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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Makes Windows Explorer Choke

More complex than that, really.

From Luckyshot on Mon, 19 Jul 1999

I recently decided it was time to try out Linux. I bought Caldera's Open Linux 2.2 because ZDnet bragged on the ease of installation and set up. I've got a new computer and knew I would be putting Linux on it, so I formatted the 10 gig drive into 2 partitions (big mistake).

I got Open Linux and then discovered that the version of Partition Magic that comes with it assumes you only have one partition. It ignored my empty 5 gig drive, so I aborted. Caldera support sent me a couple of useless one line answers, but luckily their customer service people are knowlegable in Linux. One told me to use the bootdisk and the "Expert" option (the one that threatens to eat newbies when you click on it) when it came time to partition. The expert level was a bit intimidating, but I got Linux installed without touching my Win98 partition (applause!).

[ Even if the Answer Guy turns out to be wrong he usually has good details in his rambles. No one-liners here. -- Heather ]

I thought everything was dandy.

Then I tried to open Windows Explorer the next time I was in Win98. System freezes up. I reboot. I then discovered that any program that tries to look at the entire contents of my physical drive now does this. Small programs like WinZip or Notepad can be exited with ctrl+alt+del, but large ones like WE and "My Computer" make a reboot necessary everytime. I've got shortcuts on my desktop fr the C: drive and other files (like Dial-Up Networking), but that's only a temp solution. Caldera Support has been laughable thus far. Can you help?

Chris Jones

(!) It sounds much more like an MS Windows problem than anything to do with Linux.
Are you sure that this was working before your Linux installation? Did you change your CMOS settings (referring to the geometry or type of drive)? Did you change the other partition on some way?
Has Caldera's support looked at your partition tables (before and after shots would be ideal). You can fetch a partition table dump using the following Linux command:
fdisk -l
Try completely re-installing MS-Windows (on one or more 2Gb or less partitions). Then try running your Explorer and other programs.
Once you have that working, try the Caldera installation again. Be sure to take "before" and "after" snapshots. Redirect them to a file using commands like:
fdisk -l > /tmp/before
.... etc. A command prompt should be started on one of your virtual consoles during your installation (ask the Caldera support team for details over the phone, and/or try hitting [Alt]+[Fx] for the [F2] through [F6] function keys to find it). I'll leave the details of getting that /tmp/ file off your installation boot RAM disk and unto a disk or diskette as an exercise for the reader.

[ You might also try having the Linux side of your system mount your DOS filesystems, with a command like:
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt
Even if it isn't completely successful, its error message might be worth something. (For example, "Bad FAT, remounting read-only.") By all means do NOT write to the damaged filesystems from Linux while they're in this odd state -- just use whichever methods work best to back up all your stuff.

If you do end up reinstalling Windows, it'll probably take out the multiboot loader, so you'll want to follow Caldera's instructions for making a rescue disk, so that you can boot into your unharmed copy of Linux afterwards. -- Heather ]

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 44 August 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Techinical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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