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Thread: GRUB Problem

  1. #141

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Well I see the infamous name of plodder has been mentioned in the last three posts so I had better reply.

    I think I have got a little lost regarding what you what to do. I see you have quoted the instructions from post #92, which was the first version of the grand plan. However, that envisaged deleting sda3 (linux swap) and sda6 (linux root) leaving sda5 (Windows) inside the extended partition sda2. Grub is not removed by this process so attempts to get the compaq diagnostics facility to recreate Windows will be stymied by grub resident on sda2, as you correctly pointed out. There was a plan to convert sda5 to a primary partition via testdisk, which may have solved the problem, but that is a little complicated.

    Your new plan, I think, is for you to retain Windows and add on Suse by:

    1) Taking a backup of the whole disk,

    2) Deleting all partitions apart from sda1,

    3) Invoking the Compaq diagnostics and seeing if that recreates Windows and

    4) Adding on Suse 11.2 (you could wait a few more days and try 11.3 note).

    I don't think you are bound by any agreement to make this a test case. If you are happy with just Suse then follow the suggestions of the other posters. My views on the viability of recovering data from borked (after Suse installation) Windows partitions have changed a little and I think the newbies will have to live with the consequences of what they do. I merely suggest to the powers that be that it might be better to offer newbies a VM download of Suse, that can run directly under either Virtualbox or VM Player in Windows, in addition to the DVD. But this is another matter that could be discussed elsewhere.

    Whatever you do, 1) in this post is an INSURANCE POLICY so, if you don't like the results of what I and other posters have suggested, you can always return to the rather depressing situation that currently exists before trying something else. Otherwise you have lost Windows for good, unless you can grab a full CD from somewhere.

    A) Ignore this if you have backed up your disk. OK have you done the backup as in 1)? I note your 500GB drive appears to be formatted as NTFS so it can hold a really large file of 120GB which is your entire disk. Do you have enough free space? If you are in PartedMagic, the File Manager should show you. The File Manager can mount the 500GB drive automatically if you click on the entry for that 500GB NTFS partition. Have you done that? What free space does it show? Can you navigate to a suitable directory on the 500GB drive in which to store the 120GB image? The command for backup, whilst in that directory, is then:

    dd if=/dev/sda bs=10M of=sony-all.raw

    Will take about 3 hours I think.

    B) Deleting all the partitions apart from sda1. You can use cfdisk and various other low level utilities but I am thinking you could use the GUI GParted partition in PartedMagic. If you want to use cfdisk (I think I gave the instructions for that) then you are correct when you come to the "Write' command - you do have to type in "yes" and press Enter. Otherwise the partition table is not updated on the disk and you are back to square one.

    Let us know how you get on. Sorry I did not reply sooner I had the impression you were taking a different course.


  2. #142

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Actually make that backup command:

    dd if=/dev/sda bs=10M of=sony-all.raw conv=noerror,sync
    In case of badblocks on the 120GB drive.

  3. #143

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by plodder View Post
    ...
    4) Adding on Suse 11.2 (you could wait a few more days and try 11.3 note).

    I don't think you are bound by any agreement to make this a test case. If you are happy with just Suse then follow the ...

    ...something else. Otherwise you have lost Windows for good, unless you can grab a full CD from somewhere.

    A) Ignore this if you have backed up your disk. OK have you

    ...120GB image? The command for backup, whilst in that directory, is then:

    dd if=/dev/sda bs=10M of=sony-all.raw

    Will take about 3 hours I think.

    B) Deleting all the partitions apart from sda1. You can use cfdisk and various other low level utilities but I am thinking you could use the GUI GParted partition in PartedMagic. If you want to use cfdisk (I think I gave the instructions for that) then you are correct when you come to the "Write' command - you do have to type in "yes" and press Enter. Otherwise the partition table is not updated on the disk and you are back to square one.

    Let us know how you get on. Sorry I did not reply sooner I had the impression you were taking a different course.

    Hi, plodder

    At this point there is only /dev/sda1 and a *huge* "No Partition" left on the laptop.

    I did make a backup of the Sony VAIO Recovery partition to the Maxtor 500G HD, but haven't tried bringing it back to the laptop...

    WinXP Recovery does boot up, but immediately after clicking the check box that you acknowledge that the procedure can destroy all data... it goes into a routine attempting to recovery the files but falls out with an error message that the disk is corrupt.

    Doesn't sound good.

    But, there is still hope...

    Here's a new 4-n-1 screenshot.

    -

  4. #144
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    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Gee...
    Now is the time to wipe it all and install openSUSE, at least on one of the HD's. Set the SUSE HD to first in boot order though.
    Leap 15.1_KDE
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  5. #145

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    Gee...
    Now is the time to wipe it all and install openSUSE, at least on one of the HD's. Set the SUSE HD to first in boot order though.
    LOL!

    Have I already killed it? :-}}

    Not much to worry about, though... if all else fails I'll try to take 'caf4926' up on the offer of a WinXP CD and use this Product Key Code.

    I'm pretty well tired of this, but would like to see it through... I figure the worst that will happen is that I will have a laptop that is TOTALLY openSuSE 11.3 [note... I'm waiting for the 11.3 release] <g>

  6. #146

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    LOL!

