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Socrates440
28th May 2012, 04:58 PM
So I just recently nuked my windows (viruses, running slowly, etc) and unfortunately when i reinstalled windows my computer reset itself to factory settings and I lost linux too. Anyways, after getting my computer set up I re-partitioned my hard drive using the windows system management tool. I re-booted to my usb with the linux system image (nothing out of the ordinary in the boot menue, I checked). I installed Fedoa and used the free space option in the partitioning menue.

Now, My comnputer thinks that there are two windows partitions (not the windows and the system recovery but two windows 7 loaders). They each seem to load the same partition, rather than 2 seperate partitions. Whenever I try to modify one by, say, installing Avast! my computer gives me the blue screen of death.

The reason that I am posting this here is because I re-formatted my computer again, went through the same steps, made sure I didn't take too much space away from the windows partition, and encountered the same problem. The problem doesn't occur until I install Fedora and run the Fedora partitioner. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Gareth Jones
28th May 2012, 06:55 PM
In Fedora, install gdisk ("sudo yum install gdisk" in a terminal), then post the output of:

gdisk -l /dev/sda
blkid /dev/sda*

This will give us a summary of your partitions.

Socrates440
28th May 2012, 07:18 PM
didn't work. I am seeing the 2 partitions in the boot menu.

---------- Post added at 06:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:15 PM ----------

This is what I typed and what the terminal returned.

@localhost ~]$ gdisk -l /dev/sda
bash: gdisk: command not found...

Gareth Jones
28th May 2012, 07:20 PM
Run (in full):

su - # Get a root shell.
yum install gdisk # This will install gdisk.
gdisk -l /dev/sda # List partitions on hard-disk.
blkid /dev/sda* # List what Linux knows about them.

Socrates440
28th May 2012, 07:21 PM
I know. I apologize for being vauge, I posted again saying what I typed and what the terminal returned.

Gareth Jones
28th May 2012, 07:23 PM
Yes, posts crossed. I've updated mine to be clearer on how to make gdisk work.

Socrates440
28th May 2012, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the update. This is what the terminal returned:

t@localhost ~]# gdisk -l /dev/sda
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.4

Partition table scan:
MBR: MBR only
BSD: not present
APM: not present
GPT: not present


************************************************** *************
Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPT format.
************************************************** *************

Disk /dev/sda: 1953525168 sectors, 931.5 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 6C514627-9988-4012-AFBD-EFC529203014
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 1953525134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 408941 sectors (199.7 MiB)

Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name
1 2048 206847 100.0 MiB 0700 Microsoft basic data
2 206848 1740777471 830.0 GiB 0700 Microsoft basic data
3 1929521152 1953122303 11.3 GiB 0700 Microsoft basic data
5 1740779520 1741803519 500.0 MiB 8300 Linux filesystem
6 1741805568 1929521151 89.5 GiB 8300 Linux filesystem


@localhost ~]# blkid /dev/sda*
/dev/sda1: LABEL="SYSTEM" UUID="8E548EF5548EDEF9" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda2: LABEL="OS" UUID="C8EA957AEA95660A" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda3: LABEL="HP_RECOVERY" UUID="98DC1E9DDC1E762A" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda5: UUID="dadcc163-e36b-4120-91c1-905d5961eff8" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sda6: UUID="88c4401a-f228-4d84-828a-e11d7f58c5e5" TYPE="crypto_LUKS"


Any idea what the problem is?

Gareth Jones
28th May 2012, 08:19 PM
I'm not sure what the first 100 MiB NTFS partition is about, but nothing looks especially wrong.

What does /boot/grub2/grub.cfg look like?

Socrates440
28th May 2012, 08:40 PM
I sud over to root but when I type that in it says permission denied.

Gareth Jones
28th May 2012, 10:34 PM
That's a configuration file, not a command. Try "cat /boot/grub2/grub.cfg".

Socrates440
28th May 2012, 11:06 PM
Thanks. I am very new at this.

