I have a computer that dual-boots (or tri-boots) Windows 8 Release Preview, Windows 7, and Ubuntu 12.04. Grub boots between Windows 8 and Ubuntu; for which I use primarily. Recently, I decided to remove Ubuntu, as I hardly used it. I deleted the Ubuntu partition accidentally before replacing the Grub bootloader. Now, whenever I want to boot the machine, it gives me the "grub-rescue" prompt -- I am unable to boot into either Windows (8 nor 7), nor Ubuntu (except via USB, of course). I do not have any Windows 7/8 recovery media, so that isn't an option. Please note that after I deleted the Ubuntu partition, I put the PC into hibernate, and then turned it on. This means the C:\ [Windows 8] drive cannot be mounted. I don't know if that is bad, but it definitely doesn't make things better.

I am currently booting Ubuntu via USB, in an effort to restore the Windows bootloader. I have looked into using boot-repair to solve the problem using the instructions here, although after attempting to apply the changes, it gave the error: "Please install the [mbr] packages. Then try again." I don't know why I'm getting this error; is there a way to install the 'mbr packages?' I honestly don't know what exactly they are, nor how to install them. Are there any other options I have not yet exhausted to be able to boot back into Windows, in the case that there is a better way? I want to set the bootloader to boot into Windows 8, but booting into either Windows 7 or 8 is fine (I can use EasyBCD from there). Is there a simple solution to this? I've checked BIOS, and I haven't been able to find a way to boot into Windows.


7 Answers 7


You can install a Microsoft style MBR from an Ubuntu LiveCD/USB. To do so, run

sudo software-properties-gtk -e universe && sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install mbr
sudo install-mbr /dev/sdX

where "sdX" is the device node for your hard drive, like "sda", not a partition like "sda1".

If you really want to use boot-repair to do this then simply run everything except the last command

sudo install-mbr /dev/sdX

The commands before that one will just install the mbr package. Then try boot-repair again.


This is a Windows Recovery CD from Neosmart.net

from the site:

What it does: The Windows 7 Recovery Disc can be used to access a system recovery menu, giving you options of using an antivirus, System Restore, Complete PC Backup, automated system repair, and a command-line prompt for manual advanced recovery.

What it doesn’t do: You cannot use the Windows 7 Recovery Disc to re-install Windows – it only fixes (not replaces!) Windows.

Why you need it: If you bought your PC from a major retailer, you didn’t get this CD with your hefty purchase.


Read https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestoreUbuntu/XP/Vista/7Bootloader

Do not execute "sudo install-mbr /dev/sdX" onto the MBR of a HDD which contains Windows VISTA, 7 and 8. If you execute it, disk signature will be overwritten with "00 00 00 00", which may cause failure in boot Windows VISTA, 7 and 8. I confirmed that install-mbr (installed with package "mbr" version 1.1.11-5, for Quantal) overwrote the disk signature.


You can use the BOOTREC.EXE utility provided by Microsoft in a Windows 7 Installation media DVD. Here is a good article on how to do so:

How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows


The "Please install [mbr]" blocker was a bug. It has been fixed in recent versions of Boot-Repair. So Update Boot-Repair and click "Recommended repair".


I would like to redirect you to this question: askubuntu.com: removing-grub-from-laptop There I suggested the use of a freely downloadable boot-cd with useful tools for this problem.


Well solution to your problem is very simple as it worked in my case.

  1. If you are stuck at that GRUB bootloader, then restart your PC or use the command reboot.

  2. While your PC is starting use F2/F10/F12/Del/Esc or whatever key you have to boot into BIOS/UEFI (in my case it was UEFI which looks like BIOS).

  3. Look for Boot Settings or Bootloader or something similar.

  4. Change your boot preference by selecting Windows Bootloader as top priority.

  5. Save & Exit (DO not forget to SAVE).

  6. Voila, Windows.. (in my case its Windows 11 (Beta version) ).

These steps makes sure that your PC by default Boots into Windows on every boot but getting rid of GRUB (in my case GRUB 2) is a story for another chapter. (●'◡'●)

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