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 Post subject: Boot problem
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:24 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Sweden
I have an ASUS A6000 laptop which used to run Linux (Ubuntu). The hard disk was completely wiped to install Ubuntu, no Windows partition was left.

I am now trying to get Windows XP back on this machine and erase all traces of Linux. I have a couple of recovery CDs from the manufacturer and have run these. During this process I was asked to insert the Driver CD which I don't have - and there was no way to get out of that situation other than rebooting. It will do so from the recovery CD, starting the process all over.

When trying to reboot from the harddisk, the machine says it is loading GRUB, then stops and says Error 17. GRUB is part of Ubuntu and should have been erased when I told the recovery CD to install on the whole disk.

I asked ASUS support about this and they say it's probably some disk error, something to do with partitions. Unfortunately, their recovery CDs do not contain essential DOS tools such as FDISK. Hence I downloaded and burned UBCD.

When this is inserted and the BIOS is configured to start from the CD, it still gives the GRUB message and freezes at Error 17. I physically removed the hard disk from the machine to make sure it does not try to start from that. Now the CD (containing the UBCD) whirrs for a while and then the machine asks me to insert boot media.

Obviously it knows that it has a CD drive, but does not recognize UBCD as bootable. The UBCD disk was burned on a Mac with Toast, in ISO9660 format, at 4x speed, and appears to contain the downloaded files, list beginning with AUTORUN.INF.

Any hints?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:43 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 1278
I suppose that you have the Ubuntu CD somewhere.

Boot from it.
Type 'sudo fdisk -l' at the console.
See how your your hard drive is named (probably /dev/sda).

Then run 'sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=1'
Replace /dev/sda with the correct one.
This will overwrite the first megabyte of the partition with zeros and will wipe out the partition table and the remnants of GRUB. ALL DATA on this hard disk will be lost.

Then you can create the partitions that you want with 'sudo fdisk /dev/sda' or you can use Gparted, which is on the Ubuntu live cd.

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