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Author Topic: Help. I think I just screwed my system.  (Read 1931 times)
1984
Member
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Posts: 29


« on: August 16, 2010, 07:57:01 pm »

OK. I tried reinstalling vector KDE classic again. I made new partitions. And reinstalled.

This time though nothing boots. Not even windows. The only reason I am able to post this is by using the live cd.

Instead of going to a boot manager after start up my mobo loads and then it takes me to a screen filled with bianary an nothing happens.

This is not good. This comp is important and its contiued use tomorrow under windows is important too.

I thought I was safe because I was using a different hd for linux than windows but somehow I've managed to screw it up.


Installation went fine and completed. Said to reboot. so I did. Now nothing boots. Only numbers.

What just happend??? Help please?
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Ralph_Ellis
Member
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Posts: 27


« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2010, 08:24:53 pm »

Option 1
If you have a Windows CD, you can use it to fix your MBR with:

"Boot from the windows XP CD, press the "R" key in the setup in order to start the restoration console. Select your windows XP installation from the list, and enter the administrator password.
Enter the command: "FIXMBR" (without the quotes) at the input prompt and confirm the next question with a "Y" (without the quotes). Use exit to restore the computer."

Option 2

If you don't have the Windows CD, do the Vector install again. Be sure to format the root partition to get rid of any remaining installation files and install Lilo to the MBR.

Option 3
Use an Ubuntu Live CD to restore the MBR
See
http://www.arsgeek.com/2008/01/15/how-to-fix-your-windows-mbr-with-an-ubuntu-livecd/

Good luck.
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2010, 08:37:03 pm »

If you're seeing a screen of 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 or similar, VectorLinux can't find the partition it's installed on.

I  think we need to work on getting your Windows to boot. Then we can start all over with VectorLinux. Are you SURE your VectorLinux KDE Classic CD is okay? Did you run md5sum on the ISO file you downloaded to make sure the file itself is without errors?

Can you get into a Windows Recovery Console? If you can, you can run the command
fixmbr
at the console prompt you see in the Recovery Console. This should get you back to the way your Master Boot Record was before you installed the Linux boot loader. Do you have a floppy drive on that computer? I have one computer with a floppy drive and I put LILO on a floppy disk to use when booting that computer. This leaves the MBR untouched so there's no chance that Windows will become unbootable.

>> I thought I was safe because I was using a different hd for linux than windows but somehow I've managed to screw it up. >>

People say this all the time and I don't know where they get this idea. In a way, it's all the same to your computer whether you have Linux on a separate drive or a separate  partition on the same physical drive as Windows. If you make each drive bootable and can change which drive is the bootable drive in the BIOS, you might avoid some problems. But if you want a dual boot where you can use some files you have in Windows (such as photos or music), it doesn't make it safer to have Linux on a different physical drive.

If you can't get into a Windows Recovery Console, let me know and I'll try to find other ways you can restore the MBR--unless somebody here knows how to do it.

I'm sure you're feeling discouraged. Please don't give up. The degree of trouble you're experiencing is unusual. I think we can get things working once we truly get back to scratch with just a working Windows. Then we'll install Linux *without* putting a Linux boot loader in your MBR.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
1984
Member
*
Posts: 29


« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 09:01:34 pm »

Thank you.

Yes I am discouraged.

And yes its producing a long series of nines.

Dosn't matter if I take out the hd I was using for linux. Still won't boot to windows.

repartioning and reinstalling vector yet again didn't fix it.

I don't know how to get into a windows recovery console. I think that I have a windows disk laying arround somewhere that I burned from pirate bay because the store that sold us this thing didn't give us a bleeping disk.

If anyone can help me with any instruction as to how I can get windows back up and running again that would be most appriciated. I do not want to loose those programs, files, downloads, and especially my extensive list of favorites on IE.

Definently won't be trying to put any linux system on this comp again. Linux mint won't even boot from the cd on this thing.

As I said I'm building a new pc for myself one the bloody case gets shipped to me. Then I guess I won't have anything to screw up and I'll try doing this again. Probably next week.

