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Howdy. I was trying to install Mandrake 9 on my Dell box in an existing Windows partition to dual boot (high hopes for leaving the Microsoft world behind, but I'm ...
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  1. #1
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    newbie install disaster -- hoping for guidance


    Howdy. I was trying to install Mandrake 9 on my Dell box in an existing Windows partition to dual boot (high hopes for leaving the Microsoft world behind, but I'm off to a poor start). The installer wizard informed me that the volume was too fragmented, but wouldnt let me out to boot into windows and defrag (the exit install option, for whatever reason, was not available). After many circular attempts and long waits, I took a deep breath and hard rebooted. Now its a mess. It hangs at the Dell boot screen, and I cant get into BIOS setup (Phoenix 4 BIOS, which I understand sucks, but I also thought could take Mandrake fine) -- it seems to hang after detecting the mouse and the keyboard.

    Other info -- I tried to boot to a DOS disk and gave up to Xmas shop. I came back and it did boot from the a drive after god-knows-how-long, but it couldnt detect a c drive for me to cd to, andI still seem to have no CD drive of course.

    I'm kicking myself in the head for trying this, but I dont want to kick myself cuz I want this to work. Any diagnosis/prognosis/suggested remedial steps out there would be appreciated (especially before my wife finds out)! Thanks!

  2. #2
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    hmm

    did u back up everything with an image first???

    remove all the hardware u dont need like sound cards and devices, etc.

    power off the PC and remove the power lead.

    unplug the mouse and keyboard and replug them.

    get a dos boot disk from an internet cafe if you dont have one and boot into dos.

    goto the BIOS (del?) and reset configuration data (under 'boot"?).

    set drives to AUTO

    try and do an upgrade or repair if you can using your windows disk.

    sounds like you stuffed up the boot loader or MBR or something if it will boot past the bios, if it wont it sounds like hardware so remove everythin you dont need and boot via floppy.

    get another drive and try to copy the stuff over to the new drive from the old one....

    try doing a low level format of the hard drive using drive-scrubber (www.iolo.com)...thats what I do when my drive is screwed up.

    If all else fails and yo can get into the bios try a bios reset configuration data to bios defaults or something maybe.....

    try getting hold of a linux LIVE version OS and boot into the PC that way then try and repair your drive maybe....?

    flash the bios....

    throw it away...

    go fishing.......

  3. #3
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    Just logged on. At the risk of winning today's (even this years) brown nose award that was the sort of quick and comprehensive response mdk101 that make this forum the wonderful resource it is.

    Odum, I hope you get things sorted out (whether or not you go fishing). For a live CD I would suggest Mandrake 10.1:it includes Disk Drake which is ace. For some strange reason I feel that mdk101 might agree with me.

    Computers and cars are great when working well but the biggest pain when they don't.

  4. #4
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    I would say grab a 98 boot disk and run scan disk. Their is no way a install **** up the BIOS. If you reset the BIOS (It depends on how old) but could make things worse. Fdisk the mbr and boot from the 98 disk. Format and run scandisk and install mdk 9.0-10.1.

  5. #5
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    I second what daemonOS recommends.

    Jeremy
    Registered Linux user #346571
    "All The Dude ever wanted was his rug back" - The Dude

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    Some sort of mess you've got there, pal.

    One thing I can't understand is why did this..."malfunction" affect to your BIOS? To me it seems virtually impossible that your Mandrake installation could have even a slightiest hold of your BIOS. But, once again, life is strange. Especially when it comes to computers.

    But I neither agree with daemonOS in turning to boot disk. What would it help if you can't even succeed from the POST screen? I think there is only one ultimate solution: unplug and then plug again the battery of your BIOS chip, just like the mdk 101 said. But it's certainly a damn harsh way of dealing things, plus there are guarantees that this would work.

    But using a live eval cd is not an option. It can virtually write some temp files to your hard drive, but mainly it doesn't have any rights to write anything to your hd. So partitioning from live cd is out of the question.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

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    I can't say I'm correcting you InTone because i haven't partioned a disk using a live CD but I will query your view. That's because i know that with the Mandrake live CDs you can see the hard drive partitions and you can choose to resize them or reformat them. You are then, if i remember correctly, given the option of finalising your choice, i.e., actually repartitioning or formating. I don't have access to my Linux box at the moment but if I can find the time tomorrow (Christmas is taking up a lot of my time) I will slot in a small hard drive and see if I can format it or partition it from an MD 10 live CD.

    Of course with any luck Odum might have sorted things out by then.

  8. #8
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    Re: newbie install disaster -- hoping for guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by odum
    I was trying to install Mandrake 9 on my Dell box in an existing Windows partition to dual boot (high hopes for leaving the Microsoft world behind, but I'm off to a poor start). The installer wizard informed me that the volume was too fragmented, but wouldnt let me out to boot into windows and defrag
    Sorry if I'm off base here, but I'm not sure we really have a handle on what has happened. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding exactly what odum has said. It's not possible to install Mandrake "in an existing Windows partition" without over-writing Windows. And you sure don't want to use a Windows "installer wizard" to install Mandrake. Good luck with trying the advise in the other posts, but it sounds like the MBR or partition table are screwed up. If booting hangs during hard drive detection, it's probably because of a conflict between what the BIOS expects from the drive and what is actually there. If you're ready to "leave the Microsoft world behind", it should be just a matter of booting to the install CD. It that doesn't work we've got solutions. On the other hand, if you want to restore your Windows partitions, the other posters have the best answers.
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

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    Lots of good advice, and very clarifying. My situation has changed. I can boot into BIOS setup, but it takes a lot longer than I wouldve expcted -- longer than the 20 minute max I expected. When I exit setup, I go straight into Windows, although I still dont have my CD drive, but I still hang if I dont go through setup unless I boot to a floppy (and then it cant recognize my hard drive).

    In any case, it sounds like I was led down a bit of a primrose path by a well-meaning Open Source buddy, and that this is perhaps a bit more difficult to do quite so casually. I'll find a way via network or USB (which still seems OK) to repair the windows install and go from there. I'll get this thing eventually, barring any other great last minute ideas.

    I really appreciate the advice. Y'all are great and I'll be back!

  10. #10
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    Odum, glad that things have moved on a bit for you. Now re Live Cds. My son had trouble with a friend's Pc that he was hoping to get going again. He needed to extract his files from her hard drive but couldn't boot into Windows, so I lent (well i hope he realises it was a loan!) my Knoppix Live Cd and he used that to get into Windows and extract his files. Now, I once messed up Windows on my Windows box (I just can't stop trying out things) and so Windows wouldn't boot at all. A floppy rescue disk was no help. So I used a Mandrake Live Cd. From the Linux desktop I was able to go straight into the Windows system folder on Drive C and undo what I had messed up. I was then able to boot into Windows.

    Moral: every PC owning home should have a lInux live CD. Thay are cheap or even free, they don't eat your food nor leave a mess on the floor and they are very useful.

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