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  1. #1

    Exclamation Need new bootloader... help?

    I recently started using mandriva 05. I dual booted with windows using the mandriva bootloader. I have to hard drives, i for windows, and 1 for Linux. Recently my linux hard drive, only 4gb and quite old, failed. It was bad quality and now dose not work. So, when i know boot up my computer, it cant boot either windows, (still on a working hard drive) or Mandriva. I think this is because i no longer have a working bootloader. I have a mac that i could burn cds but no floppy drive. I would like to keep my windows files and not whipe my computer.

    What do i do? please help!


  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    North East England
    when your PC boots, it looks (that is to say the BIOS looks) for an operating system or a boot loader (grub or lilo are the common two). It finds this by looking at the very first part of the the hard disk, an area called the master boot record or mbr for short.

    It knows which hard disk to look at by having this set in the BIOS. So, what I reckon is that you may be able to do is change the boot device order within your BIOS, to point at the windows hard disk, and with look, there will still be a windows loader on that mbr.

    How? At power on (while the PC is still doing it's POST checks - counting RAM etc.) press either the Del or the F2 key (depends upon the BIOS you have. should be displayed on the screen). This will give you the plain text BIOS screen (could be blue, could be grey, depends on the BIOS you have). Then use the cursor keys to the advanced options menu and change the boot device to the hard disk that contains your Windows. Note: you can set a search order of boot devices. So you may find that you have the floppy disk first, follwed by the CDROM, followed by a hard disk. Once you have changed the hard disk to your windows one, use the Esc key to come back up to the top menu level and then Save and Exit.

    Don't be worried about BIOS, you can always Exit Without Saving, if you get lost.

    With a bit of luck you will have Windows booting again.

    Of course the sensible thing to do would be to buy a cheap and cheerful hard disk (perhaps second hand one from ebay) , swap out the old non-working one, and install Linux on that, "new" , hard disk.

    have fun


    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

  3. #3
    Just Joined! Petester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    South England
    One piece of advice always use grub. Trust me it will save you so much work if you ever recompile your kernel or add any more OS's.

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