---------- Post added at 10:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:04 PM ----------

Here is what linux returned

@localhost ~]# cat /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
#
# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by grub2-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
load_env
fi
set default="0"
if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
save_env saved_entry
set prev_saved_entry=
save_env prev_saved_entry
set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
saved_entry="${chosen}"
save_env saved_entry
fi
}

function load_video {
insmod vbe
insmod vga
insmod video_bochs
insmod video_cirrus
}

set timeout=5
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
menuentry 'Fedora (3.3.7-1.fc16.i686)' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
load_video
set gfxpayload=keep
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root dadcc163-e36b-4120-91c1-905d5961eff8
echo 'Loading Fedora (3.3.7-1.fc16.i686)'
linux /vmlinuz-3.3.7-1.fc16.i686 root=/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root ro rd.md=0 rd.dm=0 rd.lvm.lv=VolGroup/lv_swap KEYTABLE=us quiet SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 rhgb rd.lvm.lv=VolGroup/lv_root rd.luks.uuid=luks-88c4401a-f228-4d84-828a-e11d7f58c5e5 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /initramfs-3.3.7-1.fc16.i686.img
}
menuentry 'Fedora Linux, with Linux 3.1.0-7.fc16.i686' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
load_video
set gfxpayload=keep
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root dadcc163-e36b-4120-91c1-905d5961eff8
echo 'Loading Linux 3.1.0-7.fc16.i686 ...'
linux /vmlinuz-3.1.0-7.fc16.i686 root=/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root ro rd.md=0 rd.dm=0 rd.lvm.lv=VolGroup/lv_swap KEYTABLE=us quiet SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 rhgb rd.lvm.lv=VolGroup/lv_root rd.luks.uuid=luks-88c4401a-f228-4d84-828a-e11d7f58c5e5 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /initramfs-3.1.0-7.fc16.i686.img
}
menuentry 'Fedora Linux, with Linux 3.1.0-7.fc16.i686 (recovery mode)' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
load_video
set gfxpayload=keep
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root dadcc163-e36b-4120-91c1-905d5961eff8
echo 'Loading Linux 3.1.0-7.fc16.i686 ...'
linux /vmlinuz-3.1.0-7.fc16.i686 root=/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root ro single rd.md=0 rd.dm=0 rd.lvm.lv=VolGroup/lv_swap KEYTABLE=us quiet SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 rhgb rd.lvm.lv=VolGroup/lv_root rd.luks.uuid=luks-88c4401a-f228-4d84-828a-e11d7f58c5e5 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /initramfs-3.1.0-7.fc16.i686.img
}
### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)" --class windows --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 8E548EF5548EDEF9
chainloader +1
}
menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda2)" --class windows --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,msdos2)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root C8EA957AEA95660A
chainloader +1
}
menuentry "Windows Recovery Environment (loader) (on /dev/sda3)" --class windows --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,msdos3)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 98DC1E9DDC1E762A
drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
chainloader +1
}
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
if [ -f $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
source $prefix/custom.cfg;
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/90_persistent ###
### END /etc/grub.d/90_persistent ###

Gareth Jones
29th May 2012, 12:37 AM
Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name
1 2048 206847 100.0 MiB 0700 Microsoft basic data
2 206848 1740777471 830.0 GiB 0700 Microsoft basic data
3 1929521152 1953122303 11.3 GiB 0700 Microsoft basic data


/dev/sda1: LABEL="SYSTEM" UUID="8E548EF5548EDEF9" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda2: LABEL="OS" UUID="C8EA957AEA95660A" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda3: LABEL="HP_RECOVERY" UUID="98DC1E9DDC1E762A" TYPE="ntfs"

Okay, GRUB is trying to load the first two Windows partitions in addition to the recovery partition:



### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)" --class windows --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 8E548EF5548EDEF9
chainloader +1
}
menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda2)" --class windows --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,msdos2)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root C8EA957AEA95660A
chainloader +1
}

The first partition is only 100 MiB, which seems far too small for a modern Windows install, so I'm guessing your normal Windows in on sda2. What is on sda1?

