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

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Double-Aces, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Double-Aces

    Double-Aces Guest

    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....
    Double-Aces, Feb 27, 2011
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  2. Double-Aces

    Paul Guest

    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

    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, Feb 27, 2011
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  3. Double-Aces

    Baron Guest

    Paul Inscribed thus:
    I'll bet his CD drive doesn't work !
    Baron, Feb 28, 2011
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