Screwed up partition table
June 10, 2004 3:15 AM   Subscribe

I was trying to install Linux (the latest version of that damned Mandrake), and I seem to have screwed my partition table. Neither Mandrake nor Windows XP will boot -- I'm posting this message from a Knoppix livecd. Mandrake just goes to a blank screen and hangs but Windows gives a message about a missing dll. What can I do to fix this? I'm in over my head here.
posted by reklaw to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
First, let's check out your partition table. Run the following command as root, and post the results:
fdisk -l /dev/hda
posted by Eamon at 6:08 AM on June 10, 2004

Response by poster: Never mind, I fixed it. The partition table was completely corrupt for some reason -- fdisk completely refused to read it. I ended up using the recovery console on the Windows XP CD to rewrite the partition table and replace GRUB with Windows' own bootloader, which boots Linux far more easily than GRUB or LILO (with a bit of tweaking).
posted by reklaw at 6:35 AM on June 10, 2004

Wow... do you have a URL handy for a "booting Linux with the Windows bootloader" HOWTO? I wouldn't be too surprised if the Linux sites don't give this capability much play.

Also, just out of curiosity, did fdisk-proper fail to read it, or was it an easier-to-use variant like cfdisk? The latter is much easier to use when everything's going well, but I haven't found the partition table that fdisk couldn't fix (which is kinda sad, when you think about it).
posted by Eamon at 6:42 AM on June 10, 2004

Ooops. So, I ran partitionmagic to free up some space (10gb), but accidentally unplugged it when it was 30% through.

The hard drive doesn't seem to be showing up any more - I'm working off a Gentoo 1.4 livecd with links, I have CD 1 and 2.

Are there any tools that can check out my hd and try to fix it?

Failing that, can the gentoo live cd boot into something other than console mode? (all I need at the mo is a browser and an im client)
posted by Mossy at 11:08 AM on June 10, 2004

Hmm. I managed to fix it by chucking it into an external hard drive enclosure and running chkdsk on it - then when I ran some partition manager tests, the thing overheated and died. Oh dear. Now it only recognises it as an NTFS partition..

Had a friend burn Knoppix - it really is quite swank. Does anyone know how to change the resolution in it?
posted by Mossy at 4:36 PM on June 10, 2004

Ahhh. I figured out what was wrong with the hard drive. It burnt my finger. So I put it in the fridge and now it's fine.

Looks like no linux for me until I get another one :(
posted by Mossy at 5:36 PM on June 10, 2004

Usually in Linux it's CTRL-ALT-MINUS or PLUS to change resolution, but Knoppix also has a way of booting with a higher resolution. When it gets to the "boot:" screen, type "knoppix screen=1024x768" or something.
posted by holloway at 5:56 PM on June 10, 2004

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