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Failed Gentoo installation seems to have killed my computer
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ashlyw42
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Failed Gentoo installation seems to have killed my computer Reply with quote

I was attempting to install Gentoo on my Toshiba Portege M400 laptop with an Intel Centrino Duo processor that was already running Windows XP. I ran into an issue unpacking the stage 3 tarball which is apparently broken, and was trying to do the workaround for the known issues with it and failing. I walked away from the computer for about 30 minutes to an hour, during which time my computer somehow became unplugged, exhausted the battery (which only lasts about 10 minutes on my particular computer), and died before I returned. When I tried to turn it on again, it booted from the minimal installation CD that was still in the CD drive and displayed the message "Error loading operating system". I removed the CD, restarted in hopes that the computer would at least fall back to booting the stock Windows OS, and received the same error message. I restarted yet again, managed to get into BIOS and change the boot order so that the machine would boot from the hard drive first, and restarted with the same result. Is it humanly possible to fix this so that I can at least work on my computer in Windows in lieu of a working installation of Gentoo??? I need it usable as soon as possible. If anyone has any idea what I can do to rectify this and get the computer up and running one OS or the other, please let me know!
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it gives the same error message with or without the CD inserted, how did you come to the conclusion that booting from the CD caused the first one?
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a point of fact here, unless you were being extremely careful and intended to double boot there should not be a windows left to boot. You killed it with fdisk when you partitioned your drive.
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ashlyw42
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ant P. : my BIOS was configured to boot from the CD before trying the hard drive, which is presumably what it did the first time I booted after the computer died in the middle of my installation attempt. I then removed the CD and changed the BIOS settings to boot from the hard drive, but it still did the same thing. This leads me to believe that both operating systems are having issues.
penguin swordmaster: Oh dear...that's really not good. Will deleting the partitions restore Windows?
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. You overwrote the data with the stage3 tarball. In short unless you have your xp install disks handy its not coming back. However, that will not get over the more pressing issue of your laptop not booting from the CD drive. Have you tried booting the install cd directly from the BIOS? It might be worth an attempt.
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ashlyw42
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, the laptop is booting from the CD drive now. Is Windows still dead if the stage 3 tarball didn't unpack? That's what I was having problems with in the first place before the computer died, and I never did manage to get it to unpack because I was told that there was no such file or directory, an issue which I've heard is due to an error in the current version of the tarball itself.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, when you used fdisk you deleted the partition table. Technically the data was still intact, but the information to access it was gone. In *principle* you could still repair the damage. After you repatriation it you then created a new file system, This is really the point you killed it. You see, the new file system overwrote the important data on the underlying file system, such as the directory structured and probably corrupted some files. The stage3 you downloaded and tried to unpack would have damaged the underlying system even more. Sorry to say it, but XP really is gone.
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ashlyw42
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...this may be problematic, but I will soldier on with reinstalling Gentoo now that I've gotten the CD to boot, and hopefully (knock wood) there won't be any further major issues. Thanks for trying to help.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

penguin swordmaster,

Not quite. Trashing the partition table is fairly trivial to fix but the next step is making filesystems on the shiney new partitions.
That does trash underlying data. Exactly what gets destroyed depends on the filesysem you might want to recover and the filesystem it was overwritten with.

extX over vfat destroys the FAT - both copies
extX over NTFS destroys the NTFS MPT.
Go get the the restore CD/DVD.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@NeddySeagoon

Thank you for the correction.
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CitizenKepler
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may not have to restart your Gentoo install from scratch. If you boot into the livecd and mount the file systems like you did before and then you can start at the chroot portion of the handbook.
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bigbangnet
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually the windows cd can repair the MBR which is all you need to get windows back if your gentoo install went wrong and wont let you boot like you describe. just boot it up, type R in the blue screen to get the console and type fixmbr and reboot. You should get your windows back at least.

If you don't have the Windows cd, you can use some mbr recovery tools in hiren's boot cd
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