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Re: Call for Discussion: Summary document concerning Prevention andRecovery of XP Dual Boot Problems

Hi Jeff, all..

Three notes i have, one of them somewhat 'bitter' i'm afraid.

First of all i found out about this bug by being hit by it .. Unfortunatly i
only have one machine here and needed to get work on it done, so without
knowledge of how to fix this, all that was left to me was to whipe my
partitions completely, losing a bit of data and work in the process, and
re-installing. Now this leads to my actual question.. Is it really smart to
leave FC2 out there when this scenario will probably hit a lot of people?
Not everyone has many computers setup you know, and completely hoosing you
system is probably enough to make people somewhat non sympathetic to what
seems to have caused it (fedora in this case). I know i had to swallow hard
and take a very deep breath when it hit me

Secondly these notes do mostly seemed geared towards quite advanced users?
Specificly "..you should use a utility that can read the drive geometry" ..
I think you've lost quite a bit of your target audiance there already.. What
utility, what do those values mean, how to use those values in the
workaround.. ?

Last i'm missing the part about recovery.. I've read in the bug and in the
email threads that you could use sfdisk (which can be usable by booting the
install/rescue cd, going into rescue mode, installing sfdisk, and running
that command..). Shouldnt we include a guide on how to do that to?

While i do think its great btw to send out a major call to read this info,
with a guide to how to prevent and/or recover from it. I am to put it
mildly, quite supprised the 'Fedora Project' allows this bug to exist in
cd's that anyone can just download.. However well we describe the
fix/workarounds and spread the news, it will not reach a lot of people..
Nevermind about people who just want to try linux out. I remeber the times
when serious dataloss was considered a show-stopper bug.. Having had the
experiance of having lost data and work due to this bug, it's easy to call
this data loss.. So in my eyes a _serious_ show stopper for this release..
Recall is what my voice will shout if anyone will listen; Or atleast patch
the installers on the cd to detect the miss-alignment and refuse to take any
further actions or install..

Really how's it gonna look to the world: "Hey we have this great new
release, but installing it might mean having to do high-tech complicated
workarounds or reinstalling your complete system"

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeff Spaleta" <jspaleta gmail com>
To: <fedora-devel-list redhat com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 20:58
Subject: Call for Discussion: Summary document concerning Prevention
andRecovery of XP Dual Boot Problems

Okay, a generous community member has been so kind as to write a
summary document
outlining  prevention and recovery on systems where the infamous
harddrive geometry installer bug causes problems with XP dual booting.

Please, read over the attached document and test the preventative and
recovery methods outlined.  Suggestions on useful textual edits and
corrections to make before this is widely broadcast are welcome. This
is important enough of an issue to make sure the information in here
is non-toxic before we broadcast a version of this widely, the goal
being to prevent all unncessary dataloss.

Of particular interest:

1)test the preventative measure if you still have access to a machine
where this is a problem. Prevention is always better, if it can be
done reliably.

2)finding a better workaround stdisk warning messages that are being
produced that intefere with simple sfdisk command pipe recovery.

-jef"Die CHS Die!"spaleta

------------------->Begin Summary Document Text<----------------------------

Dual Booting Issues With Fedora Core 2 and Windows: Prevention & Recovery

NOTICE: Please read this document in its entirety.

This guide was inspired by the solution developed by Radu Cornea and
Alexandre Oliva in this thread:
http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-test-list/2004-May/msg02114.html .
This guide aims to integrate the original solution with the refinements
evolved in that thread.  This guide offers an explanation of why the
refinements are beneficial and some workarounds to problems that may prevent
the uninitiated from using the solution. It also provides a means of
preventing the problem entirely.


        There is a bug in Fedora Core 2 that causes the hard disk geometry
reported in the partition table to be altered during installation.  This
change may cause Windows boot failure.  Although this bug is severe, it is
recoverable and no data should be lost.  It is important not to panic if and
when this happens so you do not cause further problems or cause actual loss
of data in the process of recovering from the error.


        This bug can be avoided entirely by using some preventative steps
installing Fedora Core 2.  Thanks go out to Cero (cero coolnetworx net) for
discovery and testing of this solution.

        To avoid the hard disk geometry to be altered you may enter it
during installation by using the hdN=<drive geometry> parameter (where N is
the letter representing the drive with the MBR you will use).  To discover
the current geometry before installing Fedora Core 2 you should use a
utility that can read the drive geometry as reported in the partition table=


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