The Beauty of Basics

I recently had a hard disk begin to fail on me. I had had Windows XP on this machine for quite some time and because of the immenent failure I was afraid I had lost it for good (laptop didn’t come with any XP installation disk). So I booted up the install cd, mounted Windows, backup drive, cd’d to Windows, did a:

tar --exclude=Windows-XP.tar.gz -czvpf /mnt/backup/Windows-XP.tar.gz .

After I put in a new hard drive, I extracted it:

tar xvf Windows-XP.tar.gz -C /mnt/win

And all was golden. What surprised me was that on reboot, it booted straight into Windows. My previous hard drive had dual-booted so I thought I’d have to pull out the Window XP Recovery disk and do a fixmbr to test it, but it looks like without an MBR the BIOS is programmed to look for a ntldr file (the Windows bootloader). I guess a lot of BIOS’s are like this.

Anyways, getting everything put back together again with Arch and am pretty happy with it.

About Todd Partridge (Gently)

Good times, good people, good fun.

Posted on 2010-04-06, in Linux, Windows. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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