View Full Version : unable to find Windows 2K after Fedora install

21st April 2004, 06:59 PM
Hi, All

It is my first time installing linux, and I am having some issues. I installed it on my desktop that had Win 2K and all of my important stuff. I neglected to backup my files and now find myself unable to find windows.

I (thought) I installed linux on my 2nd hard drive of 13 GB.(D:), windows was on my primary drive, (C:). now I can not find windows and am afraid I may have erased it from my system.

Can anyone help???

I am as new as users come; no experience with linux what so ever. I need to know how I can find Windows, or if it even exsists on my pc anymore

21st April 2004, 07:36 PM
go to a terminal and do a fdisk -l and look at the results.

I fear you may have formated the entire disk during the install process, something you have to watch as there is an option to only use the free space there.

If there's something that reflects an NTFS or FAT partition, then it's still there and it's a matter of configuring your bootloader

21st April 2004, 07:40 PM
Ok... this is helpful... I think I have a chance of getting some results with the help you guys can offer. :)

however, now I have to ask...
how do I configure the bootloader?


21st April 2004, 07:55 PM
fdisk -l does not work
it says "command not found"

Any other ideas??

21st April 2004, 08:38 PM
I am sure fdisk is on your machine. type "locate fdisk" at the console and see if locate finds it. (you may have to run updatedb once before you can run locate)

I think it is in /sbin/ or /usr/sbin which won't be in your path unless you login as root. So you can either add these folders to your PATH by running
"export PATH"

or you can run it using /sbin/fdisk. If it isn't on your machine download it.

21st April 2004, 08:54 PM
Sorry about that...yes, you'll want to run that as /sbin/fdisk -l

21st April 2004, 09:40 PM
so far so good...

I logged in as root, and the results were as follows:



/dev/hda1 * 1 7297 58613121 1 HPFS/NTFS

DISK /DEV HDB: 13.5 GB, 13578485760 BYTES


/dev/hdB1 * 1 13 104391 83 LINUX
/dev/hdB2 14 1520 12104977+ 83 LINUX
/dev/hdB3 1521 1650 1044225 82 LINUX swap

it looks as if my windows partition was still there. so, how do I boot it? it is not listed as one of the available OS's to boot, I can only choose linux.

Can any of you guys help me with this? Please?? I have all of my school files on my windows system and I need to get to them.

Thanks a million for all of your help!!!!!!

21st April 2004, 09:56 PM
Thats great. Your files should still be on that NTFS partition. You have many options in front of you now.

If you want to access your windows partition from linux you can install an ntfs module from http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/ and copy your important files from windows to linux. That site has HOWTOS and FAQS which will guide you on how to mount the ntfs volume. This would be my first step.

If you want to boot windows again you need to update your bootloader. If you stayed with the defaults you installed GRUB as your bootloader. This requires you to edit the file /boot/grub/grub.conf. A good HOWTO can be found at:
Good luck.

21st April 2004, 10:31 PM
using NTFS driver from within linux is not a good idea...all I have read indicates you could damage the NTFS file structure...(it is safer done from within windows using a win32 driver to read ext2/ext3 format)....
But you need to to boot windows anyway...

Find your grub.conf and add this line...the 2 and 3 line should have a space in front (look at other entries in grub.conf as example)

title Windows 2000
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

22nd April 2004, 12:07 AM
Using the NTFS driver from Linux is a very good idea, since it is read-only, so there's no chance of damaging the NTFS file structure. The NTFS partition shall always be mounted as a read-only one, so the process is safe.

22nd April 2004, 12:12 AM
I am getting so frustrated... I've been here since 11 am trying to get this to work, with no luck.
I can not find the grub file you guys are mentioning, and I don't even know how to use the right commands to find the thing.

I am ble to view my ntfs drive and the file in it by using a mount command that i found on the net. how do I copy the files from my NTFS drive to a CD or something so that I can just reformat the entire drive?

I'm sick of this. my shool work is gone and I have no way to get to it. it was due tomorrow and I doubt i'll be able to recover if I can't get Windows to load.

Can anyone tell me how to either get windows to load, copy files from my NTFS drive on to a CD in linux, or uninstall linux
(step by step on all suggestions, please)


22nd April 2004, 12:23 AM
I agree with sailorsgh that you need to edit your /boot/grub/grub.conf file. You will need to be root though, run
su - and enter the root password, then run
gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf
and add what sailorsgh suggested.

See my howto (http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=971) for further reference.

My favorite way to burn files is with the Nautilus file manager. Once you have mounted the NTFS drive, open your home directory on the desktop, and enter burn:/// in the Location bar. Drag and drop files from other windows, then hit Burn.

There is a Search for Files... thing on the Main (red hat) Menu.

22nd April 2004, 12:55 AM
I agree as "read only" it is safe...but I was referring to transfering files...from NTFS to ext3 or vice versa...

