(Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

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(Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby Nuke » 31 Jan 2016 14:38

If I'm allowed to rant about Windows here, as it will be no good ranting to Microsoft ;) .....

I've bought a bargain second-hand PC with Windows 7 on it - legal AFAIK (but the PC has a WinXP sticker on it). Thought I would set it up with Solydx/Win7 dual booting.

It has two HDDs; two partitions on each. On the first HDD, one partition (only 100Mb) was labelled "System Reserved" and contained a few system files, and the other contained nothing much. The second HDD also has a 100Mb "System Reserved" partition, and the second is labelled "Local Disk"; this last obviously contains the main Win7 files.

Seems that Windows these days has a small "/boot" partion which it calls the "System" partition, and calls the main partition (equivalent to "/") the "Boot" partition. Yes, you read that right - even on Windows forums they call it crazy. Most Windows users remain unaware of the existence of the hidden "System" (=/boot) partition. I guessed the stuff on the first HDD was the remains of some aborted attempt to install Win7 there.

Anyway, I wiped (from a live disk) the first HDD ready to install SolydX. Carefully testing at each step I next tried booting Win7 again (from Smart Boot Manager on a floppy - good this PC has a floppy drive). Must have found the "System" partition because it got into a Windows text screen that complained it could not boot as there had been a hardware change (a lie). Other attempts brought up another lie: "there is no winload.exe" (the Win7 loader on the "Boot" (=/root remember) second partition). Seems the boot config file in the first partition cannot see the second partition now. What that had to do with wiping the other drive I don't know

Never mind, I had already burned a "Windows Recovery" CD (the nearest Windows has to a live disk). That should sort it it out, surely?. So I booted that, and after half an hour it said it could not repair my installation because the Master Boot Record was corrupt! For #@%! sake, the repair disk could not repair a MBR?? The Intel/DOS style MBR is a mere 512 bytes that has not changed since about 1980, and this repair disk cannot cope? In fact the Windows Repair disk, instead of leaving the HDD alone, had fried it such that the Repair Disk itself could no longer see the partitions (nor could GParted, although fdisk still could). Seems a common problem with GParted.

So I went deeper, now using tools like Testdisk and a Windows tool on its "Repair" disk that allows you to edit the partition table. Here I was up against the DOS disk lettering scheme; if you boot Windows in different ways on the same PC (whether multi-booting or with the Repair Disk), it letters drives differently. So the e: drive in Win7 will not be the e: drive to the Windows Repair disk. Brilliant, Microsoft; I guess this is why your Repair Disk failed to work in the first place.

So I can see all those files with a Linux live disk (I've backed them up) but Windows itself cannot see its own files. The more I search for information about this, the more I learn from Windows admins discussing amongst themselves what weird quirks and bugs Windows has at a low level, a lot of it seeming deliberate to make it hard for anyone to do anything with their Windows "appliance" other than use Office and browse the Web, just in case they might pirate a copy.

I still cannot boot Win7, and this is before I have even installed Linux. I give up. At this point, if I really needed Windows I would feel no qualms about putting a pirated copy on there, seeing that Microsoft have wasted hours of my time, and it is their (ineffectual) barriers against piracy which are exactly the cause of this problem.

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Re: (Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby ilu » 31 Jan 2016 17:22

I had a similar situation just recently, thought a minute about that licence, and decided not to bother ... wiped everything and installed SolydX.

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Re: (Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby kurotsugi » 31 Jan 2016 22:03

Wjndow's boot partition always labeled as system reserved. The one got removed is the actual window's boot partition

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Re: (Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby patzy » 01 Feb 2016 00:07

Things like this make me glad I ditched Windows. :lol: :lol:

If Win7, which is talked about as the best version, is like this, I wonder what Win10 can do? (Missing out Win8, of course - which even die hard MS users ranted about). :roll: :roll:

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Re: (Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby rokytnji » 05 Feb 2016 05:36

I used this


to do this
I ran into that on this Compaq CQ57. It came with 4 primary partitions also.
I found a free open source partition editor like gparted that had the capability of renaming the Windows 7 ntfs, primary, in your case;

912GB (NTFS Windows C)
I renamed it a logical/extended partition while running the live cd. That was all I did while using that.
Then to be on the safe side. I shrunk it using the Windows Disk Manager in Windows 7 to free up some space
for my Linux install.
Then I made sure Windows 7 still booted before proceeding to my linux installation and letting grub install to mbr of the drive then to take over loading. I have to use Windows 7 to tune motorcycles.

But I understand your rant just fine and dandy. Floppy drive on a Windows 7 laptop? You know that is not even close to stock. :clap:

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Re: (Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby jsalpha2 » 07 Feb 2016 13:25

I still cannot boot Win7, and this is before I have even installed Linux.
Go ahead and install SolydXK on the first hard drive, Grub should automatically find the old Win 7 and put an entry for it.
I would be a little scared to use a Windows 7 that I have not installed myself. If you have a HP/Compaq Win7 install disc it should install without asking for activation. (Be prepared for lots of updates) Otherwise scan with Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware programs. Good Luck

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Re: (Pointless ranting to you guys) Windows Rant

Postby belze » 10 Feb 2016 12:50

jsalpha2 wrote: I would be a little scared to use a Windows 7 that I have not installed myself.
I totally agree!

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