Hopefully this won't be so difficult on it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 09:03:52 pm by 1984 » Logged
retired1af
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1258



« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2010, 09:27:22 pm »

If you have an XP installation CD, boot into recovery console and then type FIXMBR. This will repair the XP mbr so you can boot into XP again. If you don't have an installation CD, there are free CDs out there that you can download and burn that will create a repair disk that contains repair programs for master boot records.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
Ralph_Ellis
Member
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Posts: 27


« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 04:50:55 am »

If you don't have a Windows recovery CD do you have an install CD for a recent version of Ubuntu, Fedora or Suse? All of these are more advanced in their installation of bootloaders than Vector. If you cannot use one to fix your MBR then install one of them and use GRUB as your boot loader. That could get you to a working installation.
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1984
Member
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Posts: 29


« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 12:57:08 pm »

Ok. I think I found the Windows cd.

I do have a third harddrive.

Before do anything would it be a wise idea to back up my entire windows hd on to another hd? The windows hd is only 40gb. And I have a new 500gb. Blank drive.

I could use g-parted on the vector installer to format the new thing and while useing this live cd as my os transfer the data.

Is this a good idea? Or could useing the live cd from the dvd-rom drive present problems I'm not aware of.

Could I loose my data putting the windows disk in trying to get things fix?


And finally, when I put this windows disk in what do I do to fix my system?HuhHuh
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retired1af
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1258



« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 03:53:08 pm »

Copying Windows does nothing regarding the MBR. Two separate things.

Boot the Windows CD and when prompted, press R to get into the Recovery Console. Once at the command prompt, type FIXMBR. Reboot and you should now be able to get into Windows.

When installing Linux, you are asked where you wish the bootloader (GRUB or LILO) to be installed. Depending on your system, your first hard drive will be listed as hda or sda, the second drive being hdb or sdb.

IF you have the ability to set which drive to boot to via the BIOS, I would suggest writing LILO or GRUB to the second hard drive that contains the Linux installation, thereby leaving your Windows hard drive completely alone. Then all you need to do is use the function key that allows you to select which drive to boot to, then select the appropriate drive (Windows or Linux).
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
1984
Member
*
Posts: 29


« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 04:39:20 pm »

Thank you. I'll do that.

Iv'e been installing lilo on the root partition of the second (linux) hd.

If I successfully get windows back up and running I might try one more time to get vector running on this machine.

I feel really ticked and don't want to get defeated by this stupid piece of hardware. If buzz9ing arround forums and taking time is what is required at leat i don't want to walk away defeated.

I will completely re-download Vector KDE Classic, not the live cd this time. And also burn the disk using the slowests x8 or slower.

If lilo is not so advanced how do I use a different boot loader?
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1984
Member
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Posts: 29


« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 06:34:41 pm »

OK. I'm back up and running.

Everything is as it should be. Thanks.

I might try to install again or I might just wait until next week when my new pc comes together.

We'll see.
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MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1071


« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 07:22:21 pm »

Got in on this late...it's a very good plan to have a utility live CD such as GParted or Ultimate Boot CD (there are others). They will have the utilities to restore such things as the MBR (testdisk does this easily). Even if the MBR area on the HD is damaged you can still "rescue" the data with those utilities.

Anyway glad you're back up and breathing easier now (I've had the very same sick feeling more often then I care to recall).

Mike
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The plans of the diligent lead to profit...Pro. 21:5
VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2010, 08:18:43 am »

I'm very happy you managed to get things fixed and I take it Windows is starting again and your data is intact.

I hope you have better luck with Linux next time.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
ZBREAKER
Member
*
Posts: 7


« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2010, 10:12:09 am »

1984...I've been right smack in the same spot as you back in the day. The trick is to dust yourself off and get right back on the horse when ready.
Experience was my greatest teacher on the road to linux independance.
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newt
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1132



« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 11:16:17 am »

1984,

From reading through the thread, it sounds like you successfully installed VectorLinux a few days ago but the bootloader step was problematic. It also sounds like you were able to fix your Master Boot Record using the Windows CD method, thus putting the windows bootloader back into action. I don't imagine you deleted the linux partitions where you had installed VL, which would be a good thing.

If the above is correct, then you may actually have a very simple step ahead of you to get VL working on your existing system. The general steps would be something like this (thx to grannygeek for the process):
-boot to your installed VL using the CD "boot:" option
-install lilo to the boot sector of the partition
-create an image of the lilo boot sector you just installed
-copy the lilo image file to a flash drive (or other removable drive)
-boot windows and copy the lilo image file to the C drive
-backup your boot.ini
-edit your boot.ini and add a line to chain load the lilo image file

More details here: http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=1073.0
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