(SOLVED) Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

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(SOLVED) Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:47 pm

I've been dual-booting with XP for a while....then went all Mint 7.....then found I needed XP for some programs I use at work..... bummer :( ...... so after trying unsuccessfully to use VirtualBox in Mint and then Wine in Mint for these WinXP programs, I decided to start over.

I backed up what I needed from Mint 7, then booted up my WinXP disc, reformatted the HDD and installed WinXP, using half of my 40-Gig HDD. I set up drives /C and /D since that is what my WinXP programs need.

Now here's where my problems begin......
I read that PCLinuxOS 2009.2 was a goody so I downloaded it, burned the ISO and installed it,once again in a dual boot situation with XP. Everything went well but after a few days, I have decided that I don't care for PCLinuxOS and that I want to go back to Mint 7......

So..... I rebooted my laptop with the Mint 7 Live-cd in the drive, Mint started up and I started "Install"on the desktop. It went through the normal things like English, my Time Zone, etc....then the Partitioner started, just as I expected...... but it doesn't see my XP partitions! It indicates that my HDD is empty...but that's not true because I rebooted in WinXP so I could start this Topic ;)

This is an entirely new issue for me in my 2+ years of dualbooting and trying various distros. I always end upcoming back to Mint LOL.

I have a SuperGrub CD....so do I need to restore my MBR and try again? Or is there something else I can try?

Thanks! :)
El
Last edited by ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby lagagnon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:07 pm

Boot the Mint Live CD (not install), open a terminal and type "sudo fdisk -l" and show us the output of that command.
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Here it is:

Code: Select all
mint@mint ~/Desktop $ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4864 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0004c393

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        1275    10241406    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2            1276        4863    28820610    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda3            2551        4686    17157420   83  Linux
/dev/sda5            1276        2550    10241406    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6            4687        4863     1421721   82  Linux swap / Solaris
mint@mint ~/Desktop $
I'm a bit bothered by sda5 (where did that come from?) and from my past experience with Solaris, I don't like seeing that on sda6.

....and if fdisk -l indicates sda1 as the Boot and NTFS partition (that's where WinXP is), why doesn't the Partitioner see it?

El
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby lagagnon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Perhaps /dev/sda5 is a hidden partition containing the restore partition that came with the computer. /dev/sda6 is your swap partition - you need that. When you get to the partitioner part choose the Manual and install Mint to /dev/sda3 (choose "/" as the mount point). You should first of all read the Mint Guide for Felicia available here: http://linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php/Introduction , especially around pages 15-20.
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:54 pm

....but that's the problem.... the Partitioner doesn't see ANY partitions! It indicates that the hard drive has nothing on it. I've done many, many Linux installations (Ubuntu, Mint, DreamLinux, Mint, etc, Mint, etc..... hmmm, see a pattern there? ;)

This is the first time I've EVER seen the Partitioner indicate the HDD is empty when it isn't. :(

El
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:00 am

Just so you can see what I mean, I started the Install again and got this screenshot of the Partitioner. As you can see, it indicates that there is nothing on the HDD.

When I boot up this laptop, I get the Grub screen with three selections:
-PCLinuxOS
-PCLinuxOS (safe mode)
-Windows XP
....so the drive is NOT empty!
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby lagagnon on Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:56 am

Choose specify partitions manually.
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:29 am

<sigh> I guess I'm not being clear, in spite of the screen shot. When I'm in the Partitioner, there are no partitions to choose. The Partitioner only sees one big, 40-Gig sda that is not formatted and indicates there is no operating system on the drive. Zip, zero, nada..... so once again, I ask:
Why does fdisk -l list my existing partitions but the Partitioner sees an empty, unformatted drive?

El
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby lagagnon on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:30 pm

Wow, I've never seen anything like that, and I've installed various versions of Linux on over about 500 machines for a charity. What I would do is:

1) reboot, go into your BIOS and make sure that hard drive is set to Auto, or use the BIOS to re-discover the hard drives.
2) rewrite the partition table somehow. I suspect your partition table (even though fdisk sees it fine) might be somehow corrupt, it is the only thing I can think of. Possibly Windows buggered it up. To do that I would run the Mint Live CD, open a terminal, type "sudo grub-install /dev/sda". It should find all your partitions and reinstall the boot loader.
3) reboot and retry the installer.

Good luck.
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:05 pm

Thanks :) I'll do that and report back.

El
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:19 pm

Nope :( I tried:
Code: Select all
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
and
Code: Select all
sudo grub-install /dev/sda1
and the returned message was that there was no boot device found :(

El
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby optimize me on Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:27 pm

Have you tried a livecd of any other distro? Gparted livecd? Super rescue cd?
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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:29 pm

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Re: Mint 7 doesn't see my WinXP partitions :( .....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:53 pm

Yay! I'm back and with Mint 7 / WinXP dual boot!

As best as I can tell, there was something squirrelly about how PCLinusOS wrote to the MBR during that installation. Here's what I did to fix things:
1- I used my WinXP cd to boot to the Recovery Console, selected Repair, then did a fixmbr and then a fixboot.
2- After successfully booting WinXP a couple of times, I used the XP Admin Utils to delete the PCLinuxOS partitions.
3- I booted to the Mint 7 Live cd, started the Installation and this time, the Partitioner saw my WinXP partitions and allowed me to create my Mint ext3 partition and Swap.

I've done all the updates and everything is back where I want it :)

Thanks for the suggestions.

El
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