The continuing saga of Windows vs. Linux

My Windows partition on my PC fell over last night; not sure why. Might have been something I did whilst trying to mount it (read-only, always read-only) in Ubuntu. Or it could just be sulking because I didn’t put the Windows CD back in for the reboot.

“No problem,” think I. “I’ll just reinstall Windows and put GRUB back manually.”

One corrupted boot sector later, I found myself digging around in my old floppies, trying to find something – anything – which could make the hard drive even usable. I ended up using fdisk off an old Windows 95 floppy. Telling it that I didn’t want large disk support (were small disks really that small?!) did the job, though I’ve lost all the data on the drive (luckily just a few days’ email).

I have now decided to install Ubuntu and Windows on separate hard drives, like two fractious siblings that can’t be left in the same room together.

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5 Responses to The continuing saga of Windows vs. Linux

  1. untermensch says:

    Ever since 2000, it has been difficult to get Windows and Linux to co-exist on the same hard drive. I blame NTLDR though. It gets very moody when things aren’t going its way!

  2. sirenian says:

    Two hard drives is obviously the way forward, especially since then I can get a SATA Raid 1 setup and never worry about backups again. 🙂

  3. sirenian says:

    Except, of course, the off-site backups of my writing in case my house burns down. Some things cannot be replaced.

  4. entropyjim says:

    Just make sure you have an install CD, you can boot into linux off that and manipulate the disk from there. As a rule of thumb WIndows will always rewrite the boot sector, I just boot from CD, mount my old disks, chroot so that I’m running my own system, not the CD’s one, then run grub/lilo.

  5. sirenian says:

    My Ubuntu install CD will not allow me to boot up into Linux. I think I need to make a better emergency disk; that would help.

    The trouble is that with Windows not rewriting the boot sector properly, I can’t reinstall it. No Docs To Go. No really fun games (as yet). At least if I use two disks I can ditch Windows and give the disk to someone who needs it if the time comes.

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