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Symantec's BootMagic which comes packaged with their PartitionMagic 8.0 will without warning crash the IBM ThinkPad R30 and I suppose any ThinkPad which comes with no Operating System CD but only has a "Press F11 at boot" to restore the original software package. After installing BootMagic, the machine fails to boot and freezes with a blank screen. The uninstallation preceedure that comes with the PartitionMagic package is able to restore the original operating system but the ability to restore the original software is lost. Symantec says "so sorry but see your manufacturer about this." The manufacturer, IBM, says "Here, use this program to create a bootable floppy disk which might restore the System Restore Function." They themselves say this for a machine they made which HAS NO FLOPPY DISK DRIVE!

Here is the fix which the ........s we buy these things from were not able to figure out for themselves; nor do they any longer provide user forums for their victims to help each. (........s ==> companies is what I had in mind!)

1. Boot from the PartitionMagic 8.0 CD and use its DOS version of BootMagic to disable BootMagic on the hard disk. Shut the computer down. This is the solution provided with the PartitionMagic package and this does restore the operating system with some standard MasterBootRecord but not the original one with the ability to use the IBM system restore at start up. They seem to have failed to make a backup copy of the MBR they overwrote.

2. Reboot now from the hard disk and use the Windows version of PartitionMagic to unhide the partition labeled IBM_SERVICE -- use Advanced in the Partition Menu. Shut down and reboot again and use Windows Explorer to find in the root of the IBM_SERVICE partition the AUTOEXEC.BAT file and change its name, say to AUTOEXEC period or whatever. Now use PartitionMagic to set the IBM_SERVICE partition to be the Active Partition. And shut down.

3. Reboot from the hard disk. Answer yes to the question about big disks and finally arrive at the command prompt for the Operating System on the IBM_SERVICE partition. Use the "DOS" command CD to change to the RECOVERY folder and check that it contains the three files BMGR.EXE, BMGR.SCR and BOOT.BIN. and run the batch file BMGRINST.BAT or instead, to see the messages reporting success, run the command "bmgr.exe /Fboot.bin /Mbmgr.scr " Now change directory back to the root and use FDISK.EXE to set IBM_PRELOAD back to be the active partition and exit FDISK. At the command prompt again, use REN to change the name of the AUTOEXEC file, or whatever you renamed it to be, back to AUTOEXEC.BAT Finally, turn off the computer.

4. Reboot and verify that things are back to normal and in particular the offer to use F11 to start system restore should be restored. Windows may report it has made configuration changes and offer to reboot one last time. Check that the IBM_SERVICE partition has been hidden again, and if not, use PartitionMagic to hid it so it is not accidently changed.

5. Uninstall BootMagic!

6. If your faith in getting sufficient help from Symantec has been sufficiently shaken, uninstall PartitionMagic as well now.
 
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