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Thread: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

  1. #1
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    Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    I am trying to boot up Vista Home Premium from USB since my internal (bootable) CD-RW drive has failed and I cannot boot up Vista from CD.

    I have Ubuntu running in the Windows partition and all my windows files are in there so I don't want to do a full installation of Ubuntu (yet).

    I formatted an 8GB USB stick into two partitions

    /dev/sdb1 Fat32 /media/Vista Vista 3.71 GB flag boot
    /dev/sdb2 Fat32 /media/Other Other 3.76 GB

    I then copied over to /dev/sdb1 all files from a Vista CD using an external CD-RW drive (which is not recognised as bootable on USB port).

    In my Dell BIOS settings I changed the boot sequence to be bootable from USB disk first.

    then I tried to reboot Vista installation in the USB stick.

    But I get this message ...

    "this is not a bootable disk .. insert a bootable floppy"

    So I could not boot up the Vista installation files.

    When the boot flag is "on" in a GParted created partition does this make the partition DOS bootable for Vista installation?

    My question is - What utility in Ubuntu 10.10 can create a DOS bootable partition on a USB stick? It seems that the MBR might have been overwritten when I installed Grub 2.0.

    I can Grub dual boot between Windows and Ubuntu but I can't get very far with Windows .. stalls in safe mode.

    So a Vista repair is called for. I would prefer not to reinstall Vista afresh at this stage.

    There is a thread here explaining how to repair Vista bootloader

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1014708

    but it assumes that I am able to boot from CD-RW drive.
    Last edited by dragonfly41; March 22nd, 2011 at 08:06 PM. Reason: added link to thread on repairing Vista bootloader ...

  2. #2
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    Re: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfly41 View Post
    My question is - What utility in Ubuntu 10.10 can create a DOS bootable partition on a USB stick?
    Not aware of any. Unetbootin, which is what MOST folks will recommend, only allows you to make Linux boot USBs.

    Suggest you go to a Windows 7 forum (sevenforums.com) and look through the tutorials they have about Installation. I believe there is one about creating a Win7 bootable USB installer -- and the steps would be essentially the same for Vista.
    Ubuntu 15.04 Mate, Mint 17.1; MS Win 8.1, Win10 TP.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  3. #3
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    Re: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    I tried this tutorial which suggests using freedos

    http://www.aselabs.com/articles.php?id=243

    The only software that you will need to install is the package called "dosemu" which is very simple to install from Synaptic or the console.

    but I don't have much success in installing any packages ...

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install dosemu
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    E: Unable to locate package dosemu
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$


    Is this because I'm using ubunto in demo mode?

    ...

    freedos is also used here ..

    http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=148499

    but how to install it?

  4. #4
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    Re: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    With W7 I have gotten this to work every time.

    Format the usb with a ntfs partition in gparted put a bootflag on that partition, then use the file roller to extract the vista to the partition.





  5. #5
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    Re: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    You may probably need another system running windows as only creating a bootable partition may not do it....try googling bartpe...that is the boot environment for setting up USB disk windows.

  6. #6
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    Re: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    I followed advice of wilee-nilee and I got as far as booting up from USB and it seemed that windows started installing.

    Large cursor on screen which could be moved (not frozen) and some activity in disk lights.

    But after a long time it just stuck in black screen .. cursor could be moved around .. but no sign of further installation. Don't know how long to wait.

    I'll have to try copying the Vista files again from CD into USB.

    I've used the boot info script and here are the results showing that Windows is in the /dev/sda

    /dev/sdb is the 8 GB USB stick in two partitions

    /dev/sdb1 contains Vista (bootable flag set)
    /dev/sdb2 contains miscelaneous files.


    Boot Info Script 0.55 dated February 15th, 2010

    =============================
    Boot Info Summary:
    ==============================

