Removed Linux now have data drive problem


J

Jim

Can't figure this one out. I wanted to give Linux a try so I removed
my SSD with Windows 7 installed.

I have a seperate data drive which I left in my computer.

Next I put in a spare drive and installed Ubuntu on it. Everything
went well but I got tired of Ubuntu after a few days so I removed the
drive with Ubuntu on it and put the SSD drive with Windows 7 back in.
Now the trouble started. I rebooted and computer can't find windows on
boot. OK no problem, I can just fix it using bootrec commands I
thought. Bootrec /scanos finds windows but bootrec /rebuildbcd and
bootrec /fixmbr get me a message 'element not found'. Fixboot works
but does nothing that helps.

I removed the data drive that I had in when I installed Ubuntu and
bootrec finds windows and bootrec /rebuildbcd fixes my problem.
Windows is working fine. I then replace my Bcd file with a good backup
that I made before I installed Ubuntu. I reinstall the data drive and
now I can't boot just like before. Remove it and put in a different
data drive and everything works fine. I now suspect the Volume Boot
Record on the problem drive but I don't know how to fix a vbr from a
command prompt using a repair disk. Help with this would be greatly
appreciated.

My question is does Ubuntu hide something on the data drive? Something
is definitely on that data drive that screws up my boot. Is it the
VBR? Does anyone have an answer to this perplexing problem?

Thanks
 
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P

Paul

Jim said:
Can't figure this one out. I wanted to give Linux a try so I removed
my SSD with Windows 7 installed.

I have a seperate data drive which I left in my computer.

Next I put in a spare drive and installed Ubuntu on it. Everything
went well but I got tired of Ubuntu after a few days so I removed the
drive with Ubuntu on it and put the SSD drive with Windows 7 back in.
Now the trouble started. I rebooted and computer can't find windows on
boot. OK no problem, I can just fix it using bootrec commands I
thought. Bootrec /scanos finds windows but bootrec /rebuildbcd and
bootrec /fixmbr get me a message 'element not found'. Fixboot works
but does nothing that helps.

I removed the data drive that I had in when I installed Ubuntu and
bootrec finds windows and bootrec /rebuildbcd fixes my problem.
Windows is working fine. I then replace my Bcd file with a good backup
that I made before I installed Ubuntu. I reinstall the data drive and
now I can't boot just like before. Remove it and put in a different
data drive and everything works fine. I now suspect the Volume Boot
Record on the problem drive but I don't know how to fix a vbr from a
command prompt using a repair disk. Help with this would be greatly
appreciated.

My question is does Ubuntu hide something on the data drive? Something
is definitely on that data drive that screws up my boot. Is it the
VBR? Does anyone have an answer to this perplexing problem?

Thanks
So Ubuntu put GRUB on the data drive ?

That's what it sounds like.

And then it sounds like your data drive, at one time,
was being used to boot Windows 7 somehow.

Neat.

These are the learning experiences that teach you Murphy's law...

"If you're going to install an OS, disconnect *all* unassociated drives,
all of them, and you won't be sorry."

I'm about to do that in a moment, pull all the SATA cables, so I
can try out another Linux. One hard drive will be connected during
the experiment. That's the drive that will be getting MAGEIA.

*******

As for your symptoms...

1) The MBR is what gets damaged, when an alternate OS installs.
2) The PBR (partition boot record), which on Windows 7 would be
on System Reserved, and also has the boot flag, typically gets
damaged if you reformat the partition. It should not get damaged
by GRUB as far as I know. GRUB has multiple stages, one stage
goes in the MBR, one stage goes in Track 0, later stages may be
loaded in the file system. I don't recollect ever having to repair
a PBR, except for cases where I've formatted the partition (copying
my WinXP back to a virgin partition, requires a new PBR).

The PBR gets fixed by "fixboot" on an older OS. We'd need
the Windows 7 equivalent of that. To see some options, expand
the parameter description section of this article. There is a
bootrec /fixboot there.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

And before you begin, think carefully again, about what you're doing.
You have two hard drives now, the Windows 7 hard drive and the data
drive. There is a C: partition and a System Reserved partition.
Is the System Reserved partition on the data drive ? You need
all the disks present, that constitute a full enough collection
to start the OS. Then do your repairs, and do the repairs in
such a way, that any dumb tools manage to fix the correct disk.
I suspect the bootrec command needs to repair the data drive,
but your disks and their layouts should provide a hint.
If both C: and System Reserved are on the OS drive, I'd be
very perplexed as to how the data drive could be involved.
And it sounds like the data drive is now important, for some
reason.

It's going to be even more fun, to fix it right, but at
least this intermediate step, of getting it to boot at all,
is progress. Like any OS, you can "push that crap around
until it behaves" :) It just takes time. And a few web pages.

Paul
 
J

Jim

So Ubuntu put GRUB on the data drive ?

That's what it sounds like.

And then it sounds like your data drive, at one time,
was being used to boot Windows 7 somehow.
These are the learning experiences that teach you Murphy's law...

"If you're going to install an OS, disconnect *all* unassociated drives,
all of them, and you won't be sorry."

I'm about to do that in a moment, pull all the SATA cables, so I
can try out another Linux. One hard drive will be connected during
the experiment. That's the drive that will be getting MAGEIA.

*******

As for your symptoms...

