Too many partitions

By hauns
Jan 4, 2009
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I am new to this site because I had googled 'Ubuntu uninstall' and was impressed with the answers by 'PRayOdessa'.

    I have a Dell Dimension 8200 with 512 MBs Ram and 320 MBs hard drive. A few years back I suffered from a painful back injury and found that focusing on my computer was very helpful. To make a long story short, I use Photo-shop on a daily bases and the more that I learned about VISTA the more disappointed I became. I fell in love with the idea of Linux and my first distro was Suse 10.2 (Duel-Booted with XP). I tried to upgrade to 10.3 but had network card problems. I then tried Fedora with the same results. Ubuntu 8.4 however installed beautifully with Gnome and I have been a huge fan of its stability ever since. If Suse is a Mercedes then Ubuntu is a Cadillac. What I'm trying to say is that I am a huge fan and that's how I screwed this up. I can't tell much difference between Kde & Gnome but I have been trying to convince my friends to try Ubuntu instead of following the sheep over a cliff with Windows 7. Even with the new Phoenix HyperSpace system I still think that Linux has the edge. So, being that my friends were using XP, I wanted to install Kubuntu over my Ubuntu which is Duel booted with my 'still in use' XP.
    (I'm almost ready to leave the nest but not yet)

    Half way into the install, it looked like it was going to partition with Ubuntu and Kubuntu and wipe-out XP. I couldn't stop it, so I chickened out and pulled the plug.

    At this time it boots up with the Grub that installed with the screwed-up Kubuntu but I can use that to go to ether XP or Ubuntu. I can live with this but I badly want to install the new Ubuntu 8.10 with Gnome and keep the XP right where it is, plus, delete all the unnecessary partitions and both 8.4 and the incomplete Kubuntu (and 'No' I'm not far enough into the install to use the 'uninstall'). I am worried that if I delete the partition with the Kubuntu that the Grub will go with it and I'll wind up starting from scratch, reinstalling XP. There must be an easer way.

    I'm an advanced 'Point&Click' but I'm no Tech, however I have paitence to go with my ignorance. :eek:
  2. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    Grub should have not been installed on the Kubuntu partition. How did you boot between XP/Ubuntu before you tried Kubuntu? I'm thinking you could use GParted on the Ubuntu Live CD to delete the unnecessary partitions (but be very careful!) and then reinstall Ubuntu. Another thing: DO NOT REMOVE POWER WHEN PARTITIONING. This could easily ruin your data, and require data recovery software to fix.
  3. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thankx for your response. I very badly want to learn how to change and control the partition. I took a picture of the existing partitions and had a picture of the privious one when it was only Windows and Ubuntu. This third one must be the incomplete Kubuntu install. I think that Windows is sda1 and when I booted out of grub it read that Ubuntu 8.4 is sda5. I want to combine sda5 & 7 and put the new Ubuntu 8.10 there but for some reason it wont let me. I'm going to sit tight untill I hear back from you. Thank you again for taking the time.

    Attached Files:

  4. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    sda7 and sda8 are the Kubuntu partition and the Kubuntu swap partition. You should delete sda7 and sda8 (deleting Kubuntu and all of its data) and then configure the Ubuntu 8.10 installer to use the free space. This should result in XP, Ubuntu 8.04, and Ubuntu 8.10. BTW are you sure you want to delete 8.04?
  5. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Yes, I would like to lean-out my machine and have only Ubuntu 8.10 and windows. I have a Maxtor Back-up hard drive that seems to work swapping files from Windows to Linux. Losing 8.4 wont be a problem unless you know something about 8.10 that I dont ?
  6. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    What you need to do is delete sda2, and all partitions in it. This will erase both Linux distros. After this, you can install 8.10 in the free space. Be sure to configure the installer to use that free space!! I asked about 8.04 because it appeared that you had been using it for some time. It is always good to confirm before I give you instructions to erase your data.
  7. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    All that I can say is "COOL". I'm going to print this out and then run through it in my head and then do it. I am assuming that I can do all this 'deleting' from the Ubuntu 8.4 Partition editor ? That's kind of like 'blowing up the house' while I'm inside; Oh well, I've seen them do it in the Circus. Thanks again.
  8. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    That did not go well at all. I was able to delete sda 7&8 but was unable to delete sda 2 and all of its partitions, so I tried to reboot thinking that it might work after. No such luck. I got stuck booting with grub and an error 22 message. I tried evey way to get back into windows to contact you and had no success. I then got out my Windows CD and tried to rescue it with no success. I had no idea what those abreveated commands mean. So the only thing left to do was to write over everything with XP and start all over again. I didnt think that things could get worse but I was wrong. The XP install was not going to write over the partitions and I unknowingly deleted the wrong one and recked my brand new 320 GB hard drive. I get a message to contact my disk controller and reinstall something. Im typing this from a friends computer. Sorry about the typos. Not all his keys work. I have set up the same Email account on his box so if you get any ideas or have any question that could save this hard drive, I will be quietly sitting here...waiting
  9. fletchoid