Socrates440
29th May 2012, 02:24 AM
Presumably it's what my computer thinks is windows 7. In the boot menu, my compuer identifies 2 different partitions as windows 7. When I log into them they are apparently the same. When I try to install anything on either of them, they crash. The only things that should be partitioned are Fedora, Fedora recovery tools (I believe that fedora does install such a partition. If it does not then it should not be there.), Windows 7, and WIndows 7 recovery mode.



---------- Post added at 01:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:23 AM ----------

If it would help, I can load SDA2. What should I look for?

george_toolan
29th May 2012, 11:46 AM
The first partition is only 100 MiB, which seems far too small for a modern Windows install, so I'm guessing your normal Windows in on sda2. What is on sda1?

Apparently that's the windows 7 boot partition. Windows 7 always tries to create one if you install it on an empty HDD. Everything looks normal ;-)

Gareth Jones
29th May 2012, 05:41 PM
Apparently that's the windows 7 boot partition. Windows 7 always tries to create one if you install it on an empty HDD. Everything looks normal ;-)

Ah, I didn't know that. In fact, beyond the DOS MBR loading the "bootable" partitions boot record, I've no idea how Windows handles booting these days.

Okay, so now the question becomes one for people who know about configuring GRUB2: is there a way to tell grubby/grub2-install to ignore one of the Windows 7 partitions?

stoat
30th May 2012, 04:19 AM
Hello Socrates440 and everybody,

Here is my sort of recap of the situation...


You restored the computer to the factory state with Windows.
After restoring, Windows booted and worked normally.
Then you shrank the Windows partition using the Windows Disk Management utility.
Fedora was installed and booted Fedora normally.
Two Window entries are in the Fedora boot menu and both boot Windows.
Windows appears to be working normally until you try to install something in Windows.
But Windows is broken.
You did all of the above twice (no difference).


If I have all of that right, then to me there are two separate and not necessarily related problems. One is that Anaconda and/or GRUB 2 botched the Windows boot menu entry in the Fedora GRUB 2 boot loader. But that won't exactly be tomorrow's banner headline in the papers (it happens all the time). I would fix that manually in grub.cfg. But I long ago grew tired of GRUB 2 shenanigans and don't use Gnu GRUB of any version any more. So that advice may not be popular around here.

The other thing (busted Windows) makes me wonder if shrinking the partition is breaking Windows. Anyway, it's not unheard of. Besides, I can't think of how Anaconda could be doing anything inside the Windows partition to break Windows. It should be altering only the boot loader arrangement, and that is working (kind of).

I wish we knew if Windows worked totally normally after shrinking its partition but before Fedora was installed. It would answer the question about whether or not the installation of Fedora is breaking Windows. I'm betting it's not, and it's the partition manipulation that is doing that. But testing that idea may not be popular with you since it means doing the whole routine again.

Socrates440
30th May 2012, 04:28 AM
It did. The second time I partitioned my hard drive I loaded windows after shrinking the partitition but before installing fedora. It appeared to work fine. I didn't play around with it super long. Also, it did not bring me to a boot menue thinking that I had two windows partitions. The second partition only showed up after I installed Fedora.

-Take this with an error bar of about 40%. I didn't extensively play around with windows before installing Fedora the 2nd time.

What is Grub 2 by the way?

stoat
30th May 2012, 04:47 AM
Also, it did not bring me to a boot menue thinking that I had two windows partitions. The second partition only showed up after I installed Fedora.That part right there can be explained by the Windows BOOTMGR boot loader booting Windows after you do the factory restore and before you install Fedora. At that time it should just boot straight into Windows without showing any menu of any kind. But after Fedora is installed, GRUB 2 is installed as the boot loader (the default behavior of Anaconda), and that is when you see the extra Windows menu entry in the GRUB 2 boot menu.

For the busted Windows issue, I still don't have a better explanation.




What is Grub 2 by the way?It's the boot loader used by Fedora since Fedora 16.

srs5694
30th May 2012, 05:57 AM
I would fix that manually in grub.cfg. But I long ago grew tired of GRUB 2 shenanigans and don't use Gnu GRUB of any version any more. So that advice may not be popular around here.

