Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

Liam Proven lproven at
Fri Aug 17 22:54:43 UTC 2012

On 17 August 2012 23:38, Doug <dmcgarrett at> wrote:

> Perhaps if you use a Linux disk and boot into the Live system, you will be
> able to see the files on the Windows partition. If that's the case, you
> could then copy your data to an external hard drive or a thumb drive,
> and then you could reinstall Windows.

This is true, but didn't the OP say he had a backup?

>  Altho it is reported to be possible
> to install Linux first, you will have much less trouble if you install
> Windows first!

Strongly agree!

> The partitioning problems you saw were probably a
> symptom of HP putting some repair information on a partition that might have
> been hidden. Probably that's gone, now, or not recoverable, but with luck
> you don't need it.


> Assuming you have saved your files,
> I would then wipe the disk altogether, using one of the various freebies
> that writes all zeroes or all ones,

He could indeed do that but it seems a bit overkill to me. Just
writing 1k of zeros to the boot sector would do it, and frankly, even
that is probably more than strictly necessary - just writing a new
empty partition table is probably enough.


Although that might not get rid of the bit of GRUB in the MBR... blast.

OK, here is how to completely nuke the Master Boot Record:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1

Best to do logged in as root (via `sudo -s`) or simply:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1


Hint from here:

>  and then partition the disk with GParted
> or something similar and install Windows and then Linux. Then copy
> the Windows data files back and you're good to go.

That is probably what I'd do myself, yes, but the snag is that Win7
likes to create a hidden system-recovery partition & AFAIK you can't
do that manually.

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