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Dual Boot Ubuntu+xp, Xp No Longer Boots


NegativeSpace
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I've recently installed Ubuntu 11.04 onto a single HDD machine that previously only ran XP. After installing Ubuntu, and using it exclusively for a few days, I tried to boot XP, and GRUB runs properly, and Ubuntu still boots normally, but when I tell GRUB to boot XP, I get a black screen with a blinking cursor and nothing else. I've never used GRUB before, and only tried Ubuntu for limited runs from live CD (never really had the time to take it any further). I issued sudo fdisk -l and learned that "partition table entries are not in disk order", and also that "partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary". I'm not sure what these mean. I could really use some guidance. My goal is to get XP booting normally again, while keeping my working Ubuntu partition.

EDIT - I also forgot to mention that in the root of my hdd there is a BOOT.INI file, but there is also a BOOT.BAK file. I didn't create this boot.bak file, and I don't know what it's for or why it's there.

Edited by NegativeSpace
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You could post here fdisk -l output.

as well as menu.lst on grub.cfg from /boot/grub/

Disk /dev/sda: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk identifier: 0xcab10bee

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sda1 * 1 20021 160811560 7 HPFS/NTFS

/dev/sda2 23172 24321 9230760 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.

/dev/sda3 20021 23172 25314305 5 Extended

/dev/sda5 20021 22789 22237184 83 Linux

/dev/sda6 22789 23172 3076096 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order

As far as menu.lst, I assume you mean that I should find some text inside the grub.cfg file relating to or near "menu.lst", however, I have looked and searched through grub.cfg. and there is no such text "menu.lst" within grub.cfg. I could post the entire grub.cfg file, but it's several pages long.

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Sorry for the rapid posting (I'm not a forum junkie, don't know if that's one of those things people consider to be rude). Anyway, I've just found this page on the ubuntuforums. This seems to be the fix for my problem, but since I'm new to ubuntu, and this guys English doesn't seem to be very good, I don't quite understand his instructions. Maybe someone could read this post and give me some better instructions? I don't actually know that this will work for me but it really seems like it describes the right problem and solution. It's post #2.

ubuntuforums

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Kind of straight forward me thinks -

http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/bootinfoscript/index.php?title=Boot_Problems:Boot_Sector

Go here follow the steps. They speak for themselves really. If it works WOOT! If not! Run fixboot from your XP Disc (you do have one or?)

Then once thats done, do what the guy says "sudo update-grub" in the terminal since you've got Grub2.

Try that and see what happens........then we carry on :P

Cali

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Unfortunately something has happened to the GRUB now, and I am not able to even boot into Ubuntu. I don't have an XP disk, haven't had one in years, and it seems very difficult if not near impossible to find an XP boot image, something I havent tried to do in many years. I did happen to have a very old DOS boot CD, so I thought if nothing else I can look at partitions, and sure enough windows boot partition was overwritten. Not sure what I should do now, since I have just done a clean install of Windows a few weeks ago, and spent a lot of time replacing everything. So, whats the best way to recover a partition, and without a factory XP disk? Sort of lost here, haven't had to do anything like this in , say, probably ten years.

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I think your partition is fine, you just screwed your MBR somehow. Reinstall linux, then fix grub and it should see windows automatically and add it to the boot menu. boot.ini and boot.bak are part of XP, as well as ntloader, which should still be intact. Before you do anything else though, backup your files. You can use a love disc to copy the important files from XP to a spare drive. Then work on fixing. If you accidentally format the XP partition, your pretty much screwed and may as well install linux over everything.

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As far as menu.lst, I assume you mean that I should find some text inside the grub.cfg file relating to or near "menu.lst", however, I have looked and searched through grub.cfg. and there is no such text "menu.lst" within grub.cfg. I could post the entire grub.cfg file, but it's several pages long.

Sorry, I ment menu.lst OR grub.cfg, since depending on which version of grub you have. You only have one of those.

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I think your partition is fine, you just screwed your MBR somehow. Reinstall linux, then fix grub and it should see windows automatically and add it to the boot menu. boot.ini and boot.bak are part of XP, as well as ntloader, which should still be intact. Before you do anything else though, backup your files. You can use a love disc to copy the important files from XP to a spare drive. Then work on fixing. If you accidentally format the XP partition, your pretty much screwed and may as well install linux over everything.

