linux - boot Windows from GRUB rescue

  • pruefsumme

    This is my situation:

    • installed Ubuntu without a CD (using unetbootin)
    • dual boot installation (Windows XP+Ubuntu)
    • didn't like the installation and decided to boot into Windows and delete the Linux partitions
    • forgot to fix the mbr from within Windows

    Now, when I boot, I am stuck in the GRUB rescue limbo.

    Simple question: How can I boot into Windows from GRUB rescue?

    I cannot boot from CD, therefore the usual solutions (recovery CD etc) do not work. An older question mentions the possibility to boot Windows but doesn't specify details: Ubuntu grub rescue prompt!

    Any hints?

  • Answers
  • Community

    When GRUB is gone, so is the ability to boot into Windows. You would now need to boot from the Windows CD to restore the Master Boot Record (MBR). You can also use other boot CDs such as the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, Bart PE or Hiren's Boot CD in case you don't have Windows installation media handy. Here are the steps:

    • Boot from the Windows CD and choose "Repair". Alternatively boot from one of the other aforementioned boot CDs and run a command prompt.

    • For Windows 8 computers:

      1. Insert disc
      2. set boot order to disc at first priority
      3. reboot, wait for installer to load
      4. select language and keyboard type and click continue
      5. DO NOT CLICK INSTALL, instead click repair my computer in the bottom left corner
      6. click troubleshoot
      7. click advanced
      8. click command prompt and enter the commands below.

    Add more tutorials for Operating Systems please.

    • Run the the following two commands in a command prompt:

      bootrec /fixmbr
      bootrec /fixboot
  • pruefsumme

    As Gilles already pointed out, grub rescue only has a few commands which allow you to load modules (e.g. from a grub rescue disk).

    In my case - booting from another source wasn't possible - the only option was to remove the hdd from the computer and use a cheap external hd case to connect the disk to another computer via USB. On that computer, I used MbrFix to fix the mbr.

  • Kravlin

    You can use grub rescue to start windows again.

    The command list would be something similar to

    chainloader +1            

    From reading over the comments on grub rescue this seems like it'll work then you can get into windows and reinstall the windows bootloader into the MBR. This only works however if your windows partition is the first partition on the drive AND it's on the first drive that the computer sees. If you have several drives or SATA drives instead of PATA drives then you may need to use a different command for rootnoverify (try sd0 instead of hd0)

    Update me on if it works.

  • Simon Sheehan

    Boot from the Windows XP/Vista/7 installation CD, and select the Repair (R) option. Select the correct partition, and then enter the Administrator account password. At the command prompt run the following commands:

    fixmbr (C:\WINDOWS\fixmbr.exe)
    fixboot (C:\WINDOWS\fixboot.exe)

    Type 'exit', and the computer will reboot.

  • Codera Purpa

    Another tool to add to what Ricky and preufsumme have to say is boot-repair-disk.

  • Tom

    I have exactly the same issue, i deleted the ubuntu partition so i could install the new one, but crapped it up and stuck in grub rescue also

    I am currently searching for the fix also

    Here is how far i have got


    It seems we need to use our windows 7 disks, boot in and delete something called an MBR

  • Malachi

    I had a similar issue, I had to go into the bios to set the boot up sequence to the CD/DVD Drive first so that it would check for the boot stuff there. I am using a solution from somewhere else that told me to first re-install Ubuntu so that the grub loader is installed then you can get back into windows and remove the partition the right way. hope this helps someone out there

  • Related Question

    windows 7 not booting after ubuntu partition deletion
  • misterjinx

    I had on my laptop windows 7 and ubuntu server 9.10 (the partition with windows 7 was automatically selected at boot time). Today I wanted to install ubuntu 10.4, and for that I deleted the 9.10 partition using windows manager, formatting it to a new blank partition.

    Since that, every time I turn on my laptop the grub loader appears and I get an error saying:

    unknown filesystem
    grub rescue>

    I tried inserting my windows 7 install disc to repair the installation, but even after I did this 2 times nothing changed.

    What should I do in order to repair my boot records?

    Thank you.

  • Related Answers
  • William Hilsum

    You need to repair/reinstall the Windows 7 boot loader.

    Use the Windows 7 install disk and choose Repair your computer then command prompt.

    Try typing the following two commands:

    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /fixboot

    If it still doesn't work, then try using diskpart and setting the small 100Mb Windows 7 system drive as active, then run the above two commands again. If still having problems or do not understand this step, please say and I will try to go in to more details.

  • TJKV

    You have to restore something called your "MBR" or Master Boot Record.

    The simplest way to do it?

    Note that I found that I had to use the command "bootsect /nt60 c: /mbr" instead of what is given on that site (ie; not 'c:/' or 'c:\', but just 'c:', and a '/mbr' at the end). Assuming that the Windows installation is on C drive that is.