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I stupidly inserted the Windows CD into my dual boot Ubuntu 11.10 / Windows XP system. I just wanted to see if I could install windows on my external usb HD, but didn't actually go ahead with the install.

It seems like the windows CD messed up my MBR and I had to use boot-repair and the ubuntu 11.10 live CD to gain access to ubuntu again.

It seems to boot up a little differently (slower) but works. However, I now cant see any of my partitions in nautilus (there are 3).

When I open gparted, it just shows my whole hard drive as unallocated (I know it has a windows partition that works and my ubuntu partition that I am using now).

If I insert a usb pen, it is also not visible in nautilus but in gparted shows up as a FAT32 partition (which is correct although I cannot access it).

sudo fdisk -l gives the following :

demian@dimbo-TP:~$ sudo fdisk -l

[sudo] password for demian: omitting empty partition (5)

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes

240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 41345 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors

Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x877b877b

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sda1 * 63 63842309 31921123+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

/dev/sda2 63844350 133484084 34819867+ 5 Extended

/dev/sda3 127636488 133484084 2923798+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

/dev/sda4 133484085 625137344 245826630 83 Linux

/dev/sda5 63844352 123445247 29800448 83 Linux

/dev/sda6 123447296 127635455 2094080 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 8100 MB, 8100249600 bytes

12 heads, 40 sectors/track, 32960 cylinders, total 15820800 sectors

Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sdb1 * 5992 15820799 7907404 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Here is my grub.conf file. Like I said before, I had to use the 'boot-repair' utility with the live cd to get grub working again. I think that this utility maybe created a new grub for me because the startup is definitely not the same. The screen goes blank for a while, and then the ubuntu loading dots come up for a brief moment (instead of during the whole startup process) before the dektop is displayed.

Anyway :

# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
  set have_grubenv=true
  load_env
fi
set default="0"
if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
  set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
  save_env saved_entry
  set prev_saved_entry=
  save_env prev_saved_entry
  set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
  if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
    saved_entry="${chosen}"
    save_env saved_entry
  fi
}

function recordfail {
  set recordfail=1
  if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
}

function load_video {
  insmod vbe
  insmod vga
  insmod video_bochs
  insmod video_cirrus
}

insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos6)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
  set gfxmode=auto
  load_video
  insmod gfxterm
  insmod part_msdos
  insmod ext2
  set root='(hd0,msdos6)'
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a
  set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
  set lang=en_US
  insmod gettext
fi
terminal_output gfxterm
if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
  set timeout=10
else
  set timeout=10
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=white/black
set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
if background_color 44,0,30; then
  clear
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
if [ ${recordfail} != 1 ]; then
  if [ -e ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt ]; then
    if hwmatch ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt 3; then
      if [ ${match} = 0 ]; then
        set linux_gfx_mode=keep
      else
        set linux_gfx_mode=text
      fi
    else
      set linux_gfx_mode=text
    fi
  else
    set linux_gfx_mode=keep
  fi
else
  set linux_gfx_mode=text
fi
export linux_gfx_mode
if [ "$linux_gfx_mode" != "text" ]; then load_video; fi
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.0.0-12-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod gzio
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos6)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a
    linux   /boot/vmlinuz-3.0.0-12-generic root=UUID=5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    initrd  /boot/initrd.img-3.0.0-12-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.0.0-12-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    insmod gzio
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos6)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a
    echo    'Loading Linux 3.0.0-12-generic ...'
    linux   /boot/vmlinuz-3.0.0-12-generic root=UUID=5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a ro recovery nomodeset 
    echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    initrd  /boot/initrd.img-3.0.0-12-generic
}
### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos6)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a
    linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin
}
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos6)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 5349ff67-b7b7-489f-a881-ae49c1dcd84a
    linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
menuentry "Microsoft Windows XP Professional (on /dev/sda1)" --class windows --class os {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ntfs
    set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 72A89361A89322A1
    drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
    chainloader +1
}
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
if [ -f  $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
  source $prefix/custom.cfg;
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###

How can I get things back to normal.

Thanks,

Demian.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 11 '11 at 13:32

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
please paste output of fdisk -l (execute as root) –  hovanessyan Nov 11 '11 at 11:10
    
Hi, I added this to the original post just after submitting. We probably crossed over...see above –  dimbo Nov 11 '11 at 11:23
    
congrats, at least it seems you got partition tables. Have you tried to manually mount any partition?. I know it will get huge, but you may also post your grub.conf file (assuming you use grub2) or menu.lst if you're with older Grub. –  hovanessyan Nov 11 '11 at 11:26
    
Hi, Yes I can mount these drives using a little utility tool called 'pySDM'. It's a bit of a hack though. If I go to gparted it still doesn't know about any of my partitions. In addition, if I insert a USB pen, it doesn't appear in nautilus...I have posted my grub file above in the original post. –  dimbo Nov 11 '11 at 13:26

1 Answer 1

The error was due to overlapping partitions caused by the windows installer disk.

I fixed it by :

Using the liveCD with an internet connection.

using the fixparts utility : fixparts

This will fix the partitions but may break your grub. To fix the grub use grub-recover.

Thanks all.

D.

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