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Windows 7: Remove Grub & Restore MBR

13 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Remove Grub & Restore MBR

I just added a 2nd hdd (1) and installed Linux Mint to it. The 1st hdd (0) has the original Windows 7 x64 that came with my Dell box.

How do I get rid of grub bootloader so I can boot as before with original MBR? I want to be able to hit F12 and choose boot order as before.

I thought grub would only be a problem if I had partitioned the original hdd and installed Linux on the 2nd partition. How can the MBR on the original (0) drive be changed? Or did Linux actually change the MBR on the motherboard.

Sorry for the "dumb" question-still learning. Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Mar 2011   #2

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3
 
 

Welcome tp seven Forums
This articale and links might help you out, as I have no experience with Linx O.S.
How To Fix
If not I'm positive others here will be able to get you all fixed up.
Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks, Fabe.

Honestly, I don't know if BOOTMGR is missing or not.

My problem is that when I shut down and restart, I can't get into the original Dell F12 or F8 options. I'm not sure if the boot record that does this is on the original HDD 0 or if something was altered on the motherboard bios? , it launches GRUB, then I have to choose Windows 7 from there.

I'd like to be able to start the computer up and have it boot into Windows 7 on the HDD 0, as it was originally, before adding 2nd drive.

I'm not generally a newbie with computers, but I'm new to adding hard drives and dealing with bios and boot records and stuff. Really appreciate any help with this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Mar 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP in VM)
 
 

I have had the same problem. I believe what happens is that linux puts it's bootloader, Grub, into the windows MBR. Therefore without linux, it cannot find anything to boot to. If you reinstall linux, you should be able to boot into windows or linux. that will give you time to find the correct way to uninstall grub. I was a dummie when I had the problem and just reinstalled windows. As a suggestion, boot the windows installation cd, when you get to the first screen I think it is choose your language, don't choose. Hold down the shift key and press F10, that should bring up a command prompt. Try entering these commands. Bootrec /fixboot press enter wait for the response (also notice the space before the /) Next enter bootrec /fixmbr press enter. next enter bootrec /rebuildbcd. close out and restart, see if that works for you. If not, you should be able to reinstall linux and get back into windows.
Another suggestion. Whenever you do get it back the way you like it, Take an image of your restore partition and your MBR partition if you have one. Keep them on an external hard drive. That way if something like this happens again, you can use the image to restore it. I believe your Dell has a restore partition, and the Master boot record is in that partition. If you can get back into windows you can go to disk management and see which partition is active. That is where the MBR usually is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks essenbe. I do have a full backup of my Windows 7 installation and I might just reinstall windows again, just so I don't mess up the mbr, in case fixmbr doesn't work.

Here's where I'm at. I have Win7x64 home on HD0 and Linux Mint 10 on HD1, both SATA drives.

When I restart computer, it brings up GRUB and I can choose Linux Mint x64 (/dev/sdb1) and I can also choose Windows 7 (loader) (on/dev/sda2). I'm not sure what sdb1 and sda2 mean as I'm just starting to toy with Linux.

While restarting, if I tap F12 early enough, I can get into "Select boot devices" menu, but when I choose the 2nd drive with Linux on it, I get a black screen with blinking cursor-doesn't boot. Does that mean the booting of Linux is being carried out from the 1st hdd with Windows 7 on it?

I'd like to know how to get my system set up so I can:
-Fix Windows 7 MBR
-keep Linux Mint and Windows 7 on 2 separate drives
-use Windows MBR instead of GRUB to manage boot.

What's the easiest way to do this? Should I try bootrec.exe /fixmbr from Windows 7 Repair DVD, or try easyBCD? Should I unplug 2nd drive with Linux? There's a particular order to do this stuff so I don't mess up booting into Windows, right? I know a lot of you have dual boot systems so I thought I'd ask this stuff here, even though it's a Windows 7 forum.
Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP in VM)
 
 

I don't know the answer to all of your questions. But, to linux dev/sta1 is the same as drive 0 to windows, dev/stab2 is like drive 2 . I'm no expert to linux, but first I would tap the F12 and choose fixmbr on disk 1. If that does not work, boot into your repair CD and select fix startup problems. Run that 3 times or until it boots. If that does not work, try the bootrec commands you received earlier. If none of these work it should not harm anything.

Once you get it fixed to where windows boots normally, turn off the computer, unplug the power plug from the drive that windows is installed on. reboot into the linux live CD. install that on another drive. After installing it run all of the updates and download all of the programs you would like. Once it is set up, shut down the computer, plug back in the power plug to the windows drive, boot into BIOS and make sure the windows drive is the 1st boot device, make linux the 2nd boot device.
This should make your computer boot straight into windows. If you want to boot into linux, use the one time boot options key and choose the linux disk. I think this will make it the way you want it. That is the way I did it and it worked. By unpluging the windows drive it kept linux from installing grub into the windows MBR. However, please understand, you are receiving advice from someone who is almost as much a novice in linux as you. I suggest you take that into consideration when reading my posts.

If you are familar with easy BCD, that may prove to be the best option. I am not familiar enough with it to give advice on using it. I have heard that it can fix problems such as this but have no experience in using it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

I had this problem as well. Linux basically destroys the Windows MBR placing GRUB instead and what's worse, GRUB stays even if you uninstall Linux.

My advice is the following. Remove the second hard drive with Linux on it. Boot with the Windows installation DVD. After a couple of welcome screens and language choice there is an option to repair start-up. Choose this and it's supposed to put the MBR back in order. Make sure you can boot into Windows as well as use the F12 to choose the boot device.

Now, if you want to keep playing with Linux plug in the Linux drive, but now remove the Windows drive. I am not sure about the repair options in Linux, but since you're just playing with it, you can simply re-install it.

Now, put both drives in. Now, you can choose an OS by using F12.

I don't know if you can add Linux to the list of OSs in Windows MBR. I mean, surely you can run msconfig and add Linux as another OS, but I've never tried it and so I am not sure if it will work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP in VM)
 
 

I think everyone who has ever experimented with linux has had this problem. It seems there should be an easy way to fix it by now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP in VM)
 
 

There is a previous thread on this that is supposed to be a solution to remove linux and Grub. See if this will provide any help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks a lot to everyone. I'll go ahead and remove power cable from 2nd (linux) drive, repair MBR on 1st drive with Windows 7 Repair DVD, then if everything's ok with that setup, I'll unplug power from 1st (Windows 7) drive, reconnect power cable to 2nd drive and try to reinstall linux on it. Hopefully, that will keep GRUB from touching the Windows 7 MBR on 1st drive.

Will update if all goes well or not. THANKS!
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 Remove Grub & Restore MBR





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