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Thread: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    37

    Post HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Tested on Ubuntu 7.04; Ubuntu 7.10 and Linux Mint 4.0 Live CDs

    If want to restore Windows Bootloader and for some reason cannot use the windows installation cd, there is a simple way to do it:

    NOTE: make sure you have internet working.

    1) Boot with Ubuntu Live CD or Linux Mint Live CD


    2) On the terminal:

    sudo apt-get install ms-sys

    then

    ms-sys --mbr /dev/hdX

    NOTE: in my case the main windows xp system is located in hda1 so I used ms-sys --mbr /dev/hda

    3) Reboot.

    This should get your windows back.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Beans
    4

    Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Brilliant! Thanks for this, it worked well.

    However I needed to enable the 'universe' repository (System->Administration->Software Sources) before I could install the ms-sys package. I also needed to put "sudo" in front of the ms-sys command (e.g. "sudo ms-sys --mbr /dev/sda") otherwise I got permission denied.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Beans
    31
    Distro
    Kubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Hey guys, I recently cloned my hard drive. Every thing worked ok and still does except that I can not boot into windows anymore. I have a dual boot system (Kubuntu / Windows XP Pro).
    I can boot into Kubuntu fine and all is well. Just booting into XP is messed up.

    When I choose to boot into XP it just sits there with "starting up" in the top left of the screen.

    I was wondering if doing the steps in this post is what I need to do?

    Does anyone know what got messed up during the cloning process and how to fix it.
    Live By Design, Not By Default!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    1

    Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    It has taken me a week to find a solution that worked -- and it worked so smoothly! Thank you! Now that the desktop PC is back in working order, my wife and I will not be fighting for the laptop!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Beans
    7

    Unhappy Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Quote Originally Posted by inoxllor View Post
    Tested on Ubuntu 7.04; Ubuntu 7.10 and Linux Mint 4.0 Live CDs

    If want to restore Windows Bootloader and for some reason cannot use the windows installation cd, there is a simple way to do it:

    NOTE: make sure you have internet working.

    1) Boot with Ubuntu Live CD or Linux Mint Live CD


    2) On the terminal:

    sudo apt-get install ms-sys

    then

    ms-sys --mbr /dev/hdX

    NOTE: in my case the main windows xp system is located in hda1 so I used ms-sys --mbr /dev/hda

    3) Reboot.

    This should get your windows back.

    Hi, I'm having the exact same problem as inoxllor and I was really excited about trying the solution you suggested. So I loaded the Ubuntu Live CD, executed installed ms-sys and executed the commands the (I too had to set software to "universe" to install ms-sys and I also needed to use the sudo, as well as the "-f" switch when I ran ms-sys). However, this did not resolve my problem - when I shut down my system and rebooted, GRUB is still trying to load and my system just hangs at the GRUB load error message.

    Any other ideas? I've tried everything solution I could find and none of them have worked. Help!
    fluteman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beans
    1

    HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD



    THANKS TO INOXLLOR & GONK THE FINAL FIX WOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

    HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD
    Tested on Ubuntu 7.04; Ubuntu 7.10 and Linux Mint 4.0 Live CDs


    If want to restore Windows Bootloader and for some reason cannot use the windows installation cd, there is a simple way to do it:

    NOTE: make sure you have internet working.

    Before the first step:
    (I needed to enable the 'universe' repository (System->Administration->Software Sources) before I could install the ms-sys package. I also needed to put "sudo" in front of the ms-sys command (e.g. "sudo ms-sys --mbr /dev/sda") otherwise I got permission denied.)

    1) Boot with Ubuntu Live CD or Linux Mint Live CD


    2) On the terminal:

    sudo apt-get install ms-sys

    then

    ms-sys --mbr /dev/hdX

    NOTE: in my case the main windows xp system is located in hda1 so I used

    sudo ms-sys --mbr /dev/hda

    ***
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ms-sys --mbr /dev/hda
    Windows 2000/XP/2003 master boot record successfully written to /dev/hda
    ***

    3) Reboot.

    This should get your windows back.
    __________________
    Thanks Reply With Quote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Italy
    Beans
    1
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Angry Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Hi everyone!

    I've tried to fix mbr with ubuntu live cd, but now it appears:

    Invelid partition table

    Notice: I'm working on a laptop asus, with 2 partions (one recovery, and one with windows and all my dates).


    Help!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Quote Originally Posted by musico218 View Post
    Hi everyone!

    I've tried to fix mbr with ubuntu live cd, but now it appears:

    Invelid partition table

    Notice: I'm working on a laptop asus, with 2 partions (one recovery, and one with windows and all my dates).


    Help!!!
    This happened to me too. I don't think ms-sys works with Vista. Another (easier?) way is to use the Windows Recovery CD which is available for download here - http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/. Go through the various options then pick "Startup Recovery". Works a charm.
    HOWTO: Watch digital TV (Freeview) - http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=421110

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Beans
    795

    Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    It does not appear ms-sys is in the repos for intrepid any longer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    California, USA
    Beans
    8,111

    Re: HOW TO: Recover Windows MBR using Ubuntu LIVE CD

    Quote Originally Posted by zorkerz View Post
    It does not appear ms-sys is in the repos for intrepid any longer.
    Yes, unfortunately that is the case. You could download that package from packages.debian.org and do it that way, but there are many ways to install a Windows type MBR though, including:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install syslinux
    sudo dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda
    And replace sda if you want to install the MBR to a different drive. Or another method:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install mbr
    sudo install-mbr -i n -p D -t 0 /dev/sda
    Both the "syslinux" and "mbr" packages are available in the repositories. I should mention that all a Windows MBR does is attempt to boot whichever partition on the HDD is marked as bootable, or active, so there are many open-source boot loaders that do exactly the same thing, including the two methods given above.

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