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Thread: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

  1. #1

    Angry OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    GRRRR
    I tried installing on a WinXP machine dual boot. Worked on it for hours, got everything working nicely, sound, DVDs, etc. Then, when I needed to restart, it hung "no operating system". OK, no panic, put in the SUSE disk (yes, I purchased it from Novell), went through the various menus, reinstalled the boot loader, etc. Nothing.

    I had a WinXP boot CD and I put that in, it boots fine, just the way it did before - except that the boot sector is gone. I tried using the WinXP disk console, fixbr, but that also didn't work. Tried using a Win98SE disk, fdisk/mbr, also no good. So, my machine now is limping along on WinXP with a boot disk.

    Obviously GRUB destroyed the boot sector. Not the first time either. I guess I'm a glutten for punishment.

    How do I restore the mbr on a WinXP (SP3) machine. By the way, when I restarted in OpenSuse, I KDE did not start - no GUI.

    Frustrating.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    Are you sure it is the boot sector? Is the partition set as active in fdisk? What error are you getting?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    Quote Originally Posted by ostrowlaw View Post
    GRRRR
    I tried installing on a WinXP machine dual boot. Worked on it for hours, got everything working nicely, sound, DVDs, etc. Then, when I needed to restart, it hung "no operating system". OK, no panic, put in the SUSE disk (yes, I purchased it from Novell), went through the various menus, reinstalled the boot loader, etc. Nothing.

    I had a WinXP boot CD and I put that in, it boots fine, just the way it did before - except that the boot sector is gone. I tried using the WinXP disk console, fixbr, but that also didn't work. Tried using a Win98SE disk, fdisk/mbr, also no good. So, my machine now is limping along on WinXP with a boot disk.

    Obviously GRUB destroyed the boot sector. Not the first time either. I guess I'm a glutten for punishment.

    How do I restore the mbr on a WinXP (SP3) machine. By the way, when I restarted in OpenSuse, I KDE did not start - no GUI.

    Frustrating.

    Thanks
    A likely scenario is that the active partition marking has shifted from the windows bootfile partition, presumably sda1, to a higher partition. If that happened then "fixmbr" correctly rewrites the generic code to the mbr but since that generic code essentially says "go find the active partition", booting will fail because the active partition is not correct for windows any more.

    Anyway, to check where the active flag is located now, put in the Suse boot dvd, boot and select to "Rescue System".
    Then log in using name: root.
    Then enter the command: fdisk -l (that's the letter l, not the numeral 1).
    The console returns a list that has the active partition marked by an asterisk. The windows line should look a bit like this:
    HTML Code:
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *           1        1306    10490413+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    Note the asterisk. It marks the active partition. Where is your asterisk?

  4. #4

    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    The * is at /dev/sda1 which is listed as W95 FAT32 (LBA).

  5. #5

    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    There are 4 partitions listed, I used my Win98SE disk and fdisk. I changed the active partition to all 4 partitions, just to check. It does boot at the Windows partition noted above, but it loads OpenSuse 11.0 in a non-GUI. Windows is not one of the options and I cannot get the GUI to load using sax2. Something is really weird here.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    Quote Originally Posted by ostrowlaw View Post
    There are 4 partitions listed, I used my Win98SE disk and fdisk. I changed the active partition to all 4 partitions, just to check. It does boot at the Windows partition noted above, but it loads OpenSuse 11.0 in a non-GUI. Windows is not one of the options and I cannot get the GUI to load using sax2. Something is really weird here.
    I think you are saying something like this:

    Because the Grub code has been removed from the MBR and windows generic code placed there instead, the booting follows the windows style of booting and boots the active partition. so you can boot Suse or windows by moving the asterisk between partitions with the win98 fdisk utility.

    But when you boot Suse, there's no entry in the loader for windows.

    And when you boot Suse, there's no GUI.

    Question 1: Is that right?

    If that's right then this is the way to go:
    Step 1: restore the GUI
    Step 2: restore the full Grub bootloader

    Question 2: Does this look right so far?
    Question 3: What is your video card?
    Question 4: Have you installed any special video drivers, and if so, what?

