Huge filesystem problem

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Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:57 pm

I've got a huge problem... I reinstalled Windows XP once again, but made the mistake of starting the very first phase of the installation with the wrong drive (my Linux drive) set as the main. The setup only got through copying its temporary files (still on that blue screen white letters phase) and didn't get past there before I realized it was using the wrong drive. And in the setup, even though I selected my windows drive as the installation directory, windows somehow managed to screw things up, badly. I'm pretty much clueless as to what exactly it did, but here's the scoop.

I'm under the Linux Mint 7 (Gloria, Main Edition) live cd, and I noticed a peculiar thing. When I look at the Partition Manager, it says that my -entire- 500GB drive is "unallocated." (This is the drive that was set as the main boot device when I started to install windows.) My 500GB drive is divided into three parts. Roughly 460GB is dedicated to general storage as the drive titled "storage bay" and the other 40GB is my Linux Filesystem, a few hundred megabytes of which is also partitioned separately as my swap partition.

What I don't understand is how I can fully access both partitions on my 500GB drive, yet the Partition Manager claims the entire drive to be "unallocated". I don't understand what's going on.

I've prepared these screenshots to show you what's going on. I hope they help.

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/8264/partitionmanager.png
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/2302/twodrives.png
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby DrHu on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:21 pm

Sanjima wrote:Roughly 460GB is dedicated to general storage as the drive titled "storage bay" and the other 40GB is my Linux Filesystem

So which drive has the windows OS, and does that boot ?

Looks like the boot drive, where Linux was initially installed survived, as it was not the drive you picked when installing windows
--otherwise there is no way it would still boot
Last edited by DrHu on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:22 pm

DrHu wrote:
Sanjima wrote:Roughly 460GB is dedicated to general storage as the drive titled "storage bay" and the other 40GB is my Linux Filesystem

Looks like the boot drive, where Linux was initially installed survived, as it was not the drive you picked when installing windows
--otherwise there is no way it would still boot


But it doesn't boot. When I try to boot from that drive it says that the partition table is invalid. I'm running the Live CD, as I said.
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby DrHu on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:30 pm

Sanjima wrote:But it doesn't boot. When I try to boot from that drive it says that the partition table is invalid. I'm running the Live CD, as I said

Sorry, I didn't notice that you said live CD

--anyway, what's the answer to this question..
So which drive has the windows OS, and does that boot ?
--what does windows boot manager indicate for the partitions; and hopefully it is not all-over that Linux boot drive, if you need to get some data from it, like /home
http://www.petri.co.il/install_windows_xp_pro.htm
by the time the windows file copy starts, that partition is already formatted for the windows OS ..; making it unavailable to Linux

In terminal, check (Linux)
    df
    sudo fdisk -l
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:36 pm

DrHu wrote:So which drive has the windows OS, and does that boot ?

My 80GB drive has Windows on it and boots independently. This is the drive titled "Deck" in the previous screenshot.
I had it set up so that upon my computer's POST sequence, I could choose from which drive the computer booted. So could load either Linux or Windows by choice of which drive it started from, without the intervention of boot loaders.


DrHu wrote:In terminal, check (Linux)
    df
    sudo fdisk -l

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/9095/fdisk.png
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby DrHu on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:44 pm

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/9095/fdisk.png
So Linux is on /dev/sda1

Since Linux is partly still there, perhaps using Gparted and resizing the Linux area/partition of /dev/sda1 will help
--you might then be able to save /home to the new split (resized partition); you don't need much space, maybe 10GB or so, not enough to completely destroy the original space being used by the original Linux install..
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:47 pm

DrHu wrote:--try grub setup from the live CD, to see if it can use that drive


How do I do that? xD
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby DrHu on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:53 pm

I would probably try and see how is it with that partition, what can some software show me ?
--/dev/sda1
The 2 boot disks (*) are /sda1(Linux), sda3 (windows ntfs) shows in sudo fdisk -L

If it can't see the hard drive correctly, it will still be a problem
--other possibilities, use a recovery disk; eg. supergrub, see what it can make out of that Linux (no space used drive) that has no grub partition..
http://www.supergrubdisk.org/
http://www.howtoforge.com/data_recovery_with_testdisk
--there is also testdisk

Installing grub using a live CD
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:00 pm

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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:55 pm

Sanjima wrote:http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6643/grubsetup.png
This doesn't look good. :<


I tried the guide to reinstall Grub, but it said that the partition doesn't exist, after just a moment before it told me that the very same partition that doesn't exist is the partition the previous installation of Grub was on. Any thoughts?
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Re: Huge filesystem problem

Postby Sanjima on Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:26 am

I fixed it!! =D~

A friend of mine guided me through some usage of the fdisk command and corrected the bootflags among my partitions. After saving the changes and rebooting, I then was able to successfully reinstall Grub, and then changed the pre-boot code to use sda5 instead of sda6 to seek the kernel.

Now all I need to do is find out how to permanently change the Grub's pre-boot code to that, instead of changing the partition every time. =D
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