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Vista 32bit MBR

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
japodguy
 

Posts: n/a
Vista 32bit MBR

Okay, the short story is that I messed up my MBR. Here's the long
story:

I had Vista on an nVidia RAID configuration (with two IDE drives in the
array: sda and sdb) and wanted to install Linux, so I got myself a SATA
HDD (appears as sdc), installed it, and proceeded to install Ubuntu on
that drive. Well, GRUB overwrote my MBR and wouldn't even boot into ANY
OS (I kept getting a GRUB stage 1.5 error 21). After trying to fix this
problem, I decided to try to get things back to square 1 and start over
with the dual boot thing. I erased everything that was on the SATA
drive, then I booted into the Windows Recovery Environment last night
and tried the "Startup Repair". I sat there thinking for about two
hours and said that it couldn't fix anything. Then I brought up the
command line and did:

bootrec /fixmbr -> says it completed successfully
bootrec /fixboot -> says element not found
bootrec /scanos -> finds one windows installation (my Vista
installation on the C: drive)

???

What have I done to my computer?
An interesting note: I downloaded and burned SuperGRUB to a CD, and if
I boot from this CD I can use the Boot Partition tool to boot into
Windows. But this is far from perfect as if I want to boot into Windows
I have to go through the CD.

So my question is: Is there any way to repair my Windows installation
(namely the MBR), or do I have to do a clean install?

From what I understand my HDD configuration is as follows:

hd0 (blank) hd1 (has Windows on it)
---- ----
SATA Drive (sdc) nVidia RAID Array (2 IDE drives: sda and sdb)

Once everything is back to normal, how do I install Ubuntu the 'right'
way?


--
japodguy
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2009
Night Hawk
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR

japodguy;975179 Wrote:
> Okay, the short story is that I messed up my MBR. Here's the long story:
>
> I had Vista on an nVidia RAID configuration (with two IDE drives in the
> array: sda and sdb) and wanted to install Linux, so I got myself a SATA
> HDD (appears as sdc), installed it, and proceeded to install Ubuntu on
> that drive. Well, GRUB overwrote my MBR and wouldn't even boot into ANY
> OS (I kept getting a GRUB stage 1.5 error 21). After trying to fix this
> problem, I decided to try to get things back to square 1 and start over
> with the dual boot thing. I erased everything that was on the SATA
> drive, then I booted into the Windows Recovery Environment last night
> and tried the "Startup Repair". I sat there thinking for about two hours
> and said that it couldn't fix anything. Then I brought up the command
> line and did:
>
> bootrec /fixmbr -> says it completed successfully
> bootrec /fixboot -> says element not found
> bootrec /scanos -> finds one windows installation (my Vista
> installation on the C: drive)
>
> ???
>
> What have I done to my computer?
> An interesting note: I downloaded and burned SuperGRUB to a CD, and if
> I boot from this CD I can use the Boot Partition tool to boot into
> Windows. But this is far from perfect as if I want to boot into Windows
> I have to go through the CD.
>
> So my question is: Is there any way to repair my Windows installation
> (namely the MBR), or do I have to do a clean install?
>
> From what I understand my HDD configuration is as follows:
>
> hd0 (blank) hd1 (has Windows on it)
> ---- ----
> SATA Drive (sdc) nVidia RAID Array (2 IDE drives: sda and sdb)
>
> Once everything is back to normal, how do I install Ubuntu the 'right'
> way?


The infamous Grub error! When installing which distro? ubuntu or
another? you inadvertently allowed Grub to be installed onto the array
instead of seeing it installed to the new sata drive you added in.

When installing Grub where any Windows installations are present on one
of the drives with Linux going onto a separate hard drive you use the
custom option when reaching the partitioning section to designate the
root as the "/" mount point and simply click on the Linux drive when
asked where Grub will be installed. That will generally leave the
Windows mbr intact.

The bootrec /scanos command at the prompt while booting from the Vista
dvd was the correct method to start with. Once answering Y for yes and
seeing the installation shown successfully added message you then use
the Fixboot and Fixmbr commands to correct the Vista mbr seeing the Grub
entries removed. You may have to do this a few times to actually see
Windows booting normally again.


