Vista+RecoveryPartition+Linux

#1
Love this place and glad I found you all.

Reading through a lot of the problems I wonder if yet another Vista problem exists that might be giving Vista user grief.

I'm using a Asus A6Km Notepad that has as its first Partition, a Recovery Partition. I brought this Notepad with WinXP installed and did a clean install of Vista Ultimate after re-partitioning the whole hard drive in preparation for PCLinuxOS 2007.

Initially I had no problems using the GRUB BOOTLOADER and enjoyed some months of dual booting.

Recently however, Vista's Updates stopped working and I could not do nor see a System Restore.

After browsing everywhere and attempting various things, I still have an operating dual boot system but could not cure the serious problem with Vista, so, following what many have said in other forums, I attempted a Vista Repair.

First from within Vista itself but I got a "not enough space" type error. Windows being its usual idiot self gave me no actual clue as to the real problem but my suspicions where aroused.

Next I attempted the Repair by booting directly from the installation DVD and got to the repair option OK only to be told that Vista needed 392MB ~ not enough space again ~ though C: drive has 13.7GB free.

My conclusion is that Vista is seeing the first primary partition on this hard drive as being the main partition, not so when I first installed Vista but maybe some update or program installation changed things.

So my concern here is whether or not FreeBCD can actually put this right without me having to go down the track of re-installing Vista only to find later upon installing some program or actioning some update that I'm back to this same situation.

I have kept all info and am able to supply heaps more if requested so just ask away.

One thing I'll mention now 'cause I'm not sure it has a bearing on this or not, is that I have yet another partition seen by Vista that is RAM based, something I got from somewhere to improve a program I prefer to run at its best.

To sum up the partition situation briefly :
Recovery (C: )
508MB free of 1.85GB ( This is obviously the first primary partition )

Local Disk (D: )
13.7GB free of 36.1GB ( This is the real C: partition )

Shared (E: )
6.25GB free of 19.5GB ( This is a FAT32 partition I share between Vista and PCLinuxOS )

ntfs-150 (G: )
122GB free of 146GB ( This is my half USB connected hard drive I use for storage and backups )

Boot (X: )
30.8MB free of 33.2MB ( This was the DVD default choice and I have no idea what this is ?? )

Anyone able to relate to any of this?
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
Have you tried to use teh Vista FVF and go back to a restore point? I have seen several issues lately with the WU and the restore was teh best option for them. It took them back to a point before the updates. Turns out that there was a update that it said it downloaded but it was 0KB in size. So when it went to install it naturally it wasnt there.
 
#3
Thanks for the thought Makaveli213, but I can no longer make nor access any System Restore points. Vista bitches about there being no restore points ( though there once was, I used it in the past to fix a ZoneAlarm problem ) and invites me to create one. The standard error code is 0x81000109 ( there are others ) and I have tried many suggestions listed when I google the error codes, but basically ~ my system is working OK - just cannot do System Restores, Shadow Copies or succeed with Update Installations right now.

Good heads up though ~ just in case.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Unfortunately, if Vista boots but is giving you problems there really isn't much of a solution.

Windows Vista has done away with the concept of repair installs that can be used to fix a broken system.

Vista has a number of different issues that would result in no Shadow Copies or System Restore (SP1 included), such as this one here that deletes them every time you boot into XP.
 
#5
Fortunately I do not boot with WinXP as my other OS, I replaced it entirely with Vista, so that is one problem I don't have to address, just about 1,000,000 other ones to consider. ( the other OS is PCLinuxOS and I'm replying here from PCLOS now ).

I'll attempt to keep this thread alive with updates as I go 'cause I'm starting to get links involved here that may be of help to others.

My next step is to use PCLOS to delete the first partition and see if I can get back to Vista by whatever means. ( I'll back up the partition table first so as to revert if needed.)

Fingers crossed....
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Well, good luck!
Let us know how it goes, I'm interested in how this plays out.
 
#7
Well, here's what I've found out so far ~ Using PCLOS and TestDisk at a command prompt ~ Selected Intel as partition choice for now ( Will only look for windows type partitions at this stage ) :

Disk /dev/hda - 100 GB / 93 GiB - CHS 193821 16 63
Current partition structure:
Partition Start End Size in sectors

Warning: Incorrect number of heads/cylinder 255 (FAT) != 16 (HD)
1 P FAT32 0 1 1 3872 12 63 3903732 [RECOVERY]

Warning: Bad ending head (CHS and LBA don't match)
Warning: Incorrect number of heads/cylinder 255 (NTFS) != 16 (HD)
2 P HPFS - NTFS 3872 13 1 79161 8 63 75891060

Warning: Bad ending head (CHS and LBA don't match)
3 E extended LBA 79161 9 1 153047 12 63 74477340

Warning: Bad starting head (CHS and LBA don't match)
4 P FAT32 LBA 153047 13 1 193815 14 63 41094270 [SHARED]

Next
*=Primary bootable P=Primary L=Logical E=Extended D=Deleted
[Proceed ] [ Backup ]
Try to locate partition
.....................................................................................................................................................................

