Win95+NT3.51+Linux Installation problem

Hi everybody,
I'm using a P133 with a 1.6 Gbytes HD, IDE Cd-Rom and 32 Mbytes RAM. I have my HD partitioned as follows:

1 DOS primary partition of 300 Mbytes (DOS+Win3.1)
1 extended partition which includes:
  1 NTFS partition of 500 Mbytes (NT 3.51) C: under 95
  1 ext2 partition of 468 Mybtes (Linux RedHat 4.0)
  1 swap partition of 32 Mbytes (swap memory for Linux)
  1 FAT partition of 300 Mbytes (empty) D: under 95

Recently, I decided to try Win 95, so I installed it on the DOS primary partition. After doing it, I'm unable to acces to NT nor Linux. If I try to enter NT, the system crashes. I've tried to repair it, but the repair disk gives an error, and if I try it without the reparation disk, the NT installation program complains that it can't find any NT installation in the HD. This is strange, as when installing Win 95 it complains that there is a NTFS partition and it's being unable to read the files in it.
If I try to enter Linux, it detects correctly the HD, but then I obtain a bunch of errors when trying to access to the root partition.
I tried to recover the MBR, as I supose Win 95 overwrites the existing partition table, but if I try to do it from the NT installation program it recognizes the partitions but they appear as unformatted or damaged. Also it says that my HD has more than 1024 cylinders, when in fact, it has 811 in LBA mode (3243 in NORMAL mode), and it gave this message never before I installed 95. Even the Linux fdisk,  says that there is a HD error and can't run.

I' ve tried the following, I've reformatted the primary partition and installed DOS again, but fdisk gives a disk error when I try to run it in LBA mode. If I put it in NORMAL mode it sees the primary and extended partition, but the size of the HD is too small (I think quite logically, as it only can manage 1024 cylinders). So, I reinstalled 95 again but, still, it continuosly crashes, or shutdown or gives me an error in a VXD, even if I uninstal almost every controller, plug and play and other stuff. Even with this minimal configuration it hangs or reboot or crashes. However, 95 detects the D: unit (the other FAT formated partition), although it says that it has some problems (due to fact that I have some files from NT with long names), and once I saw a message about a failure writing to the D: unit.

Well, sorry for the long message, but I wanted to describe the problem as detailed as possible. I only want to recover the data in the Linux and NT partitions. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance:

Angel Garcia
Angel051297Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

smeebudCommented:
Have you considered a Boot Manager like Partition Magic?
Have you tried running from dos prompt sys X: where X is the drive letter of the partition you have the most trouble.
Lately, because of partition mania (I'm sure you have your reasons) this kind of problem is not unusual. And so far, the answers I've seen work has been either Partition Magis software, or sone other Boot manager.
I have found in the MSKB that you not try to load 95 after you've loaded NT. I'll try to find that.
Here are two things you might try, the troublshooting at:

Microsoft Windows 95 Setup Troubleshooter
http://www.microsoft.com/support/tshoot/w95setup.HTM

Microsoft Windows 95 Startup Troubleshooter
http://www.microsoft.com/support/tshoot/w95startup.HTM
Would you copy you dos setup(not the whole thing, just the part above the fill in X's) and let me take a look at them.
Post them here or
bwil@erinet.com
0
smeebudCommented:
Try Bootmn.zip at http://www.nfe.com/users/robdown.htm
I jsut D/L'd it. It's terribly easy and may even do the job.
It's also free:

0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
smeebudCommented:
See www.powerquest.com/ and see what you think about Partition Magic. There are no demo versions. I called Egghesd Software
and they have the latest version for $59.00.
1-800-344-4323
-------------------------------------------------------------
                OR
A senior fellow says this:
this is a common "problem" with Dos and Windows FDISK
program.  With a simple work around.  Run Fdisk then select the
partition you want to effect, E: drive.  Then select 3 for delete
partition.  Then select 4 for "non dos partition."  Now delete it
normally.  Then do 1 to create and 1 to creat primary partion.  Then reboot.  Now format the E: drive.  Now install windows 95.  That's it.
0
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Windows 7 Basic

This introductory course to Windows 7 environment will teach you about working with the Windows operating system. You will learn about basic functions including start menu; the desktop; managing files, folders, and libraries.

