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Long story short, Windows 7 won't boot, and the "startup repair" routine just hangs. Not sure what is corrupted, if it's the MBR or what. Anyway, I was able to boot the live Ubuntu USB and move most of my personal data off the C: drive onto an external drive. If necessary I can reinstall Windows, but I'd rather try to repair it first if possible. Is there any way to diagnose/repair Windows boot problems through Ubuntu?

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closed as off topic by RolandiXor, Eliah Kagan, mikewhatever, jokerdino, fossfreedom Jul 23 '12 at 16:04

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do you have Ubuntu installed? or Are you simply trying to get Windows back with the help of Super Powerful Ubuntu? –  Anwar Shah Jul 18 '12 at 4:56
    
This is a better fit for superuser.com and also you cannot really "Fix" this issue from Ubuntu (at least not "just so"). Your best bet is a recovery DVD. –  RolandiXor Jul 18 '12 at 5:00
    
If you don't have Ubuntu installed, and You also don't want to install it and only interested in repairing Windows with Ubuntu Live CD/USB, then it is clearly Off-topic. And it will be closed soon. If you think, we are wrong, edit the question soon to include necessary info about Ubuntu usage. –  Anwar Shah Jul 18 '12 at 5:03
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If you knew basically what you had to do to perform the repair, and could perform it if you were accessing the drive from another Windows system, but just needed to know how to perform the same operations in Ubuntu...then I think this would be an Ubuntu-related question, and on-topic for our site. I don't think you have to be using Ubuntu for anything but repairing Windows, for your question to be on-topic. But since this question is fundamentally about what operations would have to be performed, and not how to do them in Ubuntu, I find I agree this is off-topic. –  Eliah Kagan Jul 18 '12 at 5:05
    
If you have a procedure that you believe would work to repair your Windows system, that is performed in Windows (for example, from a Windows Preinstallation Environment), then please incorporate that into your question--then it might be considered on-topic and maybe someone can post an equivalent procedure using Ubuntu. That would be about how to do something in Ubuntu. Otherwise, I think superuser is a better place to ask this question. –  Eliah Kagan Jul 18 '12 at 5:07

1 Answer 1

The best option would be to reinstall Windows completely. If it's just the boot configuration that is broken, you can boot ubuntu, and then copy all the folders from the C: drive to another location. This would include the Windows folder itself. The hard drive should be mounted automatically in the cd environment.

After reinstalling Windows, ubuntu will allow you to overwrite all the C: folders with your backups which, if you're lucky, will restore the Windows system.

I did this after accidentally deleting the "System Reserved" partition from a test machine, and it restored my system completely. You should note, however, that you would not be able to transfer everything to another PC this way, as this method requires the new installation to be on the same hardware.

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