Lenovo 3000 n200 optical drive problems (partly solved)
cave.dnb2m97pp at aliceadsl.fr
Sun Dec 14 17:36:55 UTC 2008
On Sunday 14 December 2008 14:28, squareyes wrote:
> I installed Win XP from my own stand alone CD, no optical drive after
> install, installed Ubuntu 8.04 (no Optical drive), ready to use machine
> with the external drive as before, installed XP again as an experiment,
> Ubuntu disappeared from boot list as expected, BUT miracles do happen,
> now have a fully operational CD drive, with no extra drivers needed
> which is what I would have expected. After the year's biggest
> celebration (thought all my birthdays had come at once), re-installed
> Grub, --- No more optical drive. Celebration ceased. Still it has
> never worked from new, why should now be any different.
> Many thanks for all the suggestions.
> Take Care
I may be asking you to waste more time for nothing here, but it's interesting
that when you re-installed XP, as an experiment, the optical drive worked,
until you re-installed Grub in the MBR. I assume that Ubuntu was still
installed on the machine, after having re-installed XP.
How about re-installing Ubuntu, but instead of putting Grub in the MBR, which
is the default, put grub in the / partition for the Ubuntu install.
When you have set up the partitions for Ubuntu, you get to a page with an
"Install" button on it. At the bottom of this page is an "Advanced" button (I
think that's how it's named). Click on that, and you can elect to install
Grub to a specific partition. For example, XP is on hda1, and Ubuntu's /
partition is on hda2. So put Grub in hda2, then continue the install, writing
down the partition reference where you put Grub.
Now you won't be able to boot Ubuntu at the moment, as you have no access to
Now re-install XP, as you did before in your experiment, and see if the
optical drive is accessable again. If so, reboot XP a few times, and see if
the optical drive is still accessable. If so, you can configure XP at bootup
to boot other operating systems.
A bit of time on Google (boot linux from windows ntldr), gave me this link,
and the relevant bit is below.
To Use NTLDR
The OS selections which NTLDR displays at boot-up (such as "Windows 2000
Professional") are contained in the BOOT.INI file. Both NTLDR and BOOT.INI
are hidden system files located in the root of the C: drive. If you want to
see them you need to change your Windows Explorer settings. Go into the View
options and select "Show hidden files and folders" and un-check "Hide
protected operation system files".)
If you want to use the NTLDR boot manager, the Linux boot configuration is a
little different because Windows can't access Linux partitions. You'll want
to use a Windows utility called bootpart that will automate some of the setup
for you. (You'll see how to use bootpart a little later.)
If you want to use NTLDR, simply answer No to installing Grub in the master
You will then be asked where you want to install Grub. You basically want to
install it in the Debian root partition. If you installed Debian in the
second partition of your one and only hard-drive, enter /dev/hda2.
If you installed it on a second hard-drive, look at the hard-drive designation
that you wrote down earlier in this procedure. You'll want to enter /dev/hdx1
so that x matches the 'b', 'c', or 'd' in the hard-drive designation you
The first part of the Debian installation will complete and you'll be prompted
to remove the CD and Continue to reboot the system.
HOWEVER, you cannot continue with the second part of the Debian installation
at this point because you won't be able to boot into your Debian partition.
Complete the next section to install bootpart.
bootpart is stand-alone DOS/Windows .EXE file that your run after your Debian
installation is complete and you want to use the NTLDR boot loader. In other
words, you don't have to "install" the utility. Just extract it (so you'll
need an un-Zip utility installed) and put it on your Windows C: drive.
Create a folder on your C: drive called 'bootpart'
Download the compressed utility from:
and store it in the 'bootpart' folder. Once there, un-Zip the file into the
Open a DOS window and at the DOS prompt type in:
to go into the bootpart folder. Then at the DOS prompt type in:
by itself to list the partitions. Note the number of your Linux root partition
(type 83). It will most likely be a '1' because your Windows parition will be
Enter the following bootpart command (replacing the '1' with the appropriate
number if necessary):
bootpart 1 bootsect.lnx Debian Linux
Now type in:
which basically just displays the selections that are contained in the
BOOT.INI file and you should see the "Debian Linux" selection listed.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT delete the bootpart folder on your Windows C:
drive. It contains the "bootsect.lnx" file that NTLDR calls.
I haven't tried the above, so you're on your own with that.
You'll probably need the winzip self extractor (trial version) to unzip
bootpart. Link below.
I have to admit that this seems a bit complicated, and probably because I've
been using Linux since 2003, and have had few problems using Grub in the MBR
when dual/multibooting different disros.
There does seem to be a real problem with the Lenovo 3000 n200, and it's
It may be worth going for what I've suggested above, as long as your not now
feeling suicidal, because of this machine's inability to do what is normally
expected of a computer.
All the best.
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