After I initially installed Ubuntu and GRUB, XP showed up as bootable OS, it just wouldn't actually boot. The first time I chose XP as the OS I wanted to boot in GRUB, I got a black screen with blinking cursor, and I even let it sit for 15 minutes just to be sure. I had some suspicion that the boot record had been corrupted, but I also had some suspicion that the partition had been corrupted/partially over written (as per the output of sudo fdisk -l). I already had a backup drive with 99.5% of my important files, so that wasn't a problem. Now I have the strange problem of having missing hard drive space, which I can only assume means that there is a partition that windows does not see. I now need to figure out the best method for restoring all of that 60 or 70 GB of space that is lost. Any suggestions?

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http://www.ambience.sk/fdisk-master-boot-record-windows-linux-lilo-fixmbr.php - Go hear and try it, see what happens.

If the rest is stuffed no hard in trying. I think.................

I would have loved to be able to run fixmbr and fixboot, but I don't posses a bootable XP cd, and I haven't touched a 3.5 inch disk or 3.5 inch drive in probably a decade.

Those commands would likely have fixed the error. It's a shame I had to go through so much work and hassle just because a bootable XP image does not seem to exist anywhere on the freaking internet. It would be great if someone had that file for me.

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http://sourceforge.net/projects/ms-sys/

Linux program for writing Microsoft compatible boot records. This program does the same as Microsoft "fdisk /mbr" to a hard disk or "sys d:" to a floppy or FAT32 partition except that it does not copy any system files, only the boot record is written

ms-sys.sf.net

Another possibility to try out.......an no floppy drive hehe I still got mine in my main machine, never know when they will come in handy!!! (Almost never ofc :P)

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http://sourceforge.net/projects/ms-sys/

Linux program for writing Microsoft compatible boot records. This program does the same as Microsoft "fdisk /mbr" to a hard disk or "sys d:" to a floppy or FAT32 partition except that it does not copy any system files, only the boot record is written

ms-sys.sf.net

Another possibility to try out.......an no floppy drive hehe I still got mine in my main machine, never know when they will come in handy!!! (Almost never ofc :P)

That's great to know for future reference, but right now what I really need is a partition manager, since I already made a new MBR, and lost a good percentage of my drive space to a rogue partition. I am familiar with some old standby tools, but I've sworn off proprietary software, I'm exclusively using open source software unless a solution does not exist. Still in need of a good partition manager.

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You don't need one mate, just learn by mistake, I know it sucks but it's the best way. My Backtrack install was a right pain had to re-do it 4 times before it was correct (don't ask :S).

What are the spec's on your machine? If I were you I'd just VM it, so much easier!! I know having a dual boot machine is handy (Mine is WIn7/Backtrack5) but I use it for work mostly. Other than that I've got a machine with Win7, Ubuntu and XP all VM'd. It makes a whole lot easier and also you don't have to worry about this happening again! Besides it's stupid easy to build a Pen Test Lab this way.

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You don't need one mate, just learn by mistake, I know it sucks but it's the best way. My Backtrack install was a right pain had to re-do it 4 times before it was correct (don't ask :S).

What are the spec's on your machine? If I were you I'd just VM it, so much easier!! I know having a dual boot machine is handy (Mine is WIn7/Backtrack5) but I use it for work mostly. Other than that I've got a machine with Win7, Ubuntu and XP all VM'd. It makes a whole lot easier and also you don't have to worry about this happening again! Besides it's stupid easy to build a Pen Test Lab this way.

Learning by mistake is something that has served me well in the past, but I don't really have time for it these days. Losing my Windows partition and a good percentage of the space on my HDD to a rogue partition is not exactly a good way, IMO. VMing would be easy, but I've never been the kind of person that likes easy, at least not until I know I have the skills to do it the hard way. In this case, I still don't know what went wrong and I'm not willing to spend the better part of a weekend restoring this machine to its previous state in the event that the same thing happens again. Instinct tells me that this problem was caused by a singular simple and common mistake/error. Hopefully someone can come along and tell me what that might have been because I really would like to have easy access to Ubuntu on the computer that I use most.

The machine in question is old. Has a dual core 2.2ghz Athlon, 3GB DDR, XP SP3, GeForce graphics, sata HDD, standard ASUS motherboard, pretty much all standard for 2006.

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