How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

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How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby Enduseragreement on Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:02 pm

I had an Asus Eee netbook that I was working with, all of a sudden the computer started talking about how the software wouldn't mount and the only thing I remember is that the computer would only go as far as the underscore blinking permanently on a black screen most times. Common windows error. Lots of different reasons for it occuring, mostly software related.

So because I wanted to try something new, I installed Debian Mint XFCE on my netbook and I loved it. I'm using it now and everything about it is great.

However, I partitioned the hard drive and gave a little bit of space for a windows partition. I don't remember how much. I started the computer up through Windows XP and low and behold it booted fine. However, it still has all the old software and data I don't care to have on it anymore. In fact, I want to reinstall Windows completely.

How do I reinstall Windows on its given partition without losing my beautiful Mint partition?

Subject edited by moderator for clarity
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Re: How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby xenopeek on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:30 am

Moved here by moderator
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Re: How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby wayne128 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:49 am

Boot up your Asus EEE netbook with Mint Debian xfce,
run gparted.
take a snapshot of hard disk image.
post here to let others see how the partitions look like.
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Re: How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby secipolla on Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:07 am

It's not exactly what you're asking nor do I know about those MS EULAs. But a good way to run XP would be to install it in VirtualBox in your Mint if the netbook is good enough for that.
In VB you can always take snapshots of the virtual machine and just roll back to one of those in case XP get compromised (not difficult, I presume).
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Re: How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby Aging Technogeek on Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:28 am

When you run the XP install disk, if your hard drive is partitioned and one partition is formatted ntfs, there should be a page at the beginning where you will be asked where you want to install Windows. The choices will be to use the entire drive, or use the ntfs partition. Choose the partition and the new installation will overwrite the original installation.

You will also overwrite the mbr and destroy Grub when XP installs its bootloader. I am not terribly familiar with LMDE, but I think the procedure to reinstall Grub to the mbr is the same in LMDE or Ubuntu based Mint versions. Find it here

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2?action=show&redirect=GRUB2#Reinstalling_GRUB2

There are two methods detailed. One uses Boot Repair. I am not certain that Boot Repair can be installed in LMDE as installation involves adding a PPA to the sources.list and LMDE is not always PPA friendly.

The second procedure (Copy Live CD Files) should work.
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Re: How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby Enduseragreement on Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Aging Technogeek wrote:When you run the XP install disk, if your hard drive is partitioned and one partition is formatted ntfs, there should be a page at the beginning where you will be asked where you want to install Windows. The choices will be to use the entire drive, or use the ntfs partition. Choose the partition and the new installation will overwrite the original installation.

You will also overwrite the mbr and destroy Grub when XP installs its bootloader. I am not terribly familiar with LMDE, but I think the procedure to reinstall Grub to the mbr is the same in LMDE or Ubuntu based Mint versions. Find it here

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2?action=show&redirect=GRUB2#Reinstalling_GRUB2

There are two methods detailed. One uses Boot Repair. I am not certain that Boot Repair can be installed in LMDE as installation involves adding a PPA to the sources.list and LMDE is not always PPA friendly.

The second procedure (Copy Live CD Files) should work.


Interesting, do you mind explaining what an mbr is an why it's destroyed when I reinstall windows? I'm doing a lot of learning with this OS and when I google'd mbr, all I got was the abbreviation back!

I'll probably go with the copy live CD files only because I can just use a thumbdrive. It sounds easier on LMDE.

For the poster who asked for a screenshot of my partitions:
http://i.imgur.com/mKcG2.png
(the larger partition being Debian)


Taking a look at the virtualbox option now.
Thanks to the moderator who moved this post for me.
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Re: How to reinstall WinXp without losing LMDE?

Postby wowjustwow on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:02 pm

I'll try to explain it without getting too technical. This is something of oversimplification too.

The mbr is the master boot record. When you start your computer, it tells the computer what to do. For our purposes here, on a dual boot system it tells the computer what partition to boot. Grub lets you choose which partition you want. When you install Windows, Windows overwrites your current mbr and installs its own. When you start your computer you will not have a choice which partition to load. Windows will start automatically unless you press a key to bring up your options. As to why Microsoft does that? I'm sure they have their reasons.
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