FWIW, you're not alone; I'm not a big fan of GRUB, and especially of GRUB 2. IMHO, it's a bloated and overly-complex piece of software that tries to do too many things, and therefore does most of them poorly. This assessment isn't particularly relevant to the point at hand, though, except.....


The second time I partitioned my hard drive I loaded windows after shrinking the partitition but before installing fedora. It appeared to work fine. I didn't play around with it super long. Also, it did not bring me to a boot menue thinking that I had two windows partitions. The second partition only showed up after I installed Fedora.

When you boot Windows before installing Linux, GRUB is presumably not yet installed on the hard disk. Thus, you'll boot Windows using whatever mechanisms Microsoft has set up. This is important because I think two entirely distinct issues have become conflated in this thread:


The presence of multiple Windows partitions on the disk.
The presence of multiple Windows entires in the GRUB menu.


These are two entirely different things. The first relates to the layout of data on the disk in a very basic way, whereas the second is a matter of entries in a single configuration file.

When booting using Microsoft's tools, you could have multiple Windows partitions on the disk and never know it, since the Windows tools will just boot the last one installed and ignore the rest -- at least, unless you tweak the configuration or install a third-party boot loader. Once you install GRUB, though, the GRUB configuration scripts are likely to detect and create GRUB entries for as many Windows installations as are present.

Thus, one important but unanswered question is: What did the partition table look like at each step in the installation process? If a Windows partition was duplicated at some point along the line, that could be the source of some or all of the subsequent problems. The most likely time for such a duplication to occur is during the partition-shrinking stage, since that's the only step that ought to have been doing the sort of low-level filesystem and partition adjustments that could result in duplicating a partition. Certainly installing GRUB couldn't do it.

One more point: You said that you "loaded Windows after shrinking the partition." It's unclear to me precisely what you mean by that, but taking the words at face value, it sounds as if you shrank a working Windows installation's partition and then re-installed Windows. If so, that certainly explains the duplicate Windows installations (if that's what you've got). Ordinarily, starting from a blank disk, you would install Windows once. You could either install to a partition that's sized the way you want it from the start or install Windows to the whole disk and then shrink that installation's partition. OTOH, maybe you mean that you partitioned the disk without installing Windows, shrank the target (but empty) Windows partition, installed Windows, and then installed Linux. If so, that should have worked, although it's rather odd to create an empty partition and then immediately shrink it.

Socrates440
30th May 2012, 05:57 PM
I didn't partition the hard drive and reinstall windows. I did the following steps in the following order.

*first a note. Rather than coming with a windows disk, my computer comes with an option on the hard disk to restore the computer to factory settings. This removes any and all partitions and sets the entire hard drive back to default settings.

1. I installed Fedora on my hard disk by partitioning my existing windows. I shrunk it by 80,000 megs. There were no errors.

2. I restored my computer to factory settings. I partitioned 100gb (there were 900 free gb). I re-installed linux. My computer crashed whenever I did anything in windows and sometimes at loading.

3. I restored my computer to factory settings. I repeated step 2 in hopes that it was some fluke. The same thing happened. I posted here.

Gareth Jones
30th May 2012, 06:27 PM
I'd start by running ScanDisk in Windows (or whatever the Windows equivalent of fsck is called these days).

Socrates440
30th May 2012, 08:49 PM
I can no longer access windows. I tried logging in earlier today. Can I fix this from the system repair tool or from fedora? My thinking is, it might work if I can delete SDA 2.

Gareth Jones
30th May 2012, 09:09 PM
What happens if you try to boot Windows? What errors does it give?

Socrates440
30th May 2012, 10:28 PM
My phone doesn't want to e-mail the picture that I took of my blue screen. It looks identical to this one with a few differences:

1. On the top of my blue screen it says IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL instead of driver_irql_not_less_or_equal

2. Where it says *** STOP mine says 0x0000000A (0x0000000000000010, 0x0000000000000002, 0x0000000000000001, 0
xFFFFF80002A97285) rather than the numbers listed on the picture.

