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digitalmars.D - [OT] Emergency: Getting my boot back!!

reply "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> writes:
My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me to
work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.

GRUB is (was) the loader

The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.

Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and then
changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.

Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
*nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use the
WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
(i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my partition
from there.

The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.

If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.

Many thanks in advance

Cheers

Matthew
Feb 02 2006
next sibling parent reply "Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
I know this won't be a helpful comment at this point, but over and over I 
hear about the grief people have from running multiboot systems. What I do 
is just buy a cheapo extra box, and then use a KVM switch. It has a nice 
side effect that you can run them simultaneously. 
Feb 02 2006
next sibling parent reply "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.com> wrote in message
news:dru2fi$1lkb$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 I know this won't be a helpful comment at this point,

Correct. ;-)
 but over and over I
 hear about the grief people have from running multiboot systems. What I do
 is just buy a cheapo extra box, and then use a KVM switch. It has a nice
 side effect that you can run them simultaneously.

I do have such a thing, which allows me to multipleplex between 1 (5-way multi-boot, all Windows, no dramas) desktop, server, Linux box and Mac OS-X laptop. The problem was encountered on my laptop. I'd installed the Linux boot over a year ago and abandoned attempts to use it. It's just that I was stupid enough to start messing with the boot partition on a machine on which there was uncomitted data - code and three chapters! - while in the last two-week high-pressure phase of trying to get my book finished. Not smart, eh? :-(
Feb 02 2006
next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Matthew wrote:
 
 The problem was encountered on my laptop. I'd installed the Linux boot over
 a year ago and abandoned attempts to use it. It's just that I was stupid
 enough to start messing with the boot partition on a machine on which there
 was uncomitted data - code and three chapters! - while in the last two-week
 high-pressure phase of trying to get my book finished.

So long as you can boot from something and the disk hasn't been set on fire, getting data back typically isn't a problem. Worst case you lose an afternoon reinstalling Windows to get at the data. Not that it's an afternoon you can afford to waste, but better than rewriting three chapters :-) Sean
Feb 02 2006
prev sibling parent "Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
"Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> wrote in message 
news:dru2pj$1lsh$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 The problem was encountered on my laptop. I'd installed the Linux boot 
 over
 a year ago and abandoned attempts to use it. It's just that I was stupid
 enough to start messing with the boot partition on a machine on which 
 there
 was uncomitted data - code and three chapters! - while in the last 
 two-week
 high-pressure phase of trying to get my book finished.

The only thing I can suggest is getting one of those "disk image" utilities and create an image of your laptop drive onto your main system. Then, search it for strings in the data you want to save, and snip it out and reassemble it by hand.
Feb 02 2006
prev sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 I know this won't be a helpful comment at this point, but over and over I 
 hear about the grief people have from running multiboot systems. What I do 
 is just buy a cheapo extra box, and then use a KVM switch. It has a nice 
 side effect that you can run them simultaneously. 

I'm coming to believe VMWare is an excellent low-cost alternative. And it will be even more attractive once Intel's hardware VM support and dual cores becomes more prevalent. As for Matthew's problem... my first thought was "fdisk /mbr" to rewrite the boot record, but I think MS left fdisk out of XP. Here's a link that describes how to restore the boot record another way, along with a few other tips: http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-10877-6031733.html Sean
Feb 02 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Matthew wrote:
 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me to
 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.
 
 GRUB is (was) the loader
 
 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.
 
 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and then
 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.
 
 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use the
 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my partition
 from there.
 
 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.
 
 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.
 
 Many thanks in advance
 
 Cheers
 
 Matthew
 
 

I assume you no longer care about the Linux install. Can you try going into the the Windows Recovery Console and using the "fixmbr c:" command? Here's a site that explains some of the commands available in the console:
 http://www.windowsnetworking.com/j_helmig/wxprcons.htm

In the long run, it may be safer and easier to run a linux distribution in Vmware's free vmplayer tool. That way you can run Linux from your windows desktop. It's a quick and effective way to work with Linux these days, especially if you don't want to compromise your partition setup with a dual OS install. Hope that helps, John
Feb 02 2006
parent reply "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> writes:
"John Reimer" <terminal.node gmail.com> wrote in message
news:dru2ui$1m0q$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Matthew wrote:
 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me


 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.

