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Windows 7: Bootloader Issues

29 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Bootloader Issues

Hey guy's I wanted to try out Ubuntu so I made a live USB, installed it, but I wasn't paying attention and I installed grub (ubuntu boot loader) over my windows 7 boot loader.

Current Setup:

Now I have 2 HDD's in this PC. My 320 GB is my old hard drive and has xp still installed on it. I use XP for things here and there, but I also use the hard drive for storage.

My main HDD is my 750gb which has windows 7 installed on it. It's the one I installed ubuntu on (and messed up the boot loader)

I dont really want to have to reinstall windows, but I guess I will if I have to... (building a new PC)

Situation:

So right now, I boot off my 750gb HDD and it will just take me to a black screen, so I used the install CD to try and recover my bootloader but it installed the windows 7 boot loader over my XP boot loader (on my 320 gb hdd)

So now I boot off my 320 gb hard drive and it will boot windows 7 from my 750 gb hard drive(Because of the recovery I did with the install disk). I tried unplugging my 320gb hdd and using the install disk to recover my bootloader, but it didnt do anything to help. Still same issue, boot from my 750gb hdd and I get a black screen, windows doesnt load)

Now what I'm wondering is would I be able to make a small partition say 20gb (I have over 300gb of free space on this hdd...) and install windows 7 on it? Wouldnt that install the boot loader also? Then I could just delete the partition, and I would have my windows 7 boot loader on this hard drive? It would probably try and boot from the 20gb partition, but could I use my recovery disk to fix that?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Mark Windows 7 partition Active in order to recover the System boot-critical files so it will start on its own. Unplug XP HD to do this.

Boot Windows 7 DVD Repair console to access a Command Line to use Diskpart: Partition - Mark as Active

After marking 7 Active, close Command Line, run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times to write the System MBR to Windows 7: Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

It would be much better to keep your OS's on separate HD's booted via BIOS so they remain independent and can come and go as you please. This is especially important with Ubuntu as GRUB can corrupt Windows 7.

So if you're able to start Windows 7, plug back in the XP HD and boot it via one-time BIOS Boot menu which is normally F8, ESC or DEL on Asus mobos.

Then reinstall Ubuntu to another HD booted only via BIOS Boot menu to keep it separated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thats the thing, I have 2 seperate HDD's because IMO its much easier to use the bios to select what to boot (selecting what HDD)

Using disk management I cant make my partition active. Hell I cant even make the partition on my 320gb HDD active. I'll use my recovery disk later tonight to attempt to make it active.

So when you say run it 3 times (I read the link) do you mean type:

bootrec /fixmbr
enter
bootrec /fixboot
enter
bootrec /fixmbr
enter
bootrec /fixboot
enter
bootrec /fixmbr
enter
bootrec /fixboot
enter

Or do you mean I fix mbr and boot, then power off, and back on (boot recovery cd) then fix mbr and boot again, etc...?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Dec 2010   #4

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Read the tutorial and follow as Greg suggested: Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

Mike
Quote:
The simplest way to make these changes is to do what is referred to as a startup repair it's a process that will write new boot files to the selected OS and it will then be able to boot independently; or in other cases you may want to rearrange / change the partition structure, you can use a startup repair to correct this also.

The trick is that sometime and in certain situations it becomes absolutely necessary to do as many as 3 separate startup repairs with a system restart between each repair to completely write boot files to the "new" location and if the process is interrupted or not completed you will be right back where you started, with a PC that will not start-up at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Thanks, Mike. May not always be clear these are links to tutorials without an underline.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I made it active, that went fine (I'm pretty sure it was active before)

I did fixboot then fix mbr
rebooted
tried again
rebooted did it multiple times
fixboot fixmbr
fixboot fixmbr
fixboot fixmbr

and nothing... Still doesnt work.

Is it because I didn't do it exactly as was said? (IE: fix once, reboot, fix again reboot, fix again?)

I'm fairly certain My boot loader was completely wiped out before when installing linux. (Grub was installed completely overtop)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

You are running line Commands instead of Startup Repair itself.

You need to boot into DVD Repair console or Repair CD to run Startup Repair. The tutorial on how to do this is here: Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ohh, I was supposed to use the startup repair?

I thought I was supposed to use fix mbr and fix boot 3 times?

Last time I tried startup repair it said something about windows being unable to detect any problems. (This was a few weeks ago, before I did the make active thing)

If it says it failed to fix anything should I restart and do it again for a total of 3 times? Or does it need to give me some confirmation of it fixing something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Make sure the 100mb SysReserved partition (if you have it) or the Windows 7 partition itself are marked active: Partition - Mark as Active

Then boot the DVD Repair or Repair CD, accept any offered Repair. If it doesn't start Windows 7, boot back in to run Startup Repair 3 separate times with reboots.

If you want a picture of what you are marking Active, use free Partition Wizard bootable CD. There is a feature on the DIsk tab to Rebuild MBR which also works quite well you can try first before Startup Repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My win 7 partition is marked as active.

I'll try in a little bit, I got some things I'm in the middle of right now.

Anyhow, since its been marked active already, I should go into the repair tool, let it try and diagnose any problems, and make any fixes?

Then try and boot, if windows does not boot then I need to do the 3 recovery thing?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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