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Redhat uninstallation problem

Chris Conant
Occasional Visitor

Redhat uninstallation problem

I've got a big problem and not sure how to fix it. I have Win XP and used partition Magic to create partition for Linux just so I could try it out, play around. Did so over the last couple of months, but had to select each time whether to go to XP or Redhat each time booted up or else it went automatically to Redhat, so I decided to get rid of Redhat. I repartitioned and got rid of Redhat, but now every time my computer reboots, it still just sticks with the text "GRUB -" and there's no way to get out of it. I tried to use restore disks, but ended up with the same problem. Where is my PC going to find that it should be loading GRUB still? I've tried looking in the BIOS but nothing there. Can anyone help? Thanks!
4 REPLIES
Stuart Browne
Honored Contributor

Re: Redhat uninstallation problem

GRUB is the Boot Loader that comes with RH. If it was never configured properly (which it sounds like it wasn't), then it will prompt you for details.

Given that you've gone and removed your RedHat installation, it's now kind of hard to reconfigure it. It is also hard to use the dumped version of the MBR that Linux creates when it replaces an existing boot loader.

What's probably best now is to get your Windows XP installation to re-write the Master Boot Record (MBR). In previous windows installations, this was usually be done with the 'fdisk' tool (fdisk /mbr).

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q315224

THis artical is for removing the 'Lilo' boot loader. The same steps can be taken to remove GRUB.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314058

This is for a 'Recovery Console' mode of fixing the issue.

HOpe this helps.
One long-haired git at your service...
Donald Kok
Respected Contributor

Re: Redhat uninstallation problem

Possible directions:
- start from an old dos/windows version floppy, perform an fdisk /mbr. start fdisk after it, and make the XP-partition active.
- Can you start from the XP installation CD, from there you can do a recovery install.

Goodluck
Donald
My systems are 100% Murphy Compliant. Guaranteed!!!
I_M
Honored Contributor

Re: Redhat uninstallation problem

Hi

Boot from your Linux install CD-ROM, then go to background shell using CTRL+ALT+F2 (in case of RedHat), then delete first 512 byte of the HD, which contain bootloader and partition information.

Maybe you need to create device file for your systemdisk.
mknod /dev/hda b 3 0
mknod /dev/sda b 8 0

Good luck
Jerome Henry
Honored Contributor

Re: Redhat uninstallation problem

GRUB is a boot loader, as explained before, it's separated in 2 parts (stages), the first is on the hard disk mbr (master boot record, the first sector of the disk), the second is in you linux.
When your computer starts, the bios reads which disk has the operating(s) system(s), and passes the relay to it. The mbr is then read, but as it is a small space (512 octets most of the time), only a few informations are written there, such as your partitions, the adresses of the operating system(s) on the disk, and so on. The small program part residing in the mbr reads the rest (what to do which system to launch, how, and so on) on the second stage part... which you deleted !
When a system installs (or repairs) itself, it writes in the mbr the stage 1 of the launcher it uses, grub for example on linux, or ntldr on XP.
So what you have to do is to re-write your MBR.
With XP, 2 solutions :
If your XP CD is bootable, boot to the cd rom (set boot sequence to cd rom in your bios), the choose install, then repair dmaged installation, in which you can choose repair all, or repair boot sectors. You'd better choose repair all, for your partition deletion may also create problems in your disk numbering (your C is maybe not the first primary parition any more, or wasn't before...).
The system will ask you for rescue disk, you can ignore this stage and ask it to auto detect XP : it will re-write your mbr, and that's it.
If your cd isn't bootable, get rescue disks on the Net, for example at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q310994 (you'll need 6 diskettes). Insert the first one, booting on a: (set your bios to it), and follow the same steps (get your XP cd ready anyway).
It should work.
Good work !
Jerome
You can lean only on what resists you...