 GRUB is (was) the loader

 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.

 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and


 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.

 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use


 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my


 from there.

 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.

 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.

 Many thanks in advance

 Cheers

 Matthew

I assume you no longer care about the Linux install. Can you try going into the the Windows Recovery Console and using the "fixmbr c:" command? Here's a site that explains some of the commands available in the console:
 http://www.windowsnetworking.com/j_helmig/wxprcons.htm

In the long run, it may be safer and easier to run a linux distribution in Vmware's free vmplayer tool. That way you can run Linux from your windows desktop. It's a quick and effective way to work with Linux these days, especially if you don't want to compromise your partition setup with a dual OS install.

The boot partition is (or was) C: The WinXP OS partition is D: I've tried "fixboot X:" and "fixmbr X:", with C and D serving as different permutations of X, but to no avail. It keeps whittering about not being able to find "<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll", which would obviously trouble the little dear. I'm going to try "fixmbr multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)" and "fixmbr multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\Windows", after which I truly have no clue. Oh dear, I *really* don't want to reinstall this friggin thing. Any other ideas?
Feb 02 2006
parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Matthew wrote:

 
 The boot partition is (or was) C:
 
 The WinXP OS partition is D:
 
 I've tried "fixboot X:" and "fixmbr X:", with C and D serving as different
 permutations of X, but to no avail. It keeps whittering about not being able
 to find "<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll", which would obviously trouble the
 little dear.
 
 I'm going to try "fixmbr multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)" and "fixmbr
 multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\Windows", after which I truly have no
 clue. Oh dear, I *really* don't want to reinstall this friggin thing.
 
 Any other ideas?
 
 

Well, I'm glad you figured it out. I couldn't remember how to correctly access the drive using those commands. Seems strange you have to reference the correct partition with such a long string. -JJR
Feb 03 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Alex Stevenson <ans104 cs.york.ac.uk> writes:
Booting from an XP CD into the recovery console and trying 'fixmbr' and 
'fixboot' commands might be useful.

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/bootcons_fixmbr.mspx

See also fixboot and diskpart links on that page. The fixXXX commands 
don't seem to be available in normal XP console, but only on the 
recovery console.

If you can't get anything to boot, pulling the HD and getting it into 
another machine to recover is probably easier than trying to reinstall 
without killing data.

I've had very good results with GetDataBack from www.runtime.org - not 
free, but I've used it and it does work - especially on systems which 
just have a dead MBR and all the data is intact.

Matthew wrote:
 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me to
 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.
 
 GRUB is (was) the loader
 
 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.
 
 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and then
 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.
 
 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use the
 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my partition
 from there.
 
 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.
 
 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.
 
 Many thanks in advance
 
 Cheers
 
 Matthew
 
 

Feb 02 2006
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jari-Matti_M=E4kel=E4?= <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> writes:
Alex Stevenson wrote:
 Booting from an XP CD into the recovery console and trying 'fixmbr' and
 'fixboot' commands might be useful.
 
 http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/bootcons_fixmbr.mspx
 
 
 See also fixboot and diskpart links on that page. The fixXXX commands
 don't seem to be available in normal XP console, but only on the
 recovery console.
 
 If you can't get anything to boot, pulling the HD and getting it into
 another machine to recover is probably easier than trying to reinstall
 without killing data.
 
 I've had very good results with GetDataBack from www.runtime.org - not
 free, but I've used it and it does work - especially on systems which
 just have a dead MBR and all the data is intact.
 

AFAIK, corrupted MBR doesn't mean that all data on the partitions is lost - MBR is just a static area for boot loader code. Unless that convert-utility has messed up with the file system, recovery is easy. You can put in a Linux live-cd and run grub-install or use an advanced 3rd party boot loader or simple install the MS boot loader using the recovery CD. -- Jari-Matti
Feb 02 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Kris" <fu bar.com> writes:
Can you remove the laptop hard-drive, and plug it into another machine as a 
second disk? You'll need a 2.5" to IDE adapter cable to hook it up to a 
desktop machine ... the drive does not need to be bootable for doing that, 
and you say the files appear to be intact. This would at least allow you to 
make a backup of your work.

