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Repair vista MBR without vista dvd? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I messed up my partition table when trying to install linux to dual boot on my vista laptop. when i boot into linux with a live cd i can see the vista drive and all its contents, but i cant boot into it. linux says there is no partition table, and if i try to create one it says it has to format the drive. i can not find my vista recovery dvd at the moment, i am still searching. i have a windows 7 dvd from another computer and when i try to go to repair mode to use bootrec, it doesn't list the vista installation. what should i do if i can't find the vista dvd? in the worst case i can put the drive in an enclosure and copy my data to another pc before reinstalling vista, but i don't want to do that unless its necessary. thanks.
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:18 AM

Answers

  • although I reinstalled last week, what you suggested didn't work when I was trying. Firstly, linux was not installed at all, I just partitioned the drive so that I could install Linux on a separate partition. The software that I used to partition the drive messed up the MBR and I had to write a new partition table using a Linux live cd. I used both a vista and 7 repair kit to try to do this, but no luck. bootrec gave the error I mentioned before, it could not repair the mbr. I had to back up my files and format the drive under linux.
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:16 PM

All replies

  • As you don’t have a Vista DVD you can download and create a Repair Disk x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) here http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/ After downloading the ISO image, burn it to a CD (a DVD is not necessary as the x86 (32-bit) version is 120MB and the x64 (64-bit) version is 148MB).

    It cannot install Vista but it repairs an installation in the same way as the Vista DVD, i.e. boot from the disk, choose ‘Press any key to boot from CD/DVD’ and Vista will start to load the Windows files. Select your language, time, currency and keyboard then click ‘Repair’ in the bottom left corner. There are five choices within Repair: Startup Repair, System Restore, Backup Restore, Memory Test and Command Prompt.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2:27 PM
  • Thanks, I will give this a shot. Hopefully my vista dvd turns up eventually.

    Edit: Found my vista dvd, booted into repair. In the first screen no OS is listed, and when I go to search for driver only my recovery partition is listed. When I do bootrec /scanos or /rebuildbcd nothing is listed. I tried startup repair and it said it created a new partition table but windows still doesn't boot. when I do bootrec /fixmbr it says successful, but bootrec /fixboot says element not found. what can i do?

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:23 PM
  • i tried the win7 dvd startup repair again, it says "system volume on disk is corrupt". i tried reinstalling windows and the main partition is not showing up, only the recovery partition. i guess i need to use linux to format the drive back to ntfs and start from scratch...
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 5:17 PM
  • Oh dear, that sounds like bad news.

    Good luck with getting Windows back.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 6:36 PM
  • Ended up reinstalling, thanks for your suggestions tho.
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 8:27 PM
  • If it doesn't list the vista installation  from the command prompt module inside the repair options, have you tried just pressing enter where it asks you to choose which installation to repair? Even if no installation is listed, it should (after you press enter) list the repair options, where you can choose to use a modified command prompt that will show some thing like X:\sources>_   . HERE, YOU CAN TYPE (WITHOUT THE QUOTATION MARKS) " C:" press enter.

    type "cd\windows\system32\FIXMBR.EXE /A ". HOWEVER THE PROBLEM HERE IS THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY TRYING TO BOOT INTO ANOTHER OPERATING ENVIRONMENT ON THE SAME HARD DRIVE AS THE ENVIRONMENT YOU ARE TRYING TO BOOT INTO IT FROM!!!  FIRST, LOGOFF OF LINUX, THEN LOGON TO VISTA... 


    NTauthority-local
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:04 AM
  • although I reinstalled last week, what you suggested didn't work when I was trying. Firstly, linux was not installed at all, I just partitioned the drive so that I could install Linux on a separate partition. The software that I used to partition the drive messed up the MBR and I had to write a new partition table using a Linux live cd. I used both a vista and 7 repair kit to try to do this, but no luck. bootrec gave the error I mentioned before, it could not repair the mbr. I had to back up my files and format the drive under linux.
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:16 PM