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Can't Boot


joshricco
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So I was trying to partition my HD so I could dual boot Vista and Ubuntu. To make the partition I used Vista's disk management. Although I had plenty of empty space on my HD it wasn't showing up as shrinkable space. In an attempt to optimize shrinkable space, I defragged using Vista's defragger and a specialized app to defrag. After defragging I still couldn't open up more that 7 GB shrinkable space. In a last ditch effort I downloaded a specialized program that would partition my HD. Long story short, I created a small partition, and now my computer is unbootable. When I tell my computer to boot from the HDD it tells me "non-system disk, press any key...". I've also tried booting ubuntu, xp, and vista from disks to no avail.

please help,

Josh

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I had the exact same thing happen to me, when I was doing the same thing (only I wasn't using vista).

Now don't hold me to this and to the others please correct me if I am wrong but when you partition a drive it also allowcates roughly 8mb for the MBR I believe and if this goes missing you have the above issue.

The way I corrected it was booting from my winxp CD (you could use Vista or Ubuntu) and remove created partitions and starting again.

Now when you are doing a dual boot, I just allowcate what ever I need with Windows and add that single partition, the rest is left as free space. Run your windows install to that partition and then fire up Ubuntu.

Use the manual partition option and set 1024 size partition and set it as swap from the drop down list.

Then create your partition of whatever size you would like for ubuntu and select ext3 file system. Also for the mount point select the / option from the drop down list and you are good to go.

Hope this helps.

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I had the exact same thing happen to me, when I was doing the same thing (only I wasn't using vista).

Now don't hold me to this and to the others please correct me if I am wrong but when you partition a drive it also allowcates roughly 8mb for the MBR I believe and if this goes missing you have the above issue.

The way I corrected it was booting from my winxp CD (you could use Vista or Ubuntu) and remove created partitions and starting again.

Now when you are doing a dual boot, I just allowcate what ever I need with Windows and add that single partition, the rest is left as free space. Run your windows install to that partition and then fire up Ubuntu.

Use the manual partition option and set 1024 size partition and set it as swap from the drop down list.

Then create your partition of whatever size you would like for ubuntu and select ext3 file system. Also for the mount point select the / option from the drop down list and you are good to go.

Hope this helps.

how can I remove the partitions I created in the boot menu?

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If I could boot from any of these cd's then I could figure this out, but I can't seem to boot. In vista it asks for a drive to boot to (none of mine show up), in xp it blue screens, and in ubuntu this weird error keeps popping up.

I'll relay that error message to you when damn vista disk ejects.

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Without a error message there is not much I can do.. I still do not understand you not being able to boot into a live disk? Just hope that you didnt dirty up your disk with that "specialized" defrager. If it didnt respect partition boundaries then you could have fucked your self.

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Looks like a few people have had this error and had to reinstall. I suggest taking you hhd out and hooking it to an external adapter and trying to salvage any data you can then just reinstall and from now on use windows defrag utility and Gparted.

I really don't care about any of the data on my hd. I just want to get it up and running again as fast as possible. If you could give suggestions (step by step) on what to do I would be much obliged.

thanks for putting up with my noobliness.

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Boot a live linux disc(ubuntu is fine), but do not try to do an install yet from any menu or whatever. Boot to the desktop and get to a termnal prompt in linux and type "fdisk /dev/hda" (assuming the hdd is device hda or sda, whatever). When it comes up, hit "p" to print what it sees as the partition layout. From there you can delete them, create new ones, make one active for boot, make a file system of your choice, etc. I would delete any partitions that exist, then reboot the machine once the partions are gone. Then go back into fdisk and then create a new partion. Only use how much space you want for vista when adding it. For start, leave 1, hit enter, for end, hit something like +20000M for like 20 gig or whatever(I think it gives you examples though) Hit "t" for disk type, and then use the prompt to bring up the menu for file system types. Make partition 1 a fat32LBA(I think its option c, but I am going from memory here). I know its fat32, that ok for now.

Then create another partion and leave it a linux system. Start will be the end of partion 1, leave it alone hit enter. For end, just hit enter and it will grab the rest of the drive. When done, type "a" for making a partition active to boot and select partion 1(The fat 32 drive). Then hit w to write out the new changes and it puts you back to a prompt.

Then type "mkfs.vfat /dev/hda1" (Partition 1, Fat32) let it finish. Then "mke2fs /dev/hda2" for partion 2 (Make an EXT2 File system for linux)

Now reboot, insert your vista disk and install it on the fat32 drive, but it will ask you to make it NTFS, say ok. It should leave the ext2 file system in tact, only seeing the fat 32 partion space to use, but if it doesn't and sees the entire drive, make your size selection now in during setup. When done with vista, insert your uBuntu disc and hit install from the meny, tell it what partion, but it should see the ext2 partion, follow the menu, make changes if you need to the file system type or partion layout.

Not sure what happens after that for the boot manager if ubuntu recognizes vista, but I think it gives you the option to boot into either based on the ubuntu install from grub or wahtever. Havent' dual booted ubuntu and vista before, so from that point on, your on your own getting to to work.

