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Thread: Replacing Grub

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Five and a half years ago I bought a (then new) Sony laptop with Windows XP on an IDE drive, booting to C:. I didn't get an installation disk with the laptop. All i got was a recovery option to restore the hard drive from a hidden partition. That means no Recovery Console option.

    I've had XP running since I bought the laptop, and I installed Ubuntu well over a year ago without a problem, updating as needed. Ubuntu ran perfectly for quite a while through several OS upgrades. Then when offered a chance to download and install the latest and greatest Ubuntu OS (version 9.10) I didn't hesitate because I'd had no problems to speak of with previous versions. Unfortunately, 9.10 slowed my 2GB RAM Sony to a crawl. What I'd like to do is replace Grub and have the laptop boot straight into Windows XP while I mull my options. I'd like to wipe the Ubuntu partitions. Then I'd either install openSUSE or reinstall an older version of Ubuntu. Or maybe both.

    From what I've seen online, there is no one way to do this, and it would appear that some methods which are effective for one machine might not work for another. Boot.INI, NTDetect.COM, and ntldr are all in the root directory of the C: drive, so they're set and ready to go. Given that all I can boot from is either the hard drive or the CD drive, can anyone offer me a simple, straightforward method to replace Grub?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Two Rivers, and welcome to the Lounge. It is tough to obtain a Recovery Disc for XP that will enable you to restore the XP MBR with Recovery Console. It is easy to obtain one for Vista and Windows 7 though.

    Take a look at this thread in the Ubuntu Forum. Post# 2 outlines a way to restore the XP MBR from the Ubuntu LiveCD. Of course you might want to do some more searching to confirm the validity of this because once you delete the Ubuntu partition you would have no way to restore the XP MBR if the LIveCD method fails to deliver.

    Another possibility is discussed here on the Ubuntu Forums.
    Hope this helps.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
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    Those look more promising than anything else I've found anywhere. Thanks, Gerald.

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    I hope one of them will work for you, however, whether one works or not, when you get your issue resolved, please post back the successful method you used so others can see what really does work well. There are bound to be others in the same boat someday. Thanks, Two Rivers.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #5
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    Hey, Gerald,

    I'm reporting back to say that MBRFix.EXE worked like a charm. I just followed the directions as follows:

    (1) Boot Windows installation
    (2) Download Mbrfix.ZIP (get it at download.cnet.com)
    (3) Unzip it and copy it to your root folder (typically c:\ for Win installations)
    (4) Open up the command prompt in Windows and type:
    cd \ and press <Enter>, then type
    mbrfix /drive 0 fixmbr /yes and press <Enter>

    I've performed both soft boots and hard boots, and Windows XP boots every time without incident. Nice.

    Thanks again for all your assistance.

    Two Rivers

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    I'm happy one of the solutions worked for you. Thanks for posting your solution as I am quite sure this will come up again sometime.
    Have a great day!
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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