--
Night Hawk
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2009
semoi
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR
If this was a RAID 0 installation and you can boot into it in any manner you
are fortunate. If that is the case, when you reinstall Vista you may want to
reconsider whether the RAID 0 is worthwhile.
If you have not done so back up everything you need.
Vista's tools do not do a good job of restoring major MBR f-ups like this.
There are instructions for manually rewriting the Vista MBR but in a similar
self-caused problem that did not work for me, only a fresh install of Vista
Why Vista (and earlier versions of Win 95 on up) can write a new MBR with a
fresh install but cannot effectively fix many corrupted MBRs is a mystery to
me.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2009
japodguy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR

Okay, so I booted into the Windows Recovery Environment and did the
following:

X:\Sources>bootrec /rebuildbcd
Scanning all disks for Windows installations.

Please wait, since this may take a while...

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y)/No(N)/All(A):Y
*Element not found.*

So what's 'Element not found.'?


--
japodguy
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2009
Night Hawk
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR

japodguy;975343 Wrote:
> Okay, so I booted into the Windows Recovery Environment and did the
> following:
> X:\Sources>bootrec /rebuildbcd
> Scanning all disks for Windows installations.
>
> Please wait, since this may take a while...
>
> Successfully scanned Windows installations.
> Total identified Windows installations: 1
> [1] C:\Windows
> Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y)/No(N)/All(A):Y
> *Element not found.*
> So what's 'Element not found.'?


The element not found is when the rebuild tool is unable to detect the
installation presently on the system. That can be for different reasons
like the order you type the commands in. Try typing the bootrec /scanos
entry before using the bootrec /rebuildbcd. Once successfully added you
simply type the bootrec /fixmbr and /fixboot commands.

Another option if the BCD store itself isn't able to be rebuilt is to
delete the present one. The second section seen on the MS page for this
is at 'Error message when you start Windows Vista: "The Windows
Boot Configuration Data file is missing required information"'
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391)

The easier commands to use at the command prompt are:

bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup (C being used here for the single
OS/system drive)
c:
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /RebuildBcd


--
Night Hawk
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2009
Kerry Brown
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR
Are you loading the RAID controller driver in the recovery environment?
--
Kerry Brown
MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience: Systems Administration
http://www.vistahelp.ca/phpBB2/




"japodguy" <guest@unknown-email.com> wrote in message
news:4e48015454025aa090c8e4effc0576aa@nntp-gateway.com...
>
> Okay, the short story is that I messed up my MBR. Here's the long
> story:
>
> I had Vista on an nVidia RAID configuration (with two IDE drives in the
> array: sda and sdb) and wanted to install Linux, so I got myself a SATA
> HDD (appears as sdc), installed it, and proceeded to install Ubuntu on
> that drive. Well, GRUB overwrote my MBR and wouldn't even boot into ANY
> OS (I kept getting a GRUB stage 1.5 error 21). After trying to fix this
> problem, I decided to try to get things back to square 1 and start over
> with the dual boot thing. I erased everything that was on the SATA
> drive, then I booted into the Windows Recovery Environment last night
> and tried the "Startup Repair". I sat there thinking for about two
> hours and said that it couldn't fix anything. Then I brought up the
> command line and did:
>
> bootrec /fixmbr -> says it completed successfully
> bootrec /fixboot -> says element not found
> bootrec /scanos -> finds one windows installation (my Vista
> installation on the C: drive)
>
> ???
>
> What have I done to my computer?
> An interesting note: I downloaded and burned SuperGRUB to a CD, and if
> I boot from this CD I can use the Boot Partition tool to boot into
> Windows. But this is far from perfect as if I want to boot into Windows
> I have to go through the CD.
>
> So my question is: Is there any way to repair my Windows installation
> (namely the MBR), or do I have to do a clean install?
>
> From what I understand my HDD configuration is as follows:
>
> hd0 (blank) hd1 (has Windows on it)
> ---- ----
> SATA Drive (sdc) nVidia RAID Array (2 IDE drives: sda and sdb)
>
> Once everything is back to normal, how do I install Ubuntu the 'right'
> way?
>
>
> --
> japodguy


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2009
japodguy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR

>
> The element not found is when the rebuild tool is unable to detect the
> installation presently on the system. That can be for different reasons
> like the order you type the commands in. Try typing the bootrec /scanos
> entry before using the bootrec /rebuildbcd. Once successfully added you
> simply type the bootrec /fixmbr and /fixboot commands.
> I tried typing the commands in the order you suggested, but that didn't

change anything.

