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icyfyer icyfyer is offline
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Default Avanced problems with windowz and ubuntu - 06-14-2009, 08:32 AM


i am an advanced user (in windows - midnovice in ubuntu). as such i have an advanced problem.

first the basics:
i have a dell mini 9 with the default 4GB STEC SSD. all of the other specifications are null as far as this post goes. being a netbook it obviously doesnt have a cd drive.
it came with ubuntu 8.04 dell netbook remix. as soon as i got it i installed xp from a USB flash drive. it worked flawlessly when i followed the instructions which are located here:

after using xp for a while i realized that i wanted to use ubuntu. i installed intrepid. i used it for a while but didnt like the audioplayers it had to offer, or the IM options, so i went back to xp. again, using the same USB method it worked without a problem. when it came out i installed jaunty. i like jaunty. but i still dont like the audioplayer options or the IM options in jaunty, so i want to go back to xp and use the persistent mode of jaunty most of the time so that i have in essence dual booting options.

when i tried to install xp again using the same method, the exact same flash drive with the same software following the same instruction, i get this error:

"windows could not start because of a hardware configuration problem. could not read from the selected boot disk. check boot path and disk hardware. please check the windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

to me, this means that the MBR is toasted. so the first thing i did was go back into the windows setup disk, choose the recovery option which gave me a command prompt, and do FIXMBR. that didnt work. i know that the MBR and the operating system are independent, so i tried reinstalling after doing the FIXMBR. that didnt work either.

next i did FIXBOOT. no dice. tried reinstalling after FIXBOOT didnt work either.

then i tried using grub. i used the following instruction set:

GRUB bootloader - Full tutorial

when i do this command from inside grub:
find /grub/stage1
find /boot/grub/stage1
all i get is an error 15:file not found. so i sent this to google and came up with this page:
i tried some of the suggestions on this page, but nothing worked. i tried again with the "find" command and came up with nothing. i opened my grub menu.lst and it was completely blank. so i went back to this page:

GRUB bootloader - Full tutorial

and tried to edit the list manually. this was my input:

title Windows XP
grub boot menu
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

since i am not dualbooting, i took the input from the example given for a real grub list on this page:

that didnt work either. next i tried using gparted to delete and rebuild the partition table on the drive using this tutorial:

GParted partitioning software - Full tutorial

i could format the drive to NTFS after that, but when i install windows i still get the same error about windows not being able to access the drive.

my conclusion is so far that the drive cannot possibly be toasted, because i can still install ubuntu onto it just fine, but windows doesnt like it. i remember reading somewhere that windows and linux write differently to primary partitions and that once an inconsiderate OS is installed on a primary partition it is very difficult to get windows back onto that primary partition. maybe my memory tweaked some of that, so dont quote me.

all i am looking for is a solution, or some suggestions to get this working without having to buy a new SSD. because i know this could become a problem for someone else, i would like to solve it completely, with as much detail as possible. if you need any further information, please ask, providing terminal code if necessary, and i will oblige.
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somms somms is offline
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Default 06-14-2009, 09:56 AM


grub, mbr, partition, ubuntu, windows xp

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