    fletchoid Newcomer, in training

    Sounds like you totally buggered both your installs, and need to wipe the hard drive and start over. My advice is to make a plan as to what you want on your computer, and then use your friends computer to research how to do it. Proceeding without a clear plan got you here. Start by using the WinXP disk or the Ubuntu install disk, to remove ALL the partitions. Decide what size XP partition you want, and format it following menu prompts on the WinXP disk Reinstall XP. Next, boot into the Ubuntu disk and install Ubuntu, whichever version you like, on the remaining space. Be careful, follow instructions. All these steps can be found on the web, totally outlined and easy to follow. Print them out if necessary. You do NOT need to install Ubuntu and Kubuntu separately. They are exactly the same Linux Kernel, with different desktop interfaces. Research this topic to find out how to install the KDE (Kubuntu) desktop on your Ubuntu installation. You can switch between the two at will, in the same installed version of Linux. When you are messing around with partitions, do so from the Ubuntu CD, and proceed with caution. Any time you mess with partitions, you risk the data on those partitions. This is a lot of work, but worth it. By the time you finish, you will be an expert. Ubuntu is a great, stable OS. Good luck
  10. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    Oops... Sorry! I thought you were using the Live CD. You need to do that so you can access those partitions to delete them. Did you wreck the XP partition? Somewhere in the Ubuntu installer is an option to install GRUB, so you might be able to do it on the XP partition. Sorry about that again. I have to go to skool so I'll be back later.
  11. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    Actually, if your XP install partition is still intact, boot to the Windows CD Recovery Console and type "fixmbr" without the quotes. This will repair the master boot record of the XP partition, and install the default bootloader so you can load XP. If that does not work, you might have to use "fdisk /MBR". Sorry, I forgot to include directions on how to repair the MBR.
  12. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I just lost the entire thread that I wrote. If this one goes through, I'm not going to rewrite. I just want to say that I'm grateful for your help and will try the suggestions in your last thread.

    By the way, I appreciate you jumping in here 'fletchoid' Wiping the disk clean is what my fall-back plan was when I got into trouble. Apparently, When I went to re-install windows it formated only 171 GBs of my 320 GB WD IDE hard drive. I want my whole hard drive back and then partition it some what equally in between Windows and Ubuntu.
  13. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    OK,

    I'm in the Windows Recovery Counsel and took me a while to find my pencil sharpener so I could write all this down.

    C:\WINDOWS> fixmbr

    **CAUTION**
    This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid Master boot record.
    fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed.
    This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible.
    If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not continue.
    Are you sure you want to write a new MBR ?

    Now, at this point I am a blind man and need your help getting through this Maze.

    Do I type 'yes' or go back and try fdisk/MBR
    By the way, you have a space in between the 'k' and the '/' should I ?
     
  14. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    Try fdisk /MBR, but please give me the output. You should have a space between the k and the /. That is how the command line works. The first word is the command and subsequent words are options for that command.
  15. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Got your message, tpwman, I'm on my way...get back to you.
  16. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I'm sorry that this is taking so long, this is the second time this morning that I typed an indepth thread and the send command was rejected then it dumped everything that I wrote and told me to refresh the page and login again. there must be a timer on this server. I'll be more carful.

