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Windows 7: Boot Files Missing (I think.)

12 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Boot Files Missing (I think.)

Alright so I was on a Netbook and it was running Windows XP, I later installed Windows 7 onto a partition and everything was fine. Earlier I decided to replace Windows XP with Ubuntu Linux 10.04. I noticed Grub was not detecting Windows 7, so I consulted their forums. I came to the conclusion that the boot files for Windows 7 were actually on the Windows XP partition, and that's why its not working. I tried booting a recovery iso of Windows 7 x86, but it doesn't seem to auto-detect my Windows 7 install. I can access the file system from Ubuntu though, so idk. Anybody have any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Welcome!

I can't give you advice on how to fix GRUB, but I can show you how to remove it.

First, mark your Windows partition as active: Partition - Mark as Active

Then, run a startup repair 3 times: Startup Repair
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

We find that until GRUB is deep cleaned off the HD, it can interfere with Windows. Use free Partition Wizard CD to Wipe HD or Partition.

The correct way to set up Linux with Windows is here: Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu in Perfect Harmony - windows 7 - Lifehacker

That said, there is a Linux boot tab on the new EasyBCD 2.0 beta Add/Remove function, so you might want to try adding it back after you recover the MBR into Windows 7 using the method Jonathan gave you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

Apparently you guys didn't read my post. The problem is not with grub itself, the problem is the boot files for Windows 7 were stored on my Windows XP partition which no longer exists because I overwrote it with Linux. Therefore, even if i removed Linux and Grub, Windows 7 would still not boot.

Also Start Up Repair will not work, because as I said before, the Windows 7 Recovery cd does not auto-detect my operating system for some reason.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You need to mark your Windows partition as active before the recovery CD will detect your installation.

Running a startup repair and the commands Greg posted above will write a new boot loader to the active partition, or your Windows 7 partition.

Of course, that will overwrite GRUB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jonathan_King View Post
You need to mark your Windows partition as active before the recovery CD will detect your installation.

Running a startup repair and the commands Greg posted above will write a new boot loader to the active partition, or your Windows 7 partition.

Of course, that will overwrite GRUB.
Oh thanks, I'll give that a try. Yeah, at this point, I don't really care about GRUB, just fixing the MBR, once that's done, it's not hard to restore GRUB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Alright so I found the solution to the problem thanks to Jonathan_King's help. I had to first set the partition to active (or boot in Gparted), and then boot into recovery. Startup repair didn't work out for me, so I went ahead and did it the old school way. I booted up command prompt and did bootrec.exe /FixMbr, and then bootrec.exe /FixBoot. Now Windows is booting up on its own. Next thing I have to do is restore Grub, shouldn't be too hard.

Thanks for your help guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

No problem, glad we could help you.

Let us know if you need anything else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by apreichner View Post
Startup repair didn't work out for me, so I went ahead and did it the old school way. I booted up command prompt and did bootrec.exe /FixMbr, and then bootrec.exe /FixBoot. Now Windows is booting up on its own. Next thing I have to do is restore Grub, shouldn't be too hard.

Thanks for your help guys.
All former bootrec and bootsect recovery commands are automated in Startup Repair. You only have to run it enough, usually up to 3 times with reboots.

Sometimes when an installation is not detected to repair, manually running these commands will bring it forward so Startup Repair can finish it's job.

Glad you got it sorted out. GRUB can add complications to the normal methods which we have used to help successfully recover hundreds of Windows 7 MBR's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Glad you got it sorted out. GRUB can add complications to the normal methods which we have used to help successfully recover hundreds of Windows 7 MBR's.
Actually, GRUB had nothing to do with the problems that I had. GRUB was doing its job correctly, but I didn't realize that once you install Windows 7 after you install a previous OS (like XP) it keeps the bootloader files on the XP partition. So when I erased the XP partition, I lost the boot files, and GRUB was unable to locate any for Windows 7. So really, it was all just user error. A problem with the Computer-to-Chair Interface.

And besides, running start up repair 3 times seems really drawn out compared to typing two commands and then rebooting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Boot Files Missing (I think.)




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