Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Calm down, start breathing

Having only just fixed a problem with my computer not booting properly (i.e. the HD was dead) I was not expecting to see ‘NTLDR is missing, please reboot’ last night after attempting to install SuSE last night. SuSE didn’t install properly because it apparently needs more than a 2GB partition to fit a relatively basic installation (base packages with XFree86, KDE and OpenOffice) and ran out of space when doing post-installation configuration.
But I didn’t expect it to mess Windows up too. Well, it didn’t, but there was some funkiness that stopped it from booting. I’m not quite sure what happened, but I could fix it by using the eternally useful Ranish Partition Manager and as such I’m back in Windows, albeit with 2GB of my disk missing. I’m not totally sure what to do yet – try installing Mandrake, or finding some way of enlarging my Windows partition back to its original size and then using Knoppix (which is much less hassle).
Still, you really don’t know how relieved I am to be using a working system again.


  1. its probably because xp is no longer partition 1 on the disk anymore – check out boot.ini and copy the lines, increasing the disk numbers ie
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional” /fastdetect
    would become
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional” /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional” /fastdetect
    That might do the trick….

  2. Yeah, another tiny partition had appeared in partition 1. I removed it, so presumably C became partition 1 again. But thanks, I’ll bear that in mind if it happens again.

  3. Or it could have also been that your MBR was overwritten when you tried to install SuSE. There’s a rather funky bug with 2.6 kernels where it has problems with multi-booting. I know I get it all of the time when I dump Fedora Core 2 on any machine that has XP on it already. Rather than fiddle with NT or Linux bootloaders, I use a very nifty app called GAG ( and am done with it.
    Just make sure when you install any distro of Linux that you install GRUB (or LILO) into the first sectors of the boot partition rather than the MBR itself and you’re A-OK. I managed to get 4 OS’s onto a machine with this app without any hitches and no fiddling with any of the OS loader.

  4. Try Fedora, it has a much smaller base install. I think about 1.5 gig or smaller depending on what you want installed.