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Thread: Can't boot back to windows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Beans
    3

    Unhappy Can't boot back to windows

    I have been using windows until my video card died. Then, I tried switching between various linux distros (installing them on my other hard drive) and xubuntu seemed pretty economically while also user friendly. But the thing is, I can't get windows for the hell of it to boot back. Trough various googling, I heard I'm supposed to swap hdds in GRUB2 but I have no idea how to do that since all guides are for GRUB. Here's my partition setup :

    Code:
    Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x000e069f
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *        2048   307470335   153734144   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2       307472382   312580095     2553857    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5       307472384   312580095     2553856   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xa2e5b534
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb1            2048   819202047   409600000    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sdb2   *   819202048  1953525167   567161560    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    If it's not explicit enough in the pasta (due to formatting), Xubuntu 12.10 x64 is installed on sda1 and Windows 7 Pro x86 is installed on sdb2.
    Last edited by Shaddonius; January 22nd, 2013 at 10:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Segur De Calafell, Spain
    Beans
    11,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can't boot back to windows

    Depending if the XP disk was present when installing xubuntu, first try in terminal:
    sudo update-grub

    Does that detect XP on sdb2? If it does, it should add it to the boot menu. Reboot and try booting it.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Beans
    3

    Re: Can't boot back to windows

    Quote Originally Posted by darkod View Post
    Depending if the XP disk was present when installing xubuntu, first try in terminal:
    sudo update-grub

    Does that detect XP on sdb2? If it does, it should add it to the boot menu. Reboot and try booting it.
    Sadly, this does not work. I should also mention in the OP that it's about windows 7. Here's the result :

    Code:
    shaddox@C3PO:~$ sudo update-grub
    [sudo] password for shaddox: 
    Generating grub.cfg ...
    Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-36-generic
    Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-36-generic
    Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-35-generic
    Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-35-generic
    Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-29-generic
    Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-29-generic
    done

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Segur De Calafell, Spain
    Beans
    11,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can't boot back to windows

    Are you sure you didn't have the small win7 partition with its boot files on sda and you deleted it while installing xubuntu? Win7 often puts boot files on another partition, which can sometimes be on another disk. If you delete this partition, it can't boot.

    From xubuntu open sdb2 and see if these files/folders exist:
    /bootmgr
    /boot/BCD

    Those are the win7 boot files. If they are not on sdb2 or sdb1, you deleted them. Grub2 looks only for boot files, not the actual files. Your win7 can be there, without boot files it won't get detected and booted.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: Can't boot back to windows

    Quote Originally Posted by darkod View Post
    Are you sure you didn't have the small win7 partition with its boot files on sda and you deleted it while installing xubuntu? Win7 often puts boot files on another partition, which can sometimes be on another disk. If you delete this partition, it can't boot.

    From xubuntu open sdb2 and see if these files/folders exist:
    /bootmgr
    /boot/BCD

    Those are the win7 boot files. If they are not on sdb2 or sdb1, you deleted them. Grub2 looks only for boot files, not the actual files. Your win7 can be there, without boot files it won't get detected and booted.
    Ohhhhhhh, so this was it. Thanks for the tip, I did not know this.

    Is there any way to fix this other than reinstalling the OS?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Segur De Calafell, Spain
    Beans
    11,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can't boot back to windows

    There should be, if you have the win7 dvd (or at least a rescue cd). sdb2 already has a boot flag on it, which is good, because it should have it.

    I suggest you shut down and disconnect the ubuntu disk so that win7 doesn't mess up anything. After that boot with the win7 dvd, after selecting the language, etc, on the next screen there should be a Repair This Computer option at the bottom.
    Run the process and it should fix the missing boot files. You might need to run it 3-4 times because it seems to fix one thing at a time.

    If the auto repair doesn't work even after that, there are some manual commands. Lets see how the auto process does first.

    If you prefer the manual commands, you have them here:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1014708

    Look at the first post in the section for Vista and 7. In fact, the manual commands might be better than the auto method, I'm not sure since I never needed to use this.

    After win7 can boot by itself, connect the ubuntu disk again and make sure you boot from it, otherwise win7 will load directly. The first time there will be no win7 in the grub menu until you boot ubuntu once and run the update-grub again. That should detect the repaired win7 boot files.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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