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601210
18th September 2008, 10:58 AM
Here's my situation.

Recently got a new laptop, an HP tx2000 series. Installing Fedora was trouble with it, because of the acpi problems, but I decided to go through with it and just turn acpi off. However, for complicated reasons, I now have to remove Linux completely from the laptop.

From several sources, I gathered that to do this, I have to reset the MBR, then delete the Fedora partition. Okay, sounds simple enough.

Normally, I would just reformat the system entirely to make sure it goes clean, but it's an OEM version of vista, and I don't have access to the cd.

So to start, I used EasyBCD (http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1), which supposedly would restore the vista MBR. I clicked Master Boot Record, then rewrite mbr. Should have worked, it said that new settings would be applied on restart, so I restarted.

On restart, I get a blank prompt for a few seconds, then it goes to grub. I think, "Okay, no problem. Just try again." and select Vista. Problem now is that Vista refuses to start. Apparently, the bootloader is missing. The computer isn't with me right now, so I can't be exactly sure of certain parameters.

If I understand the situation correctly, the way to go about this would be to re-rewrite the MBR so that it points to the correct Vista bootloader. Most guides I can find online need either a Vista cd or access into Vista itself. Right now, I'm holding out for either an option to do it with a livecd of some sort, or to be able to fix the MBR using Fedora (naturally, I could have restored from a backup, but I didn't foresee going through all this from the start). If worse comes to worse, a friend has a Vista cd which I might be able to use to restore, but I'm not entirely sure it would work.

Any suggestions? Help would be very, very much appreciated.

Hlingler
18th September 2008, 11:01 AM
Go to the "Guides and How-Tos" forum, and follow stoat's excellent tutorial on this subject.

V

601210
18th September 2008, 11:06 AM
Er, the one on reinstalling XP?

Hlingler
18th September 2008, 11:09 AM
That's the one I was thinking of... now I just noticed that you got Vista. Should be the same? In any case, see if that tutorial is of any help first. If not, you can post again here.

V

glennzo
18th September 2008, 11:09 AM
You should also make restore disks for your OEM system. I was lucky enough to get disks with my Toshiba / Vista laptop and it's a good thing I did because I've hosed this box more than once. The disks saved my butt. Now I have another chance to hose it again. :p

Edit: Some of these computers have a restore option built in, don't they? If that's the case the restore will bring the box back to factory spec and Linux will be gone just by doing the restore. If this is so, don't forget to backup anything that's important to you.

Hlingler
18th September 2008, 11:16 AM
You should also make restore disks for your OEM system. I was lucky enough to get disks with my Toshiba / Vista laptop and it's a good thing I did because I've hosed this box more than once. The disks saved my butt. Now I have another chance to hose it again. :p<sidebar>Interestingly, it was the utter inability of M$ WinXP MCE and the HP software that came pre-installed on my main box, to successfully burn such back-up/restore disks, that drove me to Linux. The machine came without said disks - I was supposed to make them. After manufacturing numerous new coasters, I tried Linux. :)

Never did get the restore disks to finish....</sidebar>

V

601210
18th September 2008, 11:23 AM
The sticky didn't apply. It was more on reinstalling Windows, while mine was on just getting it to run :))

In startup, there's a menu, by pressing escape, which shows an option, restore. However, all it does is go back to grub.

IIRC, I ran EasyBCD, then went to Manage Bootloader. I first tried "reinstall vista bootloader" and restarted, but it just loaded to grub. I went back into windows, clicked "uninstall vista bootloader", then clicked "reinstall vista bootloader". Then this happened.

Edit: A friend has a Vista DVD. Would I be able to recover the system from there?

glennzo
18th September 2008, 11:28 AM
<sidebar>Interestingly, it was the utter inability of M$ WinXP MCE and the HP software that came pre-installed on my main box, to successfully burn such back-up/restore disks, that drove me to Linux. The machine came without said disks - I was supposed to make them. After manufacturing numerous new coasters, I tried Linux. :)

Never did get the restore disks to finish....</sidebar>

VSpeaks volumes for the ones supplied with the computer, at least in my case. I've actually been considering wiping this laptop and installing everything again (Vista,XP, Linux x 2) because I've only allocated 10GB for the 2 Linux partitions and I don't want to play with resizing since I feel that I've stretched this disk to its "breaking" point as it is. But let me stop there as this is taking the original question way off topic.

glennzo
18th September 2008, 11:30 AM
Edit: A friend has a Vista DVD. Would I be able to recover the system from there?Not sure but its worth a try. My OEM restore DVD has that option and I've used it. Worked perfectly.

601210
18th September 2008, 11:47 AM
I won't be able to know if it works until tomorrow, though. Any other suggestions?

Hlingler
18th September 2008, 12:01 PM
Well, there also SuperGRUB restore utility, but I don't know if it does Vista. It has worked for me with Win98. It's supposed to be able to restore almost any MBR/bootloader (GRUB/LILO/WIN). Google: supergrub.

V

601210
18th September 2008, 12:26 PM
Well, there also SuperGRUB restore utility, but I don't know if it does Vista. It has worked for me with Win98. It's supposed to be able to restore almost any MBR/bootloader (GRUB/LILO/WIN). Google: supergrub.

V
Looking into it. Thanks.

601210
18th September 2008, 01:28 PM
I might not have mentioned it, but not even GRUB can boot into Windows. Any ideas on that?

tsorvoja
18th September 2008, 01:57 PM
Is there a Vista installation partition on your laptop? Try starting that with your grub. You may use e.g. a LiveCD to check that with parted (or Gparted). Mark that as primary partition.

Other quick and dirty way:
<Warning!>
With this method you may lose all your data on hd. So do it with your own risk.
</Warning!>
If all other attempts fail and you have no other option, try following:
First, we will save the MBR with DD from other Vista Computer:
cd /root
mkdir partition-backup
cd partition-backup
dd if=/dev/hda of=backup-hda.mbr count=1 bs=512

Restoring that to your MBR:
dd if=backup-hda.mbr of=/dev/hda

balkrishna
18th September 2008, 02:02 PM
make sure bootmgr is there in your drive your booting into for vista and also set the boot flag for the vista partition via gparted. This should do it worked for me with Fedora 9

601210
18th September 2008, 02:11 PM
bootmgr being in the drive i'm booting would be in this case, C:, or sda1, right?

tsorvoja
18th September 2008, 02:17 PM
As balkrishna said mark the installation partition with boot flag (not as primary partition. My bad).

tsorvoja
18th September 2008, 02:21 PM
list "parted -l" from LiveCD. It little bit easier to say... ;) Usually installation partition is the /dev/sda1.

xen_yasai
18th September 2008, 02:37 PM
Any suggestions? Help would be very, very much appreciated.

Do you have a Windows CD that can give you access to command prompt?

If yes, go into command prompt and type this:
fdisk /mbr

This should rewrite the MBR.

Hope it works out for you.

balkrishna
19th September 2008, 05:38 AM
the drive in which u have installed vista. cant say whether its C or /dev/sda1 depends on system to system