I've been reading every 'Fedora broke my XP' thread, and am at wits end, because I'm essentially in the same boat. I have the following configuration:
ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe mobo, 2.8Ghz Pentium with hyperthreading enabled
1 Gig RAM
/dev/hda is Maxtor 60Gig IDE
/dev/sda and /dev/sdb are Seagate 120Gig SATA drives
no floppy drive
Pioneer A05 DVD burner
Matrox P750 video card, can do up to triple head(!), but I have two displays now
I had XP SP1 in an NTFS partition on /dev/hda, using the whole drive. I can't use the SATA drives because they are dedicated to video editing, and I need ALL that space. So, I booted Knoppix 3.4 (nice distro) and used ntfsresize to change my NTFS partition to 50Gigs, with 10Gigs of space intended for FC1.
The problems: I am able to boot XP if there are no other partitions defined on /dev/hda. If I create new partitions by Knoppix fdisk, XP fails to boot. I installed FC1 and Grub in the MBR, and at first neither would boot. Geometry bug? I found a thread which talks about using sfdisk to rewrite the geometry to something 'sane' that XP will believe. That doesn't get XP booting, but at least I can boot FC1, which is what I'm typing from now. XP is on partition 1, and FC1 is partitions 2-4, so it is not a 1023 cyl issue with this BIOS.
My Winblows XP CD will NOT boot beyond the initial 'setup is examing your config' message if there are any unapproved partition types on /dev/hda, which means I can't do the FIXBOOT/FIXMBR trick. What's up with THAT??!!!! This is all very frustrating.
I'm not sure what to do now. I can boot FC1, but if I pick XP from Grub, I get the 'rootnoverify hda(0,0), chainloader +1' message and the system hangs. I have examined the grub.conf file and it looks correct. I have partimage backups of my XP partition, so I can delete and restore it, but I'd rather not rebuild XP from scratch. I've been reinstalling for the last five days or so and I'm really getting tired of all this trouble.
My thoughts at this point are to try this:
1) Back up my FC1 partitions with tar
2) Boot to Linux Rescue, delete FC1 partitions with fdisk
3) dd the saved XP MBR back to /dev/hda, or try to get the XP recovery console to FIXMBR
4) Verify Xp will boot
5) Create NTFS partitions of similar sizes to FC1 with XP's diskpart
6) Boot Linux Rescue, change the file types of the partitions with fdisk, restore tar files, and do a grub-install
7) Do a happy dance if all this works
My thought is that if I have XP define partitions, rather than fdisk, then XP will be happy with the geometry. fdisk will have to be used to change the partitions types, but I don't think that will botch the partition table significantly.