[nSLUG] Reinstalling Boot Loader - was Newbie needs help

Doug McComber doug.mccomber at gmail.com
Wed May 11 19:49:16 ADT 2005

HI Preston,

Of course Windows will always overwrite a Linux boot loader (or any
other for that matter) because Bill Gates refuses to believe anyone
would want to use another OS!

Anyway, rant aside, to reinstall a Linux boot loader one generally
uses a "rescue" cd.  Usually distribution's install cd doubles as a
rescue cd, you often just have to type "rescue" at the boot prompt
(try hitting tab first to get a list of valid boot options).

I'm not overly familiar with Ubuntu (maybe someonelse can help out?). 
Its rescue mode may have a menu option for resinstalling the boot
loader.  If not and you have to do it by hand here is an outline of

- Get to the console
- install lilo (if not already installed)
- edit your lilo.conf file (the rescue cd will probably mount your
Linux partition for you)
- chroot to your Linux partition (i.e. chroot /dev/hda3 /bin/bash)
- run lilo (just type lilo and press return)
- If there were no errors you're good to go, exit the chroot and exit
the rescue cd.

Some of these steps may require more in-depth explanations.  Just ask
if you need more help!


On 5/10/05, Betti Ann & Preston Smith <prsmith at ns.sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Hi Doug!
> Thanks for your reply.
> The partition was there but it was empty.  I started to reload all of my
> programs but I decided it was time to migrate from W98 to XP Home.  I
> bought a version of XP at a good price and loaded it then I reloaded all
> of my programs.  Of course the XP install deleted the boot loader.
> How do I restore it?  I was not impressed with Grub installed by Ubuntu
> and would like to use LILO.  Can you give me a clue how to do this?
> Thanks
> Preston
> Doug McComber said the following on 07-May-05 11:15:
> > Hi Preston,
> >
> > What exactly do you mean by "delete the vfat partition"?  Do  you mean
> > the vfat line in fstab is gone?  Or did you delete all the files but
> > the vfat partition is still there?  Or, did you use a partitioning
> > tool (such as fdisk) and now the partition (hda1) is no longer there?
> >
> >>From the console (or an xterm) when you type:
> >
> >      fdisk /dev/hda
> >
> > then type p and press enter.  You should see a listing of all
> > partitions.  Is /dev/hda1 there?  If it is, does it say vfat under the
> > system column?  If so, then your vfat partition is still there.  If
> > the hda1 partition is gone you can sometimes recover it by simply
> > adding a new partition with the same specs (start block, end block,
> > etc).  This is because as long as the data has not been overwritten it
> > is still physically on the hard drive.
> >
> > If on the other hand, you have deleted the files while in Linux, then
> > I doubt there is any way to recover them.
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