- Kris


"Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> wrote in message 
news:dru0dd$1k15$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me to
 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.

 GRUB is (was) the loader

 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.

 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and 
 then
 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.

 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use the
 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my 
 partition
 from there.

 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.

 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.

 Many thanks in advance

 Cheers

 Matthew

 

Feb 02 2006
parent "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> writes:
No, but that's not a prob anyway, as I always do multi-partitions, and so
all the essential work is on the H: drive.

So the work's never really *gone*, just a couple of days of installation
away. Sort of good news, of course, but not really

"Kris" <fu bar.com> wrote in message news:dru61f$1o51$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Can you remove the laptop hard-drive, and plug it into another machine as

 second disk? You'll need a 2.5" to IDE adapter cable to hook it up to a
 desktop machine ... the drive does not need to be bootable for doing that,
 and you say the files appear to be intact. This would at least allow you

 make a backup of your work.

 - Kris


 "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> wrote in message
 news:dru0dd$1k15$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me


 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.

 GRUB is (was) the loader

 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.

 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and
 then
 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.

 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use


 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my
 partition
 from there.

 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.

 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.

 Many thanks in advance

 Cheers

 Matthew


Feb 02 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> writes:
Many, many thanks for all the suggestions. I am back and running.

The fixboot and fixmbr did the trick, it was just that I also needed to make
the partition list correspond with what was expected in boot.ini. Rest
assured I am *never* trying any of that again, and will be purchasing Ghost
and/or PartitionMagic (- any opinions on either/alternatives??) forthwith.

Thanks again. Very very happy bunny here. You're all getting a credit in my
book! :-)

Cheers

Matthew
Feb 02 2006
next sibling parent "Ameer Armaly" <ameer_armaly hotmail.com> writes:
"Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> wrote in message 
news:dru7qu$1pjn$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Many, many thanks for all the suggestions. I am back and running.

 The fixboot and fixmbr did the trick, it was just that I also needed to 
 make
 the partition list correspond with what was expected in boot.ini. Rest
 assured I am *never* trying any of that again, and will be purchasing 
 Ghost
 and/or PartitionMagic (- any opinions on either/alternatives??) forthwith.

these kinds of things.
 Thanks again. Very very happy bunny here. You're all getting a credit in 
 my
 book! :-)

 Cheers

 Matthew


 

Feb 02 2006
prev sibling parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Matthew wrote:
 Many, many thanks for all the suggestions. I am back and running.
 
 The fixboot and fixmbr did the trick, it was just that I also needed to make
 the partition list correspond with what was expected in boot.ini. Rest
 assured I am *never* trying any of that again, and will be purchasing Ghost
 and/or PartitionMagic (- any opinions on either/alternatives??) forthwith.
 
 Thanks again. Very very happy bunny here. You're all getting a credit in my
 book! :-)
 
 Cheers
 
 Matthew
 
 
 

One wonderful application I bought is called bootitng, by Terabyte. It's a very highly rated (though little known, perhaps) partition, backup, and boot manager. I think it's less expensive and more powerful, in some ways, then PartitionMagic/Ghost. It's backup features might not be quite as comprehensive as Ghost's, but it's other features do well to make up for any lack. Have a look here:
 http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/

There's also a more complete disk imaging software there. The one provided with booitng is good, but does not run from within windows, so some people might prefer to purchase the image application also. -JJR
Feb 03 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply James Dunne <james.jdunne gmail.com> writes:
Matthew wrote:
 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me to
 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.
 
 GRUB is (was) the loader
 
 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.
 
 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and then
 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.
 
 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use the
 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my partition
 from there.
 
 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.
 
 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.
 
