Conspiracy, or just a PITA?

So, here’s the short version of the story.

I buy a old “PC” and after many days of problems created either by myself or by the hardware itself I finally get Ubuntu Server 10.04 running on it. This allows me to “free up” the partition that once was home to my movies, wallpapers, and a like. I.E. That stuff that takes up a load of space.

So I think to myself.

I have a spare partition, and I’ve got both OS X 10.5 (Hackintosh version) and Windows XP Pro, pre-activated on disc. Which one should I install? I decide Windows would be the better option, with all the program I use, etc, that I “need” because they’re aren’t any Linux native versions that are “good” enough yet. I format the partition to NTFS and go get the disc. I then pop in the XP disc, but oh wait. My laptop’s bluray drive doesn’t want to load the disc!? Is it dying?

I think about it, and come to the conclusion that possibly it is, seeing as it’s nearly 4 years old. HOWEVER, I also think, perhaps my laptop is telling me. DON’T INSTALL XP! Perhaps it’s being my “bodyguard”.

I power-off the laptop for a bit, and give the bluray drive a bit of a blow inside to blow away any dust, etc. The XP disc then loads… BUT (Major but.)
The XP disc can’t find the NTFS partition. Weird or what?

I want to put XP on the spare partition just so I can dual-boot between Peppermint 2 and XP, and yes I know it would’ve been more sensible to have Windows on first and then Peppermint, but let’s be clear, my laptop hasn’t had Windows on it for 3 years! So I was fully prepared for reinstalling GRUB all on my own.

I just don’t get why Windows doesn’t see it’s OWN native partition. ???
Any ideas anyone?

I could be wrong about this, but I seem to remember reading Windows REALLY likes to be in the first partition of a hard drive … but this may be more a limitation of the Windows bootloader which obviously wouldn’t be being used.

How did you create/format the NTFS partition ? … from Linux, or from the XP CD ?

Have you tried removing the partition with something like gparted (leaving just unallocated space), then booting the XP CD and using that to create a partition in the spare space ?

As I sad … I’m not even sure you CAN do what you’re trying … but I’ve never personally tried.

I just formatted it using disk utility. Never really thought about Windows “liking” to be the first partition. It would be a PITA if I had to move ALL my stuff to other partitions and then re-allocate all of it.

I may very well just go ahead and install OS X on it, and my stuff that way.

You should have been able to install XP into partitions other than the first one.
However this would have not worked in your case as the boot part would have to be installed
onto the first primary partition on the first HDD, which you would be using for Peppermint.

As an alternate option would be to install XP in a VM like VirtualBox.

Not that I have done this before, but were thinking of as I sometime need XP for testing some of my coding.

I need XP for video editing. Installing it in a VM just won’t cut it I’m afraid SeZo. I could install OS X, but I can’t guarantee it’ll work, even though it’s a modified installer for OS X.

I was hoping to use XP for gaming as well. I’ve missed gaming on my laptop if I’m honest. It’s the only REAL reason I NEED Windows.


OK, It was worth the try.
Next option:
Depending on your partitioning scheme, you might be able to re-configure the partitions with Gparted,
by deleting the empty partition (assuming it is on the right end of the drive)
then move the Peppermint partition to the right to free the space on the left (beginning of the drive)
Now create the primary partition for XP in the vacated area.

See some howto on moving partitions with Gparted:

Needless to say BACKUP first

Am I missing something here … XP doesn’t have a separate boot partition like Vista/Win7 ???

do you think this needs to be in a separate topic … or this one renamed :o

No boot partition, but still writes to the first primary partition of the first disk.
Bear in mind that in Microsoft’s eyes there is only one operating system…

Sorry … that’s what I meant by “Windows REALLY likes to be in the first partition of a hard drive” :slight_smile:

IIRC … BkS had some bad sectors in that second partition (the reason for its existence in the first place) … so I wouldn’t move Peppermint to that end if I were you :o

Sorry SeZo, not stepping on toes … just that I (may) have a bit of “prior knowledge” of the reason for his current partition scheme :slight_smile:

Yeah, this topic should be at least renamed. :wink:

Sorry SeZo, not stepping on toes .. just that I (may) have a bit of "prior knowledge" of the reason for his current partition scheme :)

No problem. :-
In that case he could just shrink (not move) the Peppermint partition from the left (enough for a boot partition - Vista/7 like)
and install XP as originally intended (obviously not in so many steps)

Sounds good to me :slight_smile: … though I’d have to do a bit of homework on how to use a separate boot partition with XP … I know it CAN be done as some systems come with weird boot setups (particularly laptops), but I’ve never tried it myself.

This may actually be easier with Vista/Win7 … which would be a first :wink:

Well here’s my current partition layout:

Click for larger view.

Hmm … From what I gather Windows MUST be in a primary partition, not an extended/logical partition … which is probably why the Windows installer cannot “see” the partition.