Angel051297Author Commented:
First of all, I'm terribly sorry for not replying before, but I had a trouble with my gateway.

Well, about the partition mania, you were right, I have my reasons, I need MS products (NT and win 3.11) for working, also I develope some apps in Unix environments, so I need to have those OS in my machine.

Other thing, as explained in my mail, I can't access my hardisk with fdisk, so I can´t delete partitions, even with Linux fdisk, which is more powerful than DOS and 95 fdisks. Only the NT setup sees the partition table, but it says they are damaged or unformatted (which is not true), and it only gives you the possibility of deleting or formatting them, which I do not want to do. I haven't tried the program you recommended me, but I think I will have just the same problem, it won't be able to access to the hard disk.

Finally, the first thing I did when this strange problem begun, was reading every documentation I found at MS. As usual, the troubleshoother is only useful if you have no trouble at all in your computer, or it is just you forgot to install something.

Thanks in advance,

Angel García
0
Angel051297Author Commented:
First of all, I'm terribly sorry for not replying before, but I had a trouble with my gateway.

Well, about the partition mania, you were right, I have my reasons, I need MS products (NT and win 3.11) for working, also I develope some apps in Unix environments, so I need to have those OS in my machine.

Other thing, as explained in my mail, I can't access my hardisk with fdisk, so I can´t delete partitions, even with Linux fdisk, which is more powerful than DOS and 95 fdisks. Only the NT setup sees the partition table, but it says they are damaged or unformatted (which is not true), and it only gives you the possibility of deleting or formatting them, which I do not want to do. I haven't tried the program you recommended me, but I think I will have just the same problem, it won't be able to access to the hard disk.

Finally, the first thing I did when this strange problem begun, was reading every documentation I found at MS. As usual, the troubleshoother is only useful if you have no trouble at all in your computer, or it is just you forgot to install something.

Thanks in advance,

Angel García
0
smeebudCommented:
Angel,
  It's been a while. Where do you stand now with your problem?
0
Angel051297Author Commented:
Hi smeebud,

in fact, I low-level formatted the hard disk and reinstalled everything I could rescue from floppies and Zip, because I needed my computer working. Let me explain what I did: after formatting the HD, I created a 300 Mbytes partition and reinstalled Win 95, with the rest of the HD left unpartitioned, just to try how 95 worked. Just impossible, it crashed continuosly with an error in an VXD called something like VMM(0) or something like that. I tried a hardware conflicts detection program (when you can find such kind of programs in Internet for an OS, you can start thinking you are not the first having these kind of problems with this particular OS), and it detected a conflict in the secondary HD controller, a FIFO one. Well, that was really funny as it didn't appear any secondary controller in the corresponding hardware section of the 95 control-panel. Another strange thing, if you remember my first mail, I had two 300 Mbytes FAT partitions, one active primary partition and one called AUX in the extended partition (I didn't put the name in my first mail). Well, sometimes 95 crashed with an non valid communication media trying to write in AUX device!!! Strange, if you take in account that I made a low-level formatting of the HD. Some people have told me that even if you format your HD, 95 detects if there was a 95 installed before re-formatting. I can understand it only if you make a formatting from an OS, because not all the HD is formatted, and you always have some free space, which may be used to hide such kind of information (even the MBR), but with a low-level formatting, you format from 0 cylinder to the last one.

Anyway, after almost one week with my computer in that insanity state, I re-formatted the HD and re-installed DOS, NT and Linux.
In any case, I'd like to put some light on what happened, because I don't like the "if I don't know what happens I reinstall everything (although I have had to do it this time) as my CD is so fast". BTW, I'm really sorry if some error messages are not very well described, I have a Win95 Spanish version and some error messages could be not very well translated.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.