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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hi All
    I have read the threads on removing dual boot, but, the windows xp disc i have is xp pro sp2. xp pro sp3 is on my machine.When I boot from the disk all I get is the loading windows blue start screen, it doesn't offer the recovery option it just stalls there. I tried r, nothing. My goal is to remove linux (ubuntu) and get back to a single boot. Any suggestions?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Rex, and welcome to the Lounge!

    First, see these instructions on how to slipstream Service Pack 3 to your Windows XP SP2 installation files. This gives you step by step instructions on building your Recovery CD for XP SP3. You can boot from this after you are finished building it to start the Recovery Console. From there you can enter the commands fixboot, and fixmbr, which will enable XP to boot again after you have removed the Ubuntu Partitions. Before you start the Recovery Console you should delete the Ubuntu partitions.

    The easy way to do this is to download and install Easeus Partition Magic Free Edition . This is easier to work with than XP Disk Management. Delete the three Ubuntu partitions: Home, swap file, and system partitions. Take the time to be sure you remove the correct partitions. There should be file type labels such as ext3 or ext4. Definitely leave any NTFS marked partitions alone.

    After you delete the Ubuntu partitions, you will not be able to boot into Windows. Before rebooting, place your new XP SP3 Recovery CD in your CD drive and reboot your computer. Be sure your BIOS is set to look to the CD/DVD drive first on startup (go into Setup and change the boot priority to place your optical drive at the top of the list). When you boot your CD, you will eventually be prompted to press "R" to repair using the Recovery Console. Just follow the prompts, and when you are asked to enter the partition containing Windows, enter "1" unless your screen shows you more than one partition - if it does choose the number for the Windows system partition. When prompted for a an administrator name and password, if there is none, just press enter for both. Once you see the Windows directory on the screen, you can type in fixboot , press enter and follow the prompts. Next type in fixmbr , press enter and follow the prompts. That should do it. Type exit and press enter to leave the Recovery Console, remove the CD from the drive, and you should see XP start up when you reboot.

    Finally, you can format the free spaces in NTFS and then merge them into your XP partition or you can merge the former Ubuntu partitions into a second NTFS partition on your drive. This will probably require rebooting XP, and that is why this should be the last step.

    Now that you have an XP SP3 Recovery CD, you are prepared for other occasions when you have a repair need. 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
    New Lounger
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    Thank You!! I slipstreamed the sp2 a long time ago and had forgotten how.
    Greatly appreciate your time and thoughtful response! I'm sure you provided my solution.

    Rex

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    hmmmm ...... followed the directions explicitly for slipstreaming the sp3. Deleted the linux partitions and rebooted to the cd ...it still stalled at the "windows setup" screen. So, I went to my laptop (running Win 7) and did the whole process again to a new cd, and again. It is still stalled at the setup screen. Any suggestions please?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Rex, I have always run the XP slipstream from within the XP operating system. It may be that you have to run certain processes as Administrator for the slipstreaming to work correctly when run from within Windows 7. Check out Paul Thurrot's guide to slipstreaming XP SP2 to SP3. He has done the process using Windows Vista. What he suggests may be the key for running the slipstream while using Windows 7.

    When I slipstreamed my XP to SP3, I used a retail XP SP2 CD. I have seen warnings that slipstreaming may not be reliable when using an OEM version of XP SP2. However, I have done it with an OEM disk before and it worked out well. Just thought I would throw that in since I do not know which XP you have on hand. Hopefully Paul's instructions will work for you.
    Deadeye81

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

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    the strangest thing .... I had tried the disk about 5 times.I tried slipstreaming from my sp2 slipdsream disk, then from my original disk ... it stalled at the setup screen, I left it there for a long time and never proceeded.I turned it off again (5th time) because I Had to go to town,and when i got back I decided to try it one more time. It worked. Sometimes i think my computer has a mind of it's own and likes to push "my" buttons occasionally. LOL Thanks for all your help. I now have an xp3 disk, mbr fixed and all is well in my cyber world.
    Have a Great Day!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    I am glad you got it working, Rex, and your PC is back to normal. You have a great day as well!
    Deadeye81