    Have I already killed it? :-}}
    I am not sure what you have done. What do you mean when you say:

    I did make a backup of the Sony VAIO Recovery partition to the Maxtor 500G HD
    I carefully outline the procedure you should adopt, which was to back up the entire drive first. That, as I said, was your insurance policy. We were never certain what the Recovery process would do and only had a theory that it would recreate the Windows partition.

    I would do two things while waiting for that Windows CD to turn up:

    1) Post the exact message about the corrupt disk that comes up when you attempt recovery.

    2) Use a partition editor (are you happy with cfdisk?) to try recovery with a second and active NTFS partition on the laptop hard drive. This is a long shot but it may be what the recovery procedure is objecting to. If using cfdisk in Parted Magic, this will be (from memory so maybe not all that accurate):

    • cfdisk /dev/sda
    • Highlight the free space at the end of the disk (below sda1)
    • Select 'New' and Enter
    • Select 'Primary' and Enter
    • Overwrite the default size with 15,000 (this will be 15GB, enough for Windows) and Enter
    • Highlight the sda1 partition
    • Select 'Boot' and Enter (this will remove the boot flag from sda1)
    • Highlight the new partition (which should be sda2)
    • Select 'Boot' and Enter (this will place the boot flag on sda2)
    • Select 'Type' and Enter (you will now be presented with two screens of possible partition codes. Press Enter to get passed the first screen and on the second screen type in '07' (zero - seven) for NTFS and Enter)
    • You should now see the new partition has the type of NTFS with the boot flag set.
    • Select 'Write' and Enter and then type 'yes' and Enter
    • Press 'q' to quite or select 'Quit' and Enter.


    Now try the recovery procedure again.

    Good luck.

  7. #147

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by plodder View Post
    1) Post the exact message about the corrupt disk that comes up when you attempt recovery.
    The "VAIO Recovery"

    Restore C: Drive

    DOS GUI screen comes up explaining that it deletes all files installed after purchase... we know that.

    Then I check the "I understand" and click "Next".

    Error pops up:

    "VAIO Recovery
    Error -1 occurred when restoring the system. Cannot continue."

    I click "OK".

    It goes back into the bootup routine and never gives any other warning message or error messages... just right back to the same:

    Restore C: Drive (Step 1 of 4)

    Then it just continues to go through an endless loop of doing the same thing as above, over and over again when I click the appropriate answer.

    - I will address the rest of your/this post *if* we get there, k?

  8. #148

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    So in that error message, what happened with the 'corrupt disk' bit you mentioned in your post #143?

    I cannot see any mention of Error 1 but only an Error 400 on the Internet when searching for that sort of error message.

    What exact model of Vaio do you have - a VGN-SZ38GP perhaps?

    Maybe you should try what I suggested about creating another NTFS partition and shifting the boot flag. It would be relatively easy to reverse that if you want to, since you are only defining partitions and boot flags in the MBR.

    The other option is to phone Sony tec support and ask them. Do not mention Linux. Just adopt the naive Windows user persona.

    Sorry that's all I can offer on the Windows recovery front. Maybe full Linux is the way to go. As I recall, FP98 and FP200 could produce non standard HTML, which most other browsers, apart from IE, could not interpret or would just ignore. Komposer, which I think is based on NVU, should be fine for your needs.

  9. #149

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by plodder View Post
    So in that error message, what happened with the 'corrupt disk' bit you mentioned in your post #143?

    I cannot see any mention of Error 1 but only an Error 400 on the Internet when searching for that sort of error message.
    That error no longer presents itself, sadly enough.

    What exact model of Vaio do you have - a VGN-SZ38GP perhaps?
    Sony VAIO VGN-SZ330P

    Maybe you should try what I suggested about creating another NTFS partition and shifting the boot flag. It would be relatively easy to reverse that if you want to, since you are only defining partitions and boot flags in the MBR.
    I should have made a backup copy of the Sony Recovery Partition when I first *bought* this laptop! And I think THAT is going to be the BEST lesson for this whole mess to teach *other* M$ Window$ users:

    Before you start loading *any* extra software on your new computer, MAKE YOURSELF do a back up copy to CD/DVD of the *entire* internal hard drive and be sure to keep it in a safe place where you can REMEMBER where you put it! There WILL be the day you will WISH you had a copy of the whole**********thing! :}}

    That said... I really need to get on with using the laptop under Linux. But, it might be worth the try to do as you suggest. I need a little more coffee before I can focus that much. But, maybe I should at least try that.

    The other option is to phone Sony tec support and ask them. Do not mention Linux. Just adopt the naive Windows user persona.

    Sorry that's all I can offer on the Windows recovery front. Maybe full Linux is the way to go. As I recall, FP98 and FP200 could produce non standard HTML, which most other browsers, apart from IE, could not interpret or would just ignore. Kompozer, which I think is based on NVU, should be fine for your needs.
    I called them before I started posting in this forum... they weren't very helpful. And wanted me to pay for a whole new copy of WinXP. NOT!

    Maybe 'caf4926' will have mercy on me and allow me to pay for a copy from the archives... this is getting to be a total pain in the rear end, ya know?

  10. #150

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    I was just thinking, since you only deleted the partition definitions, we could try putting them back in, once we discover where they should go. For that we could use testdisk. This time, we could make the Windows XP system partition a primary, which may cure the original problem.

    I will have a look at testdisk again over the weekend. From your previous posts, you used this to get rid of grub. So are you familiar with it?

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