22nd April 2004, 09:26 AM
On a machine with dual-boot (FC1+WinXP) I have the ntfs driver on Linux that allows me to read the NTFS partition, and copy files there to Ext3; and I have a (free) program called ext2nt (ext2fs, something like that, can't remember precisely...) running on Windows (a graphicall shell, explorer-like) that allows me to copy files from the Ext3 partition to the NTFS one.

Now, using the ntfs driver on Linux to write to NTFS partitions - that's dangerous, according to its author!

By the way, wasn't FC2 supposed to be able to read/write to NTFS partitions?...

22nd April 2004, 10:42 PM
thank you fjleal..I stand corrected :)
I will have to look into the utilities you mentioned...unfortunately I want to be able to copy from ext2/3 to NTFS ..which is not safe
I guess I will just have to use Win XP....
But getting back to the problem at hand...if asanch01 was able to view these files, he should have been able to copy them as well ???

23rd April 2004, 12:37 AM
When my system crashed when i installed FC1 and XP pro, i booted from Knoppix and copied the files i wanted from my hdd onto a floppy. Knoppix has both read and write support for NTFS, but i just copied the files from the hdd to a floppy through knoppix. It worked for me. Hope you can get it fixed, i lost some of my homework too when i did it, so i can relate.

What you might want to do is just wipe the hdd with FEdora on it and install xp on it. Then set it to master, set the one with XP or 2k on it to slave. You can then burn the files to disc or floppy or whatever you want. Basically, disconnect the XP drive, put the FEdora drive as master, stick in the XP disc, select format and isntall. Let it install, then reconnect hte other XP drive as slave. Youll then be able to see everything on the other hdd and copy your files. whatever you do, DONT FORMAT THE OLD XP DRIVE!! also DONT DO FIX MBR FROM THE REPAIR DISC DONT DO IT DONT DONT DONT. Thats how i corrupted my filesystem was by doing fix mbr and fix boot. This should work though, its how i saved most of my files. GOod luck

23rd April 2004, 12:47 AM
But getting back to the problem at hand...if asanch01 was able to view these files, he should have been able to copy them as well ???
Yes, sure! _If_ he installed the NTFS Linux driver as kbradl1 wrote, downloading and foillowing the instructions from http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/

But how did he manage to install Grub without the option of booting to Windows? Isn't that automatic? Strange...

23rd April 2004, 04:33 PM
I think it gives you the choice of installing grub or using a boot disk...but can't you use the fedora install CD to boot and then install grub?

I did not know that knoppix could do that...but isn't still a dangerous practice?

I have used the WinXP disc to boot then run recovery and then fixmbr without a problem ( I have done this at least 5 times)... but for Win 2000 shouldn't he use a win98 boot disk and use fdisk /mbr...to fix the boot record

I understand that you can install grub from command line
grub-install /dev/hda replacing hda with the appropriate device

I just recently tried to re-install grub using the FC1 CDROM but it did not work...I had removed the HD to work with a different HD and used fixmbr because win xp would not boot with the new HD in place...(grub error)

27th April 2004, 01:14 AM
I dont know, but for me fix mbr corrupted the whole file system. It just completely raped it. Dont know why, it has a warning that says it might do it, but it just screwed up everything. No idea why, but it screwed over everything.

30th April 2004, 01:26 AM
It is apparent that Fedora test will NOT coexist with Windows. I've tried XP,2000, and ME. In order to reinstall Windows without errors go into Linux or use a knoppix cd. Assume root privilege. Type "#dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=1000 count=1000" this will overwrite the MBR with a pattern of zeros, setting it back to square one. Partition and reinstall Windows. I messed with this Test Distro for over 30 hours before coming to this conclusion. Don't even try to dual boot as it wont work.

5th May 2004, 12:56 AM
FC2 was supposed to fix a whole ton of stuff, but apparently it hasnt changed a whole lot. as for the 2000 vs XP MBR, i think the XP disc would be the appropriate one to overwrite it with since XP was based off of 2000 and 2000 was based off NT, not 98. 98=dos, NT=NT, two completely diff operating systems essentially. As far as im concerned, trying to dual boot with tests is a waste of time. Its not worth the headache. Either get something like nicklock that will work to switch the drives, or get a dedicated fedora box. Fedora and windows cant peacefully coexist very well, ive learned that from experience the hard way. As for FC1 and windows, well they will share the same drive, but i dont think they like it a whole lot.

Also, im not overly impressed with Grub, or any bootloader for that matter. All of em seem to be a pain, and very picky about which os's they display and can boot. I've had a number of problems with Grub, and finally just gave up and just put fedora on a dedicated box. Somebody needs to come up with a much better boot loader or some other way of dual booting, because i think all boot loaders are flawed because of the fact that its a redirect mechanism, if you could make it a separate entity that lived in the ram or on a flash memory chip, it would solve all kinds of problems. Even if it had to be on a floppy and always boot the floppy that then directed the system to boot from a separate drive, each with its own MBR, it would solve o so many headaches and countless hours agonizing over dual booting. Oh well, its not gonna happen, im just dreaming again....