HD Geometry Changes
The Short Story:
After re-arranging hard drives in two of my machines, I set out to
reinstall sarge on my desktop. The hard drive had only one partition, a
30 GB FAT32 for WinXP. I downloaded the latest nightly from:
And then installed them on my USB memory key. It booted fine, and
installed fine. It autodetected WinXP on the hda1 and added an entry
for it. However, when I tried to boot into WinXP, I got the chainloader
messages, and then nothing, almost acting like Grub hangs.
I had installed Fedora Core 2 in a test partition on the drive
previously, and to boot back into WinXP, I had to run:
sfdisk -d /dev/hda | sfdisk --force --no-reread -H255 /dev/hda
It seems that somewhere in the FC2 installer modified my HD geometry to
the point where WinXP could not boot. After running this command, all
was well. I also had to re-run the command before installing WinXP on
the clean drive (in my previous configuration, the current hda was hdb).
Everything ran fine after that.
I got the info regarding the HD geometry change from:
I had already "repaired" my HD when I installed WinXP on my drive, and
I booted into WinXP several times before installing sarge.
I searched to see if other debian users had experienced this issue, but
I didn't find any information. A brief search to this list didn't
Is the disk partitioning utility in debian-installer making the HD
geometry conform to the published standard, and that WinXP does not
follow? Or is there some reason the geometry is being changed?