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  1. #1

    Installing Mandrake 10 broke XP Pro

    I'm new to Linux but I gather problems like mine have happened quite a lot as I've trawled through the posts of various boards discussing issues like mine or similar.

    I wanted to make a post that details how I rescued my XP Pro install and preservered the dual boot perfectly so everything ran as it was supposed to.

    The Problem:

    Having resized my NTFS C drive to make room for Linux in a fresh partition at the end of the drive all went well until I rebooted and Lilo would not start XP Pro. Instead I just got a blinking cursor and nothing more.

    After reading a lot of posts I saw that a bunch of people had recommended changing BIOS settings so drive detection changed from AUTO to LBA, which I did but this did not seem to help, now I just got a message saying serious disk error (or something similar) and the XP booting would stop dead.

    The Solution:

    Downloaded a tool called Boot-It Next Generation from - with this I easily made a boot ISO for the broken Mandrake/XP Pro machine.
    Then I booted from this on the broken machine... chose to RESIZE the broken NTFS partition - don't ask me why I picked this, it was a shot in the dark! So I did a resize and made it about 1mb smaller roughly as I remember.. very little change.
    The program went ahead and peformed the resize operation. The result... XP Pro came back to life and all was cured.
    Lilo boots all OSs now happily, presumably the problem I had was down to the mandrake install not cleaning up after resizing the NTFS partition.
    Try this before you format your entire drive etc ! Could save you a lot of time!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    good post, although iirc then resizing ntfs partitions is not supported by linux at this time?

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    New Zealand
    yeah, what did u use to resize the ntfs partition, ive never used mdk10 installer but everythign else ive tried cant resize them, so i had to use partitionmagic.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Thanks variant for telling me that resizing NTFS partitions is not supported by Linux *at this time*. I like the 'at this time' bit was that intended to sound like some customer support rep with a headset mic. Yeah? Save it.

    So if its not supported will somebody tell Mandrake - because it was using their installer to resize NTFS that screwed my XP Pro and I'm not alone with this problem. If I recall there was a warning along the lines of 'could be risky' - shouldn't it be more like this (in giant red letters):

    "Say goodbye to XP if you clicks this - mind you we'd rather you did so you spend more time using Mandrake and become a converted Linux geek like us, we don't care if your music apps need to run under windows and don't run under WINE etc. Music is for arty types anyway, programming is what you should be doing.. and why aren't you wearing thick glasses? You have no right to be using this OS if you have a girlfriend. You should be married to the code like us."

    As for Partition Magic, I remember it being a great app back in the day (on Win95 working on FAT & FAT32) but about a year ago, a more recent version screwed up some NTFS partitions on my machine quite badly.
    Partition Magic is the name because it magics away your valuable data in true now-you-see-it, now-you-don't conjurer style :P I assume Powerquest have since fixed these problems but that's why I opted for Boot-It NG cos it does a similar job and it isn't Partition Magic.
    I might get a new version of PM one day and see if it works...
    When I'm feeling brave.

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    New Zealand
    i was using PM 8.02 (i think) and only using it from windoze to resize partitions. not for booting. (i use grub for that) also it helps if u defrag ur disks before u partition them, then u dont loose stuff unless u shrink them too much.

    What music program are u using. Have u tried xmms. it should be installed by default on mdk and can play anything except wma.

  7. #6
    if u are resizing partitions i would recommend not doing so without deframenting. it could corrupt the entire hard disk. i say this by experience
    I\'m just a simple fisherman blessed with a lot of friends

  8. #7
    when I said music programs I meant unrivaled creative apps such as Reason and Reaktor. To my knowledge there are no such feature-rich soft-synths available for Linux. I've been into computer music for over 15 years and I keep abreast of whats hot and whats not on that scene. It's news to me if Linux offers anything that holds a candle to those fine programs!

    As for defragging before resizing, my NTFS partition was fully defragged. I was running Diskkeeper on the 'set & forget mode' to maintain this. I'm sure what you say is sound advice but was not applicable in my case.

    Just to reiterate for people who think Mandrake is solid and wouldn't commit such a crime... It broke my XP install when I used its installer to resize my NTFS XP Pro partition - drive was fully defragged, me, completely blameless, mandrake, guilty as charged. No further questions your honour

  9. #8
    ok I just checked and you can get a Reaktor build for Linux which is great - but you can't get Reason as far as I can tell unless anyone knows otherwise!? be nice to see them both on Linux...

  10. #9

    Resize NTFS

    SuSE 9.1 will resize NTFS partitions. When I installed SuSE on a system with XP Pro, I dont get any problems. In fact. people tell you that Knoppix or other Live CDS are the ultimate rescue disk, but when I mess with a new distro or try something out and it makes my system unbootable, I just pop in my old suse disk, go through the motions, and come out with a graphical, user friendly os (WITH an option to boot XP that works). Granted, this isnt the most time efficient way to go, but I cant tell you how many times ive done this, hasnt failed me yet...

  11. #10
    This problem can happen with SUSE and Fedora also. The fileystem doesn't matter because it happens with FAT32 too. Red Hat/Fedora don't even include any NTFS support, still many people have hit unbootable Windows problem:

    Probably there is a bug in the partition table manipulation software, diskdrake. If Mandrake's really messed up NTFS then BootItNG couldn't probably recover it. However fixing the partition table is easy and doesn't involve any filesystem modification. This could explain why a RESIZE fixed your Windows: it rewrote the partition table to be correct.

    Others wrote also that Partition Magic found many problems in the partition table after a dual install.

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