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Windows XP dead in the water

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Windows XP dead in the water

Postby ruggie » Sat 6 Feb 2010 16:05 GMT

No matter how far back I went trying to boot from older images, Windowas XP refused to come to life.

So I ordered a new PC, since the dead one was getting pretty old.

I shan't receive it for another 3 weeks because wifie's picking it up from a friend's house in the UK, but I thought it was time to try recovering critical stuff from the old hard drives.

Downloaded ISO CD burner software to this laptop, to overcome XP's inability to create full images on CD. Downloaded Ubuntu and burned a CD.

Fired up old PC, and got the usual black screen with suggestions about booting with checks turned off, but boot continued untouched - AND MY PC CAME BACK TO LIFE.

All the same, I'm copying critical stuff to an external drivebefore I try teh idea of booting Ubuntu from CD. That experience is sure to come in handy another day.
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Postby Dave » Sat 6 Feb 2010 16:54 GMT

Glad you managed to resurrect your PC, Ruggie - well done! :-D

But I'm not sure from your account whether it came back as an XP or it came on in Ubuntu.

Either way, it sounds as if your Master Boot Record got corrupted somehow. Nasty. I used to have hours of fun when I started out on dual/multi-boot systems, but (tempting fate massively here) I can generally get things to work properly now without much trouble - or even any.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Sat 6 Feb 2010 21:19 GMT

Linux live CDs come in really handy when you've got problems.
Of course, Linux installs come in even handier. :-)
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Postby ruggie » Sat 13 Feb 2010 12:51 GMT

In retrospect, I think the primary cause of the problem was that I'd let both C and D drives get too full :roll: - though why it recovered on its own a few weeks later is less clear. Possibly because of the state of my network connection (I never tried Safe Mode when I had the problem).

Think I may make a bootable Ubuntu external drive. Would that allow me to actually install on that drive, creating paging space, etc.? A portable Ubuntu system would be a useful tool.

What are the pros & cons of running a dual-boot system, with Windoze and Ubuntu on the C drive? My new PC will start off with a decent amount of disk space, so now is the time to organise it...

PS it was great to see that my Ubuntu system came complete with The Gimp... I've only just started exploring what else is there.
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Postby Dave » Sat 13 Feb 2010 14:04 GMT

I find it much easier to handle partitions in Linux than in Windows.

The presumption with Windows is that you'll keep all your files (OS, applications, data) on the C: drive. So if you want to do a reinstallation, upgrade or whatever, then the whole drive is liable to be affected.

With Linux, it's very easy to keep your data (which belongs in your /home directory) separate from the OS. Either create a partition on your single hard drive and put your /home directory there, or else put it on a separate hard drive altogether.

On my PC at the moment I've got three partitions on my master hard drive: 80GB for Windows XP, 10GB for Linux Mint, and the rest for my /home directory - which is also my "My Documents" directory in Windows. If/when I get Windows 7 (which I'll use mainly for cross-compatibility purposes, or for the one or two programs I use that don't have a Linux version), I'll have a rethink about what goes where - I surely don't need all that space for WinXP. :lol:

The only con of running multi-boot I can think of off the top of my head is a minor anomaly which suggests that if you're going to have Windows and Linux on the same hard drive, you should put Windows on first - apparently if you try to do it the other way round, the Master Boot Record gets very confused.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Sat 13 Feb 2010 22:55 GMT

David is spot on with everything he said. I used to have a dual boot on my drive - until the recent drive disaster. I haven't bothered putting windows back on now. I've got a 1Tb linux drive now. :-)
I do have a dual boot Windows and Unbuntu on the laptop though.

As Dave rightly says, Linux and Windows can happily reside together on the same disk - much easier to install the Windows first.
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Postby ruggie » Tue 16 Feb 2010 14:26 GMT

The new PC comes with Windows 7 installed. Where do I go from there? Boot off my Ubuntu CD and partition the drive, then install Ubuntu on one of the new partitions? Drive isn't that big - 320Gig, I think - but I also have a 640Gig USB drive and will probably get one or two more.

Pros & cons of keeping a USB drive with Ubuntu installed, that I can use as a tool on any of the two PCs and one laptop I will now have, versus setting the new PC up as a dual-boot system and keeping my Ubuntu CD as a rescue tool?
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Tue 16 Feb 2010 18:35 GMT

Setup and partitioning should be a breeze with the linux disk. It'll walk you through it. I would suggest having at least your home folder on a separate partition. That'll make it much easier to back up your data should you ever need to transfer. It will also be possible to read your linux home folder from the Windoze partition.

As far as space goes, Linux is far, far less hungry than Windoze, so I'd use the bulk of the drive for that.
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Postby Dave » Tue 16 Feb 2010 20:09 GMT

Alan knows more than I do about this, of course - which is why it's very easy for me to say that he's right. :)

My advice would have been:
    Windows on one partition (with enough extra space for any Windows-based programs you're particularly fond of);

    most of the Ubuntu directories (with much less space needed :-D ) on another; except for

    the /home directory (where you'll store all your data files) on the third.


You'll need a Windows program capable of reading Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 files (depending on how you set up your /home partition). There are a few free ones out there - Ext2 IFS is pretty good, but Ext2FSD works too.

After that, it's just a matter of reconfiguring Windows so that the "special folders" (My Documents etc) point to the appropriate places in your /home partition. :D
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Postby ruggie » Sun 21 Feb 2010 20:57 GMT

Sounds good to me. But it will have to wait until April. Wifie will be home week after next but off again beginning of April. During her time here I have to do a trip to the UK as well as joining her doing all the things gardens need in the spring (which I assume is on its way...)
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Windows XP dead in the water

Postby AllenimIptWP » Tue 20 Dec 2016 19:25 GMT

After adding an internal zip drive Windows XP takes much longer to boot. Once it starts up, the drive is not recognized. Any ideas on what may be causing this or how I can go about fixing it? Thanks
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