    => Windows is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda
    => Windows is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdb
    => No boot loader is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdc

    sda1: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: vfat
    Boot sector type: Dell Utility: Fat16
    Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:
    Boot files/dirs: /COMMAND.COM

    sda2:
    __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: ntfs
    Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7
    Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:
    Boot files/dirs:

    sda3: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: ntfs
    Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7
    Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System: Windows Vista
    Boot files/dirs: /bootmgr /Boot/BCD /Windows/System32/winload.exe
    /wubildr.mbr /ubuntu/winboot/wubildr.mbr /wubildr
    /ubuntu/winboot/wubildr /ubuntu/disks/root.disk
    /ubuntu/disks/swap.disk

    sda3/Wubi: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: ext4
    Boot sector type: -
    Boot sector info:
    Operating System:
    Boot files/dirs:

    sda4: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: Extended Partition
    Boot sector type: -
    Boot sector info:

    sda5: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: vfat
    Boot sector type: Vista: Fat 32
    Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System: Windows XP
    Boot files/dirs: /boot.ini /bootmgr /ntldr /NTDETECT.COM

    sdb1: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: ntfs
    Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7
    Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:
    Boot files/dirs: /bootmgr /boot/bcd

    sdb2: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: vfat
    Boot sector type: Fat32
    Boot sector info: According to the info in the boot sector, sdb2 starts
    at sector 0. But according to the info from fdisk,
    sdb2 starts at sector 7784448.
    Operating System:
    Boot files/dirs:

    sdc1: __________________________________________________ _______________________

    File system: ntfs
    Boot sector type: Windows XP
    Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:
    Boot files/dirs:

    ===========================
    Drive/Partition Info:
    =============================

    Drive: sda ___________________ __________________________________________________ ___

    Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

    Partition Boot Start End Size Id System

    /dev/sda1 63 401,624 401,562 de Dell Utility
    /dev/sda2 403,456 21,374,975 20,971,520 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 * 21,374,976 483,151,863 461,776,888 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4 483,151,872 488,394,751 5,242,880 f W95 Ext d (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 483,153,920 488,394,751 5,240,832 dd Dell Media Direct


    Drive: sdb ___________________ __________________________________________________ ___

    Disk /dev/sdb: 8019 MB, 8019509248 bytes
    247 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1022 cylinders, total 15663104 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

    Partition Boot Start End Size Id System

    /dev/sdb1 * 2,048 7,784,447 7,782,400 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sdb2 7,784,448 15,663,103 7,878,656 b W95 FAT32


    Drive: sdc ___________________ __________________________________________________ ___

    Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

    Partition Boot Start End Size Id System

    /dev/sdc1 63 976,768,064 976,768,002 7 HPFS/NTFS


    blkid -c /dev/null: __________________________________________________ __________

    Device UUID TYPE LABEL

    /dev/loop0 iso9660 Ubuntu 10.10 i386
    /dev/loop1 squashfs
    /dev/loop2 48596993-88ee-4a4f-a2b7-d5b79073ccde ext4
    /dev/sda1 07D8-0508 vfat DellUtility
    /dev/sda2 5204ADEB04ADD271 ntfs RECOVERY
    /dev/sda3 C8A6B0E3A6B0D364 ntfs OS
    /dev/sda4: PTTYPE="dos"
    /dev/sda5 72B4-788D vfat MEDIADIRECT
    /dev/sda: PTTYPE="dos"
    /dev/sdb1 5A0D18B62CA3DE07 ntfs Vista
    /dev/sdb2 018A-2665 vfat Other
    /dev/sdb: PTTYPE="dos"
    /dev/sdc1 0E686A82686A6883 ntfs FreeAgent Drive
    /dev/sdc: PTTYPE="dos"

    ============================
    "mount | grep ^/dev output:
    ===========================

    Device Mount_Point Type Options

    aufs / aufs (rw)
    /dev/loop0 /cdrom iso9660 (ro,noatime)
    /dev/loop1 /rofs squashfs (ro,noatime)
    /dev/sdb2 /media/Other vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=999,gid=999,sh ortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush)
    /dev/sdb1 /media/Vista fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,allow_other,blksize=4096,default_ permissions)
    /dev/sdc1 /media/FreeAgent Drive fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,allow_other,blksize=4096,default_ permissions)


    ================================
    sda5/boot.ini:
    ================================

    [boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOW S
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Embedded" /fastdetect /KERNEL=NTOSBOOT.EXE /maxmem=1024

    ===============================
    StdErr Messages:
    ===============================

    umount: /isodevice: device is busy.
    (In some cases useful info about processes that use
    the device is found by lsof(8) or fuser(1))

  7. #7
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    Re: Repairing Vista by booting Vista from a USB stick

    I have a supplementary question ..

    Since I have an external CD-RW drive on USB port which can load Vista installation disk .. currently reloading files into USB stick

    Instead of booting up Vista installation disk copied into bootable USB stick would it be feasible to place a "proxy" DOS batch file in bootable USB stick (instead of all the Vista installation files) to run the setup.exe in the external CD installation disk? Or is this a daft idea?

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