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Thread: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

  1. #1
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    installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    Hi,
    I have a sony vaio FS-315M, it has a CD ROM which is out of order for sometime. It used to have windows XP but i messed up windows MBR while attempting to install ubuntu thru USB by the help of PLOP manager.
    Now i am messed up because system can't boot giving me "Missing Operating System" error and i have no CD ROM and USB support.
    BIOS supports CD-ROM, HDD, FLOPPY, NETWORK.
    What are options for me? Please help as i am stuck badly in this situation.

  2. #2
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    I read your other thread but we need to clarify something. When you installed plop, did that mean that you still had Windows only on the internal drive? And did that mean that you installed Ubuntu to an external USB drive?

    If so, you need to be able to repair the Windows mbr. Two ways:

    1 - Using a bootable floppy. I'm sure it's possible but I've never done this. I'll have a search and post again if I find something.

    2 - Remove the hard drive and use another machine. The drive must be easily removable - with some laptops they are and some not. And you would need a compatible 2½" USB enclosure. Do you have one? If yes, I can post details of how you can repair the Windows mbr from an Ubuntu live CD or Ubuntu installation on another machine.
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  3. #3
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    Actually yes, i wrote before and some body suggested plop and i used it to use USB to install Ubuntu 10.10. Ubuntu 10.10 actually replaced MBR and then what i could get in boot menu was only a GRUB (Ubuntu) menu which included an option to boot from windows XP. I played with ubuntu and almost forgot about windows XP but then i heard about Ubuntu 11.04 beta release and thought to give it a try. I installed Natty but i did not run because of the error during software installation and i tried repairing boot menu because windows xp option was not available anymore. I ended up probably removing ubuntu MBR print which resulted in the message "Missing Operating System". This is the whole story.
    I have another laptop though and its CDROM is working and has USB boot option too.
    I will try removing the drive but any suggestion/ expert advice is worth a trillion cause i used to use sony vaio laptop most extensively.
    Thanks for response

  4. #4
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    Repairing the Windows mbr will mean that you won't be able to boot into Ubuntu. It will boot straight into Windows. In your situation I believe that would be best because it sounds as though your 11.04 installation is broken and to repair that you would need to be able to boot from CD or USB - which is impossible for you. If you need to run Ubuntu from that machine you'd be best to reinstall Ubuntu using Windows and plop as before. But you need to boot into Windows first.

    When I asked if you can remove the HD from the laptop I envisaged putting it in a USB enclosure, not another laptop. But if you are prepared to fit it to another laptop, that makes it fairly easy. Two words of warning: your Sony Vaio almost certainly has an older IDE/PATA hard drive. If the other laptop is less than about 3-4 years old it will probably have a newer SATA drive. If so, you will not be able to fit the older drive into the other laptop. Also, are you confident swapping hard drives in laptops? If not, then I suggest you don't do this.

    But if you are able to proceed, this is what to do. Fit the HD from the Sony into the other laptop. Boot a live CD or live USB of Ubuntu and make sure you can connect to the internet. You will need to download something. Now look at this post:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...39&postcount=7

    There are three different ways of restoring the equivalent of the Windows mbr described there. I suggest going with the first one, the lilo method. It seems to work reliably.

    Once you have done that, shut the machine down. Do not attempt to boot Windows while that HD is still in the "other" laptop. Windows will have a fit if it detects unfamiliar hardware and you may run into activation problems. Put the drive back into the Sony and see if it will boot Windows there.

    If you are not happy putting the HD in the other laptop, or if you can't because of IDE - SATA incompatibility, post back and we'll search for another solution.
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  5. #5
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    yes my older laptop HDD cannot be connected to the newer laptop, so that's not possible. i will re-install ubuntu 10.10 so i need to get in to windows and install plop as before. any other suggestion?
    What if i buy an external DVD drive? will it be possible to boot from that?
    Last edited by usman4575; April 10th, 2011 at 06:32 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    To easily install Ubuntu move your HDD to an external enclosure, about $10, and install Ubuntu from the other laptop.
    Last edited by C.S.Cameron; April 10th, 2011 at 06:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    To easily install Ubuntu move your HDD to an external enclosure, about $10, and install Ubuntu from the other laptop.
    But, if he does this, where is grub?? on the external or one the internal. when i installed ubuntu, i had no choice where to put it.

  8. #8
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    Quote Originally Posted by usman4575 View Post
    What if i buy an external DVD drive? will it be possible to boot from that?
    Unfortunately not because an external DVD will be connected by USB and you cannot boot from USB.

    Quote Originally Posted by amerinde View Post
    But, if he does this, where is grub?? on the external or one the internal. when i installed ubuntu, i had no choice where to put it.
    In 10.10, if you choose the manual/advanced option you can designate where to install grub.
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  9. #9
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    That means my options are limited to either removing the hard drive and hooking it to some other system and fixing with FIXMBR command or removing and changing or repairing original CD ROM. The hard drive is PATA, it has 40 pin connector. By the way i have a Dell desktop in my office, may be i try connecting my hard drive to that desktop?

  10. #10
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    Re: installation on a system without operating system with no usb and bad cd rom

    Quote Originally Posted by usman4575 View Post
    By the way i have a Dell desktop in my office, may be i try connecting my hard drive to that desktop?
    You would need either a suitable USB enclosure or an adapter to connect the laptop-size IDE interface with whatever motherboard interface the Dell has.

    By the way, you mention running fixmbr. That's probably not going to work because when running fixmbr, the drive you are working on needs to be the primary one. Hooking it up any way but in the first HD interface means it won't be. Which is why I posted the link to a method using an Ubuntu CD. Using lilo, for example, you can restore the mbr to sda, sdb, sdc, or whichever device your drive appears as once you've connected it. And, of course, you'll need to determine whether it is sda, sdb, or whatever before you run those lilo commands.
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