3. The line beginning with *** gv3.sys does not exist on my screen.

http://churmura.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/blue-screen-of-death1.jpg

srs5694
30th May 2012, 11:06 PM
I didn't partition the hard drive and reinstall windows. I did the following steps in the following order.

*first a note. Rather than coming with a windows disk, my computer comes with an option on the hard disk to restore the computer to factory settings. This removes any and all partitions and sets the entire hard drive back to default settings.

This is an extremely important detail. In light of this detail, and re-examining your partition table from post #7 in this thread, I can identify your partitions:


Partition #1 (100 MiB) is a boot partition that recent versions of Windows often use, particularly on pre-installed systems. I'm a little foggy on its purpose, but I think it has something to do with booting Windows, either normally or in certain types of recovery scenarios. This is one of the two Windows entries in GRUB.
Partition #2 (830 GiB) is your main Windows installation -- probably C: in Windows. This is the second of two Windows entries in GRUB.
Partition #3 (11 GiB) is your "installation media" -- the on-disk equivalent of your installation DVDs. It's also got a GRUB entry, but it's identified in GRUB as the "Windows Recovery Environment."
Partitions #5 and #6 are your Linux installation.


Note that neither Fedora nor GRUB created any of those three Windows partitions; they all existed on your standard installation, and GRUB simply created entries for each of them. You could argue that GRUB should have created just one entry for #1 or for #2, not for both of them, but even if that's so, it has nothing to do with your real problem.


I can no longer access windows. I tried logging in earlier today. Can I fix this from the system repair tool or from fedora? My thinking is, it might work if I can delete SDA 2.

Since /dev/sda2 is your main Windows installation, deleting it would be a major step in the wrong direction. (Unless you choose to start over from scratch, of course.) You should also not delete /dev/sda3 unless you've first created a set of recovery/installation DVDs. AFAIK, every system delivered this way provides a utility to do this. Of course, since Windows isn't working for you right now, you can't do this unless or until you get it booting again. When you do, though, I strongly recommend you make those backup discs, since a problem that trashes /dev/sda3 will make it hard to recover your system to its factory state.

[quote=Gareth Jones]I'd start by running ScanDisk in Windows (or whatever the Windows equivalent of fsck is called these days). [/url]

I concur with this recommendation. A damaged filesystem is one possible cause of the problems you've recounted.

How did you shrink the Windows installation? Did you use the Fedora installer, the Windows partitioner, or some other utility? Whatever you used, one thing you might try is restoring to factory defaults and doing everything again, but use a different tool to shrink the main Windows partition.

Another thought occurs to me: Your first post mentioned viruses. It's conceivable that a virus is causing these problems -- perhaps the virus is being thrown by the shrinking of the main Windows partition, and is therefore causing malfunctions it's not intended to cause. Since you're restoring from a disk-based Windows recovery system, it's even conceivable that the virus has installed itself there, so that your fresh installation is in fact virus-laden. I'd like to emphasize, however, that this is highly speculative. I don't know of any specific viruses that behave in the way I'm suggesting, and in fact my knowledge of Windows viruses generally is relatively limited. I don't think this is really a very likely explanation, but I thought I'd toss it out there as a possibility.

Socrates440
31st May 2012, 12:38 AM
This is an extremely important detail. In light of this detail, and re-examining your partition table from post #7 in this thread, I can identify your partitions:


Partition #1 (100 MiB) is a boot partition that recent versions of Windows often use, particularly on pre-installed systems. I'm a little foggy on its purpose, but I think it has something to do with booting Windows, either normally or in certain types of recovery scenarios. This is one of the two Windows entries in GRUB.
Partition #2 (830 GiB) is your main Windows installation -- probably C: in Windows. This is the second of two Windows entries in GRUB.
Partition #3 (11 GiB) is your "installation media" -- the on-disk equivalent of your installation DVDs. It's also got a GRUB entry, but it's identified in GRUB as the "Windows Recovery Environment."
Partitions #5 and #6 are your Linux installation.


