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I have successfully installed ubuntu 12.10 on a second internal HDD on my Dell box (Win 7 being on the other HDD). Initially had to run boot repair to get the grub menu to display on boot up - after that all runs fine (no matter which HDD i select to boot from, the machine shows the grub menu on startup). Problem: When I remove my second HDD from the box and start up the machine (leaving the Win 7 HDD in) the grub menu fails to show and I get a "Grub Rescue >" prompt and a device not found (or similar) message. How can I set the machine up so if the second HDD is removed (or has failed) I can still boot into Win7 either directly or via a functioning Grub menu (that would only give me a fail message if I selected "Ubuntu" from it because that disk has been removed)?

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The Windows 7 MBR on your 1st hard drive has been overwritten. To restore it, run the following command from the Windows 7 DVD: d:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all. If you reinstall the 2nd hard drive and want to see the GRUB menu, set your BIOS to boot that drive first. Hope this helps.

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