Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my desktop that had been running Windows XP (sp3) exclusively. In addition to the main XP partition, there was a smaller XP recovery drive. My goal was to install Ubuntu in a dual boot scenario however, I've never been able to boot to the main Windows partition through the GRUB loader. When the option is selected, all that results is a black screen, flashing cursor and no further activity.

I used the installation disk to create the Ubuntu partition which, of course, resized and created a new Windows partition. I thought I was careful to allocate more than enough space to the Windows partition and I also made sure to defragment the Windows drive just prior to installing Ubuntu. I also backed up most of my important files unfortunately, I did have some encrypted files on the drive that I failed to back up.

Ubuntu loads just fine and I am able to access my Windows drives through Ubuntu but, as mentioned, the XP operating system won't boot even though GRUB displays the option. It should be noted that - for a while - I was able to boot to the Windows recovery partition. Unfortunately it now appears that partition has since been "corrupted" while attempting various repair attempts i.e. it partially boots but no longer proceeds to an option list.

Here are some things I've tried:

-Ran Windows XP repair disk. Attempted "fixboot" and "fixmbr" commands. Result: "... can't find the system drive or the drive specified isn't valid."

-"chkdsk" command did generate error message however, other disk diagnostics report that disk is fine. Again, Ubuntu is running well.

-Replaced NTDETECT.COM and NTLDR files in the XP partition with copies from the XP installation disks.

-Removed Ubuntu using O/S uninstaller from the boot repair disk with intent to reinstall after recovering Windows.

-Unsuccessfully attempted to load XP using the recovery console.

-Freshly installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Partitions still visible but main XP o/s still fails to load.

I've also run the boot repair program a couple of times. Here is the result of the most recent:


I do not have the expertise to evaluate the data generated however I noticed a few error messages and also a notation regarding NTLDR being "missing and/or compressed." I understand the NTLDR file is utilized by XP in the boot process. The process resulted in a "successful repair" message even though I still cannot load the XP o/s.

I would appreciate any suggestions about how I might repair and then boot to my XP partition.

Thank you!

share|improve this question

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.