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I've got really annoying problem and can't seem to figure out how to work it through. Recently I cleared my hard drive and installed JUST ubuntu 12.04 and of course upgraded to 14.04. Now I need Windows fully installed on the machine (Lenovo Z570). Which wouldn't be a problem if I could get to the point of installing. So far I'm just rebooting.The problem shortly is:

  • Booting devices are ordered with Hard Drive first, and hard drive has got a nice Ubuntu
  • I CAN'T access BIOS in any way possible to try and reorder it.

The only thing is I can go to grub und fire commands at will. I don't know which one to use to start the setup from the Windows DVD. I really need help. I wanted to ask

  1. Is there a way to install Windows from DVD using grub commands
  2. OR is there a way to wipe the hard drive in the current position
  3. OR perphaps flash the BIOS to try and reorder the booting devices.

I already tried removing the hard drive and I can then use a Live CD/DVD of any kind. But still don't know which and how.

Any help is appreciated. Hope to hear/read from you soon. Best Regards!

THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED in a rather stupid way. When I was trying to enter the multiboot menu I could only enter a menu where to choose between different versions of ubuntu. When I clicked Esc, I ended up in grub, where with the command exit I was eble to choose where to boot. I chose DVD and installed pure Windows. I hope this helps others with this kind of problem.

  • We don't use any "SOLVED" marks in title. Instead you can up-vote as many helpful answers as you like. Moreover, you can mark one answer as the working solution. – user280493 Mar 17 '15 at 22:18
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If you can't really access the BIOS in any way, you can (always for IDE drives and almost always for SATA drives) force the boot priority by rearranging the drives connections to the motherboard:

This will only work if both your hard disk drive and your CD/DVD-ROM drive use an IDE or SATA interface.

  1. Unplug the power cord from the power supply unit

  2. Open the case

  3. Rearrange the order of the devices on the motherboard according to the type of interface they use:


SATA devices

Rearrange the connections so that the first SATA slot on the motherboard (usually named SATA1) is connected to the CD/DVD-ROM drive, and so that the second SATA slot on the motherboard (usually named SATA2) is connected to the hard disk drive

SATA slots


IDE devices

  • If the hard disk drive and the CD/DVD-ROM drive share the same cable: rearrange the jumpers on the back of each drive so that the CD/DVD-ROM is the Master device and so that the hard disk drive is the Slave device

Hard disk drive jumper

CD/DVD-ROM drive jumper

  • If the hard disk drive and the CD/DVD-ROM drive use a different cable: rearrange the cables so that the first IDE slot on the motherboard (usually named IDE1) is connected to the CD/DVD-ROM drive, and so that the second IDE slot on the motherboard (usually named IDE2) is connected to the hard disk drive

IDE slots


  1. Reset the CMOS, using one of the following methods:

    • Move the appropriate jumper on the appropriate position on the motherboard (either refer to your motherboard's user guide or look for the jumper and its position yourself: see the picture below for a reference), plug the power cord back and start the system: your BIOS will state something along the lines of "CMOS checksum incorrect", asking you to choose wether to restore the default settings or to enter the setup: just shut down instead, unplug the power cord again and move the jumper back to its initial place; then restart again and choose to restore the default settings.
    • Remove the CMOS battery for about 1 minute (either refer to your motherboard's user guide or look for the battery yourself: see the picture), insert the battery back and start the system: your BIOS will state something along the lines of "CMOS checksum incorrect", asking you to choose wether to restore the default settings or to enter the setup: choose to restore the default settings.

CMOS battery & jumper

  • Good idea, although it may be hard to do on laptop. – user280493 Mar 17 '15 at 22:19
  • @MikołajBartnicki I agree, on the other hand if he really can't access the BIOS or doesn't want to format and reinstall elsewhere it's going to be the only solution for him – kos Mar 18 '15 at 6:26
  • If software solutions are impossible, use hardware solutions! ;) Upvoted! – Fabby Mar 23 '15 at 23:50
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Short answer:

Use BIOS boot menu. If not available, then remove the hard drive and clean it in some other computer.

Detailed answer:

Most, if not all, BIOSes has something like boot menu. Such menu allows to arbitrarily choose boot device regardless of boot device order that is set in BIOS. To access the boot menu just tap the proper button during the early startup of your machine. Which one exactly - it depends on the BIOS. In mine laptop it is F12, in desktop PC it is F11. Your one can be different, but it is usually listed on the BIOS welcome screen.

If you can't access the BIOS boot menu as well, then remove the hard drive from your computer and mount it in another machine. You will be able to clean it and after that mount it back in the problematic computer. You don't need to clean whole disk, just the Master boot record. It can be done using Ubuntu DVD or Windows 8.1.

Cleaning the disk with Windows

Boot the computer with Windows 8.1 DVD. When you see the first screen, when language options are available to choose, press Shift+F10 - you will see the command line terminal. Run the diskpart program by typing:

diskpart

The diskpart tool (very good and reliable, by the way) will start, and you can see the available disks by typping:

list disk

The list of all disk devices will be displayed. Determine which of the listed disk has to be clean (let's say that is is disk number 2) and select it by command:

select disk 2

Then clean the disk:

clean

And exit diskpart:

exit

You are done, disk is clean and can be mounted back in its original place.

Cleaning the disk with Ubuntu DVD

Boot the Ubuntu live DVD and run the terminal. Let's say that your disk device is /dev/sdb, clean it by typing:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M count=1

Be extremely careful with dd command! That command does not ask of any confirmation and single typo can have disastrous effect, so double check before pressing Enter.

  • Hi. Thanks for the long and detailed answer.This was going to be my final try as well, just wanted to try and solve it without having to use somebody else's laptop to wipe the hard-drive. Please answer it anything comes to mind. If not wiping hard drive should work I think. – user3095198 Mar 17 '15 at 18:54

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