    The comand: fdisk /MBR was rejected, stating " NO SUCH COMAND, TYPE HELP FOR A LIST OF COMMANDS" So I wrote them all down. there's not very many of them. I'll list them in my next thread while you read this.
  17. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Here is the list of comand that can be used in the Recovery Counsole. Since I'll be listing them sideways I'll separate them with a + sign:

    ATTRIB + BATCH + BOOTCFG + CD + CHDIR + CHKDSK + CLS + COPY + DEL + DELETE + DIR + DISABLE + DISKPORT + ENABLE + EXIT + EXPAND + FIXBOOT + FIXMBR + FORMAT + HELP + LISTSVC + LOGON + MAP + MD + MKDIR + MORE + NET + RD + REN + RENAME + RMDIR + SET + SYSTEMROOT + TYPE

    That's all Folk's !
  18. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    Try fixboot c: and give me the output.
  19. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Outcome:

    FIXBOOT C:

    The target partition is C: .
    Are you sure you want to write a new bootsector to the partition C: ?
  20. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    OK, you want to do Yes. After that, do fixmbr and if it says what it said before, tell me, but if it does not do that, just say yes. Please give me the output of both programs. Restart, and see if it works! Sorry about all the trouble I put you through.
  21. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    OK,

    it reads: The boot sector was successfully written.

    then I typed in FiXMBR and got the same **CAUTION** message as in thread # 13
  22. fletchoid

    fletchoid Newcomer, in training

    STOP!!! It really sounds like your XP and Ubuntu installations are totally FUBAR! From what I see, you have three choices:
    1. Continue to try to recover the XP OS, and if successful, install Ubuntu. The upside of this is: You save your current OS installation, and everything is just swell. The downside is, you totally @&$% up the hard drive and lose EVERYTHING!
    2. You don't actually have anything of super high importance on the drive, and what the hell, format everything and start over. Upside: Easier. Fresh Start. Less complicated.
    3. This would be MY solution: Go out and buy another hard drive. A decent 320Gb Seagate SATA drive can be found for about 60 bucks. Open up your computer case, and remove the current drive, and install the new drive. Install your XP OS on however much of the drive you want, and then install Ubuntu on the rest. Research this online carefully, so you have fewer complications. Then, when both XP and Ubuntu are working properly, put the old drive back as a second drive, and recover the data you really want to keep from the old drive. Eg. You can find, and save all your browser bookmarks, and your emails, addresses, etc. Any Documents etc. should also be recoverable, unless you have accidentally erased them with the previous messing around. Upside: You have a fresh new install of both OS, you have recovered important data, and you now have a second hard drive, that can be formatted, and used to store data. Downside: you have to spend a bit of money, and time. A bit of research will make this whole process easier, and at the end, you will be the neighborhood GOTO guy for solving these sorts of problems. I did this with my computer, and when I had recovered all the data I needed, I partitioned the OLD hard drive, and formatted it in FAT32, so it could be read from both XP AND Ubuntu. That way, i can download video, music, etc. from BOTH OS's and access them from either.
  23. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    D: This is what I found on removing GRUB. What is wrong with it?
  24. hauns

    hauns Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I have a Maxtor back-up hard drive so most of my files are safe. I'd like to try and reformat but when I tried this last night it still had two partitions. one was about 171 GBs and the other around 73 GBs. I couldn't install into ether one so I reformated and that is when I got all the problems. This is a IDE 320 Western Digital HD that I just installed last summer. That's when I switched from Suse 10.2 to Ubuntu 8.4. The install went beautifully however the partitions didn't make any sence. Both operating systems said that they had the whole disk available except for about 60 Gigs. I just assumed that Ubuntu used NTFS filing as well as Windows. I could take any photo or music file and save it to my Maxtor Back-up (which is also NTFS) and then up-load it to My Documents in Ubuntu. That must be what happend to the 8.4 version of grub. It must have gotten courruped when I tried to install the newer version of Kubuntu 8.10 and when it looked like it was going to write over Windows, I pannicted and pulled the plug. (I didn't have the Maxtor then) It looked to me like the Kubuntu 8.10 Grub was in control and when I deleated sda 7&8 the working Grub went with it and that's when I should have come down to my friends computer to contact you. This is all my falt, so don't appologize to me. You've been a champ to have tried so hard to help me save my drive. A bunch of threds back there was talk of wiping the disk kleen...is that what FIXMBR does ?
  25. tpwman

    tpwman Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    No. FIXMBR FIXes the Master Boot Record by trying to repair it and if it can't, replacing it, I think. The MBR contains the bootstrapping code, which in this case contains the GRUB bootstrapper, and the partition table. It apparently pukes at the partition layout, and might destroy some partitions if it tries to fix/overwrite it. Does your computer reboot fine? Have you tried?
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.