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Old 08-05-2005, 01:09 PM   #1
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Help: Accidentally installed GRUB to my WindowsXP NTFS partition

1. Re-installed Ubuntu 5.04 to dual boot with Windows XP
Partition 1: 25GB, NTFS, WindowsXP, C:\windows (primary partition)
Partition 2: 30GB, FAT32, D:\ (primary logical partition as part of 55GB logical drive)
Partition 3: 100 MB, FAT32, /boot (primary partition)
Partition 4: 8GB, ReiserFS, / (logical partition as part of 55GB logical drive)
Partition 5: 2.5GB, swap, swap (logical partition as part of 55GB logical drive)
Partition 6: 14.5GB, XFS, /home (logical partition as part of 55GB logical drive)

2. I had Kubuntu 5.04 and Windows XP installed in a dual boot configuration. Partition 3 did not exist originally.

3. I used Partition Magic to create Partition 3 at the front of the drive. So the primary partition order is partition 3, partition1, partition2 (additionally with 4,5,6 all one logical drive) on the drive.

4. Reinstalled Kubuntu so that GRUB would be installed to the new /boot partition.

5. When I got to the GRUB install portion I chose to not install to the MBR and to install to a partition.

6. Here's where I screwed up: I chose the wrong partition! Thought /boot was partition hda 0,0 (partition #1) when it was really hda 0,2 (partition #3). I made the stupid assumption that if you put a partition at the beginning of a drive that it is tagged as the first partition. Just so you know, that is a bad assumption.

7. So now my Windows XP NTFS partition is hosed due to GRUB installing to that partition.

8. I know the XP partition didn't get formatted, only that GRUB got installed there. I guess Ubuntu can read/write to NTFS and that is why it was able to install there (or maybe this is an incorrect assumption).

9. Regardless, I can see all partitions when I run FIXBOOT from the Windows XP install CD; however, the NTFS partition does not read when I use another utility from the XP CD to auto-recognize OSes (not sure the name of the utility off-hand).

Question: How do I recover? From other posts on the forum it looks like I might just be able to rescue the NTFS partition with Partition Magic...but before I take that drastic of a step I was wondering if there is a simpler fix.

Basically, in addition to "how do I recover?" I was wondering "what does Ubuntu do when it tries to install GRUB to an NTFS partition that already has Windows installed on it?"


Additionally, I tried to fix the partition with Partition Magic last night. Received an error that would not allow PM to fix the partition. Looked on the help site for the error message (#1541) and it said to run CHKDSK /F which also didn't help. CHKDSK said there are unrecoverable errors.

So now I'm hoping someone will give me a quick fix. I haven't tried FIXMBR because I don't think GRUB messed up the MBR since I told it to install to the partition. Any help would be appreciated.

I'd like to not have to try to recover data from the partition, re-format and reinstall the OS and all my apps.

Last edited by Hasbro35; 08-05-2005 at 01:19 PM.
Old 08-05-2005, 01:56 PM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: Cent OS 6.4
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When the Ubuntu setup tried to write to the NTFS partition, you should have got an Error like Grub install failed or something like that.

The Linux Kernel doesn't have modules to write to the NTFS partition, so i guess your Windows partition is alright.

Download Knoppix-Live CD to check whether the data is still present on your NTFS partition.
Moreover, I think that you will have to run the Kubuntu Setup again.
You can install GRUB to the MBR as a safe bet.
Not sure what to do with the /boot partition though.
Anyways, if you gonna set it up again, you can have the Kubuntu hard disk partitioner, do the job.


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