Lenovo 3000 n200 optical drive problems (partly solved)

Nigel Henry 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
> Winton

Hi Winton.

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.



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 
boot record.

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 
wrote down.

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.

Running 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 
same folder.

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:

bootpart list

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. 
<end quote>

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 
optical drive.

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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