I also gather that Windows (at least XP) has no problem being on partitions other than the first …

Which is what the:-


entry in the XP boot.ini file is all about

The ONLY restrictions are that it’s a PRIMARY partition and it’s bootloader has to be on the FIRST HDD (set it BIOS) to boot (in which case GRUB will take care of the chainloading), otherwise you have to get GRUB to trick windows into thinking it’s on the first disk by mapping the drives.

So the only issue I see here (as you only have 1 HDD) is that the partition you’ve created for XP is NOT a primary partition … so you’ve got some partition juggling to do :wink:


Oh, nearly forgot … you may (I repeat may) also have to remove the ‘boot’ flag from the Linux partition … Linux doesn’t (AFAIK) need this, and it may confuse the Windows installer.

Once you have a PRIMARY partition for Windows, personally, I’d try installing without removing the boot flag first … as the Windows installer may set it for you.

Couldn’t I just change the boot.ini file in the ISO? o.o

I have a spare 2.5" HDD, but that also has “some” bad sectors. I don’t want to be swapping out HDD all the time. :confused:

EDIT: It could be that XP disc that’s at fault. Just ran an old Vista disc I have and installing it onto the spare HDD perfectly. That hard-drive was EXT4 before I formatted it to NTFS with G-Parted…

I’ll run the Vista disc on the other HDD, and see if it picks it up. If not, I’ll just keep switching HDD whenever I need to use Windows, until I can get an enclosure for it, or just buy a SDD because the HDD it’s installing on is major failing.

NO… you don’t have to edit the CD

The boot.ini file will be created in the root of the Windows partition during installation (it’s usually in C:/boot.ini) … you probably won’t have to edit it at all as windows should do this for you as part of the install … but if you do need to, it would be done post installation.

but Windows MUST be installed to a PRIMARY partition … your current setup has the partition you want to install to as a logical partition in an extended partition … this will not work.

You need to juggle your partitioning scheme to remove the Windows partition … move the / parition … resize the extended partition … and create a PRIMARY partition for Windows.

Bear in mind though that doing this may end up with Linux spanning those bad sectors … and will almost certainly break Peppermint, unless/until you edit GRUB and your fstab (as I’d expect the UUID’s to change).

It won’t matter now. The backlight for my display has went on the laptop and the battery is dieing already so I’ll just wait till I get a new laptop.

Going to speak to my mum, hopefully she can get me a laptop from Brighthouse or something. I’d like a HP Envy, but I’d have to save up for a while.

I’ll be building my dream build soon, because I’ll be getting money, although not much, but I’ll just save up for the parts, etc.

It’s a shame that my laptop is dieing but it’s done me proud for 4 years. It’s had a tough life, and if I knew there wasn’t anything that needed fixing on it then I wouldn’t toss it, but because there will be, I’ll just have to replace it with a younger model.

I’ll be active for now, as I’ve got my external monitor, but the display is dead on my laptop unfortunately. :frowning:

Guess it’s time too upgrade.

Bummer :frowning:

Do you “know” it’s the backlight … wouldn’t it be cheaper to get a new LCD, and/or maybe inverter ?

If it was the GFX card, I’d have said “yeh, bin it” but it obviously isn’t if the external monitor works.

Yeah it’s the backlight. You can see there’s a picture there but it’s very faint.

I’m not gonna bother splashing cash out on it. It needs a lot of new things, and to be honest it would probably just cost too much to fix it all up again.

It’s time for an upgrade anyway, so I’ll probably buy a new laptop with a SDD, and an enclosure which will house 3/4 HDD’s until I finally get the build for my PC done.

Did you know that you can replace the backlight?
Which is like a fluorescent light tube that is attached to the edge of the LCD.
I have seen some instructions floating around the net to do just that.
Apparently it does not cost that much either. LAPTOP REPLACEMENT CCFL BACKLIGHT
And while at it you could replace the inverter too. :wink:

I’ve found replacing (and even sourcing them in the UK) the florescent tubes a major PITA … heh, back on topic :wink:

Usually easier to just replace the LCD … but I suppose if you can source them …

There is however a good chance that it’s just the inverter … the tubes themselves seem to last quite well.


I must add … It’s been a while since I tried sourcing tubes, so maybe things have improved … then again, everything’s going LED now, so who knows ???

[EDIT 2]

Here’s an idea that highly unlikely to work, but it can’t hurt to try.

You mention the battery s screwed … The inverters job is to invert DC to AC current for the backlight tubes, but it also provides the initial “kick” of current to start the tubes (think of the “starter”/capacitor in household florescent tubes) … if your battery is constantly putting a drain on the power supply, maybe there just isn’t enough “juice” for the initial kick start.

Try removing the battery … as I said, I doubt if this will work, but worth a shot :wink: