20 March 2012

win7, not winning

Just spent a day trying to repair or recover a win7 install that suddenly (after using windows to shrink the C: volume) declared itself "Not Genuine" among other issues. The start of it all seems to be error logs during boot that show LoadUserProfile failed with "...the specified file is not in a registry file format". But multiple new accounts I created all had the same error.

Also, Firefox and IE both started up slow and could not save any downloads... but gave no error either. I finally fixed that problem by copying over inetcpl.cpl from another win7 machine. Initially after that inetcpl.cpl fix IE and Firefox were back to quick startup, but eventually they were back to about a 2 minute startup time..... although Firefox could restart itself in a couple seconds (after disabling/enabling add-ons and telling it to restart itself).

What a mess. I performed countless reboots to recovery console on cd or whatever was installed on disk and accessed via F8. Nothing would ever let me successfully run sfc (system file checker). I replace all .dll's in windows/system32 which seemed to make things slightly better. chkdsk, system repairs etc all failed to improve anything.

Anyway, I'm copying off all the data and reinstall win7 and will not waste anymore time trying to repair it. Just a few minutes to vent on this blog entry here.

The "interesting" thing is that the linux install still works fine even after massive upheaval/overhaul to add 1 gig of space to it from the ~67G windows partition. I needed the 1G to install KDE,Gnome, and LXDE to the original XFCE-only install.

sda 80GB drive - Original layout
sda1 100meg windows "system reserved" partition
sda2 ~67G windows C: drive (windows disk management shrunk this to ~66GB)
sda3 200M /boot partition for fedora
sda4 Extended partition
     sda5 ~8G LVM pv/vg for / and swap logical volumes for fedora

  1. dd sda3 to the free space created when windows shrank its own volume(sda2),
  2. delete original sda3, recreate it around the dd'ed sda3 image
  3. deleting the extended partition(sda4) and single logical partition(sda5)
  4. recreate larger ext partition (sda4) to include the remaining free space from the shrunken windows volume and free space from the original deleted sda3.
  5. Recreate the previous sda5 as sda6 on it's original sectors and a new sda5 (consisting of the rest of the new extended partition).
  6. lvm up the new sda5, extend the volume group, and online resize2fs / to add ~1GB
  7. fixup grub since /boot has been physically relocated on disk.
  8. Reboot 
(Actually I rebooted once before adding the new sda5 because neither partprobe nor kpartx worked with the new sda5 created, adding only sda6 they worked. After the reboot and creating sda5,partprobe worked. Probably something i was doing wrong?)

sda 80GB drive  - Final layout

sda1 100meg windows "system reserved" partition
sda2 ~65G windows C: drive
sda3 200M /boot partition for fedora install
sda4 Extended partition
sda5 ~1G LVM pv/vg for /  (all new freed space here)
sda6 ~8G LVM pv/vg for / and swap logical volumes (was sda5, untouched, recreated as sda6).

All that stuff went off without a hitch but windows still won't work properly or give clear error logs after a full day of effort. I'm no windows expert but I'm able to follow clues and use Google, there's just no help for it. It was the windows volume shrinker that broke itself I guess. I didn't touch the windows partitions using fdisk.

I'm not trying to make any OS #1 is better than OS #n arguments, just whining.
I feel slightly better now.

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