Should TestDisk search for partition created under Vista ? [Y/N] (answer Yes if
unsure)

<I'm selecting Yes in this report>
.....................................................................................................................................................................

Disk /dev/hda - 100 GB / 93 GiB - CHS 193821 16 63

Warning: the current number of heads per cylinder is 16
but the correct value may be 255.
You can use the Geometry menu to change this value.
It's something to try if
- some partitions are not found by TestDisk
- or the partition table can not be written because partitions overlaps.

.....................................................................................................................................................................

Disk /dev/hda - 100 GB / 93 GiB - CHS 193821 16 63
Partition Start End Size in sectors
D FAT32 LBA 0 1 1 3872 15 63 3903921 [RECOVERY]
D HPFS - NTFS 3872 13 1 79161 15 63 75891501
D Linux 79161 10 1 81185 15 63 2040570
D Linux 81185 11 1 120264 15 63 39391947
D Linux Swap 120264 7 1 121348 15 63 1093239
D Linux 121348 3 1 125459 15 63 4144707 [root]
L Linux 125460 1 1 141779 15 63 16450497 [usr]
D Linux 141780 1 1 148904 15 63 7181937 [var]
D Linux 148904 2 1 153047 15 63 4177026 [tmp]
D FAT32 LBA 153047 13 1 193815 15 63 41094333 [SHARED]



Structure: Ok. Use Up/Down Arrow keys to select partition.
Use Left/Right Arrow keys to CHANGE partition characteristics:
*=Primary bootable P=Primary L=Logical E=Extended D=Deleted
Keys A: add partition, L: load backup, T: change type, P: list files,
Enter: to continue
FAT32, 1998 MB / 1906 MiB

< Interesting ~ only the /usr Linux partition in validated and the tail tale asterix is missing from both the ntfs and my /boot partitions ( the first Linux Partition )>
...................................................................................................................................................................

< At this point I bail 'cause jumping in boots and all with partition editing is only begging for trouble. >

....................................................................................................................................................................

So, it's back to Vista to see if I can do anything with Disk Management ~ might need to try the Recovery CD I got from this site to see what options are on offer there also.

Again, fingers crossed.

Hope no-one minds me posting this as it's a great place to keep track of this exercise ~ keeps everything together.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
Hope no-one minds me posting this as it's a great place to keep track of this exercise ~ keeps everything together.
Of course not!
Thanks for sharing the info.....
 
#9
Update :

Well, it just goes to show, don't leap in boots and all until one has exhausted all possibilities.

As this problem has been with me for a couple of months, one of the things I did upon trying to follow online instructions was to get Windows Disk Management up and running.

Upon rebooting into Vista last night I immediately went to this utility and this time was able to understand what was going on.

The "partition table" layout at the bottom of the workspace showed my first partition ( Recovery ) being what appeared to be greyed out. By right clicking on my Vista Partition ( C: ) and viewing the resultant context menu I got to see that the option to activate this partition was available and having understood some of the partition mis-adventures discovered with TestDisk, I selected the option and there it was. The Vista Partition became the now the greyed out partition and the first partition now looked clear.

Holding my breath, I right clicked again and selected 'Properties' to discover it was the same as right clicking on the C: drive within 'MyComputer'. I immediately went for a full system backup using that dialogue ~ and this time it worked - took it's time, but I now have a full backup on my removable media. Hold breath again and went after the System Restore Point creation, and now have a valid restore point. Went back to the Windows Updates, Installed and rebooted ~ success.

Sorry about the 'story telling' but found today that a mate of mine had to listen to it this way to actually understand himself what he needed to do for his system.

And yeah, I'm stoked !
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
That's awesome news!

Glad it's all sorted out now, congrats :smile:

(you're right, too: "story-telling mode" is quite explanatory :grinning:)
 
#11
I have a similar (but probably not) issue...

Ok, I partitioned 20gb from vista to give to PCLOS. went through the installation process, used the partition that i made for myself, but when my computer restarted, it stays at a black screen with GRUB on the top left. I am having a MBR problem with Vista, and since PCLOS obviously didnt install properly, neither that NOR vista is working. I dont have a vista repair disk, but downloaded one and it goes through the "loading files" phase and then shows microsoft corporation at the bottom, but hangs at the sky-ish colored screen. I have even gone as far as trying to install ubuntu, Fedora, and none are working the way they should (especially UBUNTU :x )I am completely at a loss. Any help would be HUGE.
 
#12
Hi dacatzmeow57

Can you please post a blow by blow of how you partitioned your hard drive and include a blow by blow of how you installed PCLOS.

To install PCLOS you ought to have used a LiveCD ~ is that what you used ?
 
#13
dacatzmeow57 decided to communicate with me via the members message facility and I'm introducing this member to Testdisk. If anyone is having problems with getting a dual boot system going with Windows and Linux ~ and you get nowhere upon reboot, then browse over to Main Page - CGSecurity and bone up on testdisk ( free ), especially the " MBR Code " option.

Otherwise, start a new thread on neosmart or continue with an existing thread , and leave me a message on the members private message board to include my help if I'm able.