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Thread: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    7

    Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    I involuntarily screwed it up when trying to install Ubuntu, I need some help to recover now my Win7 loader. Short story:

    Using a USB "live cd", after testing it a little bit in my notebook, I decided to install Ubuntu. My notebook has 2 HD, one had Win 7, the other one was storage. Ubuntu offered to install Ubuntu in the second one, but I wanted to have the to OS in one HD, and leave the second one just for storage.

    I had installed Ubuntu 12.04 back then in another older laptop that I had (just one HD) and I've done it with no problems at all, using the same USB-liveCD method. I had been able to re-size the HD, make 2 new partitions (one for Ubuntu, the other one for the swap file) and everything had worked wonderfully, so I thought it would be even easier this time. Wrong.

    I realize now that my mistake was to think that I was re-sizing the first HD but apparently I didn't; I just created a half-size partition ext4 and left the other one empty. Important clarification: I NEVER COMPLETED THE PROCESS, I DID NOT FORMAT THE HD, I just pick the option that was given to create a new partition or something like this and, in the next screen, when I realized that the W7 loader had disappeared, I tried to revert and, when unsuccessful, I just cancelled the whole process, so I think I only wrote something in the first HD's index or something like that but I don't think I've deleted anything regarding the information.

    I have thought as Plan B to install Ubuntu now on the second drive (as offered initially) and then try to recover the other HD. My question is:

    Is there a way to restore the first HD to its original state or, at least, to recover access to its original content? I had backed up most of the relevant information but still I'd like to recover the HD as it was instead of starting from scratch.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    $HOME
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    44
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    Do you have a Windows 7 install disk? And how recently did you upgrade the system to Windows 7? Can you post an image of your screen during boot time? Thanks in advance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beans
    7

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    Hi!
    I think I have some Win7 disk, not sure if it's the original installation disk or a "recovery disk". My notebook is home and I am at work now, that's why I cannot confirm. The win7 I had was the one that came installed with the computer, I never change it. The system upgrades were set to automatic, last time was yesterday night (some basic update).

    I can try to upload later a boot screenshot, but I can tell you right now what it says: after the first screen (the one showing an Asus logo, my notebook's brand) it goes directly to a black screen and one sentence "Missing OS". If I restart and press "ESC", I can have access to the boot menu and make the notebook to boot on the USB-Ubuntu.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    $HOME
    Beans
    44
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    When you access the boot menu I'm assuming it still has a listing for your hdd, correct? If so, you will most likely need to use your recovery cd that came with the computer to fix your MBR prior continuing the Ubuntu install. (Assuming you wish to have a dual-boot setup) Did the manufacturer send you a recovery disk, or just store it on the system?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    If you overwrote the partition table, you probably have to use testdisk to find old partition table and restore it.
    Windows is very particular, so whether it will work or not remains to be seen. If not other data was written it may be ok.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DataRecovery
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
    repairs including testdisk info & links
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~herman546/p21.html
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Da...Lost_Partition


    Testdisk Instructions
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Menu_Analyse
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestD..._file_for_NTFS

    I do prefer to have Windows on one drive with its boot loader. And Ubuntu on another drive with its boot loader.
    Then when (not if) one drive fails you can still from BIOS boot the other drive.
    And you then can copy some data from Ubuntu drive to Windows drive as backup and vice-versa. Full backups still required.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Hidden!

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    What happens when you boot on the first hard drive? Do you see any error message?

    You need to make sure the system partition is still intact before recovering the loader. Try booting on the Windows disc, select "repair my computer" and see if it can detect your Windows partition.
    Then, proceed to the command line and type:
    bootrec / ScanOS
    Can it see your Windows partition? If yes,
    bootrec /fixboot
    bootrec /fixmbr
    should fix the loader. You can also try bootrec /rebuildbcd

    If it can't see anything, try using diskpart, then list disk, list partition and list volume. If it can find your Windows partition, you can mount the volume and use bootrec to fix the loader from there.

