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Boot problems with Windows Vista

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Okay, I'm in a tight position and hopefully I didn't corrupt my HDD.


I was trying to dual-boot Ubuntu onto my Vista Laptop (Home Premium). I created a unallocated partition for use by Ubuntu (40 GB) and left my Vista partition intact (60 GB). I enter into the Ubuntu install and select the option to use the largest free space partition. I was hoping it would select the 40 GB drive and it would install it on there. I go through the process and I click start Install. I then quickly in panic (I didn't want to lose my Vista partition thinking it would do that) and so stupidly I tried to turn off the computer (using the Shut Down command in the Disc OS.


So now, I try to boot back into Vista. Doesn't work, all I get is the command line flashing and nothing else happening. I then go back into the Ubuntu installler to se possibly what damage I caused to my HDD. I notice that my Vista partition is still there and the unallocated space is now replaced by a partition (obviously created by Ubuntu). At this point, I sigh in relief but now I worry if I corrupted the drive. So, I then result to some tech help on Microsoft's site and I tried to reinstall the boot sector hoping that was the problem. I use the Bootrec.exe command and try to use "FixBoot." It tells me that the volume doesn't have any supported file systems and also to check to make sure my HDD isn't corrupted. I'm then nervous, which I want to add that when I try to repair the install it doesn't even show my install for Windows Vista Home Premium.


So, if anyone can help me with this I would really appreciate it so much to the point where I'm giving out a Demonoid invite if anyone can help me solve this issue. If you want to know more info, please ask.


(Also, if I was to reinstall Windows Vista using the Upgrade Anytime disc, would the processor be running at various speeds? Meaning, would it eat away more from the battery life because I don't have the original mobility processor drivers that came originally on the laptop? I wanted to know cause I've tried to reinstall Windows XP on another laptop of mine and the processor ran at full speeds the entire time rather than using only what it needed.)

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Hi Coolmatt49. Let's take a look at this from the beginning. You aborted a Ubuntu installation and ended up with a non-bootable computer even though the Vista partition appears to be there and intact. You want to reinstate your MBR so you can get Vista back, and if you can't do that, you want to know if a reinstall of Vista will work properly because specific drivers may be missing.


I agree that the problem is likely to stem from the MBR or partition table as you identified. Booting from the Vista DVD and using bootrec with either the /fixboot or /fixmbr will usually fix problems, as long as the volume is seen correctly. One thing to be aware of with Windows is that if the disk subsystem needs drivers loading at install time, they also have to be loaded manually (the F6 request in XP, text prompt in Vista) when you boot to recovery mode. I'm guessing that your Vista DVD prompts you for them in recovery mode, I haven't tried a recovery boot in Vista myself but read the screens carefully. There should be an option to "Load additional storage or network drivers."


The fact is that many new SATA laptops need a driver loading or the disk isn't seen properly by Microsoft's installer. For a fresh install you might be able to go into the BIOS and select 'compatibility' or 'legacy' mode for the SATA device to disable AHCI. Not recommended for existing builds though. Best to find the AHCI driver and have it available.


If you do have to reinstall from scratch the chances are you'll need a bunch of drivers for the specific hardware. Go to the manufacturer's site and download them in advance. Install Vista, then install the drivers you need one at a time. The ones bundled with Vista should get you up and running; if it's an OEM restore disk it should have them on already but there are probably newer ones available.


Hope this helps - and if anyone knows more about the recovery boot process than I do, I'm sure they'll jump in with suggestions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Metrogirl for responding to my problem. I figured out and fixed the problem before the time of your post but some things in your post are very helpful for me in future problems. So, here is what I did:


I basically reinstalled Vista Home Premium using the Upgrade Anytime disc that came with my laptop. I was only worried about the mobile processor acting as a full desktop processor where it would be kept at its normal clock speed (not underclocking at times of little use of the computer). I reinstalled it and everything worked as smooth as butter. It all worked out and the computer is now faster (thanks to not having all the useless junk that is on it. It wasn't as bad with bloat-ware but it still slowed my computer during boot).


Turns out, my hard drives were never corrupted. It must have been something wrong with the Boot Sector (though, I tried multiple times to fix it). It kept giving me errors like "Operating System Missing." I have never seen an error message like that before especially during boot-up. Usually I would expect DISK READ ERROR or something a little more general.


Anyway, to sum it up my laptop is in working order and I hope to never be stupid with OS installs ever again...hopefully :censored2:. I must really focus on experimenting on computers that I don't use as much (a.k.a. Old computers that I could care less about what is lost or gets broken).


Thanks again Metrogirl, I hope to look back on your post for future reference to similar problems that I might have. BTW, PM me if you would like the Demonoid invite for the sake of being the only one who took the time to try and help me out.

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