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Windows 7: Missing Boot Manager

08 May 2012   #21
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

It's best to keep Linux installs on a separate HD booted only via the BIOS boot menu, not GRUB which can corrupt Win7 beyond repair. Who knows what Linux tools do to Win7. Best to keep them separate as we see lots of problems.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 May 2012   #22
Mimalito

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

I am not able to browse any files with Disk Management or Partition Wizard but I did notice the option in PW for "Partition Recovery Wizard", You said that is appeared that I had 2 partions missing, if I attempt to use it maybe they would come back and then I could try the repair off the Win 7 DVD? I read somewhere that as long as you don't format a drive that deleted partitions can somtimes be recovered. Any harm in trying this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #23
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

The drive is formatted. It needs to be unallocated space to recover deleted partitions. But you can try.

You have backup images, right? Boot into System Recovery Options to see if it detects the stored image and will reimage it to the disk. If not delete the partition first. If that fails, convert it to MBR first then try reimaging again.

What do you see when you rightclick the drive in Disk Mgmt or PW to Explore?

You should also be able to browse into the drive using XP Explorer since you are booted into an XP OS at the moment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 May 2012   #24
Mimalito

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

I do have a backup image and that was going to be one of my last resorts if I can't fix this boot/Win 7 install. I've never used a disk image to recover a system before. It's from mid March but at this point if it's between a format/reinstall or a recover from 1.5 months ago I'll go with the latter. My question with restoring from a restore point/recovery .. would it format the disc and replace the proper boot loader/partitions needed by windows or would it only restore the OS and then I'd still be left grappling with a non booting system? (to answer your question, yes it sees the image when I have the external on when booting from the DVD)

And when I right click in Disk Mgmt and PW they both have the same result, all options are greyed out. I see "Explore" in both menus but I can't use them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #25
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

It would help if you knew if you had an MBR drive when you took the image, because as long as the drive is correctly either MBR or GPT then you would reimage to unallocated space and it will create and format the partition.

If you're unsure then as I said I would try reimaging to what you have now.

If that fails then delete the partition in XP Disk Mgmt or PW and try again.

If it then fails you know you must convert disk to MBR first to get it reimaged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #26
Mimalito

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks for all the info.

I took this latest screen cap since the Partition Wizard finished searching the whole drive for deleted partitions. There are quite a few. What one or ones would you recommend to restore? The 100mb FAT32 one? One of the ones that says boot?


Attached Thumbnails
Missing Boot Manager-recovered.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #27
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

You have to look at the partitions by size to try to determine which were the ones you had. Then you look at starting and ending position as you cannot recover any which are also on that exact position.

Based on that all I can see that would pertain are the second and third listing. Judging by size do these look like your System Reserved and Win7 partitions?

If so I would select those and recover to see what it puts back. Post back any error message.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #28
Mimalito

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

I can actually double click the partitions and in fact the 2nd one down is my windows install. I can see the file structure and installed programs/files. This is exciting.

Curious though because I select them and then press "Finish", nothing seems to happen. I thought this tool would restore them. Maybe since I know it's there another tool on the Hiren's CD will actually do the restore feature?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #29
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

There is no better tool I know to undelete a partition than PW Partition Recovery Wizard.

However there is more complication here than I've ever seen in dozens of times it's been used successfully here. For one thing there is an intact GPT partition there, not one which has obviously been deleted.

You also don't seem to think you had a GPT disk and if you did there would be an EFI boot partition there to be recovered. That there's not makes me think it was an MBR disk that somehow was reformatted to GPT. The difference between GPT and MBR is highly complex and only just becoming understood as more EFI BIOS' come into circulation.

Did you check those two partitions and then click Finish? If it won't finish then it may be because the disk has somehow been reformatted as GPT. I've never seen PW Wizard recover from anything other than Unallocated space. You may have to delete the GPT partition to get it to recover. But there are no guarantees. It would take someone with more knowledge of this to advise you with certainty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #30
Mimalito

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

I ticked both boxes and hit finish. Maybe I'll reboot. I didn't get an error message, just no message at all. And speaking of EFI the Fat32 100mb partition has the following file structure. I don't know if this is helpful, perhaps only if it actualy restores.


Attached Thumbnails
Missing Boot Manager-efi.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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