Well... going back to my original point...

The mandrake 10 installer did stop XP Pro from working...

we can pontificate about just how badly it did this... whether it was serious, or as irgu suggests - just a badly written partition table.

Point is, it breaks it and leaves a lot of people in a position where their only solution is to reformat because they know no different. Hence my original post. I was recommending BootIt NG because it cured my problem - I wanted to help out anyone in a similar mess.

Jeez! wasn't an invitation for people to prove just how thick their glasses are with endless reams of techno-babble. I know your glasses are thick you're on a Linux forum you don't need to tell me. I know this is the place to hang out if you have greasy hair, wear black t-shirts, have no girlfriend etc etc Just kidding guys, hope you enjoyed my Linux-guy stereotyping!

I bet some black-tshirt wearer is thinking "Not funny windoze boy.. if you were in my AD&D role-play group on Tuesday nights I would strip your character of all essential spells and artefacts."

Gosh, well please don't banish me to the begotten kingdom of Morgrath your greasiness! I will learn all the ways of a true Linux afficianado. I will adopt poor personal hygene, work on my bad breath and start spelling Microsoft with a $ for an S.
Just kidding guys, just making the point that the average Linux guy is more likely to appear on uglypeople.com that's all. There's no shame in that. Who wants to be handsome anyway? Jeez, you start looking handsome then you get hit-on by all the girls.. before you know it you've got no time to look at your code. How would you ever get past release candidate 1? exactly. Thanks to ugly people computers are more fun. Fact.