View Full Version : Hello Again - boot issues continued

03-27-2009, 12:59 AM
I just received my hdd enclosure and set out to repair my master boot record and, as discussed (predicted) did not get away with it.

I booted in XP (to the prompt) and ran fixmbr and fixboot...the result is that my XP disc will no longer boot...go figure.. Knoppix boots but no longer automatically mounts the internal hdd.

MY LAPTOP IS STILL WON'T BOOT in XP so I can use my Tax Software.

So I am planning my next move:

a) I apparently have a soup salad for an internal drive (I have the files off) ... blaster worm intact, no doubt.
b) I have the original Dell hdd (that I didn't get all my files from) complete with the original Dell Mirror setup files ... blaster worm in tact, no doubt.
c) I have an outboard back-up drive (with a proprietary backup system) full of my XP back-up files.

First, I would like to mount the internal drive to see what kind of salad I'm actually looking at by using the command:

mount -t /dev/sda1

....to look around

Second, I would run (from root) the partition/format command for FAT32 linux files with:

mkfs -t vfat/dev/sda1

....to clear the boot record, partition disc space for Linux, and prepare to reinstall XP either by repairing the XP installation or re-install from the original hard drive (now external)employing the Dell Mirror feature...remove the worms (as previously noted) and load Linux Dual Boot.

Failing that, I guess it's a clean format of the internal hard drive, partition for Linux, install XP from disk, install Linux dual boot.

Continue to back up on the external back up drive and store all data on the outboard hdd.

Are these the right commands?
Which version of Linux would you load for your personal use?

All replies appreciated


Harry Kuhman
03-27-2009, 05:13 AM
There are many versions of Linux suitable for hard disk install (Knoppix is not really one of them for most users). If I were doing this I would install the current "testing" version of Debian.

If you are planning on reinstalling Windows and Linux, I would suggest that you not install Linux first. Windows does bad things to an existing Linux install during it's install, but Linux generally gets along just fine with Windows if space is left for it when Windows is installed and then Linux is installed later. It will even take care of the dual booting for you.

If your most pressing Windows need is tax software, then you might want to consider just installing Linux and then running Windows in a virtual machine under Linux. This isn't really a viable solution for some things like on-line gaming, but should work well for tax software and, in fact, would be a lot more secure than a Windows install.

03-29-2009, 02:57 AM
Which version of Linux would you load for your personal use?
Definitely up to your personal preference. Have a look at DistroWatch's "major distributions" page (http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major); it's got a good rundown on the pros and cons of several major distros, as well as the history behind them. Most of them come packaged as live CDs so you can try them before installing.

Lots of Linux fans run more than one distro at a time. Personally, I run 3 different Linux distros on my old workstation, but mainly use openSUSE (http://www.opensuse.org) and Parsix (http://www.parsix.org). I installed Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com) (yes, Ubuntu) on my laptop. Ubuntu draws a lot of criticism, mainly because its primary focus is on being easy to use. Ubuntu is also the most popular Linux distribution for exactly the same reason. Other than its awful artwork, silly release codenames, and over-reliance on "sudo", it's not a bad place for a newbie to start.

If Knoppix doesn't mount your ntfs partition automagically, you can pull up a terminal emulator, "su" to get root, and create a mount point if there isn't one already:

cd /media
mkdir hda1

Then mount the partition:

mount /dev/hda1 /media/hda1 -t ntfs -o ro

I prefer GUI-based partitioners like GParted (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/) over command-line ones. What you lose in granularity, you make up for with less risk of making data-destroying errors like typing in the wrong command. Check out the Parted Magic (http://partedmagic.com/) live CD. (I don't know why Klaus Knopper chose to include VirtualBox with Knoppix 6.0.1 - who's going to install a VM when running from a live CD? - instead of more useful utilities like GParted.)

03-29-2009, 06:46 AM
I appreciate the links...I have about decided to begin with Lenny and go from there.

The plan is to order the disks (full set) from one of the Debian sites to get up and running and use the stable/standard distro as a starting point to tailor my environment.

I'll go look at the links, particularly the Parsix...that one hasn't come to my limited attention until now.

Any observations on that Berkeley program? Lots of ink spilled about it.

I also appreciate the coding...I'll chase down the snytax and let you know if it makes sense to me. At first blush, I don't understand the create/swap to media but maybe I will after I dig a little.

I'll also try gparted...thanks. I'll experiment with a command line edition after I get a little more familiar with the snytax/structures.