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Need help eradicating a linux distro format on a hard drive. Noversion of windows can even find this drive...

 
 
Double-Aces
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      02-27-2011
I had thought that I could use any of my winX disk to, reinstall
windows, but I can not get any win installation to even recognize this
particular drive, thus even a format can not be run. The linux still
boots up fine, so the drive is not bad, just this krappy free
nonsense. Anyone know how I can get any of my win7 or XP disk to find
my drive, so that a win format can be completed, which is the first
step in an installation? Thanks....

 
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Paul
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      02-27-2011
Double-Aces wrote:
> I had thought that I could use any of my winX disk to, reinstall
> windows, but I can not get any win installation to even recognize this
> particular drive, thus even a format can not be run. The linux still
> boots up fine, so the drive is not bad, just this krappy free
> nonsense. Anyone know how I can get any of my win7 or XP disk to find
> my drive, so that a win format can be completed, which is the first
> step in an installation? Thanks....
>


dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

That will blow away the MBR. Linux will definitely
stop booting after that. And Windows will be happy to see
the 0xAA55 flag missing from the MBR, and be ready to write
to it.

You issue that command from within Linux. Since all the partitions
are already mounted, Linux isn't in any immediate peril when you issue
the command. It won't crash ten seconds after you issue the
command.

Your disk may not be named "sda". Do

ls /dev/*

to see all the devices on the machine. Look for names like hda, hdb, hdc
or sda, sdb, sdc and so on. I suppose you could look at the /etc/mtab file
with a text editor, and see what the drive name is that way. "sda" refers
to the whole drive, while "sda1" refers to the first partition on the drive.
The above "dd" command references the whole drive, and starts at sector
zero of that reference point. And thus, the MBR gets wiped out.

Now, let's say you had regrets, after issuing that command. You can,
in principle, use "testdisk" to scan a disk for partitions, and
rebuild the partition table stored in the MBR. But to put the 446
bytes of boot code back, you'd have to run grub or something to
fix it. I've never had to do that, so don't know the commands.

If you're not "root", then the command to use would be prefaced by sudo.

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

This method is fast, so no waiting two hours for results. Erasure is
immediate. You can then push the reset button, insert Windows CD/DVD
and carry on.

If it was my system, I'd strip it down (unplug cables), so that
only the target disk was cabled up for the Windows install. I do
them that way, because I hate cleaning up a mess later.

*******

Some other things come to mind. Have a look in the BIOS, for the
disk operating mode. Modern motherboards have IDE (native or compatible),
AHCI, or RAID. Sometimes the issue is, Windows doesn't have a driver for
the flavor you selected. Linux can probably handle a couple. Vista or
Windows 7 can handle 2+ flavors. WinXP might be IDE (and need you to
press F6 and offer a floppy with drivers, for the other modes). Make sure
you're using a BIOS setting which is appropriate for the lameness
of the OS.

I've installed Win98 on a relatively new motherboard. The only way to
do that, was with an IDE (compatible) setting. I did it as a joke.
Only one core, on the multicore processor, runs when you do that. The
others take a snooze.

Good luck,
Paul
 
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Baron
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      02-28-2011
Paul Inscribed thus:

> Double-Aces wrote:
>> I had thought that I could use any of my winX disk to, reinstall
>> windows, but I can not get any win installation to even recognize
>> this particular drive, thus even a format can not be run. The linux
>> still boots up fine, so the drive is not bad, just this krappy free
>> nonsense. Anyone know how I can get any of my win7 or XP disk to find
>> my drive, so that a win format can be completed, which is the first
>> step in an installation? Thanks....
>>

>
> dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
>
> That will blow away the MBR. Linux will definitely
> stop booting after that. And Windows will be happy to see
> the 0xAA55 flag missing from the MBR, and be ready to write
> to it.


> Good luck,
> Paul


I'll bet his CD drive doesn't work !

--
Best Regards:
Baron.
 
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