Re: How to delete all partitions for a complete reinstall



// Tod, I am sorry for resending. I failed to send to the list in last email.

Hi Tod!

Thank you so much for your answers. They are very detailed. I did
receive your previous e-mails (gmail works so far so good), and I
learned fixmbr which should be quite helpful.

The only problem is that my Recovery CDs (actually I am using IBM
thinkpad) does not include an XP installation CD. So it seems that I
cannot get into the XP restoration console easily. I guess what the
CDs actually do is to do some ghost copy. And it is SAID that the
recovery procedure will erase all data in the whole harddisk! :( So
that why I intended to drop all data on the disk. And in this case the
simplest way seems erasing the MBR.

Oh but what you suggest should be a better solution. Suppose the
recovery CDs turns up to kill *only* the first partition, then I can
keep all the other partitions since the MBR is kept. Aha I guess I
would need to find an XP installation CD to fixmbr and try this. Oh is
there any other ways? Sorry to ask this question in ubuntu list.

Btw, what does "bot" mean in your email account? I seemed to have some
misunderstanding previously. :D

Thanks and Regards,
Kevin

On 8/17/06, Tod Merley <todbot88@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Kevin!

You apparently did not get my two previous e-mails (in spam?) but here
they are together.

The short answer.

A. During the XP install process you can delete all of your partitions
(you will need to fix the MBR to do so - see previous post - or do a
"XP fix mbr" in Google and realize that if your system is simple (a C:
drive only for XP) then just the "fixmbr" command will work).

B. Reduce the size of the XP partition - see below ("find on page" "ntfs"):

http://www.linuxmigration.com/quickref/install/disk.html#ntfs

http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html

C. Install Ubuntu. I have never actually done this (XP / Ubuntu dual
boot). I know that Ubuntu automatically includes an FC5 pre-existing
partition in the new GRUB menu (shows on boot allowing you to choose
other than the default if you do so within about ten seconds). If you
only see your new Ubuntu option in GRUB you will need to edit your
/boot/grub/menu.lst file (see GRUB manual previous post).

A more involved approach:

0. Purchase a "Don't Panic!" button and install on your desk. Also
purchase a bath towel. See "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" for
details.

1. Realize that disk partitioning is deep computer surgery. It is
easy to loose everything. Take the time to know what you are doing.

2. I believe that your OEM disks do not like your current Master Boot
Record. Ubuntu uses GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) which has about
three stages the first of which is contained in the Master Boot Record
(MBR) - the first 512 bytes of your disk. If you installed XP first
(I hope you did, life is easier if you did) then you simply need to
append to your GRUB configuration file telling it where XP is and
"chainloading" it's installer. If you partitioned your disk using
Ubuntu then it will be harder to install XP. If you did, you would
need to do a "fixmbr" from the rescue console in order to enable XP to
proceed ( http://www.techzonez.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3975 ).

3. Read, Read, Read:

Dual Boot How-To(s):

http://www.crhc.uiuc.edu/~mjmille2/howtos/dual-boot-linux-and-windows/

http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p3.htm

http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/pub/a/linux/2006/05/08/dual-boot-laptop.html

GRUB: http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/

MBR:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

http://www.geocities.com/thestarman3/asm/mbr/MBR_in_detail.htm

http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-linuxboot/

http://linuxgazette.net/issue63/okopnik.html

Partitioning:

(Note: requires "find in document" "partition")
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO/other-formats/pdf/

4. Write down on a sheet of paper exactly what you want to do (large
outline) then fill in the outline with specific steps with the exact
GUI or command line commands to accomplish that. If there is info on
the disk you need, transfer it elsewhere before you start!

Have a Great Time!

Tod



--
Kevin ZHAO Keliang
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

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