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messed up my GRUB by formating Ubuntu partition

From: Michael Hammerschlag
Subject: messed up my GRUB by formating Ubuntu partition
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 18:13:09 -0700 (PDT)

Yo, folks help!!!!!

I could never log in to my Ubuntu partition after it broke somehow (with an update?), even though I tried every trick.  So I finally just formated it as NTFS to get more space for Windows XP on my too full drive. Duh, you see what's wrong with this story? I deleted the GRUB and now just get "error 17" when I turn it on.

I was trying to clean it up, clear out space, defrag, before copying 80gig drive to bigger 160gig one on USB, which I did before 7 months ago with Gpart (I think). Then after I installed new drive, it wasn't finding windows (or anything, cause I never copied the damaged Ubuntu partition), so with a SUPERGRUB boot CD disk I made, I chose the "find first active partition and install shortcut" which found the XP and it worked fine. Then I spent 2 days defragging it, copying 5 other partitions over from external HD and old one, organizing all photos + folders and getting it perfect. It flew: new drive was 1000rpm faster too. Then retardedly I decided to install GRUB to again try to recover that  5gig Ubuntu (4/2008 Hardy Heron?) installation. Did it from that same SUPERGRUB CD.

 Bad bad move- it wiped out the windows, and I mean really wiped it out in ways that should have been impossible. I see nothing readable on the C drive at all, even with bootable CD Ghost or Knoppix that are supposed to just read files there and not look at MBR or Partition table. That SUPERGRUB disk is very unstable- was just reading instruction manual and it somehow jumped to trying to install something, but it does have a repair GRUB setting,

So I'm scared to do the make shortcut technique that will probably work (cause it will preclude installing new Ubuntu and new GRUB), and terrified to actually install new GRUB or Ubuntu GRUB combo because it might fry the WIndows (which has many programs and settings I don't have discs for). Maybe I'll try to copy the whole C drive first on the new HD. After that got fried I just stuck the old one back in it and have lived with only 1-2gig free space.

WHAT DO I DO????  Tell me something you KNOW works- maybe with that 4/2008 Live Ubuntu, though I hate installing an old version. What happens if you try to just install Grub without a EXT2 or 3 Linux partition- will it create a tiny one? Will it read the remnants of the old Grub, and push the new one farther (and so FU the XP MBR), or just overwrite the old one?  Should I reformat that old Ununtu partiton as EXT3 (which was at the very end of the HD)? I downloaded 4/2010 Ubuntu- is it safe to install this on the former Ubuntu partition- how will it's GRUB deal with remnants of the old one.

Michael Hammerschlag
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