    As suggested, it would be wise to install winload on one disk and Grub on the other, so your setup is more dependable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beans
    7

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    Thank you all.

    Apparently, when I screwed it up, even without doing much, I screwed it up badly.

    First of all, on the Windows side, no, unfortunately, I don't have a recovery or install disk. It came already installed, and that's it. I had an old recovery disk for my old laptop (Windows Vista), but it only gave me the option of installing windows right away, no repair or something similar.

    Then, I tried testdisk. It was complicated because I didn't have anywhere from to run it (my Ubuntu 14.04 live cd didn't allow me to install it), but I eventually created a Unbuntu Mix Rescue CD that I found in a link in the TestDisk webpage and, booting from there, I managed to run the utility.

    But, unfortunately, to no avail. It did not found out the Windows partition, it found a FAT32 boot info and backup, but it claimed both were "bad", so, again, I was not able to recover anything. There were a couple of deleted partitions, but they were all Linux ext4, no news from my old windows partition, gone with the missing Malaysia airplane.

    I am running TestDisk a second time, just to see if I may rescue something.

    Thank you all of you for your help, it gave me a chance, but it seems I'm beyond salvation. I'll keep you posted on the final outcome.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    If you have some files that you did not backup and they are essential, testdisk also includes photorec. It can recovery many types of files as long as they were not overwritten.

    But it is a very long process as it just scans drive for anything that looks like a file. And it does not recover file names, just extensions, so you have to review many files to find the ones you want. For me it also found some text files I had saved many times and found all the old deleted ones. So I had to sort thru them, compare to last backup and try to add or delete the changes I made in the recovered files. Long process.

    Testdisk & photorec
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step
    http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntucat/...rdeletedfiles/
    http://ubuntu4beginners.blogspot.com...otorec-in.html

    Use scripts to help sort and rename files:
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/After_Using_PhotoRec
    use flac tags to rename files
    http://lglinux.blogspot.com/2008/10/...ame-files.html
    http://system-tricks.com/index.php/d...overy-results/
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Beans
    12,539

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    My own advice is to use Windows data recovery apps to restore Windows partitions and/or files.

    To try to restore the partitions, download and burn a CD of the Minitool Partition Wizard Boot CD. Boot using that and see if it offers you the option of recovering the partitions. If it does, try that and see what happens.

    If that does not work and you still need your files back, and you're willing to spend some money to do that, let us know and I can direct you to a site to purchase a Widows data recovery app.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beans
    7

    Re: Ruined Windows loader while installing Ubuntu 14.04

    Thanks Mark,
    Unfortunately, by the time I read your post, I had already decided to start from scratch. A friend of mine gave me his copy of Win7 (he updated to Win8 so he was not using it anymore) and I installed from scratch. I tried before the recovery utilities that that disk had, but they were similar to the one I used, again to no avail.

    Thank you all in any case. I had saved my files, I just wanted to save myself the tedious process I am right now: re-installing all W7 updates and then the soft I had (MS office and so). The good news is Iĺl have a very slick version of W7 and just with the software I intend to use in W, which is little.

    No, question for everybody:

    What really pissed me off is that when I installed Ubuntu 12.04, as I said, in one notebook with just 1 HDD, it was all great, I coudl re-size and create a new partition (actually, 2, one for Linus and one swap file) without affecting windows.

    I thought U14.04 would be the same. Wrong. The set up menu is not intuitive at all. I just wanted to re-size the windows partition in the first drive, install linux there, and use the second HDD as data for both OSs.

    Now, everybody recommends me to install U14.04 in the second drive, but after my experience with this I am puzzled: I am afraid that I might screw up similar to what happen with the other HDD (at the end of the day, to install U14.04 in the second drive I'll have to re-size the current partition and create 2 new for Linux and the swap.

    So, is anyone familiar with the new installing system of U14.04 and, thus, why in the damn world I can just resize and create partitions as easily as with the previous version?

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