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Hey there,

when I type boot /dev/hda I get a response: bin/sh: boot: not found.

I cannot really get to the desktop, all I have is the console that shows up during the install process (when the errors start showing up)

is there some kind of option to boot to the desktop?

EDIT: In vista, when I browse for HD's to boot off of, I get three partitions: One 3 GB partitions, one 7 GB partition, and one 7 MB partition, my HD was origionally 300 GB.

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Reset the BIOS and wipe the disk? I honestly have no idea what you have done but it sounds like you need to start again. Windows PE2 + diskpart should work just dandy for this task.

run diskpart, then type:

list disk

select disk X (where X is your disk)

clean

You have a totally blank disk you can install whatever on.

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Hey there,

when I type boot /dev/hda I get a response: bin/sh: boot: not found.

I cannot really get to the desktop, all I have is the console that shows up during the install process (when the errors start showing up)

is there some kind of option to boot to the desktop?

EDIT: In vista, when I browse for HD's to boot off of, I get three partitions: One 3 GB partitions, one 7 GB partition, and one 7 MB partition, my HD was origionally 300 GB.

What do you get for "fdisk /dev/hda" and then a "p". What is the partition layout it sees?

I would delete all partions and start over. You probably have uncalimed space that isn't in a partition or has no file system on it.

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Have you tried booting GParted yet? From there you can erase the partitions and start a new... Dont use third party tools in windows if you dont have to. Microsoft has done a great job making sure things work... i.e. their defrager. Next time just install Vista(if you want that to be the fastest OS) and then Ubuntu... or move Vista to the middle and Linus in front with a swap file.. Ubuntu will auto detect windows and work accordingly.

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"fdisk" is not registering as I command.

The console I'm using is the one that is brought up upon installation, because I can't get past that point (thats when the errors start showing up)

before I type in the command it says "initramfs". It seems as if there is only a limited amount of commands that can be accessed from this menu.

deleting the partitions sounds like the best thing to do, I just need to figure out how to do this with the limited access I have.

thanks for all the help so far,

Josh

EDIT: To Dingleberries: So I just put GParted on a disk, boot from it, and I can delete my partitions that way?

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"fdisk" is not registering as I command.

The console I'm using is the one that is brought up upon installation, because I can't get past that point (thats when the errors start showing up)

before I type in the command it says "initramfs". It seems as if there is only a limited amount of commands that can be accessed from this menu.

deleting the partitions sounds like the best thing to do, I just need to figure out how to do this with the limited access I have.

thanks for all the help so far,

Josh

fdisk utility is a command you use in linux from a terminal or cli. Im pretty sure its on the ubuntu live disk and just about every other linux distro should have it. If not on yours, if you have BT3 or any other back track disc, they have it on them.

http://linux.about.com/od/commands/l/blcmdl8_fdisk.htm

I use fdisk to install my linux distros, but its also good for formatting hdd's and USB thumb drives to various file systems. It also make sit easy to partion a USB drive.

you migh have to "sudo fdisk /dev/hda" while in the live disc though.

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I don't have access to Linux though, I can't get out of the install screen and that's all I have access to along with that console I told you about (initramfs). As a result, I don't have access to a terminal.

In response to Sparta: Boot the GParted live disk?

(if I'm missing out on any important concepts please correct me)

-Josh

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Well I have no way of accessing GParted because I cannot install ubuntu, or any OS for that matter. As afore mentioned, I cannot get past the install screen for any of them and as a result cannot access any of the helpful software inside. From what I'm hearing, I need a way to delete partitions without installing an OS. So, if there are any programs that I can burn on to a CD and boot off of that delete partitions, thats what I'm looking for.

EDIT: And no, no pebkac. . . well maybe. I'd like to think I'm not that much of a n00b. Anywho, one way to make sure it's not just me being a dumbass is to give me step by step instructions. When something goes wrong I'll tell you and we can work from there.

again thanks for all the help so far

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Well I have no way of accessing GParted because I cannot install ubuntu, or any OS for that matter. As afore mentioned, I cannot get past the install screen for any of them and as a result cannot access any of the helpful software inside. From what I'm hearing, I need a way to delete partitions without installing an OS. So, if there are any programs that I can burn on to a CD and boot off of that delete partitions, thats what I'm looking for.

EDIT: And no, no pebkac. . . well maybe. I'd like to think I'm not that much of a n00b. Anywho, one way to make sure it's not just me being a dumbass is to give me step by step instructions. When something goes wrong I'll tell you and we can work from there.

again thanks for all the help so far

The ubuntu install cd(Live CD) is what you boot into! DO NOT TRY TO INSTALL IT, just boot it intot he live environment! Then, once its up to the gnome desktop, open a terminal console, etc, and type "fdisk /dev/hda" and then "p" to show your partitions on the HDD. Then go back and re read what we all have been saying, delete the partitions, start over. Good luck!

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ok, and to boot into the live environment, I just select the "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer" option?

Exactly! But what are the otehr options. You will want to be able to mount and write to the HDD. That option may or may not be what you want, but I'm not looking at it right this second, so I can only guess its what we want. Once booted, open a terminal and go to work.

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