AdminChallenge: Bishop's boot-disk dilemma

Help Bishop solve his boot-disk dilemma, and you could win a brand new TechRepublic T-shirt. Plus, check out what caused Carmella's partition troubles.

Every other Monday, AdminRepublic poses a systems or network problem requiring a solution. Some challenges are routine, while others may be more difficult. We then conduct a random drawing from the correct responses and send two lucky winners a fancy new TechRepublic T-shirt. You'll be the envy of the office! Let's start with the solution to our previous challenge.
How should Carmella have gotten rid of Linux?
In the last AdminChallenge, we left Carmella with a puzzling task. She had dual booted Linux on her workstation. Later, she needed to remove the OS to free up room for new Windows applications.

Carmella had used FDISK in Windows 98, and had originally removed the extended partition. However, with the extended partition removed, she could no longer remove the logical partition.

Carmella conducted some quick research and discovered she should have first deleted the logical partition that was contained within the extended partition. With the logical partition gone, she could have then safely removed the extended partition with no problem.

Upon further investigation, she discovered how to remove LILO from the computer startup. All that was required was to type FDISK /mbr, which would write over the Master Boot Record, as seen in Figure A. Doing so restored the machine’s boot record back to its original state before the Linux OS had been installed.

Figure A
Using FDISK in Windows 98, LILO can be removed from the MBR.

Congratulations to Jac Kersing and Jo Verbrugghe, whose winning entries were randomly selected from all the correct submissions received.

The next challenge
Bishop has been using Windows NT on the company network since the company was founded. There are also two Novell systems.

Recently, the company’s executive board decided to upgrade all of the enterprise’s systems to Windows 2000, minus the NetWare machines. Bishop wasn’t exactly pleased with this news, as he was already quite busy, but he went along with the plan.

Since all of the server machines on the network were the same, Bishop decided that the easiest way to proceed was to install Windows 2000 using disk duplication. Even though his systems used SCSI drives, he’d heard they imaged properly.

The installation on the first few servers proceeded as expected, with no problems. Bishop used a master image from one server to image the other server systems.

However, while installing the third server, Bishop encountered a problem. The server booted correctly the first time he tried, but later generated a driver error and refused to boot. He decided to make a boot disk using one of the other machines that was working properly on the network. He’d then use the disk to troubleshoot the problem on the third server.

He sat down at the Windows 2000 Server, placed a floppy disk in the A: drive, and opened a command prompt where he planned to type WINNT.EXE /OX.

The challenge
Why isn’t Bishop’s plan going to work?

Send your answer to TechRepublic by Monday, May 1, 2000. We’ll send a TechRepublic T-shirt to two individuals whose names we select randomly from all the correct answers received.

Now the legal stuff
By submitting your answer, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your solution on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.
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