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Informations, tips and technics.

Simple guide to recover your various boot loader

Update : See there for some other way to recover your grub-xp-vista bootloader

I have previously posted some tips about boot loaders and I think that I have to right a new post with some steps that you can try to recover your various boot loaders, from Grub, XP or Vista. This is not a complete guide since I cannot guarantee to 100% that it will work in all scenario but maybe it can help. I will take my own configuration as an example:

  • OpenSuse Linux 10.3
  • XP
  • Vista

All installed on the primary disk.

Also, the install order is :

  • XP
  • Vista
  • OpenSuse 10.3

As you already read in a previous post, after OpenSuse 10.3 was installed, all boot entries should works and be available in Grub at this time.

Recover your Grub bootloader

  • See my previous post
    Just remember that there is a bug in OpenSuse 10.3 repair option so I have to use another tool

Your XP entry does not work after installing Vista

  • After installing Vista, your old XP entry is correctly listed in the Vista boot loader but a message appear when you try to boot XP : Can’t find file ntldr
  • Boot on Vista, copy the file from your XP partition boot.ini. ntldr and ntdetect.com to your root Vista partition, that should resolve the issue (just remember that those files may be hidden)

The Vista boot loader no longer work

  • First, use the Vista DVD to boot your system and try the repair options. At least, you should have a recovered Vista boot loader.
  • Sometimes, even if the repair was successful and that you can boot Vista, you XP entry does not work. In this case, check the XP entry for the driver letter. (I will post soon what I have on my machine to make things clearer)
  • To ease the troubleshooting, once in Vista, download and use (make a backup of your bootloader first!) a tool like EasyBCD (link) so you can change some settings more easily.

Error in partition table, unable to repair Vista, XP or Grub boot loader

  • In this case, I had the best results by writing a new and clean MBR to the disk using a tool like TestDisk. You can find this tool with the SystemRescueCD (link). Just select your disk and select the option to reset MRB to zero and install a clean MBR.
  • Once done, try again the Vista repair option and other tips in this post.

Just a note : Sometimes, after writing a clean MBR to the disk, it may be necessary to use first the recovery option from the XP cd to install the XP boot loader first. Just boot using the XP cd, then access the recovery console. From here, use the fixboot and fixmbr options. Please check also the command to find, list an recover your XP boot entry. Once you have done that, you should be able to boot at least XP. Then you should proceed with the Vista repair tips.

That’s pretty all for now. I will try to update this post with more details soon.

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Filed under: Linux, Windows, , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. mqudsi says:

    I highly recommend this all-comprehensive guide to anyone trying to fix/recover/repair ther Windows Vista bootloader:

    Recovering the Windows Vista Bootloader

  2. […] (RSS) « Vista shutdown icon shortcut on your desktop Simple guide to recover your various boot loader […]

  3. […] November 4, 2008 If you have already see my blog, you have already noticed that I have written an how-to several months ago about recovering grub bootloader with Vista and XP. Well, I have recently have to […]

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