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converting a linux box back into a winders machine

     
12:20 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I know it sounds bad, and it is. I have a need for two pc's at home, and the 2nd right now has linux. How do I change it back? I already own the software, so I just need to know about how to clean the hard drive, and write 98 back on to it.

Also, I don't currently have the linux box password. The person I got the PC from forgot what they used when they installed the software...I don't think I have any other problems.

Can anyone help? Pretty please?

12:27 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Try booting on a 98 boot disk and fdisk and format your way back to captivity.
12:28 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like it should be a simple matter of booting from the windows 98 CD - check your PC is configured to boot from CDROM (in the bios) and it should be as simple as that.

Windows 98 wont recognise any of linux and should just blindly overwrite it all.

Make sure you make a copy though of anything you might still want from it (scripts, etc?).

12:49 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>format your way back to captivity

te he :)

12:57 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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wow. lots and lots of tips.

Now trying the "boot from cdrom in the bios" option.

will keep you all posted. thanks for the cascade of advice.

1:06 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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what does it mean when during set up the computer tells me

"Setup cannot install windows 98 on your computer. A disk error was detected while writing a new boot record to your first hard disk."

Press enter to quit setup.

Arg! Why am I doing this? Beginning to wonder myself...

1:18 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>>what does it mean

known M$ it could mean just about anything. Looks like you're going to have to track down a win98 boot disk (floppy) and reformat that hard drive and try again. I don't know anything about what linux does to a boot sector but it's always a good idea to reformat the entire drive rather than just write over it.

Cleaning up a pc and installing/reinstalling has got to be some kind of divine punishment for some past sin. :)

1:24 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Once booted on 98 boot disk I think you can type in at

c:format mbr

1:35 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Try this:

boot from the win 98 CD, when it offers boot options choose boot with cdrom support (i.e dont start the full setup). You will be left in dos. Type fdisk /mbr (enter).
Then reboot and try booting again from the CDROM and choose the install option.

If it still fails its possible that you have virus protection in the bios thats preventing your MBR being updated. (MBR=master boot record which tells your computer where to load its OS from when booting)

2:14 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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theperlyking, thanks. I tried the fdisk /mbr...and then went back the the setup from cd rom, first option.

got to the same part as before, when it told me it couldn't reformat the hard drive, and then when it bailed out of that, it there was a command/ memory error of some kind.

any more ideas? thanks, all this is great to have some people at hand that know their stuff. ( can't do anything with a computer, it now seems :) )

2:23 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hm :(
Ok, how about going in again as before and when in DOS launch FDISK. This isnt a program to play with lightly but the worst you can do is delete all your partitions which is exactly what u want to do!
I recommend going into FDISK and deleting all the partitions (tip: you have to delete logical drives in extended partitions before you can delete the actual extended partition). Then reboot and try setup again..

Good luck

2:27 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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If you run a full fdisk, delete and recreate all partitons, and then a full format under DOS. You should be able to install.

There are third party disk partition managers and other types of programs that can write to the MBR, and DOS doesn't recognize them. If memory serves, fdisk/mbr rewrites only a portion of the master boot record. I think using fdisk to completely repartition wipes it all. If not, I'll get a utility to you that will.

Let us know...

2:40 am on May 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

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now I have a windows 98 boot disk, I made one since I couldn't find my old one.

will keep you posted. I'm crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.

6:19 am on May 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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It's been a while since I worked in this area, took me some time to recall many of the details.

Under DOS and the FAT file system, the partiton table contains the MBR (the bootstrap loader code) and up to four partition records. FDISK/MBR only updates the bootstrap loader, a handy trick to eliminate a boot sector virus. Deleting and recreating the partition table as I suggested earlier will wipe and rebuild it all, normally. I did encounter a partition table with third party code in it that FDISK didn't completely clean up, although it reported that it did. Norton's GDISK utility (available with Ghost) with a /WIPE switch cleaned it up properly.

4:22 pm on May 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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thanks, Dave.

I think I'm going to have a friend walk me through it one evening...seems I'm a dunce when it comes to operating systems like linux, windows, etc. al. :)

8:15 pm on May 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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jeremy, be very careful with what you do with any disk you put in that computer. There are boot sector viruses that can and will survive an Fdisk and reformatting. If you have one of these viruses you should be able to Fdisk, reformat and load the operating system. As soon as you load the operating system make the computer format and write to a new disk, remove this disk and have it scanned for viruses before you use the machine for anything else.
I found all this out the hard way and what you are describing is exactly the same. I had trouble reloading an operating system, two or three attempts at Fdisk and reformatting failed, when I finally did succeed in reloading, my troubles were just starting.
8:53 pm on May 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Linux can be extremely frustrating to load...unless you speak Star Trekese.

I tried and failed 8 times to load it with about every distro out there. Throughout this 6 month ordeal I learned a heck of a lot about Linux the hard way.

By far the best in my opinion is Mandrake 7.2. Grab a copy of Leech ftp and just hit the universities and start threads and pick the fastest one and roll with it. It's free that way. If you have a dsl or cable modem that is.