reformating my hard drive. After using Linux for a while I thought I would like to have windos on the same box. I used my recovery disks that came with my system and they said that the partition data must be deleted, but when I try to fdisk it, it tell me I can't while logical drives exist, but it wo't let me delete any logical drives. I was wonering if I re-installed linux, would therebe something I could do to fix it?

Thank you in advance for your help.
Old 07-23-2003, 05:12 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Santa Clara,CA
Distribution: Mandriva
Posts: 909

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Help! I don't understand your problem(Well this is the real problem?!)
First let me put to you what have I understood from your post?
You had Windows and you repartitioned your harddisk,and installed linux.Now you can't boot into windows!
Is it that you formatted everything and then installed linux.Now you want to install windows,and since linux is in primary partition it won't let you install windows in the logical partition and tells you to delete the partition
Is it something else?
Old 07-23-2003, 05:18 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2003
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The second one.

I reformatted everything and installed linux, then I decided to reinstall windows. I deleted linux and reformated my hard drive. Now it has a partition that won't go away.
Since I posted the first message, I got windows reintalled, but that partition is still there and I am not sure how to get rid of it. But, I guess this has turned into a windows problem now.
Old 07-23-2003, 05:51 AM   #4
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Santa Clara,CA
Distribution: Mandriva
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Just delete it with something like partition magic (or if you are comfortable with fdisk, you can use fdisk).
That's it.
Old 07-23-2003, 05:58 AM   #5
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Havertown PA
Distribution: Ubuntu/RHEL/Fedora
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Which version of Windows are you talking about? I know that most Windows after 98 will give you an interface that will allow you to delete those partitions, if FDISK won't do it. I think you can also delete them using the redhat installer and then exit the installer before you actually install the system files.

After that, why not have a dual boot machine? If you install Windows first and leave a few gig free on the HD for Linux, then install Linux using Grub, it's very easy to work with.
Old 07-23-2003, 06:34 AM   #6
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: NL
Distribution: My own
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There are two ways to fix your partition table:

1. Buy Partition Magic, and waste some money
2. Use a Linux rescue disk. Boot up, run either cfdisk, parted or fdisk (in order of decreasing userfriendlyness) and delete all partitions.

Obviously, you cant delete partitions that are in use by Linux, thats why you should use a rescue disk. You can get one from (or something url like that, ftp access is blocked from where im working) which has parted.

Once you have your rescue disk image, put it on a floppy using (gunzip first if it has a .gz extention)

dd if=path/to/the-rescue-disk-image of=/dev/fd0u1440

Make sure your floppy is not mounted !! (beware of automounters)

Next, reboot from the floppy, start parted, remove all partitions, write result do disk. To learn what commands you can use, type help in parted.

Now you are ready to make new partitions. Remember:

1. Windows needs the first fat or ntfs partition. You can tell NT/2000/XP/2003 to use another, but that complicates things.
2. Linux needs atleast two partitions: one for Linux and one fro swap (workaround: mount swap over loopback. slowwww)
3. If you want to make your system more robust, its worth placing a small rootfs in one partition, and place /usr, /var, /home and /tmp in seperate partitions.
Old 07-23-2003, 08:02 AM   #7
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Sydney, Oz
Distribution: Red Hat, IPCop
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The easy answer is... you got the order wrong!

Install Windoze. Clean, complete, very happy billy-boy install.

Get a tool (Partition Magic etc.) and resize the Win partition to half of what the HDD is. Leave the newly created space empty.

Boot from the Linux CD, and let the install process use the available free space (the new empty area) and also let it install GRUB as the boot loader, but in the first partition, not the boot sector (makes life easier when things go pear shaped and you want to start again! Been there... done that!)

That's all there is to it! Let us know if there are any further problems - this is one thing I have done WAY too many times.

Old 07-23-2003, 10:25 PM   #8
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Missouri
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You can also use this debug script to clear the partition sector of the hard drive. I've used he before, works like a charm. Here it is:

- f 200 L200 0
- a 100
xxxx:0100 mov ax,301 (ignore segment : offset values at left)
xxxx:0103 mov bx,200
xxxx:0106 mov cx,1
xxxx:0109 mov dx,0080
xxxx:010C int 13
xxxx:010E int 3
xxxx:010F (Press ENTER an extra time here)
- d 100 LF
xxxx:0100 B8 01 03 BB 00 02 B9 01-00 BA 80 00 CD 13 CC
(make sure that hex values match above line before proceeding)
(if values do not match, type Q and start over)
- g=100
(ignore register display)
- q (quits back to DOS)

Last edited by DuckTape; 07-23-2003 at 10:26 PM.
Old 07-23-2003, 10:29 PM   #9
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Grantham, PA, US
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.1 w/ KDE4
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I tried to putting that on my didn't work. (Then again, I would have had 3 systems on one HDD )
So I went and got a 3 GB HDD and put RH on it. Works very well if I do say so myself.
Old 07-24-2003, 01:46 AM   #10
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Registered: Jul 2003
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this happened to me once, i had linux installed on a disk (root,swap,home), then i needed to take that disk and make it a fat32 (long story) but the winblows fdisk thinggy was choking on it... i didn't really have time to do a lot of research and stuff so i just took a mandrake 9.x install cd and ran it up to the point where you format the disk(s)... i made mandy format the whole thing fat32, then i cancelled the install... then i tried the winblows fdisk again and it didn't choke... i was able to delete the linux-created fat32 partition and then re-create the pure winblows partition(s) of choice, and then format them... i know, not a very geeky solution but hey i am a newbie and well, it worked. good luck.
Old 07-24-2003, 02:02 AM   #11
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Northern England
Distribution: Debian Wheezy 64-bit
Posts: 128

Rep: Reputation: 15
Yeah, I've had similar problems once or twice.....What I would be inclined to do is zap the drive with a quick low-level formatting utility such as that included in Seagate's DiscWizard (don't have a link, but a Google search will bring it up) - gives you a nice clean slate to work with.
Fdisk will simply bring up a message about "no partitions defined" or something similar, and you can start from scratch.


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