Dual boot system broken by Windows XP

Phillip Pare ptpare at postino.up.ac.za
Wed Jun 1 19:27:14 UTC 2005

I have (or should I say had)  a dual boot system - Windows 98 (updated) 
and Wartry updated with a Hoary cd. I took my hard drive, containg this 
dual boot systen, out to update another XP system with some older data 
files. This involved connecting the hard drive as a slave in the XP 
system. On returning the hard drive to its computer, I found that it 
would not boot but got to the point of  giving a message "Grub 2 
loading" (or something similar) and then it would just reset. I 
recognised this problem from another computer and so just ran fdisk /mbr 
from a rescue floppy to at least get the Windows 98 up and running. This 
was sucessful.

Scratching through a pile of 3.5" floppies, I found that I had made a 
backup of the dual boot mbr using a small program, MBRWIZD. So I 
reloaded this copy and tried to boot. No luck, just an endless loop of 
getting to the   "Grub 2 loading" message and then having the machine 
reset itself. On running fdisk /mbr again, I managed to get the Windows 
system up once again.

A few questions
1. Is there any simple way of restoring the ubuntu system without having 
to load it from scratch? I ask because if I load it from scratch I am 
going to have to load java and open office 2.0 beta again which takes a 
considerable amount of time?

2. Is there no small program that can run from a windows environment 
that can undo the damage that Windows XT or Windows 2000 does to any 
dual boot hard drive atteached to a system in which it has been installed?

3. For those of us who are not seasoned Linux hacks, are there not a 
series of batch files, or whatever else they may be called, that can 
load programs like Java, rpm packaged Open Office or Opera, or True Type 
fonts  pretty well automatically so that the software is installed on an 
ubuntu system with the minimum of hassle?

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