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Will the Vista 'repair' process overwrite by MBR bootloader?


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#1 Pipps

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:56 AM

When I try to start Vista, it tells me that it needs to repair, and that I should restart with the DVD, and select 'repair computer'. I think this is because I recently moved and expanded the Vista partition, using the Gparted from a 'Live CD'.

I am happy to do this to help Vista, but my concern is that doing this may cause wider problems for my system.

I am running a tri-boot system from one local drive. It comprises XP, Ubuntu Linux, and Vista. To manage these three operating systems, I use the GRUB bootloader. This is installed separately from Linux, on its own 100MB partition. It is also setup within the MBR of my drive. I have spent some time customising it, and it currently works perfectly for me.

However, I am concerned that Vista, as part of its repair procedure, may attempt to alter or overwrite the MBR, thinking that this is what it needs to do to help itself.

It would be really useful to know whether this would indeed be expected to be Vista's 'repair' behaviour in this scenario. Any confirmation, either way, would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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#2 CoolCatBad

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:42 AM

Not sure whether or not Repair will harm MBR, but you should have used EasyBCD as the Boot Manager.

Install in Windows, Vista or XP, and multiboot options for almost any other OS are simple.

#3 Pipps

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 06:58 AM

Hello Sir! Thank you for your reply. Funnily enough, I do use EasyBCD within Vista. I use it for the sole purpose of setting Vista's sub-bootloader menu to a zero timeout, so that after I have selected Vista in Grub, I do not see the Vista sub-bootloader at all, and it presents the appearance of simply booting from Grub straight into Vista.

As for whether Vista's 'repair' process also includes an inherent function which restores what Vista would like to think is the MBR, I have a sneaking suspicion that it does. But I would be grateful for anyone else's confirmation of this, before I pull the trigger. Thank you.

#4 CoolCatBad

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:24 PM

How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

"/FixMbr
The /FixMbr option writes a Windows Vista-compatible MBR to the system partition. This option does not overwrite the existing partition table. Use this option when you must resolve MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove non-standard code from the MBR."

#5 Pipps

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 01:17 AM

A corrupt MBR is not the problem though, is it? As I understand the situation, it just Vista's recognitition of its own size according to the partition table.

I think the HowToGeek has addressed this issue:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vis...ista-partition/

What do you think?

#6 Pipps

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:19 PM

Well I took the plunge earlier today, and I am pleased to report that Vista did not molest my MBR. My fears were therefore, whilst I feel not unreasonable, entirely unfounded. :huh:




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