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Simple way to fix boot record?
https://peppermintos.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5502
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Author:  stefanreich [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Simple way to fix boot record?

OK... so the Peppermint installation program crashed for me :[ I tried it twice, crashes every time - while creating the ext4 file system.

Afterwards, the boot sector is broken and I can't boot Windows anymore. Yikes :o

I can still boot Peppermint from Live USB or a Peppermint installation from USB.

Q: How can I fix my boot record from within Peppermint? I do need my Windows still...

I like GAG (gag.sourceforge.net) - can I install that from within Peppermint?

Please help :)

Author:  stefanreich [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

OK, I got GAG installed from within Peppermint, like so: copy linux/*.COM to /boot/gag/. Then run linux/gag-install.

GAG boots fine now, but Windows doesn't find itself anymore... (BOOTMGR missing). Damn... :|

Author:  PCNetSpec [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

OK let me get this right .. you can no longer boot Windows as you've overwritten the MBR ?

And the Peppermint installer is refusing to create an ext4 partition ?

Which version of Windows ?

If you boot to the LiveCD/LiveUSB, open a terminal and run:
Code:
sudo fdisk -l

What is the output ?

Author:  stefanreich [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

Quote:
OK let me get this right .. you can no longer boot Windows as you've overwritten the MBR ?

Yeah... it seems the Pepperminst installer crashed the MBR in the process. Windows partitions are technically still there (visible from Linux), but refuse to boot.

Quote:
And the Peppermint installer is refusing to create an ext4 partition ?

Yes, it crashes during that step. The partition ends up being there though, just almost empty.

Quote:
Which version of Windows ?

Windows 7. Two partitions (a very small one and the big one), both NTFS.

Quote:
If you boot to the LiveCD/LiveUSB, open a terminal and run:
Code:
sudo fdisk -l


Sure! Here's the output:

Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048      206847      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2          206848   263426047   131609600    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3       263426048   269570047     3072000   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4       269572094   312580095    21504001    5  Extended
/dev/sda5       269572096   312580095    21504000   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 8022 MB, 8022654976 bytes
247 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1023 cylinders, total 15669248 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000e99db

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *        2048     7479295     3738624   83  Linux
/dev/sdb2         7481342    15667199     4092929    5  Extended
/dev/sdb5         7481344    15667199     4092928   82  Linux swap / Solaris


Many greetings,
Stefan

Author:  PCNetSpec [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

when you say "almost empty" .. what's in it ?

I'm trying to figure out if this is a partitioning problem .. or if it's the install that's failing after the partitions are created.

Can you also post the output from
Code:
sudo df -h

and
Code:
blkid


Also, can you walk me through how you resized the Windows partition(s) and how you partitioned for Linux (manually, or let the Peppermint installer do it automagically by selecting install alongside Windows).

If you have a Win7 DVD you can easily reinstall the Win7 bootloader .. but it would be better if we can figure out where the Peppermint install is failing .. work around it .. and get Peppermint installed along with the GRUB bootloader.

What is the make/model of PC ?

Author:  stefanreich [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

Quote:
If you have a Win7 DVD you can easily reinstall the Win7 bootloader .. but it would be better if we can figure out where the Peppermint install is failing .. work around it .. and get Peppermint installed along with the GRUB bootloader.

Yes, definitely, that's what I want too. I hope the Windows partitions are not borked in themselves... it seems that way a little, as they refuse to boot even from GAG. I don't have a Windows CD unfortunately.

What is the make/model of PC ?[/quote]
It's an Acer Timeline 3810T. Greatest notebook in the world (basically) :)

I'll try installing Peppermint again and then get you some more answers! Thanks for looking into this.

Oh, btw, I could install Peppermint to another USB stick - that worked fine. Weird, eh? I do have a defective HDD controller, but it has a different pattern of failing (unpredictably). The Peppermint installer, OTOH, crashes at exactly the same time every time. OK, as I said, I'll try to get you more answers!

Stefan

Author:  stefanreich [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

Oh, and why can't a Peppermint installation create another Peppermint installation? (Replicate itself!) THAT would rock... and save me some time right now, as the Live USB stick is now also unusable after it's R/W area ran full... (argh).

Author:  dsplayname [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

I had pretty much the same problem with another Linux distro. Not the ideal solution, but I was able to boot from a live usb, download and burn a Windows 7 "rescue disk" to a DVD, and get the Windows MBR back in order with it.
That's how I learned to always make the fresh partitions before installation.
Again, not the ideal solution, but it can all be fixed pretty easily:)

Author:  PCNetSpec [ Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simple way to fix boot record?

Quote:
Oh, and why can't a Peppermint installation create another Peppermint installation? (Replicate itself!) THAT would rock


As with any OS, it CAN.

But there are some caveats

Technically there is nothing stopping you creating a similar partition layout, then copying everything from the old partition to the new ones .. but you'd then have to tweak the mount points (particularly /dev and UUID's in the /etc/fstab file of the new installation .. and install the GRUB bootloader.

Another option would be to use dd or a cloning utility to clone the whole drive (in your case this will overwrtite Windows though).

My point is .. what you're suggesting CAN be done, but it's not something that can be easily automated .. particularly as in your case where you only want to copy a Linux drive to a dual boot drive.

===================================================

Here's the problem .. you say Peppermint fails at creating the partitions .. but you then say the partitions are created .. so it's clearly not failing there.

Have you tried manually creating the partitions using Gparted from your USB stick ?

As in ..

Deleting sda3, sda5, then the extended sda4

Then manually creating an extended partition filling the empty space, then creating 2 logical partitions inside the extended partition -

one large one at the beginning of the extended partition that uses ALL the room except twice your RAM formatted as EXT4

one small one (twice your RAM) formatted as swp

THEN install Peppermint to those, mounting the large one as / .. and the small one as swap

Letting the installer also add grub to the MBR. (or not .. GRUB can be added later if you'd prefer)

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