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I'm a noob so feel free to laugh at my post. I want to format my hard-drive. It's a dual OS setup with Mandrake 9.1 and Win XP on the same drive.

I want to format it and re-install XP.

I've been told that I need to create a boot floppy to get Lilo back up afterwards but the boot floppy function in the Mandrake control centre isn't working.

So I'm guessing I may have to reinstall Mandrake from the CDs. How do I go about doing this? Do I have to worry about partitions?
Okay, let me see if I understand. You have 1 hard drive with 2 partitions (Windows XP and Mandrake). You want to flatten the two partitions, make one partition only, and install Windows XP?

If this is the case, after backing up all the information you need, you can boot your computer using a Windows boot disk, fun "fdisk /mbr" to clear lilo, run fdisk, delete both partitions, and then create one big partition. Format that partition with your bootdisk, then procede to install XP.

Please repost if i have it wrong.
Windows will ignore linux partitions. And you are correct windows will wipe out lilo from the mbr if so installed. But good news you do not have to reinstall linux.

So you didn't create a boot disk during the install?

You can use the console command mkbootdisk instead of the GUI. See man pages for mkbootdisk for details.

Then once XP is reinstalled boot from the floppy disk and rerun lilo.

Or boot using the 1st CD to rescue mode and then use the chroot command to change to your root partition and rerun lilo.
Duende, this thread might explain my situation a little better:

michaelk, The 'mkbootdisk' command doesn't work either. Could you please give me a step-by-step guide to using the rescue CD option?
First ... are you using LILO or GRUB as your bootloader?

If using LILO, then this applies:

1. Figure out what partition your root partition is on. You can do this by looking in the /etc/lilo.conf file. Here is part of my lilo.conf:
append="failsafe devfs=nomount acpi=off"

append=" quiet devfs=mount acpi=off"
When I boot, I select 2.4.21-18 ... so we need to look at the section that starts with image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.21-0.18mdk (not the one that starts with image=/boot/vmlinuz).

In the image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.21-0.18mdk section, it tells us:


So my root partition is on the first hard drive (/dev/hda) and on the first partition (/dev/hda1) ... yours is probably somewhere else on a dual boot machine. This info may or may not be needed ... but it is good to have.

Now, after you install windows XP (assuming you don't reformat the linux partitons) all you have to do is boot from the 1st Mandrake CD ... on the intro screen, press F1 for more options ... you will be at the command prompt...type:

rescue (and press the enter key)

and from the menu that appears, select Re-Install Boot Loader

If all goes well, when you reboot, it will look exactly like it did before the XP re install.

If rescue can't find the original mandrake install, then reboot from the Mandrake CD, press F1 for more options and type a :

rescue root=/dev/hda1 (and press the enter key)

(substitute your root partition path for /dev/hda1)

You'll get partway through the boot process, have some errors and it will ask you if you want to do a file system check on a mounted partion .... SAY NO ... never run fsck on a mount partiton ...

you should then be at the command prompt ...

just type the command:


and if there are no errors then you should be OK...

Take out the mandrake CD and Reboot ... all should be well!
Thankyou! That was a mighty post.
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