I run XP and 8.04 on a Dell Vostro 1400. I have been running this dual boot setup without problems now for about 18 months.
Several months ago, due to the fact that I very seldom run XP (I run a virtual machine for the two things I need to do in Windows) and the fact that I was running out of drive space (yes, you can add an external drive, but lugging these things around is a nuisance ;)) I decided to re-partition the drive.
Originally there was a Dell utility partition (sda1), Windows (sda2), and an extended partition (sda3).
The extended partition had Dell Media Player (sda4 - hidden), 8.04 root (sda5), Linux swap (sad6) and Linux home (sda7)
I got really clever and decided that since I never used the Dell utilities or the Dell Media Player, these could be deleted. After cleaning out XP (sda2) of all unwanted software / data / rubbish, I did the following:
Re-sized sda2 (moved it to where sda1 started and reduced the size)
Moved and increased sda3 (to take up the "gap" where sda2 had previously ended and increase the size to fill up the disk)
Moved sda5 to the start of the extended partition
Moved sda6 to match the end of sda5
Moved and increased sda7 to fill up the rest of the disk giving me more space in my /home directory
All of this was done one step at a time and took a considerable amount of time.
After completing everything, I tried re-booting. This was a disaster... :lolflag:
Grub could not find anything. This was solved after a while and I now have a reasonable insight as to how this works. One problem remained. XP would not boot at all. This was not a major problem as 8.04 was running (very well) and did everything that I needed.
I am now in a situation where I need XP running again. I can of course use the virtual machine to do this, but the bigger problem that I have is connecting to Windows networks (never have gotten this working :confused:)
Since this is a short term assignment, I thought it may be simpler to revive XP. I re-booted to XP again this morning to see what the error is that it spits out.
It does the following:Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt :
Please reinstall a copy of the above file.
Replacing "hal.dll" of course does nothing. Fact is that the MBR got messed up during the re-partitioning exercise and the Windows boot loader does not know where to find the things it needs to boot. (This was the same with 8.04 after the initial exercise, but this was easily fixed :p )
I have done a lot of reading in various forums about this and most seem to recommend using the Windows disk, running the repair console and then everything should be OK.
There is some advice about running ms-sys from Ubuntu, this seems to work, but needs to be done with some care as it has the possibility of hosing the windows partition if used incorrectly.
So a couple of questions.
If I run the Windows repair console (assuming I can remember the admin password ](*,)) and if this actually repairs Windows, I suspect that GRUB will then be confused and will need to be re-configured again (not difficult, but need to "prepare" for this).
If (1) is correct, then fixing GRUB will repair 8.04 and I will have a full working dual boot installation again.
If I cannot repair this using the repair console (cannot recall admin password...) will ms-sys work and if so does this create the same problem with GRUB as running the repair console would.
If you have read this far, thanks for your patience.
This is not a critical issue, since in the worst case I can install the software I need on the virtual machine running XP. I would prefer not to do this (a) since all is installed in the XP isntallation and (b) getting this working further enhances my understanding of how these things work. What I can not afford to do is FUBAR my 8.04 install. This would be a catastrophe (I have backups going back to December 2009 so that a total disaster is manageable, but really should be avoided).
Any advice would be most appreciated.