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Partition Problems

Posted on 2004-04-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I was attempting to install linux so I created a linux partition using partition magic.  I had problems installing linux so I figured I'd just work on it later.  Unfortunately my computer wouldn't boot anymore because of what I did with partion magic.  Luckily I created rescue disks for partition magic.  Now I can run partition magic even though the computer wont boot.  I deleted the linux partitoin.  The computer still wont boot.  I'd appreciate any help you can give me, thanks.  
Question by:Tonethar
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

nltech earned 500 total points
ID: 10745847
what version of windows is/was on the system?

if it was windows 95/98/me.. boot to a setup floppy disk and then run:

fdisk /mbr

(do **NOT** do the above if you've got nt/2000/xp !!!)

to rewrite the master boot record.

also, in partition magic (or fdisk), make sure your windows partition is marked as "active". the active partition is the one that the system will boot to. if there is none marked active, the system wont boot.

if you've got win2000/xp instead of fdisk/mbr above, boot to the install cd, then into recovery console and try:
bootcfg /rebuild

do the first one, if that doesnt work, reboot back into recovery console and then do the second one... etc.

if you dont have a bootable floppy with fdisk, or your system doesnt come with the 2000/xp install set (you got a stinking recovery cd instead), then check out www.bootdisk.com

when you get your windows up and running again, instead of creating a linux partition with partition magic, create empty unpartitioned space at the end of the drive.. then let your linux installation use "remainder of drive" instead... most recent general distros (redhat, fedora, mandrake, etc) have an option like that in it. or, if you know what you're doing, manually partition the free space during linux install. create an extended partition, then make your linux partition's as logical ones.

Expert Comment

ID: 10747023

      Possibly the Master Boot Record may be corrupt.If you are using Win 9x Series(95,98,Me) then you do the steps suggested by nltech (fdisk /mbr).If you are unable to boot then overwrite the OS by reinstalling it on the same partition.(Overwriting dosen't affect your files or programs installed).

     If you are using NT Series(NT,2000,XP,2003) then you can boot with the CD and start the recovery console and fix the MBR.

Hope this helps


Expert Comment

ID: 10749235
The problem described sounds most likely to be a problem with the partition not being marked active.  This fix is easy enough.  You can even fix it by booting with a Windows 98 boot disk and running fdisk.  fdisk allows you to mark the partition active -- even if it doesn't understand the NTFS file system.

When using fixmbr from the console on a drive that has been freshly wiped, has anyone ever seen a message indicating that the master boot record is non-existent or non-standard?  I can understand non-existent on a freshly wiped drive, so I create one using fixmbr and reboot.  When I go back to the console, I get the same error message.  This time it has to be due to the mbr being non-standard.  Now WHY? would Windows create a non-standard mbr?  Any clue?

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