Win, Lin and the MBR

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Win, Lin and the MBR

Postby GeordieJedi » Tue May 05, 2009 9:24 pm

Hi all. I've been a bit of a Numpty.

I seemed to have deleted the MBR from my PC.
(I dual boot between XP and Ubuntu. & I stupidly just deleted the Linux
partition, without amending the bootloader...DOH!)

So anyway. I believe the solution is to insert the Windows disc,
then get to a command prompt and type "fixmbr"
However....I cant find my old administrator password anywhere.
(The origional administrator account went a bit screwey, so I created an new one.
But when I enter the password for the new admin acc, it doesnt work, So im assuming that
its wanting the "origional", admin acc password?)

Is there anyway to retrieve it, or bypass this stage so that I can actually
get to the dos prompt and type the actual command?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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RE: Win, Lin and the MBR

Postby Fat_Tuesday » Tue May 05, 2009 9:43 pm

I've had this before - try leaving the password blank and just press Enter. Spent ages trying different permutations of my admin password and it wasn't asking for that one.
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Postby GeordieJedi » Tue May 05, 2009 9:53 pm

Thanks very much Fat_Tuesday.

Ive already tried that one.

But cheers anyway :D
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RE: Win, Lin and the MBR

Postby RedWillow » Tue May 05, 2009 9:54 pm

Here are some alternative ways of restoring the Windows MBR:

http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p18.htm

Super Grub Disk looks to be the best option. Take the ms-sys one with a large pinch of salt. It talks about installing ms-sys while using the live CD. Which is fine, except that ms-sys is not in the Ubuntu repos. Instead, you have to download it from here:

http://packages.debian.org/etch/i386/ms-sys/download

Whether it actually works, I don't know.
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RE: Win, Lin and the MBR

Postby ollie » Wed May 06, 2009 3:42 am

Try using Petri's Recommended Password Reset Utility or PC Login Now to reset the password for "Administrator". :wink:
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Postby majortomgb » Wed May 06, 2009 7:38 am

If you're normal user account had admin rights then you can just use that one
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Postby donoreo » Wed May 06, 2009 1:59 pm

You can use some of the utilities on the Ulitmate Boot CD to either reset or blank that password or to fix the MBR.
I cannot deny anything that I did not say.
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Postby GeordieJedi » Wed May 06, 2009 5:32 pm

Thank you Red Willow, Ollie, majortomgb, & Donoreo.

Its very much appreciated. I'll give 'em a go and let you know how I come on.


Cheers :D
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Re: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed May 06, 2009 7:13 pm

RedWillow wrote:Here are some alternative ways of restoring the Windows MBR:

http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p18.htm

Super Grub Disk looks to be the best option. Take the ms-sys one with a large pinch of salt. It talks about installing ms-sys while using the live CD. Which is fine, except that ms-sys is not in the Ubuntu repos. Instead, you have to download it from here:

http://packages.debian.org/etch/i386/ms-sys/download

Whether it actually works, I don't know.


Yes, it does.
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Re: RE: Win, Lin and the MBR

Postby RedWillow » Wed May 06, 2009 8:52 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
RedWillow wrote:Whether it actually works, I don't know.


Yes, it does.


Thanks for the information, Wylie. The rather cavalier way in which the author of that link tells you to 'sudo apt-get install' a package which is not in the repositories made me slightly leery of believing that section. As I hadn't tried ms-sys myself, I didn't want to mislead the OP.

GeordiJedi, just to confirm that the latest version of SuperGrubDisk repairs the Windows mbr just fine - and very quickly: no prompt for a password or anything. Or, at least, when Windows is on sda1 it does. I'm preparing a little rescue and maintenance kit for some relatives that I'm converting to Ubuntu and I thought I'd better dry run everything first. Having made my multiboot into a single-boot Windows machine with SuperGrubDisk, I was then able to restore grub to my chosen default Linux partition with it as well. Just be warned that the SGD menu prompts are not exactly intuitive. I've got an old(ish) laptop with XP on sda2 with the restore partition on sda1, so I'll see what the SGD mbr repair makes of that tomorrow.

Edit: just for the record - I selected the repair mbr and boot into Windows choice in the SGD menu on the laptop with XP on sda2 and recovery console on sda1, and it promptly booted into the recovery console. But when I took the SGD disc out and rebooted it booted into XP OK.

So - SuperGrubDisc wins my vote for repairing the MBR. It's worked with Windows 7 on sda1 on one machine and XP on sda2 on the other. No hassle, no password prompts, quick as it could be.
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Postby GeordieJedi » Tue May 12, 2009 6:35 pm

Whey!

I now have a working PC! Thank you VERY much to all who responded.

I ended up using all of the tools, and creating 3 different .iso's.
Super Grub Disc, and FixMbr, were increadably useful.
But.....the most important thing is, I now have a working PC!

(All I wanted to do, was clean it, defrag it, strip out any old apps. Just so
I could install Linux and use it as a dual booting server).
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