Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oops... I Crashed Windows XP Pro

In theory... It should have worked. I installed Fedora 7 on the company laptop without incident, but when I went to install Solaris 10, I didn't have a primary partition for a Solaris /boot. My primary concern was the old issue of an OS not being able to boot if its first sector was beyond 1G.

I tried to use Partition Magic to get generate two primary partitions in front of the WXP install, but it failed with a nondescript error. It could shuffle the NTFS partition, but could not reassign the partition numbers. Sounds like a job for fdisk.

In theory, fdisk only edits the partition table and has no impact on data. Since the NTFS partition was between cylinders 20 and 2039, it should have been a simple case of rebuilding the partition table. Guess what? It didn't work. So, on my fourth day on the new job, I get to take their laptop in and explain that I blew up Windows.

So what went wrong? I'll have to research this, because I've used fdisk a thousand times before, without any problems. A few differences: I've not tried this trick with WXP, and I've never done it under F-7. I'm inclined to think that this is an NTFS issue.

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