  7. #7

    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    Well, I guess I was somewhat unclear. So, I'll try to answer line by line clearly this time. I also did some stuff last night so I'll bring you up to date.

    Because the Grub code has been removed from the MBR and windows generic code placed there instead, the booting follows the windows style of booting and boots the active partition. so you can boot Suse or windows by moving the asterisk between partitions with the win98 fdisk utility.

    ==> I moved the asterisk to each of the 4 partitions, only one partition is bootable, that's the one with the asterisk which appears to be the original WinXP partition.

    But when you boot Suse, there's no entry in the loader for windows.

    ==> I resolved that last night. There was a post from 3/31/09 #1-5 (permalink) which I followed along. I booted up in Linux, started Yast2, and found the Windows XP section, made it the default. When I rebooted, yes, both WinXP and OpenSuse 11.0 appear (as well as another entry) but WinXP did not boot, it just restarted the menu. I also made sure that the boot is from the MBR as set forth there.

    And when you boot Suse, there's no GUI.

    Question 1: Is that right?

    ==> Correct
    If that's right then this is the way to go:
    Step 1: restore the GUI
    Step 2: restore the full Grub bootloader

    Question 2: Does this look right so far?
    ==> Sounds good, but I have been unable to restore the GUI.

    Question 3: What is your video card?
    ==> Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS

    Question 4: Have you installed any special video drivers, and if so, what?

    ==> No. Ahh, come to think of it, now I'm starting to see. Perhaps I can hook it up as an analog instead of digital format if necessary.

    Thanks for your help.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    Thanks for the clear explanation.
    Let's have a go at installing Nvidia drivers and getting the GUI going. Boot into Suse and log on as root. Be very careful operating as root. you'll be in a console.

    Enter this command: yast
    A text-based version of the Yast system configurator will open. Use the tab and arrow keys to navigate. Go to Software --> Software Repositories and press Enter to get the screen for Configured Software Repositories.

    Tab to Add and press Enter. Arrow to Community Repos and press Enter tpo get the X in the (x) thingy. Tab to Next and Enter. After a while the screen is List of Online repositories.

    Tab and arrow your way to NVIDIA repository and Enter the x into "[x] NVIDIA Repo". Tab to OK and Enter. When asked about the Key, select [Import] and press Enter.

    When you're back at the screen Config Software Repositories, press OK and you'll be back at Yast2 Control Centre. Select Software Management and allow it all to load fro a few minutes.

    Use the search phrase nvidia. Locate in the list on the right hand side the x11-video-nvidiaG02 and press Enter to put a + sign beside it. That should (must) also put the add symbol (a+) beside one of the "kpm" packages. Check that it does. Then Tab to Accept and press Enter and follow the bouncing ball to the end of the installation.

    When the drivers have been installed, get the initial Yast screen up again and select Hardware --> Graphics card and Monitor and press Enter. You should now be able to configure the video.

    See how that goes and if it works we can proceed to the bootloader thing.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    1 more thing. Here is the output when I try to get Sax2 to open an GUI:

    Sax: no X-Server is running
    Sax: will start own server if needed
    Sax: ups lost card during probing.. abort
    Sax: something went wrong while X was called with probeonly
    Sax: try to call 'sax2 -p' and select a single device


    Hope this helps. I do not that when I call sax2 -p, I get 2 video cards, which is consistent with my computer (it has the on-board video and the additional NVidia card.

    Thanks
    Alan

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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.0 Destroyed my Boot Sector

    Quote Originally Posted by ostrowlaw View Post
    1 more thing. Here is the output when I try to get Sax2 to open an GUI:

    Sax: no X-Server is running
    Sax: will start own server if needed
    Sax: ups lost card during probing.. abort
    Sax: something went wrong while X was called with probeonly
    Sax: try to call 'sax2 -p' and select a single device


    Hope this helps. I do not that when I call sax2 -p, I get 2 video cards, which is consistent with my computer (it has the on-board video and the additional NVidia card.

    Thanks
    Alan
    Disable the onboard video in the bios if you can.

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