Help: I borked my WindowsXP boot when installing OpenSUSE 11.3

LOL so in order to protect you form Windows viruses they force you to use Windows. Brilliant :sarcastic:

Thank you for your feedback. It’s very good to know. I doubt we can isolate some kind of signature in the output you posted here. But if somebody using the same feature could post his bootsector, we could check. I’m going to add a --debug option to the script to output the bootsectors in such situations and display a warning that they could be encrypted.
We could unfortunately not help you but you did help me a lot figuring out one more reason why Windows would not boot. Thanks again. :wink:

There are always solutions. If you want to have Linux on that machine, you have to boot it the other way by loading grub stage 1 from a file in Windows Boot Manager. It works too.

  • install Grub on your first HD in the bootsector of the /boot partition (a small /boot partition on the HD1 and the rest on HD2 would be ok).
  • save the boot sector to a file. Example if it’s on sda3 :
    **dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/tmp/ bs=512 count=1
    ** - copy that file in your windows partition (drive C: ). You’ll have to mount that partition first :
    mount -t ntfs /dev/sda1 /mnt
    cp /tmp/ /mnt

Now for the Windows part, I don’t remember. I used to edit C: \boot.ini and add an entry manually. You’ll find out if you google a little bit. I think you can have up to 7 or 8 entries in the Window Bootmanager (speaking from the NT/Win2K time). It’s enough to boot several Linux distros. They must be a tool under Windows like bootinit editor or something like that …

Thanks for the ideas please_try_again, but I’m not going to touch hd0 (sda) on this laptop again. There were some pretty serious repercussions to my not having this machine available for several days as a result of the last misadventure. If I can figure out a way to use a USB key as a boot launcher (as per my other thread How to create a USB boot drive (like the old boot floppies)?) I’ll go that way, otherwise I’m going to have to stick with WinXP on this machine.

I don’t remember which is what … but I just got an idea on my way back.
If you have Windows on your first hardisk in the first partition and the bootsector is encrypted - that’s the case here - then boot from your second harddisk where you have Grub and instead of trying to boot a specific partition, chainload the MBR of your first HD. It should pass control to the bootcode of the active partition whether it’s encrypted or not - I guess it shouldn’t matter anymore at this point as Grub has finished its job . So the following entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst might work (if the Windows partition has the bootflag set) :

title Windows
root (hd0)
chainloader +1


title Windows
root (hd0,0)
root (hd0)
chainloader +1

I know that chainloading a disk (hd0) rather than a partition works. I do it all the time while chainloading grub in mbr from other grubs anywhere else. I never did that with a generic mbr for the simple reason that I never use generic mbrs … but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It might be as stupid as that.