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Win, Lin and the MBR

 
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GeordieJedi
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:36 pm
Posts: 329
Location: North East England

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:24 pm    Post subject: Win, Lin and the MBR Reply with quote

Hi all. I've been a bit of a Numpty.

I seemed to have deleted the MBR from my PC.
(I dual boot between XP and Ubuntu. & I stupidly just deleted the Linux
partition, without amending the bootloader...DOH!)

So anyway. I believe the solution is to insert the Windows disc,
then get to a command prompt and type "fixmbr"
However....I cant find my old administrator password anywhere.
(The origional administrator account went a bit screwey, so I created an new one.
But when I enter the password for the new admin acc, it doesnt work, So im assuming that
its wanting the "origional", admin acc password?)

Is there anyway to retrieve it, or bypass this stage so that I can actually
get to the dos prompt and type the actual command?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Fat_Tuesday



Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:14 pm
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:43 pm    Post subject: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR Reply with quote

I've had this before - try leaving the password blank and just press Enter. Spent ages trying different permutations of my admin password and it wasn't asking for that one.
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GeordieJedi
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:36 pm
Posts: 329
Location: North East England

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much Fat_Tuesday.

Ive already tried that one.

But cheers anyway Very Happy
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RedWillow
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 2:05 pm
Posts: 719

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:54 pm    Post subject: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR Reply with quote

Here are some alternative ways of restoring the Windows MBR:

http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p18.htm

Super Grub Disk looks to be the best option. Take the ms-sys one with a large pinch of salt. It talks about installing ms-sys while using the live CD. Which is fine, except that ms-sys is not in the Ubuntu repos. Instead, you have to download it from here:

http://packages.debian.org/etch/i386/ms-sys/download

Whether it actually works, I don't know.
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ollie
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2749
Location: Bathurst NSW Australia

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:42 am    Post subject: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR Reply with quote

Try using Petri's Recommended Password Reset Utility or PC Login Now to reset the password for "Administrator". Wink
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majortomgb



Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:50 am
Posts: 35
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're normal user account had admin rights then you can just use that one
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donoreo
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:49 pm
Posts: 788
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can use some of the utilities on the Ulitmate Boot CD to either reset or blank that password or to fix the MBR.
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GeordieJedi
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:36 pm
Posts: 329
Location: North East England

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Red Willow, Ollie, majortomgb, & Donoreo.

Its very much appreciated. I'll give 'em a go and let you know how I come on.


Cheers Very Happy
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wyliecoyoteuk
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Posts: 3440
Location: Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR Reply with quote

RedWillow wrote:
Here are some alternative ways of restoring the Windows MBR:

http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p18.htm

Super Grub Disk looks to be the best option. Take the ms-sys one with a large pinch of salt. It talks about installing ms-sys while using the live CD. Which is fine, except that ms-sys is not in the Ubuntu repos. Instead, you have to download it from here:

http://packages.debian.org/etch/i386/ms-sys/download

Whether it actually works, I don't know.


Yes, it does.
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RedWillow
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 2:05 pm
Posts: 719

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR Reply with quote

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
RedWillow wrote:
Whether it actually works, I don't know.


Yes, it does.


Thanks for the information, Wylie. The rather cavalier way in which the author of that link tells you to 'sudo apt-get install' a package which is not in the repositories made me slightly leery of believing that section. As I hadn't tried ms-sys myself, I didn't want to mislead the OP.

GeordiJedi, just to confirm that the latest version of SuperGrubDisk repairs the Windows mbr just fine - and very quickly: no prompt for a password or anything. Or, at least, when Windows is on sda1 it does. I'm preparing a little rescue and maintenance kit for some relatives that I'm converting to Ubuntu and I thought I'd better dry run everything first. Having made my multiboot into a single-boot Windows machine with SuperGrubDisk, I was then able to restore grub to my chosen default Linux partition with it as well. Just be warned that the SGD menu prompts are not exactly intuitive. I've got an old(ish) laptop with XP on sda2 with the restore partition on sda1, so I'll see what the SGD mbr repair makes of that tomorrow.

Edit: just for the record - I selected the repair mbr and boot into Windows choice in the SGD menu on the laptop with XP on sda2 and recovery console on sda1, and it promptly booted into the recovery console. But when I took the SGD disc out and rebooted it booted into XP OK.

So - SuperGrubDisc wins my vote for repairing the MBR. It's worked with Windows 7 on sda1 on one machine and XP on sda2 on the other. No hassle, no password prompts, quick as it could be.
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GeordieJedi
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:36 pm
Posts: 329
Location: North East England

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whey!

I now have a working PC! Thank you VERY much to all who responded.

I ended up using all of the tools, and creating 3 different .iso's.
Super Grub Disc, and FixMbr, were increadably useful.
But.....the most important thing is, I now have a working PC!

(All I wanted to do, was clean it, defrag it, strip out any old apps. Just so
I could install Linux and use it as a dual booting server).
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