Reformatted / Reinstalled Windows

I have had this new Dell Inspiron 6000 for about 5 months now and I felt it was too long a period to go without formatting Windows. So I took it up yesterday.

I had already repartitioned the system and installed SuSE Linux 10.0 as the other OS. My biggest concern was that the GRUB loader would be lost because of re-installing Windows. I dont know when is Microsoft ever going to recognize that there are other OS that ppl install on the same machine and that they (MS) should give options to edit the MBR.

Anyways, I went ahead and re-installed Windows Media Center 2005 Edition and the MBR was over written. But instead of one I had two issues now. The MBR was overwritten so I couldn’t get into Linux easily and because of a faulty installation, a Windows Choice menu appeared, which gave me an option to load into one of the two Window OS installed on the system. I corrected this problem first. After a bit of googling I found this link by Microsoft on how to edit boot.ini. It has a good tutorial on how to view, edit and verify the changes made to boot.ini. Changes should be made carefully to this file. I opened the boot.ini file and it looked like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

The last line in the code above is wrong and shouldn’t have been there. The tutorial provides a way of how to delete that line using bootcfg command. The tutorial says that command should be

bootcfg /delete /ID#

but it should be

bootcfg /delete /ID #

where # is the ID number of the partition.

After modifying the Windows Choice Menu, I went ahead and started to re-install SuSE, but I realized that I got the option to repair the currently installed system. I went through the menus and started to repair the previous install. I came across a problem where in it said that the windows partitions wont be loaded on system start-up, but soon after it detected the problem with GRUB and it went ahead and corrected the problem by overwriting MBR.

Now my system works perfectly fine. 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. This is what Hareesh had to say about this post:

    Hareesh Nagrajan : saw ur blog
    Hareesh Nagrajan : grub-install /dev/hda
    Hareesh Nagrajan : use a Live CD like Knoppix
    Hareesh Nagrajan : and restore mbr
    Hareesh Nagrajan : like dait
    nalin_makar : ok thats will keep that in mind next time
    Hareesh Nagrajan : very common problem
    nalin_makar : had no idea how to do it… so was going to reinstall… but the repair worked..
    nalin_makar : so am happy now
    Hareesh Nagrajan : do u have a USB disk?
    nalin_makar : nope
    Hareesh Nagrajan : if u do
    Hareesh Nagrajan : u can can create an image of ur windowz clean partition
    Hareesh Nagrajan : dd if=/dev/hda1 of=./windows_backup
    Hareesh Nagrajan : and then restore it in Linux
    Hareesh Nagrajan : dd is a wonderful tool that creates an IMAGE
    nalin_makar : ok
    Hareesh Nagrajan : i’ve done that for my ipod
    Hareesh Nagrajan : no need ipod updater etc.
    nalin_makar : what do u mean restore it in linux ? what purpose does it serve ?
    Hareesh Nagrajan : the funda is the same as this
    Hareesh Nagrajan : this applies to an IPOD
    Hareesh Nagrajan : it cud apply to anything. eg windows partition
    Hareesh Nagrajan : http://ipodlinux.org/Installation_from_Linux
    Hareesh Nagrajan : Backup
    Hareesh Nagrajan : Uninstalling iPod Linux
    Hareesh Nagrajan : look at those sections
    nalin_makar : ok…

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