1) The MBR is what gets damaged, when an alternate OS installs.
2) The PBR (partition boot record), which on Windows 7 would be
on System Reserved, and also has the boot flag, typically gets
damaged if you reformat the partition. It should not get damaged
by GRUB as far as I know. GRUB has multiple stages, one stage
goes in the MBR, one stage goes in Track 0, later stages may be
loaded in the file system. I don't recollect ever having to repair
a PBR, except for cases where I've formatted the partition (copying
my WinXP back to a virgin partition, requires a new PBR).

The PBR gets fixed by "fixboot" on an older OS. We'd need
the Windows 7 equivalent of that. To see some options, expand
the parameter description section of this article. There is a
bootrec /fixboot there.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

And before you begin, think carefully again, about what you're doing.
You have two hard drives now, the Windows 7 hard drive and the data
drive. There is a C: partition and a System Reserved partition.
Is the System Reserved partition on the data drive ? You need
all the disks present, that constitute a full enough collection
to start the OS. Then do your repairs, and do the repairs in
such a way, that any dumb tools manage to fix the correct disk.
I suspect the bootrec command needs to repair the data drive,
but your disks and their layouts should provide a hint.
If both C: and System Reserved are on the OS drive, I'd be
very perplexed as to how the data drive could be involved.
And it sounds like the data drive is now important, for some
reason.

It's going to be even more fun, to fix it right, but at
least this intermediate step, of getting it to boot at all,
is progress. Like any OS, you can "push that crap around
until it behaves" :) It just takes time. And a few web pages.

Paul



So Ubuntu put GRUB on the data drive ?

That's what it sounds like.

And then it sounds like your data drive, at one time,
was being used to boot Windows 7 somehow.
These are the learning experiences that teach you Murphy's law...

"If you're going to install an OS, disconnect *all* unassociated drives,
all of them, and you won't be sorry."
Thanks, your reply sound right on.

That data drive did have an OS on it at one time. So Ubuntu must have
put Grub on it somehow. I didn't know Ubuntu did that.

Lesson learned. I'll disconnect all unassociated drives from now on.

Is there any easy way of removing Grub from a data drive?

I removed the data and did a format but from what I have read format
doesn't get rid of Grub. Maybe the best thing might be to use a
software program like killdisk, nuke everything, then format the drive
again. Wow, grub is a bitch. I have had virus infections that were
easier to fix. :)

Thanks for your reply!
 
J

John Williamson

Jim said:
I removed the data and did a format but from what I have read format
doesn't get rid of Grub. Maybe the best thing might be to use a
software program like killdisk, nuke everything, then format the drive
again. Wow, grub is a bitch. I have had virus infections that were
easier to fix. :)
GRUB's easy to remove. Either use the tools on the Ultimate Boot CD,
GParted live or (For an entirely Microsft solution) use fixmbr with the
appropriate drive designation using the repair console on the install media.
 
F

Fokke Nauta

<cut>

I like to try the different distro's of Linux as well. Therefor I have
VMWare installed. In VMWare one can install various Linux distro's and
there is no risk for your system. This is a safe way to try Linux.

Fokke
 
P

Paul

John said:
GRUB's easy to remove. Either use the tools on the Ultimate Boot CD,
GParted live or (For an entirely Microsft solution) use fixmbr with the
appropriate drive designation using the repair console on the install
media.
You can get fixmbr on a WinXP installer CD (or, recovery console CD).

On a Windows 7 or Windows 8 DVD (or recovery console CD), it
might be bootrec /fixmbr. (The options section is hidden, until
you expand that section on the web page. /fixmbr in this case,
would be an MBR compatible with the OS disc providing the command.)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392#method1

There is also the bootsect command, something like bootsect /nt52 ???
Bootsect gives the option of putting a particular OS flavor of MBR
446 byte code.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749177(v=WS.10).aspx

Each OS installer media, has some flavor of that command.

The tough part, is finding tools that run in the regular
OS. My WinXP machine has no fixmbr while the regular OS is running.
So you may need a recovery environment to do the job. Of the
bootxxx commands in the recent OSes, I don't know if they're accessible
in a running system or not. They might be recovery console material
as well.

Paul
 
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D

Dave

On Tue, 29 Jan 2013 20:32:13 -0800, Jim wrote:

This is a bit late for your problem, but for the future and all other
posters, rather than fiddle around with fixing problems after the fact,
make a copy of the very first track of all installed drives.
I use mbrwork.exe, a free utility from www.terabyteunlimited.com. You can
use the hpformatter to make a self boot usb stick. Copy and use mbrwork to
save that 32k first track

Once you've formatted and used the memory stick, you can still use it for
other data, just don't delete the existing files.

In addition, keep an image of all os's. The free macrium program works.
This might also save the boot info but I feel much safer with that usb
stick.
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

My question is does Ubuntu hide something on the data drive? Something
is definitely on that data drive that screws up my boot. Is it the
VBR? Does anyone have an answer to this perplexing problem?
Actually, it sounds like your computer's boot disk order got screwed up.
You'll have to go into your Computer BIOS, and check the boot order
section. I can't tell you where exactly that is inside your BIOS, those
seem to change from machine to machine, but you should be able to find
it with not too much difficulty.

Yousuf Khan
 
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J

Jim

GRUB's easy to remove. Either use the tools on the Ultimate Boot CD,
GParted live or (For an entirely Microsft solution) use fixmbr with the
appropriate drive designation using the repair console on the install media.
Grub was actually easy to remove with gparted. Just removed the boot
flags on the data drive, rebooted and all is well.
This was a great learning experience. Thanks for all the help guys.
 

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