View Full Version : Vista MBR / Dell

17-02-2009, 04:29 PM
Hi there,

Made a very silly mistake today. Was installing Xubuntu to a new(well actually old) hard drive using an external case, to put into an old PC I am reusing.

Unfortunately when it came time to hit the install button I forgot to change where GRUB bootloader was being installed to, and so wiped my Vista MBR (I think. Or has it changed significantly from XP and uses another method? BCD?) :blush:

Anyway, followed the instructions on the MS website to restore MBR using my Vista disk (Used to be recovery console?).

Unfortunately I have only managed to make the PC boot straight into the Dell system checker utility.

Anyone know how I can resolve this issue? I could rebuild from scratch, but don't really want the hassle of finding a removable drive big enough for a backup via a live CD boot.



17-02-2009, 05:42 PM
Easiest way would be to re-install Xubuntu, there's nothing wrong with it installing to the MBR, in fact its recommended.

It then boots straight into GRUB, the linux bootloader, which will auto-detect your Vista installation. Its usually the bottom-most entry in the list.

In XP I know its as easy as booting off the Install CD, going into Rescue Mode, then running something like:

However in Vista it appears a little different:

17-02-2009, 05:51 PM
Have you tried booting from the Vista DVD - you go through the process of installing Vista right to the point of the install, down the bottom Left hand corner is the option to repair the Computer, select that - tell it to fix the startup.

Have a look at This site here (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html) - gives graphical instructions.

17-02-2009, 06:39 PM
Hi there, thanks for the replies.

Chill - the Xubuntu installation is on a separate HDD that's not staying on the computer. Its going into an old motherboard that won't boot from CD, so thought it would work installing there. Didn't, but that's not my main problem, a battle for another day.

Wainuitech - I have gone through that process. Problem is that it detected the Dell utility partition first, and so now it is booting to the wrong place. Repeating the process has no effect. In fact, running /ScanOs through that tool detects zero vista installations!



17-02-2009, 06:42 PM
Also, in my reading around it seems Dell uses a specialised MBR in their computers, which presumably would address this issue, but therefore doing the Vista mbrfix does not work.

18-02-2009, 12:42 AM
Bugger :-/

18-02-2009, 02:44 PM
Well decided to do a full reinstall anyway. Bout time the computer got one. Always nice to freshen things up. Will just get rid of the Dell recovery stuff. Only advantage there is having the drivers already installed, which is short work anyway with the disc I have.
Cheers for trying anyway guys.