Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How to recover from an accidental deletion of linux boot partition (Part 1 of 3)

Being new to Linux, I made a big mistake in deleting the boot partition. The story goes like this. A hard disk supports at most 4 partitions. I had Windows Vista and Fedora 10 installed. My system has 2 partitions taken up by the system recovery image. Windows Vista's Disk Management reports the partitions as follows 6 partitions? Hmm, I thought it could have been that the recovery partitions were special and does not take up entries in the partition table. Then I wanted to free up one partition to make (partition table) space for Windows 7 Beta 1. So Linux swap partition shall go. As I had tried out Fedora 2 long time ago, I thought the 3rd partition was Linux swap and 4th the Linux root. Booted into Linux, swapoff and edited the /etc/fstab file to exclude the swap partition. Booted back to Vista, deleted the 3rd partition. Boom! The truth revealed... I have in fact only 4 partitions! The 2 Linux partitions were on the extended partition. Rebooted my computer. All is not well... At start-up To boot into Vista, I had to type rootnoverify (hd0,1) chainloader +1 boot After looking through a number of websites, it finally dawned on me that the default Fedora partitioning had changed. The 3rd partition is a boot partition and the 4th is an LVM partition, which contains both swap and root. (both are totally new to me) No boot partition means no Fedora kernel, and that means my Fedora will never boot! Oh no!

Recovery process

Boot from the Fedora DVD. Go into Rescue Installed System. Select English, US keyboard, no network. Next step is to re-create the boot partition. #fdisk /dev/sda n p 1 <enter> <enter> w #reboot Fedora recovered!

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