I'm in need of some desperate help, because I can't lose my current hard drive data AGAIN. I apologize if this is a lengthy post, but I want to make sure I include as much relevant information as possible.
Lenovo Y580 (upgraded)
Primary used for physics simulations/GPU computing (Matlab, Mathematica, Maple, Image Processing, etc)
16GB ram (G.Skill)
256GB Crucial M4 mSATA (primary drive)
1TB SATA 5400rpm (secondary/extra storage)
GeForce GTX 660M/Intel HD 4000 (switchable; 660M mildly overclocked)
Windows 7 Ultimate (on SSD)
Ubuntu 12.10 (on SSD)
Unlocked Insydeh20 BIOS (http://forum.techinferno.com/lenovo-...-versions.html)
My Linux Background:
I played around with Slackware back in 2000-2003. I got really good at working with hard drives, partitions, reinstalling Linux and Windows 98/XP. I have not played around with Linux since then, and I didn't know UEFI/GPT/GUID existed until I bought my Lenovo and started playing around. I essentially have almost no knowledge of modern Linux, but I have decent knowledge of hardware, software, and Windows.
I have had Windows 7 Ult running perfectly fine off the Crucial SSD for awhile now. The unlocked BIOS works exactly as it should. I've had no glitches with anything pertaining to my problem. Up until I tried installing Ubuntu with my Linux knowledgeable friend, my laptop was fine. This sucks, because I was really excited to get into Linux once again with Ubuntu.
First, I ran the install program off the Ubuntu DVD I burned. For some reason, I couldn't get past the allocating drive space menu. It didn't matter if I clicked on "Install Alongside Windows 7," "Replace Windows 7 with Ubuntu," or "Something Else," the "Continue" button remained grayed out. We thought that was odd, but decided on a wubi install without actually understanding what that meant. We thought it was a way to initialize or run a full Ubuntu installation under Windows. That was an obviously stupid idea and mistake, because when I rebooted my laptop, Ubuntu wouldn't load, and decided to try to install it on a partition I created on the SSD for Linux when I first installed Windows using "dispart." It was formatted "ntfs," but perhaps the reason wubi failed was that I didn't install it on the Win 7 partition?
Regardless of what the issue was, I went on to wipe that partition, chop out a chunk for swap, and installed a fresh Ubuntu system there. Ubuntu has been running correctly since then, but the Win 7 MSR partition (the 100-150MB partition between the boot and Windows partitions) shows up the Ubuntu task bar on the left side of the screen and in Nautilus under "Devices" where flash drives and other removable media appear. One other oddity during the installation was that the Win 7 partition was listed as "EFI Boot" instead of "ntfs," and I had to manually select "ntfs" in the install or the Ubuntu install program couldn't figure out the correct boot partition.
The bootloader(s) were messed up after the full Ubuntu install. Win 7 still booted at this time, but Ubuntu was listed in its own bootloader. I did a lot of research on GRUB, GRUB2, GPT, GUID, (U)EFI, etc. to fix the bootloader to properly load each OS, but this is where Windows ceased loading... after using "boot-repair." Here's the URLs to the boot repair webpage documenting my issues:
1) http://paste.ubuntu.com/5649727/ (latest from today)
3) http://paste.ubuntu.com/5638672/ (first boot-repair run from a few days ago)
What I Think Happened:
I don't know what happened when I first went to install Ubuntu, but the wubi installation failed. Because I misunderstood what wubi is, I just gave up on it to create a full Ubuntu installation. However, the wubi install actually changed the boot loaders (at least Windows' boot loaders), and the second, full Ubuntu install just made the boot situation even worse. Symptoms of this was the odd issue of Ubuntu seeing Windows as "EFI Boot" instead of "ntfs" and the current issue of the Windows MSR partition showing up in Nautilus' devices list. Finally, running boot-repair several times in this situation sealed the deal and messed up Windows. I also think this has caused the problem of diskpart saying "There is no volume associated with this partition" when I select the MSR partition and type "detail part" to get its specs/information.
What My Current Problem Is:
I cannot boot into Windows at all whether from the SSD or the Win 7 Install DVD, and that's preventing me from fixing Windows and deleting all the wubi junk. I planned to redo the Ubuntu install after cleaning the SSD of all wubi junk, but I can't do that. The Win 7 recovery program from the install DVD can find the Windows partition but not read from it. diskpart states "There is no volume associated with this partition" when I try to use that. Ubuntu is able to see the partition and read the data on the Windows partition, but that doesn't help me fix Windows. So all I can do is get proof that a partition is there, but I can't get into it outside of Ubuntu. Since this also occurs with the MSR partition, this could be the reason Windows is not booting.
The current error I'm getting when I try to run Windows is at all from GRUB ("Windows Boot UEFI Loader"):
Windows Boot Manager
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software.....blah blah blah
...a bunch of blah here...
Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.
How do I fix the boot partitions, boot loaders, etc. so Windows works? I really need to rescue this partition and the programs installed within. I know I can do a backup (somehow after I learn how) through the current Ubuntu install, but I've already committed over 12 hours of my life to this. It appears that no one has a proper grasp on UEFI and how it works, UEFI has not been implemented correctly by Lenovo and the InsydeH20 manufacturers, and the lot of us are going to have many problems for the foreseeable future with this idiot system. It shouldn't be this hard, when back in my Linux days, "fixmbr" and it's sub-commands fixed everything.
Thank you everyone,