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Back story: I installed ubuntu with wubi. I had windows on one NTFS partition, then I made a new NTFS partition in which I put wubi in and where My ubuntu OS was born. Eventually I moved /home into another partition and made a swap partition, but I digress.

I deleted My original NTFS partition where windows is not thinking it would not matter but now I can't get into ubuntu. And the weird thing is that when I boot my computer I still see the option to boot into both windows and ubuntu. When I try to boot into windows, It tries to fix stuff and never succeds. When I try to boot into ubuntu, it shows me "cannot find GRLDR in all devices. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart".

so, what do you guys think? I just want ubuntu running again, with all my stuff in /home there and all my system preferences how I like them.

EDIT: Boot Repair disk did its thing but it did not fix anything. I think I will be installing ubuntu from cd then transferring /home and such manually.

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It's not so easy but I think your best bet is to install Ubuntu afresh (not Wubi) and migrate manually if you need your files. See: help.ubuntu.com/community/MigrateWubiManually –  To Do Nov 28 '12 at 16:41
    
Just copy \ubuntu\winboot\wubildr to C:\wubildr - that's what it's looking for. Actually copy it to the root of any partition. –  bcbc Nov 28 '12 at 20:01
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4 Answers 4

This is what happened:

Wubi uses the Windows boot manager to load it, even if it's on a separate partition. So by deleting your Windows partition, you have deleted the "pointer" that tells your computer where to look for the Wubi install. Now, I in all fairness don't know that much about Wubi (how exactly it is booted) so I can't tell you the exact steps.

There is almost certainly a better way to do this. Wubi stores your OS in a virtual hard disk file. It's possible that it could be extracted to a separate partition and booted. BUT that's a little complex and you might run into some issues because of the way it's set up. So, here's something you can do:

Boot up an Ubuntu LiveCD or USB that is the same architecture (32- or 64-bit) and version as your Wubi install. (I assume you already know how to do this, but just in case you didn't use the LiveCD earlier run sudo gparted to edit partitions easily). Tell it to look for a lost partition or partitions. As long as you have not written to the space where it was, your data will still be there. Now, you can run Startup repair for Windows to automatically restore the boot sector of the partition, and voila! You should be able to boot your Wubi install once again.

If you have written to the partition space, try making a new NTFS partition with the same size and dimensions of the previous one and running file recovery. For instance:

Boot up Hiren's Boot CD and start the Windows XP option. Then, install Piriform's Recuva and look for C:\boot.ini. Once you have that copied to a flash drive, install Windows again and copy that file over the new boot.ini. You should be able to start up your Wubi install again.

See the Ubuntu community wiki on data recovery for more information

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Basically you erased your boot partition with the boot information. So you need to reinstall those boot informations.

Follow the 4 Steps under "The graphical way" here and you should be good: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RecoveringUbuntuAfterInstallingWindows

As long as it works this should be the easiest method to restore your boot-chain.

Please report back if it worked or not.

Good Luck.

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I think you're screwed. I think you deleted the files needed to boot Linux. There is good news, I could be wrong.

Give Boot-Repair a try. It might work.

You will likely be better off re installing Linux on a native (ext4 is a good choice) filesystem. 90% of your settings are in /home so as long as you don't delete that partition everything should just come back where you left it. You might have to reinstall some packages.

Boot to a liveCD and seeing if you can still access your files. Then copy those files (in /home/user and /etc) to a external drive. Next, repartition, format, install, and finally copy everything back in /home/user. Leave /etc alone in the beginning. Only copy back what you need to have there.

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WARNING: make backups. –  coteyr Nov 28 '12 at 16:50
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Wubi uses Grub4dos to boot. Usually grub4dos is grldr.mbr and grldr. The first bit is small as it is a bootloader and the second bit contains the code that won't fit into the MBR. With Wubi it uses wubildr.mbr and wubildr. These are the same as the grldr* files but renamed.

What you are seeing is wubildr.mbr looking for wubildr on all partitions, and then after not finding it, it issues the message "ERROR: Cannot find GRLDR in all devices: Press ctrl+alt+delete to restart". That's an unfortunate hardcoded message that should read "ERROR: Cannot find WUBILDR in all devices: Press ctrl+alt+delete to restart". So you probably deleted the C: partition and the C:\wubildr that was there. Just copy it (there's a wubildr in the \ubuntu\winboot directory) into the root of any partition and it should work again.

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