>
> The easier commands to use at the command prompt are:
>
> bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup (C being used here for the single
> OS/system drive)
> c:
> cd boot
> attrib bcd -s -h -r
> ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
> bootrec /RebuildBcd
> When I run:bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup

It just says: "The store operation has failed. The requested
system device cannot be found." Also, from inspection, it looks as
though the file C:\Boot\BCD doesn't exist. ??? Is there anything else I
can do?


--
japodguy
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2009
Saucy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR
"japodguy" <guest@unknown-email.com> wrote in message
news:4e48015454025aa090c8e4effc0576aa@nntp-gateway.com...
>
> ???
>
> What have I done to my computer?
> >

> --
> japodguy



You installed Linux.

Saucy

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2009
Night Hawk
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR

japodguy;976531 Wrote:
> > > >

> > The element not found is when the rebuild tool is unable to detect the
> > installation presently on the system. That can be for different reasons
> > like the order you type the commands in. Try typing the bootrec /scanos
> > entry before using the bootrec /rebuildbcd. Once successfully added you
> > simply type the bootrec /fixmbr and /fixboot commands.
> > > > I tried typing the commands in the order you suggested, but that

> didn't change anything.
>
> > > >

> > The easier commands to use at the command prompt are:
> >
> > bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup (C being used here for the single
> > OS/system drive)
> > c:
> > cd boot
> > attrib bcd -s -h -r
> > ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
> > bootrec /RebuildBcd
> > > > When I run:

> bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
> It just says: "The store operation has failed. The requested
> system device cannot be found." Also, from inspection, it looks as
> though the file C:\Boot\BCD doesn't exist. ??? Is there anything else
> I can do?


There's a freeware BCD editing tool recommended by an article titled
"'Tech Solution: Vista Boot Error 0×000000f (C:\boot\BCD)'
(http://alextaldren.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/tech-solution-vista-boot-error-0x000000f-cbootbcd/)"
that may be just what you need there along with the repair tools. 'Tech
Solution: Vista Boot Error 0×000000f (C:\boot\BCD) « The AT Wire'
(http://alextaldren.wordpress.com/200...000f-cbootbcd/)

Shortly after Vista's initial release I ran across the free tool
mentioned there available at 'Download EasyBCD 1.7.2 - NeoSmart
Technologies' (http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1)

The general documentation for use is seen at 'List Pages - Tree View -
NeoSmart Technologies Wiki'
(http://neosmart.net/wiki/pages/listp...e InHierarchy)

For the problem you are seeing there however there's a page seen with
other commands to enter for seeing the boot loader repaired in the last
section called "Step Four: Nuclear Holocaust" seen at 'Recovering the
Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki'
(http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBC...r+from+the+DVD)


--
Night Hawk
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2009
japodguy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Vista 32bit MBR

Thanks for your prompt responses.

Yes, I have EasyBCD, and have tried going down that route a few times,
but it won't even get to the main dialog.

When I open EasyBCD, it alerts:
"EasyBCD has detected that your BCD boot data and MBR are either not
from the latest verstion of Windows Vista, or don't yet exist.

If you'd like EasyBCD to correct these issues, press OK. This will
modify the MBR and requires that you have Windows Vista installed on
this machine. You can cancel at any time. Press 'No' to exit BCD now."

So, I press OK (actually the button is 'Yes') and it says:
"Unfortunately, EasyBCD could not automatically detect the drive letter
of your boot device. This can be caused by a non-standard MBR, use of a
3rd-party bootloader, or a failed Windows Vista install.

To proceed, please enter the letter of your boot drive below. The boot
drive is identified by the presence of special files and folders like
boot.ini, ntldr, and bootmgr. If you continue to see this error message,
please run "Reset BCD storage" from the Diagnostics section."

I then select "C:\" as the correct boot drive (it is the only drive
letter to select from) and press OK.

It then says:
"Easy BCD is now attempting to recreate the BCD registry from scratch.
In order for this process to succeed, we need you to pick the letter of
a Windows Vista to be the default boot target.

Once you've picked the corresponding letter, press OK to continue."

I select C:\ for the Vista Drive letter (again, the only option), and
press OK.

It then pops up:
"The store import operation has failed.
The requested system device cannot be found."

It then wants to repeat the whole process endlessly as far as I can
tell (popping up the same dialogs over and over).

Is this in any way related to the "Element not found" error I was
getting when trying to rebuild the BCD?


--
japodguy
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