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Windows 7: GRUB2 is evil + Win 7 installation questions

20 Jan 2019   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
GRUB2 is evil + Win 7 installation questions

I have been in startup hell for over a week. I own three disks. One is a Ubuntu disk that installed the GRUB2 bootloader on all disks, another disk is Win7 Home Premium, and the third is Win 7 Pro.

My motherboard is ASUS P5G41-M LE/CSM.

My GRUB2 installation was purged but left enough for it to foul up the booting process. It had placed itself in the MBR on the Win 7 Home disk and on the Ubuntu disk. I made a mistake and put the corrupt MBR on a new disk that I planned for Win 7 Pro. No Live Disk of any flavor would run. After many days of searching and trying things, I disconnected the Ubuntu disk, turned off the power overnight, and was able get Home Premium to boot. I used Easy BCD to repair the MBR and then repaired the MBR on the new Disk with MiniTools Partition Wizard. I then ran the Pro install disk to repair startup and next installed Windows 7 Pro to the new disk. However, it installed as a supplement to the Home version. It will not boot independently. I want it as an independent OS, so I can delete the Home version.

I also removed the Ubuntu partitions on the Windows Home Disk, and it is now 1 meg of unallocated space, 100 megs System Reserved, 197.5 G of NTFS and 750 odd Gs of unallocated space.

Tonight, I reconnected the disk with the corrupt GRUB. System had all three disks at the same time. When I went to boot, the corrupt GRUB2 appeared . I shut down, cut off the power, disconnected the corrupt disk and tried to boot. I still got the GRUB2 message that sent me to grub rescue. So I shut down, turned off the power, and rebooted. When I went into the BIOS and checked boot order, it had completely changed, and neither Windows disk was recognized. So I shut down, turned off the power (turning off the power at the strip instead of at the computer seems to be necessary, although this may be voodoo.), and rebooted with the Windows install disk. Asked it to repair startup, and it came back that nothing was wrong. Rebooted again, and I'm good to go in Windows.

Now for my questions: Win Home is Disk 1, Win Pro is Disk 2. If I reverse them physically on the motherboard, the computer will not boot. I've been into the BIOS and it has a HDD order that can be changed. But I'm a bit afraid to do that.

C Drive on the Home disk is currently shown as System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition. The Windows Pro is only an primary disk. This has changed since the last Grub problem. Before Pro showed as the boot and Home as the active and system disk. This may have been changed by windows startup repair, or it might have been changed by the corrupt GRUB. I have just made the Pro Disk Active per your instructions. Can Pro be changed to boot/system and all the other things that C Drive has without a re-installation?

If I have to do a complete start over with Windows Pro, how do I go about it? Do I re-partition the disk and leave it unallocated space and hope the Install disk will partition it for me? Do I make a partition and leave it unformatted? Or do I go ahead and format to NTFS? Should I physically remove the Win Home disk when I do this? What will happen to the boot order after the 7 Home disk is reconnected? I'm afraid to go ahead and re-partition the Win Home Disk l before installing 7 Pro because Home is working so well.

Last question: the corrupt GRUB2 clearly has to be corrected, but when it is in the computer it screws up the BIOS boot, and also will not allow a Live Ubuntu disk to run. I'd disconnect the two Windows disks before I start, and wonder if I set the BIOS to boot only from DVD, that will allow a Live disk to run? Or is it very act of installing the disk that modifies the BIOS to the corrupt GRUB2? Reason I ask is because after I physically removed the Ubuntu HDD from the computer and tried to boot to a live disk, I still got the GRUB2 message offering GRUB Rescue (and that doesn't work either) because the BIOS boot had been changed.

I know this is very long and complicated, but I'm so close to having the system that I want and that works that I don't want to spend another week or two starting over and over.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2019   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

What happen to your computer is that you didn't detach the other disks when installing Win7 or Ubuntu.

On a Legacy-MBR system:
- BIOS takes the boot sequence to MBR of a disk (BIOS boot priority)
- MBR takes the boot sequence to a Boot Loader on a Partition. This boot loader will launch the OS that can be on another Disk.

For example:
Win Home is Disk 1
Win Pro is Disk 2
Ubuntu is Disk 3

If you install Ubuntu, it will change boot priority in BIOS to disk 3.
- BIOS take the boot sequence to MBR of a disk 3 (BIOS boot priority)
- MBR of disk 3 will take the boot sequence to Grub Boot Loader on a Linux Partition. This boot loader will launch a boot menu with:
- Ubuntu
- Win Home (that is on a different Disk 1)
- Win Pro (that is on a different Disk 2)

Windows boot loader can do almost the same, that is, one boot loader can call another windows on another disk.

You can fix it quite easy, one disk at a time.

With all disks attached, boot into one Win 7, launch disk manager (C:\Windows\System32\diskmgmt.msc) or MiniTools Partition Wizard.
Expand the window, expand the columns so we can read them, and, with the snipping tool, take a whole window snapshot and save to your disk.
On the answer window, you have a paper clip. Click on it, browse to the file - upload.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2019   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thank for responding.

I was able to boot to a live Kubuntu disk with only the corrupt Ubuntu disk installed when I disabled all boot options but the DVD Drive in the BIOS.

When I tried to boot to Windows with both Windows HHDs and the corrupt one installed, I got the GRUB2 grub rescue message. After attaching all three I will try to set the BIOS to disable the Ubuntu disk in boot. If that works, I can follow your instructions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Jan 2019   #4

win 8 32 bit

Run fdisk /MBR to remove grub
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 GRUB2 is evil + Win 7 installation questions

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