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Dual booting issues Ubuntu/Windows 7


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#1 gm1138

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:21 PM

For more than a year, I dual booted my Vista laptop with Fedora and later Ubuntu 12.04. I used EasyBCD as my bootloader, and I had no issues.

 

I recently replaced Vista with Windows 7, which of course deleted the EasyBCD bootloader. I used the 'boot repair' live CD (64-bit version) to create a new Grub bootloader,

 

Now it seems when I use Ubuntu, there's a very good chance Windows 7 won't boot the next time I use it.

 

When switching back to Windows, the "Starting Windows" animation appears and then the computer restarts. Windows Startup Repair *always* states that it can't repair the problem, but usually after two or three lengthy repair attempts, Windows eventually starts up. Occasionally I've had to use System Restore to arbitrarily revert to an earlier state, and once I actually had to reinstall Windows.

 

Can anyone suggest a fix for this? I wonder if switching to Grub instead of EasyBCD is the issue, but it doesn't seem likely.

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

GM



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 08:31 PM

Well it's easy enough to re-install Easy BCD and see if that fixes the issue. I have an older PC that will not (and never has) loaded any version of Windows properly from Grub - it would usually error with NTLDR not found and similar.  It is, I suspect something peculiar to do with the BIOS on that PC as I've never run into the issue on anything else.  I now use Easy BCD on it and that works perfectly.

 

BTW when you ran Boot Repair you should get a link to paste.ubuntu.com (IIRC) that gives a summary of how your system is set up.  Do you have that link by any chance?


Edited by jonuk76, 11 January 2014 - 08:36 PM.

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#3 gm1138

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:49 AM

Thanks jonuk76, after reading your response, I found myself spending the next two and a half hours rebooting and repairing, and I only managed to get into Windows 7 twice. So I reinstalled EasyBCD, but on reboot I got the Grub menu first, followed by the EasyBCD menu, and Windows still wouldn't boot.

 

So I finally popped in my Windows 7 install disk and ran bootsect.exe to reset the MBR. On reboot, I was surprised the EasyBCD menu was still in place, but at least I didn't see Grub. But now it seems to be working fine to boot to either Ubuntu or Windows! (Fingers crossed, knock on wood!) Thanks for your post.

 

GM

 

I should have stated it above, my computer is an HP Compaq Presario CQ50z.

Just in case anyone wants to know, and to remind myself in the future, here's how to do it:

 

If you can't get into Windows: (If you *can*, see jonuk's post below!)

Boot to the Windows 7 install CD

Click Next at the language/time/keyboard selection screen

Choose Repair Your Computer

Choose Command Prompt

type: diskpart

type: select disk 0

type: list volume

notate the CD/DVD drive letter

type: exit

type the drive letter and a colon, for example E:

type: cd boot

type: bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr

type: exit

Click Shutdown button

Hopefully, reboot into Windows 7 (remove the CD)

 

To add Linux to the bootloader:

Install and run EasyBCD from Neosmart.net

Click Add New Entry button

Click Linux/BSD tab

Choose your bootloader Type (In my case, Grub 2)

Choose your Linux Drive or Partition

Rename NeoSmart Linux to whatever you want to appear in your boot menu

Click Add Entry

Click BCD Deployment button

Click Install the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to the MBR

Click Write MBR

Now the EasyBCD bootloader should take you to Windows or to the Grub menu. From Grub you can boot to Linux.

(You can set the Grub menu to go straight to Linux, but I don't know the procedure.)

 

I hope it works for you too!


Edited by gm1138, 13 January 2014 - 03:31 AM.


#4 jonuk76

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:41 AM

Glad you got it sorted :)  FYI you can re-install the Windows boot loader using EasyBCD as an alternative to booting from the Windows DVD.  I probably should have posted this originally.  Here is how:

 

k7ftUxA.png

 

Grub is usually installed in the main Linux partition

Windows 7 BCD is installed in the hidden system partition it creates during installation

The MBR is just a very simple 512 byte bit of code that points to where the main bootloader program (Grub or BCD whatever the case may be) is.  When you first turn the PC on the BIOS looks for the MBR area of the disk and loads it.


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