Note that neither Fedora nor GRUB created any of those three Windows partitions; they all existed on your standard installation, and GRUB simply created entries for each of them. You could argue that GRUB should have created just one entry for #1 or for #2, not for both of them, but even if that's so, it has nothing to do with your real problem.



Since /dev/sda2 is your main Windows installation, deleting it would be a major step in the wrong direction. (Unless you choose to start over from scratch, of course.) You should also not delete /dev/sda3 unless you've first created a set of recovery/installation DVDs. AFAIK, every system delivered this way provides a utility to do this. Of course, since Windows isn't working for you right now, you can't do this unless or until you get it booting again. When you do, though, I strongly recommend you make those backup discs, since a problem that trashes /dev/sda3 will make it hard to recover your system to its factory state.

[quote=Gareth Jones]I'd start by running ScanDisk in Windows (or whatever the Windows equivalent of fsck is called these days). [/url]

I concur with this recommendation. A damaged filesystem is one possible cause of the problems you've recounted.

How did you shrink the Windows installation? Did you use the Fedora installer, the Windows partitioner, or some other utility? Whatever you used, one thing you might try is restoring to factory defaults and doing everything again, but use a different tool to shrink the main Windows partition.

Another thought occurs to me: Your first post mentioned viruses. It's conceivable that a virus is causing these problems -- perhaps the virus is being thrown by the shrinking of the main Windows partition, and is therefore causing malfunctions it's not intended to cause. Since you're restoring from a disk-based Windows recovery system, it's even conceivable that the virus has installed itself there, so that your fresh installation is in fact virus-laden. I'd like to emphasize, however, that this is highly speculative. I don't know of any specific viruses that behave in the way I'm suggesting, and in fact my knowledge of Windows viruses generally is relatively limited. I don't think this is really a very likely explanation, but I thought I'd toss it out there as a possibility.

Thanks for the info. I meant SDA1 as that is the unidd windows boot that I percieve to be the source of my problems.

I had Avast! installed and kept it updated. If I had a virus it was nothing common. Something was slowing down my computer though.

As far as scandisk goes, as I said, I can no longer load windows so I can not run scandisk.

To create my partition I used the windows partitioning tool. It worked when I used it before restoring my computer to factory settings.

Since I can not run scandisk, what can I do?

srs5694
31st May 2012, 01:14 AM
You can run ScanDisk (or CHKDSK or whatever) from a Windows emergency boot disc. If you don't have one, try a Web search; I've seen downloadable versions from time to time. (AFAIK, they're legal.)

Socrates440
31st May 2012, 10:38 AM
VICTORY!!!!!!! (literally knocking on my wooden desk as I type). The problem, as it turns out, was that avast and norton (the default antivirus on my computer) were not playing well together. It wasn't the partition (although I still have that weird SDA1 partition). So far, I have installed several programs with no crashes :)

srs5694
31st May 2012, 03:52 PM
I'm glad you got it worked out. One comment, though: /dev/sda1 is a standard part of your Windows installation! Although it's possible to install Windows without it, if you install to a blank disk using standard options, it's part of the installation. You should not think of it as a problem or as something you should try to get rid of. If you're annoyed by its GRUB entry, you can take steps to remove that, but do not attempt to delete the partition itself -- at least, not unless you hear from Windows experts (rather than the Linux experts who hang out hear) about precisely what it is and what the consequences of deleting it will be.

Socrates440
31st May 2012, 06:06 PM
What is it? What's on it? The only thing on my hard drive that isn't on the grub list is a blank partition that came with Windows.

Gareth Jones
31st May 2012, 06:11 PM
What is it? What's on it?

You'd need to ask a recent Windows expert for details, but you could get a fair idea perhaps by examining it with Linux:

mkdir /tmp/sda1_mnt
sudo mount -o ro /dev/sda1 /tmp/sda1_mnt
# Have a look around /tmp/sda1_mnt with the file manager of your choice.
sudo umount /tmp/sda1_mnt
rmdir /tmp/sda1_mnt