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Windows 7: Dual Booting Ubuntu Bad Master Boot Record (MBR)

27 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
Dual Booting Ubuntu Bad Master Boot Record (MBR)

So i two days ago i installed Ubuntu on my Secondary hard drive. I already had windows 7 installed on my primary drive. When i installed Ubuntu i didnt realize it at the time but i installed GRUB over Windows Master boot record on my primary hard drive that has windows installed. GRUB has been working but i wanted to restore my Windows MBR on my primary drive and have GRUB only on my secondary drive, and then if needed i could switch back and forth via the bios. As of right now i have NO Master boot record. At least not a functioning one. I am getting the error : Missing Operating System every time i turn my pc on. I tried using my windows 7 installation disk and repairing my computer, unfortunately when it shows a list of operating systems it isnt showing anything. I can then go and try to load a "device driver" while in System Recovery Options and i can indeed see that my hard drives are not at all formated. I still have windows installed. Also when i run the command prompt from system recovery options i can run fixmbr and other similar commands which say that they recognize windows is installed on a hard disk but having some kind of issue with the drivers for my hard disk. So i tried to FixMBR and then i now think, im not sure, but i would think i need to get the drivers for my Hard disk, or hard drive and install them in system recovery options. But thats where im really stuck, how would i even find something like that out? What can i do?

Btw to recap, i cant use GRUB or windows MBR
I cant even start my pc, unless its from win7 installation disk

Anyway if anyone could help that would be great,

As for my hard disk im not sure what it is, but i know this

I have a Asus G73JH with a 500Gb Sata drive that comes standard. 6gb ddr3 ram and a mobility radeon hd 5870, and an i7 720qm

Thanks all help would be greatly appreciated

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


Obviously you'd need to start Win7 to be able to add EasyBCD which can configure a Windows Dual Boot with Linux distros.

The problem is that GRUB can corrupt Win7 beyond Repair when on the same HD, so using a separate HD is always a better option if you can do so. In that case, unplug the extant OS HD to install the new OS, then boot your choice via the BIOS Boot order or one-time BIOS Boot menu.

Now as to repairing your Win7. First mark Win7 or it's 100mb System Reserved (preferred) partition Active: Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

Next boot into DVD or REpair CD to see if it will now discover a Win7 installation. If not, click through to Recovery Tools list to open a Command Line to run bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /fixmbr then reboot.

If Win7 doesn't start, boot back into DVD/Repair CD to see if installation now shows up to accept offered Repair. If not run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times anyway.

You can copy out your files using DVD/Repair CD this way: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or using Paragon Rescue CD.

You can see your partitions graphically and mark Active using free Partition Wizard bootable CD. Then click on Win7 HD to highlight it, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, OK, Apply to see if this will start Win7 which may preclude the need to run Repairs. If not, you can wipe the Ubuntu partition by rightclicking>Wipe. Now try the Win7 repairs again without the GRUB code on the HD.

If all fails, you'll need to try running Factory Recovery from its partition or disks you made or order, or find a Win7 installation DVD to reinstall following these steps to get a perfect reinstall: Reinstalling Windows 7

Here is the best way to dual boot Linux if it must be on the same HD: Dual boot Ubuntu-Win7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)

Next boot into DVD or REpair CD to see if it will now discover a Win7 installation. If not, click through to Recovery Tools list to open a Command Line to run bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /fixmbr then reboot.
I tried doing this and also a few other commands that i spent hours searching up on a friends computer and still nothing. Unfortunately.

...or using Paragon Rescue CD.
Thanks for this tip, ill be looking into this more.

As for fixing it i was able to recover my Windows 7 installation.

Since i had Ubuntu on one drive and Windows on my other i simply whipped Ubuntu and installed Windows 7 on that drive. From their i went into my other drive, from the new windows installation, to copy all my photos and media that i wanted to keep. I then downloaded and installed easyBCD and fixed my original windows 7 installation with the missing MBR. I then booted into my primary windows 7 system, the one that was broken, and i reformatted my other drive. Now i have windows 7 installed as i did before and a blank drive. Ill read up this time a bit more about installing Ubuntu and ill also try getting a Paragon rescue disk before. Luckily I was ok deleting my Ubuntu installation because I just installed it for the first time, otherwise i think it would of been a bit of a longer process for me to fix my windows 7 installation.

Again thanks for all your help and tips.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Dual Booting Ubuntu Bad Master Boot Record (MBR)

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