Dual boot difficulties - need to to restore system

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Dual boot difficulties - need to to restore system

Postby spacermase on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:23 pm

Hello,

So, during an attempt to install Linux Mint 14 to dual boot on my Windows 7 laptop, something went terribly wrong. I'm not sure what, but I suspect it has to do with a previous partition that was set up. The bottom line is now neither Windows or Mint are able to boot, rendering the laptop effectively useless. About the only thing I can do at the moment is run Linux Mint from the liveUSB, and that's it.

My plan was to wipe everything, start fresh with windows 7, and use the windows 7 system restore feature to get all my files back, and then once everything's back to normal, only then try reinstalling linux mint 14 for dual booting (this time with a fresh partition).

However, things immediately became difficulty. In an effort to cut costs, no doubt, Lenovo no longer sends you the windows system restore disk- you have to burn it yourself, which I dutifully did. However, apparently I somehow neglected to burn the Applications and Drivers disk along with the System disk, so as it turns out, I can't actually use the disk to restore the computer to factory settings (it keeps asking for the Applications and Drivers disk and refuses to proceed further).

Now, I made a point to backup my windows system using the built-in Backup and Restore program, but I don't know how to access it outside of Windows. My external hard drive came with the highly annoying NTI EZ Backup Now pre-installed, which will launch if try to boot from the external hard drive, but that can only handle .cat files, not the .wbcat that Windows Backup and Restore uses.

So, is there anyway, with what I have, to get back to the originaly pre-dual-boot-attempt state?

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Dual boot difficulties - need to to restore system

Postby mintybits on Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:53 pm

Hi. Yes there is provided your Windows partition(s) have not been damaged. It would be helpful if you would post your disk contents here. If all is well you can restore the normal MBR code (not Grub MBR code) so that Windows will boot.

To do this, you need to boot a live linux CD and open a terminal.
To list the disk contents
Code: Select all
sudo sfdisk -luS

To restore the MBR, first install install lilo
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install lilo

Then use lilo to restore your MBR. You need to know the device name of your disk. Usually this is sda and if you only have one disk then it will be sda.
Code: Select all
sudo lilo -M /dev/sda mbr

Then try rebooting into Windows.
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Re: Dual boot difficulties - need to to restore system

Postby spacermase on Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:33 pm

Disk contents as follows:

unrecognized format - using sectors

Disk /dev/sda: 38913 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
Units = sectors of 512 bytes, counting from 0

Device Boot Start End #sectors Id System
/dev/sda1 0 - 0 0 Empty
/dev/sda2 0 - 0 0 Empty
/dev/sda3 0 - 0 0 Empty
/dev/sda4 0 - 0 0 Empty

Disk /dev/sdb: 1017 cylinders, 64 heads, 62 sectors/track
Warning: The partition table looks like it was made
for C/H/S=*/10/9 (instead of 1017/64/62).
For this listing I'll assume that geometry.
Units = sectors of 512 bytes, counting from 0

Device Boot Start End #sectors Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1456 4036607 4035152 6 FAT16
start: (c,h,s) expected (16,1,8) found (0,23,8)
end: (c,h,s) expected (1023,9,9) found (1001,9,9)
/dev/sdb2 0 - 0 0 Empty
/dev/sdb3 0 - 0 0 Empty
/dev/sdb4 0 - 0 0 Empty


(At this point I should mention that this is the first time I've seriously used any linux-based system in about 4 years or so, and to be honest, I've forgotten a lot of the basics- some of this is just Greek to me, but from what I can make out, it doesn't look encouraging).

Anyway, I then installed lilo.

Tried running it, and this came up
mint@mint /sbin $ lilo
Fatal: Cannot open: /etc/lilo.conf


So, after consulting the internet, I ran liloconfig, and then this happened:

mint@mint ~ $ liloconfig
E: cannot use uncommon overlayfs found as root device!
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Re: Dual boot difficulties - need to to restore system

Postby mintybits on Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Unfortunately, sfdisk is reporting your drive as being empty. That is to say, the MBR partition table is empty. As if you have already wiped the disk.
It may be possible to recover the partitions but this is a process which I am not able to describe. You might want to wait for someone who has the details or Google for "recovering linux partitions".
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