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> i screwed up my windows HD after installing linux, please help!
danielk
post Jan 16 2008, 08:19 PM
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I am not entirely sure if this post belongs on a windows help forum or a linux forum, but I will give this one a try.


First my comp specs.

Core2duo E6550
2gb ddr2 ram
geforce 8500gt 512mb
Primary HD 500gb
Secondary HD 200gb

A month or so ago I decided to test out linux for the first time. I downloaded and installed ubuntu on my 200 gb hd, which is my slave HD. On my primary hard drive I have windows xp pro installed. Now, I installed ubuntu on my 200gb hd, and after doing that I messed around a bit to see how it is. Later on I wanted to use xp again but i wasnt able to load win xp by booting from my 500gb hd, which is where xp is installed on, but if i booted from my 200gb hd, then i get an option to boot from an operating system of my choice that i already have installed, and win xp is one of them. So i was able to boot xp. Then I decided to try a different linux distro, so i formatted my 200gb hd and installed opensuse. I needed to use xp again, so i booted from my 500gb hd, but it wouldnt work. At one point during the boot up, it says Loading Grub stage 1.5 or something like that. Then it says there is an error and it cannot load the grub or something like that. I booted from opensuse this time, and it loads Grub 2.0. So i figured it was the different linux distro that was preventing me from loading xp, so i formatted and installed ubuntu again. And i am able to load xp again, but once again, i have to boot from the 200gb hd and select win xp. I cannot load win xp unless i have the 200 gb connected with ubuntu installed.

The thing is, i want to experiment with other distros, and other operating systems in general and i need the 200gb hd to experiment. Obviously i can solve this problem by reinstalling xp on my 500gb hd, but i do not want to have to go through all that again. I just got that hd a few months ago and had to do all of the installation and updating and everything, so i want to avoid this. Can someone explain to me how i can remove the dependence my 500gig hd has on ubuntu, so i can use my 500gb like normal, as the main drive and not needing my 200gb.

I have a 320gb external hd that i use purely for storage and nothing else, so i have all my files and other things backed up.

Again, i would really like to avoid reintsalling windows. I have tried different things, but it all comes down to me needing the 200gb connected with ubuntu installed. I believe the problem was that when i installed ubuntu, i still had my 500gb connected, so maybe there was a dual boot or something that occurred.

Thanks for your help.
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DS2K3
post Jan 17 2008, 08:05 AM
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Ah - It sounds like you have installed grub (a boot loader) on the 500gb (primary) drive, which is looking for files on the 200gb (slave) drive. You need to reinstall the windows boot loader, which you can do using a windows XP rescue disk, or by somehow booting windows first. It IS possible to do it by plugging the drive into another computer that is running XP, but I have only done it once and I couldn't tell you how (I was in a computer lab in Malawi, with nothing but trial-and-error to rely on).

If you install another distro with the 500b attacthed, it should overwrite the old boot loader with its own, which should also allow you to boot windows.

Essentially, you just erased some files that GRUB needs to start your computer when you formatted Ubuntu - You can either restore a windows boot loader, or you can put another Linux one in there.


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