Posts Tagged ‘grub’

Fix Broken Windows Boot After Installing Linux (grub)

Monday, October 8th, 2012

When you install Linux or another OS alongside Windows in a dual-boot configuration, the installation often sets up a boot loader like grub to manage the booting alternatives. This can sometimes break the Windows boot loader, which can cause problems in certain situations.

One situation is where you have a Windows hard drive and a Linux hard drive. It works fine as long as both drives are installed, but say you remove the Linux hard drive: you would expect the Windows drive to boot up straight into Windows. But instead you might get a message like “BOOTMGR is missing”.

Another situation that I ran into was that I could not upgrade Windows 7 to SP1 in my dual-boot configuration.  Reasons why are discussed here.  I had to revert the boot loader back to booting directly into Windows before the Windows 7 SP1 update would stick.

There are also a few other situations that might cause your Windows boot loader to get corrupted, and you probably don’t want to resort to restoring your entire drive from a backup image or re-installing Windows from the ground up.  So here’s one relatively easy way to fix your boot.

Repairing the Windows boot loader

Here is one way to repair the Windows boot:  Find a Windows Full or Upgrade install disc. Boot from it. When it comes up, select your language, then at the next screen, select the Repair Windows option at the bottom of the screen. Select the Startup Repair. Indicate which version of Windows you would like to repair, if it finds more than one installation on your hard drive. It will do some checking, and should find that your BootMgr is in need of repair. Tell it to repair the problem. After that it should boot directly into Windows again.

This works with a Windows 7 Upgrade disc.  I’m not sure about Windows XP.

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx upgrade breaks Grub boot loader

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Today I upgraded my laptop, which dual boots Ubuntu and Windows 7, to Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.4).  Towards the end of the upgrade it said it was upgrading Grub (the multi-OS boot loader) to Grub2.  It then asked me some questions about which partitions to modify.

Apparently I answered wrong, because when the upgrade finished and I rebooted, I got an error message from Grub: “Error 4: Symbol ‘grub_puts_’ not found“.  I ended up at a prompt that said “grub-rescue>” where very few commands worked.  Even “help” was not recognized.

Thankfully, others had blazed the trail.  A little web searching turned up a procedure for repairing the Grub install.  (Note:   the first command should be “sudo fdisk -l” with a space dash lower-case L).  I just booted from the Ubuntu LiveCD and followed the procedure.  That resurrected Grub and allowed me to boot successfully into Linux.

Well, as you might have guessed, my Windows 7 boot had also been clobbered.  To fix that, I had to boot from the Windows 7 CD and follow these instructions.

Finally, here are a couple of other informational references for Grub 2:

Many thanks to those who went before, battled the dragons, lived to tell the tale, and took the time to tell it.