Help! please.....win98 MBR
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Thread: Help! please.....win98 MBR

  1. #1
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    Help! please.....win98 MBR

    Sorry if this isn't the right place....
    If any one has had anything like this happen......Please help me...
    Ok, might be a bit long but here it is.
    2 hard drives C/D running Win98/Mandrake9.1...Decided to install Knoppix 3.4 over Mandrake.....
    I Love Knoppix, Easiest install of Linux I ever did and the packages are great! Detected everything, No configuration needed!
    Lilo on boot put Knoppix as default in about 2 seconds but still saw windows.....This is a family PC and my wife knows nothing about Linux. So I tried to change etc/lilo.conf to make Windows the default so she wouldn't have to do anything on reboot.
    I screwed up!
    Lilo now dosen't see windows, Only Linux.....
    I thought this was a MBR problem, I reinstalled Knoppix thinking that a fresh install would fix my Lilo problem, but Lilo still would not see Windows as an operating system.
    In Linux I can mount Hda1/ Windows98 and see all the files.....Parted tells me that is is a FAT32 partition and is active.
    So I try to reinstall Windows using a boot disk and a CD and get a message saying that windows requires 7,000.......whaterver megabites to install.
    I run fdisk/mbr Reboot still No Windows.....
    I run fdisk and check the active dos partitions and find that c:\ is listed as 917MB and is full.......
    my c:\ should be like 9 gigs...
    So now I'm thinking this is a partition problem. I can delete the active dos partition and create a new one, but I'm afraid it will delete my entire c:\ drive and I have ALOT of **** on there.
    I backed everything up onto a DVD from the c:\ that I could think of that I just couldn't loose, from Linux, But I still hate to have to refomat the entire drive and start from scratch.
    My wife hates me right now.......LOL........and I need HELP!!!
    Mabey Partition magic floopy's?.....
    Any suggestions will be greatly appreiciated!!!
    Thanks!
    You can\'t squeeze cheese from a goat before it\'s hatched.............

  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    If you remember the exact size of your windows partition,
    you could run fdisk, enter in the correct geometry and the partition
    will be restored, with your data undamaged.

    The trick is that you need to know the exact numbers that were in there
    before it got messed up.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
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    Old Man,

    I'm not gonna go into the "if only you'd done this or that - speech" you probably have figured that out by now. But what you will probably be resolved to do is: give you wife a kiss on the cheek, the keys to the car, a credit card with alot of purchasing power, and send her to the mall while you restore the family's computer.

    As mentioned by rcgreen, you must know the specific partition sizes and locations to restore them.

    A good outlook is that you have saved a multitude of data on CD.

    There's a lot of talent in AO so hopefully someone might know another way.

    Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    I Love Knoppix, Easiest install of Linux I ever did and the packages are great! Detected everything, No configuration needed!
    Lol, not anymore!




    Let me see if ive read this right?

    You have two Hard drives C and D?
    Windows 98 is on your C drive?
    And Knopix is on your D drive?
    But now your C Drive is only showing up 917MB ?

    If I am right, it sounds as though when you have changed etc/lilo.conf you have changed it so the actual Folder named WINDOWS has been excluded and Knoppix has claimed all the other folders and free space on your C drive for itself.

    So as far as Windows is concerned all that is on the C drive is the actual Windows folder, every thing else belongs to Knoppix!

    The only way I can think of off the top of my head to fix the problem is to adjust the partition settings in knoppix and get it to release the C drive and just use the D drive.

    Have you checked in knoppix to see if all the other files that where on your C drive can be seen?

    If not it may have deleted them!

    Not having ever used Knoppix I couldnt say how to adjust your partition table, so maybe someone who has used it could post how to do it??

    All you need to do is release the C drive so it is free, you can then install windows again as it will have enough space.

    Hopefully Knoppix has kept all the other files so you still have them to copy and put back onto the windows drive!

    Edit// You could try taking the D drive out all together and see what happens! It prob wont boot but you may be able to reinstall windows!
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  5. #5
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    exact size?

    rcgreen, If I know the exact size of my c:\drive I can delete the 917mb primary partition create a new primary in the exact size of the winows partition and I won't loose any data, and I won't have to format the partition?
    Linux mount's the windows partition hda1 and everything is there and intact. It says that it starts at 0.0307717 and ends at 9176.84 and is 6.43 gigs fat partition.
    Just want to make sure I understand this properly.....
    You can\'t squeeze cheese from a goat before it\'s hatched.............

  6. #6
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    If your windows primary partition occupied the entire hard drive as C:
    you may be in luck, because the numbers for a single partition on the whole
    drive should be easier to figure out than if there were more than one
    partition on the drive.

    The numbers you're getting from linux are probably right,
    but you could also get the numbers from the manufacturer.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  7. #7
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    entire drive

    Your right, the original partition took up the entire drive so that will be easier to figure out.
    Ok I think I'm ready to try this now.....whish me luck.
    I'll post back with my results later tonight or tommorow.
    Thanks for all the help.
    You can\'t squeeze cheese from a goat before it\'s hatched.............

  8. #8
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    Angry fdisk......

    Well guy's.....I fdisked and deleted the primary dos partition and created a new primary that was the same size as the entire disk. rebooted and was faced with lilo that of cource still didn't have windows as an option.
    I reinstalled Windows 98 HOPING that it would write over the MBR and that windows would still see all of my software.......WRONG.....///
    So now I have a fresh install of windows and I have to re-install all of my ****....... it's ok though I probably needed to to do this anyway. Winows had a few quirky problems that might be fixed by a fresh install.
    WORD TO THE WISE.......BACK UP ALL YOU'RE STUFF!!!!!!!!!
    I have all of my programs, pictures, music, doc's.......everything backed up so re-installing is just a matter of time.....
    On the good side.....My computer just boots to Windows now.........My wife will never know that Linux is here!.........I can still boot to Linux from my boot floopy!
    Thanks for the help guys!.....It was a good try, great ideas, and I am thankfull for the replies.
    Now............I'm off to Windows to install my virus protector and firewall..........
    You can\'t squeeze cheese from a goat before it\'s hatched.............

  9. #9
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Having had installs fail while writing a partition table, listen, close, Windows 98 will NOT over write a MBR. BUT, if you have a boot disk, just pop it in, let it start up, then when you see the A:> prompt, type C: and hit ENTER. Then type fdisk/mbr.

    That will give you a new one and get rid of lilo.

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