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Hello there folks, I'm Jean-Loup from Scotland *waves* I usually don't go for help for that sort of thing but right now, I'm at a complete loss about what to ...
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  1. #1
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    MPBR Problem


    Hello there folks,

    I'm Jean-Loup from Scotland *waves*

    I usually don't go for help for that sort of thing but right now, I'm at a complete loss about what to do to solve this.

    I recently upgraded my system where I've been running various versions of Mandrake from 7.0 to 10.0, lately with a successful dual boot with Windows 2000 Pro on a 15GB Hard Disk.

    I moved from a Pentium Celeron 500Mhz to a 2800Mhz, a brand new Motherboard with onboard sound and graphics with the Intel 865 chipset, a 120GB Hard drive and a DVD/CDRW Combo.

    I installed Windows to start with on the 120GB with a few problems here and there but which were eventually solved. The next step was of course to put Mandrake and since I started this afternoon it all went down to hell.

    First of all, the Mandrake install won't let me resize my Windows partition to less than 106GB (or thereabouts). The idea is to have it at 60GB to have an equal amount of Linux and Windows. Anyway, it seemed to have freed enough to put Mandrake in there. Unfortunately, after installing 10.0, it gave me GRUB as a bootloader which wouldn't let me past stage one (screen shows GRUB and a blinking cursor but I can't do anything other than ctrl+alt+del).

    After several attemps, I decided to try 10.1 as it may be a problem with compatible hardware and I'd heard of problems with the 2.6.3 Kernel (though it did work fine after upgrading XFree86 on the previous drive). Now I have Lilo as the bootloader but it won't let me boot either. I usually put the bootloader in the MBR as I've always seen it be recommended. For that last attempt (which prompted me to write there as a last resort) I put it on a floppy as Mandrake install doesn't seem to have a facility to create a boot floppy anymore. The problem was exactly the same. Lilo starts with an L on the screen and goes nowhere. No error message nothing. Using the "rescue" function of the install disc proved to be to no avail, doing either an install or an upgrade of Mandrake changes nothing. All I can think of is that there is something wrong with the MBR, as if I clean the Linux bootloader off it, I still can't load Windows and it gives me a not-so-nice "ntldr file missing" message.

    Sooo.... does anyone have any kind of solution? I trolled around various forums and tried various suggestions people have given but so far nothing works. If you need more details about my system, let me know. Like I said, I'm very short of ideas and the upgrade of my PC was really meant to enable me to be more productive and yet I've just lost 4 days so far...

    Anyone?

    Thanks for your help

    -Jean-Loup

  2. #2
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    it sounds like when you resized your Windows partition with Mandrake, things started screwing up. I always find that it is best when You don't fiddle with an existing windows partition. This could be the reason why Windows may not load. I have a few suggestions:

    1. Insert the windows cd and type fixmbr into the console. Or tell the windows cd to fix the windows installation.

    2. If the above doesn't work, do a fresh install. Just plan the partitioning beofre commiting to an install.

    the ntldr missing file is missing because you replaced it with first grub and then lilo.

    3. If none of above work, do a low level format and then reinstall according to step 2.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I really would prefer it if I didn't have to re-install Windows all over again. It took me a lot of time and hassle before I could get things to work properly. I've resized Windows partitions with Mandrake installs before and it's never been a problem. Could it be because of the size of the disk?

    Cheers

    -Jean-Loup

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  5. #4
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    I always resize partitions from within windows, either by making a new partition with nothjing on, or by making a large ammount of empty space at the end of the drive.

    Windows always seems happier with it that way.

    Alternativly, it can be easier all together to put linux on another disk, if u still have that 15gb one arround, and then make a fat32 partiton on the 120gb drive (say about 40gb) and then u would have a drive that both os could read and write to easily, and should anything go wrong with either windows or linux, u have a bit more secruity as they are on seperate disks.

  6. #5
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    I had each OS on two hard drives up until a year ago actually. However, I found the boot wasn't working properly so I eventually switched to dual boot on the same hard disk and would like to do the same in this new HDD.

    I've reformatted the whole thing and starting from scratch. This time armed with floppies for emergency boots.

    AlexK, I never found this fixmbr command you suggested. Neither Win2K Pro nor Win98SE seem to have it...

    *sigh* back to square one. This time I'll defragment before installing Linux.

  7. #6
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    The fixmbr command works for XP as far as I am aware. All, it basically does is modifies the mbr so that windows can load.

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