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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have two HDDs, one is 500GB, partitioned so 100GB are unallocated (the rest is NTFS with Windows XP SP3 on it), and the other HDD is 160GB, formatted under NTFS (no OS on it).
I wanted to install Ubuntu 9.04 on the 100GB unallocated portion of the first HDD. I downloaded the image and put it on a CD. I booted, and went through the installation process. When I hit the partitioning part, I chose "install them side by side", and clicked on continue, but did not proceed with the actual installation because I thought I had made a mistake, so I quit, aborted, and tried to restart normally.
I got a message saying there was a disk error, so I couldn't boot.
Sure enough, for some reason, it appeared as if Ubuntu had "merged" the unformatted, unallocated part of the 500GB disk to the NTSF part with XP SP3 on it, and damaged the MBR in the process.
Although I run the recovery console on XP and fixed the MBR successfully (according to the system prompt), the computer still can't boot normally.
Question is:
- Is it possible the ubuntu caused the problem?
- Any suggestions on how to correct the issue? Does it have to do with the GRUB?
- How would I go about fixing the partitions to leave them as they were before, and fixing the MBR?

Please help!
 

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I think that you did make a mistake, but I don't know just what went wrong.

You can't install to unallocated space. So, you should have created two partitions out of all or part of that 100 GB, one for linux swap and one for Ubuntu (I format ext3, but there are other equally good choices). And then after the installation GRUB would have set up your dual boot OK.

Also, I just saw in another thread that it is advisable to disconnect any additional hard drives during installation or boot creation/repair to make sure the new stuff does not go onto the non-booted drive.

In light of that I suggest to try the XP boot repair again with only the main drive connected.

Use your Live CD to try to determine the current layout of your hard drive now. Wwhat partitions and unallocated space? With that info somebody may be able to suggest the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think that you did make a mistake, but I don't know just what went wrong.

You can't install to unallocated space. So, you should have created two partitions out of all or part of that 100 GB, one for linux swap and one for Ubuntu (I format ext3, but there are other equally good choices). And then after the installation GRUB would have set up your dual boot OK.

Also, I just saw in another thread that it is advisable to disconnect any additional hard drives during installation or boot creation/repair to make sure the new stuff does not go onto the non-booted drive.

In light of that I suggest to try the XP boot repair again with only the main drive connected.

Use your Live CD to try to determine the current layout of your hard drive now. Wwhat partitions and unallocated space? With that info somebody may be able to suggest the next step.
I used Ubuntu a some time ago (version 7.04 I think) and I had it installed with XP on a dual boot/single disk PC. Back then, the partitioning seemed easier and more straight forward. I did want to install Ubuntu on the unallocated space by formatting it as ext3 or even reiser if possible, but something went wrong, I'm just not sure what.

I was able to retrieve my data (mostly pictures and music) by installing XP on the 160GB drive and booting from there. I can access the 500GB one, but I can't boot from it. Since I had set up the computer and installed all my programs there, I did not want to go through the hassle of having to do it all over again, but since I was able to retrieve my data, I guess I'll just format the 500GB HDD and reinstall everything if I can't fix the HDD. I already tried fixing the MBR and repairing the XP installation.
 

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It sounds like your partition was deleted rather than merged in the install whether you deleted it by mistake, or the failed install caused it to go corrupt. Either way if that partition was deleted your better off reinstalling Windows and setting up the partitions correctly, its highly unlikely that Windows will give up the space with out destroying your set-up even worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was able to salvage my data, so I reformatted the 500GB HDD . I'll give Ubuntu another try as a stand alone on another computer I have at home. Thanks for your comments.
 
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