Ok Guys, I am in a real fix here and need some help....
I am running a Dell XPS M1530 laptop with Core 2 Duo T9300 2.50 Ghz CPU's, 4 Gb RAM, GeForce 8600 Graphics, 320 Gig HDD
The Hard disk is partitioned to provide a partition for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Sabayon, Ubuntu and Mandriva, a 2Gig Linux swap file partition as well as two partitions for Data, one is formatted NTFS and the other FAT32. Both Windows partitions are of course NTFS and the linux partitions EXT3.
The other day I tried to use partition magic (withink Windoze) to resize the windows XP partition to make it larger as the XP partition (15Gb) was getting full and windoze was slowing down. Anyway, to cut a long story short, windows rebooted and started the disk operations. However it did not successfully complete. It did shrink the data drive by 3 Gigs and there is now a 3 gig free space on the drive, however it didnt succeed in adding this space to the C: drive. I have since read somewhere online that partition magic can create linux partitions but it cannot move or resize them. This explains the problem. Since this happened Windows XP has re mapped all my drives (partitions) This has brought with it a load of other problems, most of which I think I can fix by re-mapping the drives within windoze. However when I was trying to "fix" this yesteray with Partition Magic, somehow it seems to have overwritten the MBR and the laptop just didnt start at all, it didnt even load the bootloader and just left me with a GRUB command prompt from which I could do nothing. A Friend was going to "help" me fix this with some Windoze utilities, which I wasnt too keen on as I know that the bootloader in the windows C drive (primary partition) is infact linux and not microshaft so I didnt want to fix it using any windoze disks (It seems like tring to fix a ferrari with spare parts from a ford).
So I booted from the Sabayon live CD and using the "install to disk" option I was able to install/repair LILO or whatever the bootloader menu is without doint the whole sabayon install again. This allows me to boot sabayon and windows now but the ubuntu and mandriva options dont boot.
So here are my questions....
1. Can I use a Linux utility to assign the 3 gigs free space to my Windows C: drive safely? If so, How?
2. I note that in the BOOT folder there is a "menu.lst'" and a menu.lst.bak" file, is the BAK my backup of the old boot menu, or would it be the last one before my last successful one. i.e. can I just rename the bak as the lst file and will this fix my boot menu problems?
3. Completely unrelated to all of the above, since installing linux (all flavours) I notice the volume output from the soundcard is much lower under linux than it is under windoze. Is there a quick fix for this, like a parameter in a config file I can edit?
Thanks for reading my long post, I would really appreciate some help here guys. I am so desperate to get away from Windoze as much as I can but am finding Linux to be a slow learning curve. I just need a little boost up tp get started and help me on my way.