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XP Dual Boot Problems - contribution from a newbie



Hi all devels,

I don't consider myself as a developer but, as I have written and 
successfully tested at least _one_ shell script, I think I might loosely 
fit on this category.   :))

Now seriously: regarding JS's call on this thread,

 http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-May/msg00901.html

and also JA's posting of a preliminary doc on this one,

 http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-May/msg00908.html

I wish to offer a contribution to the theme, following a different path 
from what's being explored till now. Note that some users might consider 
it more troublesome and  more involved, whereas some other users might 
prefer it due to the additional security it offers.

I have been playing for a time with 'System Rescue CD' which is a live CD 
with recovery tools, published at

        http://sysresccd.org/ .

Using it a few times, and adding a shallow knowledge of shell scripts, 
I've managed to build a set of scripts which work together and allow me to 
make partition backups (ext3, vfat and ntfs have been tested) to another 
HD or smb share (using partimage), plus backups of the MBR and partition 
table using dd and sfdisk .

I've also successfully restored NTFS and VFAT partitions which these 
scripts. In one case I purposely deleted the Windoze boot partition with 
fdisk and then restored it with a partimage backup after manually 
restoring the MBR and partition table.

Summing up all of this: if a doc is being cooked up to advise users on the 
perils of dual booting, I suppose many users would be pleased to find on 
this doc an additional and optional procedure like the following:

        - back up MBR with dd (per script)
        - back up partition table with sfdisk (per script)
        - back up windows partition(s) using partimage (per script)
        - install FC2 with all precautions
        - confirm that FC2 boots
        - see that Windoze boots and sigh in relief . . . OR
        - see that Windoze does not boot and proceed
        - back up FC2 partition(s) using partimage (per script)
        - restore MBR with dd (manually, maybe . . .)
        - restore partition table with sfdisk (manually, maybe . . .)
        - see that Windoze now boots and sigh in relief . . . (at least 
that's what's hoped at this point . . .)
        - see that now FC2 does not boot and proceed
        - if needed, destroy and recreate partitions for FC2 (manually 
with parted - Partition Magic could also be mentioned as an optional tool)
        - restore FC2 partition(s) using partimage (per script)
        - see that FC2 boots and sigh in relief 
        - go do something more interesting

I haven't personally gone thru the whole procedure myself, but judging for 
my experience with parts of it I have no reason to suspect it won't work. 
Of course I might have missed something, but that would require someone 
willing to go thru the whole shebang at once. It might take a few hours 
(mostly for I/O on backup and restore operations), but the setup is 
straightforward if shell scripts are used.

Maybe it will not be 'politically correct' to suggest third-party tools 
such as 'System Rescue CD' to recover from a Fedora-specific problem. 
However I'm suggesting this with a vision of broader 'Open Source' and 
'community' concepts.

Thanx all for your attention.

Thiers



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