 Many thanks in advance
 
 Cheers
 
 Matthew
 
 

If you'd like to run Linux, but not have to deal with the (apparent?) messiness of dual-booting, you can check out http://colinux.org/. It's a fabulous tool that allows you to run a slightly modified Linux kernel (pre-compiled disk images available for boot) *alongside* Windows. It's not virtual PC technology; the two are actually running cooperatively alongside each other. You get a nice Linux console popping up on your Windows desktop. You can even share disk partitions between the two systems. Very cool. I've also heard of another tool called Xen that fits into this category, but I don't know much about it. I have a dual-boot Gentoo and Windows XP system, and it's fantastic! I'm running in Gentoo right now. All my data is on NTFS partitions (since it can handle files >2GB and I have a lot of video). Also, I use a special multi-track USB 2.0 audio interface which works flawlessly in both systems, to which I was quite shocked (on the Linux side at least)! Last thing: I've also seen an NTFS project for Linux which makes use of the original Windows binary driver for the filesystem. Apparently, someone had enough free time to completely reverse engineer all the undocumented APIs involved in the usage of file systems on Windows. I'd like to try this out, as I've heard it can perform all the functions that the native Windows driver can - including write support which has been a problem for Linux (and still is). If you'd like some help getting kicked off in the right direction, I can definitely help. -- Regards, James Dunne
Feb 02 2006
parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
James Dunne wrote:
 
 If you'd like to run Linux, but not have to deal with the (apparent?) 
 messiness of dual-booting, you can check out http://colinux.org/.  It's 
 a fabulous tool that allows you to run a slightly modified Linux kernel 
 (pre-compiled disk images available for boot) *alongside* Windows.  It's 
 not virtual PC technology; the two are actually running cooperatively 
 alongside each other.  You get a nice Linux console popping up on your 
 Windows desktop.  You can even share disk partitions between the two 
 systems.  Very cool.

That's awesome. If it runs faster than VMWare I'm sold.
 I've also heard of another tool called Xen that fits into this category, 
 but I don't know much about it.

I scanned their web page quickly--it seems to be a high-performance virtual machine. So likely not as integrated as coLinux, but more flexible. Sean
Feb 02 2006
parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:
 James Dunne wrote:
 If you'd like to run Linux, but not have to deal with the (apparent?) 
 messiness of dual-booting, you can check out http://colinux.org/.  
 It's a fabulous tool that allows you to run a slightly modified Linux 
 kernel (pre-compiled disk images available for boot) *alongside* 
 Windows.  It's not virtual PC technology; the two are actually running 
 cooperatively alongside each other.  You get a nice Linux console 
 popping up on your Windows desktop.  You can even share disk 
 partitions between the two systems.  Very cool.

That's awesome. If it runs faster than VMWare I'm sold.

From my experiences, colinux is fast at the command line stuff. But don't expect to see it run X windows very well (vmware is much better optimized for that). X Windows programs have to be run through a local network interface on colinux (using a separate X server service on win32) and, as a result, are really quite boggy. Furthermore colinux can be a real pain to setup correctly on some machines (check out their wiki sight!). If you have tons of time and patience on hand, colinux is for you. Otherwise vmware is the safest bet. Colinux does serve a nitch, though, and it's quite well performing and fun to use for certain tasks... especially compiling. -JJR
Feb 03 2006
prev sibling parent S. Chancellor <dnewsgr mephit.kicks-ass.org> writes:
On 2006-02-02 14:20:01 -0800, "Matthew" <matthew hat.stlsoft.dot.org> said:

 My laptop is WinXP, and I had Linux on it. I've only tried the Linux a
 couple of times, since the shared FAT partition I hoped would enable me to
 work with both OSs always came back corrupted in XP's eyes.
 
 GRUB is (was) the loader
 
 The first 500MB is the first partition, which is FAT.
 
 Stupidly, last night I tried to run CONVERT on it, to make it NTFS, and then
 changed my mind before (I thought) it had done anything.
 
 Now it won't load. All I can get is the GRUB command screen, and I know
 *nothing* about how to get back my partition from there. Or, if I use the
 WinXP recovery disk, I can get into the woop-de-doop management console
 (i.e. a crippled DOS box) and I *nothing* about how to get back my partition
 from there.
 
 The C:\boot.ini file is still ok.
 
 If anyone knows how to tell the MBR or whatever to "go windows" and see
 C:\boot.ini, I would be **massively** grateful.
 
 Many thanks in advance
 
 Cheers
 
 Matthew

Why can't you get your data back under a linux boot disk? -S.
Feb 02 2006