Steps to disaster

  1. Installed Ubuntu 11.04
  2. Partitioned drive upon install and gave Ubuntu entire disk.

Several months later I need WIN7 as dual boot

What happens at present

Booting into WIN7 via F9 option at boot .. takes me to Ubuntu. It describes 'preparing to boot from Windows' but screen goes purple and it comes up with Ubuntu instead.

Booting normally : machine either makes a horrible beeping (continious) and blank screen or boots in Ubuntu or a mix of beeping initially then fires up Ubuntu. (to be honest best to F9 to get into Ubuntu .. seems the cleaner option)

Using a script I have obtained the following disk information:

Grub2 (v1.99) is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda and looks at sector 1 of the same hard drive for core.img. core.img is at this location and looks for (,msdos1)/boot/grub on this drive.

Windows is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdb.sda1:

(obviously no partition exists on the drive - that's my understanding and my knowledge of unix/linux/ubuntu is limited)

nb.there is a ref to sda1 at the bottom of this script for grub (grub2 is installed) which is sda1/boot/grub/grub.cfg:

File system: ext4 Boot sector type: - Boot sector info:
Operating System: Ubuntu 11.04 Boot files: /boot/grub/grub.cfg /etc/fstab /boot/grub/core.img


File system: Extended Partition Boot sector type: - Boot sector info:


File system: swap Boot sector type: - Boot sector info:


File system: vfat Boot sector type: Windows XP: FAT32 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Operating System:
Boot files: /bootmgr /boot/bcd

Drive: sda

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Partition Boot Start Sector End Sector # of Sectors Id System

/dev/sda1 * 2,048 310,503,423 310,501,376 83 Linux /dev/sda2 310,505,470 312,580,095 2,074,626 5 Extended /dev/sda5 310,505,472 312,580,095 2,074,624 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Drive: sdb

Disk /dev/sdb: 8004 MB, 8004304896 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 973 cylinders, total 15633408 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Partition Boot Start Sector End Sector # of Sectors Id System

/dev/sdb1 * 63 15,633,407 15,633,345 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

"blkid" output:


/dev/sda1 94108733-fa78-47f3-b04d-31fb682e442e ext4
/dev/sda5 4c57bb9e-d799-4c06-a5ad-c1ddbcbb46d3 swap
/dev/sdb1 6B1C-F558 vfat

Mount points:

Device Mount_Point Type Options

/dev/sda1 / ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro,commit=0) /dev/sdb1 /media/6B1C-F558 vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=1000,gid=1000,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush)


So how do I retrieve either (in order of preference)

  1. Dual boot with Windows 7
  2. Win7 complete reinstall.

N.B I have no data that requires saving and I have the Windows device drives and a Ubuntu 11.10 install package

Hurdles to overcome:

  1. It's Acer One laptop with no DVD/CD drive
  2. Installing WIN7 from a Flash Drive bombs out as it cannot recognise any system devices as the drivers are not installed/accessible.

My gut feeling is that I a) need to install Ubuntu fresh and repartition the drive but I am unsure how much damage it will do .. or b) partition the drive from within Ubuntu and stick windows files on there and reallocate the pointer .. but not sure how to make it visible on boot as C:\ ??


If I'm discerning what you're saying correctly and you installed Ubuntu on the drive in which Windows 7 used to be installed, then you can't bring it back (if you still have it on one of your partitions, then this utility can help you repair your boot).

I'm not sure why you have trouble with installing Windows from a flash drive. Are you suggesting that it would work from a CD? In any case, if you can't install Windows that way, you can't install it at all. I believe at one point during the installation Windows gives you the option of loading additional drivers. If you have a driver disk for your laptop, perhaps you can try copying it on a flash drive and have the installer load the drivers.

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