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

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I do not remember with XP, but could the slipstreaming have been avoided by burning a system repair disk? I know on my Win 7 systems I can use the original installation disk to boot to , then open a cmd prompt and fix the MBR (See my thread on this subject) but I also believe I could have done this with my Win 7 Rescue Disk could I not? If a Rescue Disk could be created in XP would this have also solved the OP's problems? As I stated, I do not recall if an option exists is XP to create this Rescue Disk. Just a thought.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  9. #9
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I do not remember with XP, but could the slipstreaming have been avoided by burning a system repair disk? I know on my Win 7 systems I can use the original installation disk to boot to , then open a cmd prompt and fix the MBR (See my thread on this subject) but I also believe I could have done this with my Win 7 Rescue Disk could I not? If a Rescue Disk could be created in XP would this have also solved the OP's problems? As I stated, I do not recall if an option exists is XP to create this Rescue Disk. Just a thought.
    Hi Ted,

    There are several routes to fixing the MBR. I have seen it done using a Linux LiveCD. Rex was faced with the possibility of someday having to reinstall XP, and having to use his XP SP2 disk to do so. Slipstreaming SP3 enabled him to not only fix his XP boot issue, but provided all he will need to reinstall up through SP3 without any extra step, and it gives him a full XP SP3 CD in case he has a need for system file replacement or repair such as using the 'sfc /scannow' command. Having only the XP SP2 CD somewhat crippled his choices.

    The Win 7 Rescue Disk can be used to fix boot issues in Windows 7, just like the installation DVD. I do not believe XP has the ability to prep a rescue disk like Windows 7 does. But slipstreaming XP SP2 to SP3 takes care of all possible scenarios. But then again, once the boot issue is remedied, an image backup would minimize the likelihood of ever having to do a full XP reinstall.

    Check this MS article on how to install the XP Recovery Console within the OS so it can be run as an option on the F8 advanced options startup menu. It must be set up by using an up to date XP installation disk, but once it is done, unless the hard drive is totally blitzed, you can run the Recovery Console at boot to run 'fixboot', 'fixmbr', and any other Recovery Console commands. Here is an Elder Geek article outlining the procedure as well.

    Hope this helps.
    Deadeye81

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

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I could not get my brain cell fire up and thusly could not remember if this capability was available in XP. If the MBR could have been fixed without the slipstream, the OP could have booted into his XP installation, then Imaged as well. I just like Imaging better than reinstallation because I get back to where I left off rather than a new installation and having to reload all the apps, etc. I guess I'm just in love with Imaging. I have reloaded my Images several times in the last few months. Probably because that brain cell does not always start the way it should and causes me to screw up, but playing with Windows is part of the fun of having a PC.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    For those who have not yet set up Linux and Windows in a dual-boot configuration, I would like to make a suggestion which could have avoided this MBR restoration issue altogether.

    Use a third-party boot manager, like Acronis OS Selector (part of Disk Director) and let the third-party boot manager serve the purpose most of us would let GRUB do by default. GRUB is then installed into the same partition where Linux will be installed, and it is installed before Linux itself is installed. In Ubuntu, this means not letting the default installation of GRUB go forward, but instructing GRUB to install where Linux will be installed. This is a non-standard Linux installation, but it leaves the MBR untouched, except as the third-party boot manager may have altered it for allowing the installed Linux OS to be added to the multiboot configuration.

    It's really a lot easier than I just made it look, and the advantages are greater stability, no doubts about being able to boot into either OS, and better results when removing or changing one or both Operating Systems. And in many cases, more than two OSes can be multi-booted, even more than two Windows versions. See the Disk Director manual for further information on how this all works.
    -- Bob Primak --

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    Re third party boot managers, GAG is a very good free alternative: http://gag.sourceforge.net/ (don't be put off by the initials, which are from the Spanish name of the software). I've got it installed on nearly a dozen computers (desktops, laptops, and a netbook), booting various flavors of Windows and Linux. It can control up to 9 OS's on the same machine. It works very well, and you can try it before installing it by running it from a CD. If run from the CD, you have to manually set it up each time you boot by adding OS's to the menu, which is easily done as it shows you the various partitions available to boot into. At this point, nothing is modified on your hard drive, and you can test boot into whichever OS of choice. If all works as it should, you simply set it up again the next time you boot, and then save the configuration to the hard disk. For Linux installs, you do need to be sure to have Linux install Grub in the Linux partition, not the MBR (as the previous poster discussed).

    Running from the CD should also make accessing an OS possible on a computer with a hosed mbr.

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