My Linux partitions are lost.

Eric Diamond eric at
Wed May 12 04:56:07 UTC 2004

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 12:58 AM Vikas Bhasin pleaded to:
A) The MS God for mercy and...
B) The linux gods for assistance...

Subject: My Linux partitions are lost.

> I had Linux FC1 and Windows XP home edition on my Dell inspiron 8500. 
> For some reason, i had to reinstall XP and as a result the GRUB loader

> was overwritten. I knew GRUB can be reinstalled easily, so didn't
> about it. 

You poor naïve soul. You had no idea the horrors that awaited just
the corner... (foreboding music and evil laughter)

> To get back GRUB in MBR, i booted from FC CD1 and start with "linux
> I was prompted for preferred language and keyboard. then it tried to
> for any Linux partitions on my machine. Unfortunately, i couldn't find
> Linux partitions on my machine. 

At install time, Win2k and above mark all existing partitions on any
disk in the machine as windows partitions. This is why you must always
install Windows before linux when creating a dual boot PC.

> Later i tried to upgrade the Linux installation. When i opted for
> partitioning the drive, it reported that the existing partition table
> corrupted. 

Yeah, unfortunately the way XP tags partitions from other OSs, the
partition table gets trashed. The only thing I know of that might, and I
stress MIGHT, be able to repair it is Partition Magic. I've fixed the
partition types on a couple but had others I had to low-level and start
over with. 

> Linux was running perfectly on my machine before i reinstalled windows
> I was getting perfect 16.4" display and my winmodem (softmodem) was
also working. 

Oooohhh, so sorry. I know this sounds cruel, but this may be your backup
lesson... :(

> Is there any way by which i can preserve my previous Linux
installation and get 
> the GRUB in MBR. Or do I have to reinstall Linux? 

Like I said above, Partition Magic from Power Quest is probably you're
best bet. It won't put grub back, but if you can get your linux
partitions to look like linux partitions again, then you can go back to
your first plan. Once the proper partition structure is back in place
that should work just fine. (As I reach for the nearest piece of

Good luck!

Eric Diamond
eDiamond Networking & Security
eric at

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