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I followed a guide to restore MBR. The reason for doing this was because I originally had a Sony vaio which has Windows on. I installed Linux on it then wanted to revert back to Windows and read that the way to do it was to restore MBR. So I did this now when I boot I am stuck on a black screen with one line saying "MBR 1FA:". I really need help, my laptop has been in this state for a while now. I was told to try and boot from gparted on a live USB but I was getting another error. Can anyone please help me out here

  • I don't quite understand. Did you erase Windows when you installed Linux or did you create a dual boot system and now you want to remove Linux and keep an already installed copy of Windows? – Stormlord Jul 2 '16 at 19:16
  • I believe I removed Windows. When reading about restoring MBR I read that it would restore windows as that was the default. Is this not true? If not how can I get any kind of OS working on my laptop? Thanks for the reply – Harvey Jul 2 '16 at 19:24
  • If you erased Windows and did not make a backup, then you need to buy a new copy of Windows. Some vendors may sell you for nominal cost an image copy of the recovery drive that was on your system. My new Dell wanted me to make both a Windows recovery and a Dell recovery which took several DVDs and flash drives. – oldfred Jul 2 '16 at 19:37
  • Would I be able to boot into Linux from a USB from the state described? – Harvey Jul 2 '16 at 19:39
  • Purchase the Restore Set for your Sony Vaio. See how can I get recovery disks for a SONY VAIO Model: PCV-A1111L VPCL111FX/B. Looks like you've got a problem. See my answer.... – eyoung100 Jul 2 '16 at 22:58
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@Harvey, that's why I asked you the question above. Restoring MBR would restore the Windows boot record if you had created a dual boot system, which doesn't seem to be the case.

If you want to revert to Windows now, you must boot from the Windows installation DVD and do a brand new Windows installation. Windows will fix your MBR error automatically.

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Problem

Restoring the MBR does not restore the OS. The OS exists on the partition, and you removed the partition, when you wrote over it with your Ubuntu install. That isn't your only problem though. According to How Can I Get Recovery Disks for a SONY VAIO Model: PCV-A1111L VPCL111FX/B, which I also linked in the comment, you may or may not have a hard copy of your restore set, because you unknowingly didn't know you needed to create it. In my Opinion, starting with Windows 8, all PC's contain UEFI, and USB is usable as a restore medium. As such, it now falls upon the end-users to create the restore set.

Solution

Since you can no longer create the restore set yourself, you must now buy a pre-made restore set. I can tell you from personal experience that this works, as I restored an older Dell machine. There are a couple of online retailers that sell the set you need to acquire:

  1. Find a Restore Disk - RestoreDisks.com
  2. Main Page - RecoveryDisks.com

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