October 18, 2009

Fixing the Windows 7 boot loader [CliffNotes]

I recently removed Ubuntu Linux from my laptop to give Windows 7 a bit more room. Not because I’ve completely sold out to Windows, just because 7 is actually pretty decent on this hardware. It is what Vista was suppose to be. Besides the OS wars are pretty much over and the Internet won. You can quote me on that.

So there are some left over tidbits when you undo a dual boot Linux/Windows setup. GRUB [the Linux bootloader] installs itself in the MBR of the drive. In the WindowsXP days we booted to a floppy with fdisk on it and ran the following command to clear up GRUP and put the Windows boot loader back in place.

fdisk /mbr

But days have changed and so has your friendly neighborhood OS. That command no longer is available and there is a new way of fixing this. Here are the new steps [I think this will work with Vista also]:

Boot to your Windows7 DVD and select the correct language.

On the next screen you will see a link in the bottom left to Repair Windows. Choose that.

You can let Windows try to fix your broke a$$ machine, but it probably will not be able to.

Once it fails, it should give you several option to reload from backup (like anyone creates backups, right?) or get to a command prompt. Select the command prompt.

Once that is up run the following command to repair everything:

bootrec.exe /FixMbr

And for good measure I also did this command:

bootrec.exe /FixBoot

Reboot and eject the DVD and Windows should boot naturally.

If it doesn’t, you can always put Linux back on and use GRUB like a good little geek.

Have Fun,

Jeremy

Reference:MS KB927392