Fix broken Dual boot machine–Linux and Vista/Windows 7

I you have a Windows machine and you’ve installed Linux (Ubuntu, Puppy or the like) and all of a sudden you can’t get into your Windows 7 or Vista Operating system you are not alone.

Many updates to both Linux and Windows seem to ‘bork’ the bootloaders of each. I just got done with a repair on a family members machine so I thought I put down what I did to fix the issue.

First and foremost I won’t say this anymore than once – HAVE YOUR SH$T BACKED UP REGULARLY! I have written so many articles on backups if, by now, you don’t have a back up and recovery solution you deserve to get f&^ked.

OK so let’s start. The system I was recovering was a Windows Vista installation that had recently had Ubuntu 11.04 installed ‘on top of/along side of’ the existing Windows installation – making for a ‘Dual Boot’ system.

After Ubuntu updated the Vista installation became un usable – the system would only boot into Ubuntu and would crash if trying to get into Vista.

You will need to boot with your Vista/Windows 7 installation disk. A repair disk will do. If you don’t have a Vista installation or repair disk you can check out here for information on how to create on. If you don’t have a Windows 7 installation or repair disk you can go here the process is simple.

Put you repair/installation disk in the drive and start your computer off of the DVD/CD. This often entails holding or hitting the ‘F12’ key and selecting the option to boot from the optical/dvd drive.

Hit Enter at the language selection prompt


then hit "R" to get to the repair section. You can then select the automatic boot repair tool, but it often will not do any good. Try that at least once. If it doesn’t work then select the command prompt (console)


and type in the following commands:

On Vista:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
then hit enter
Then type in:
x:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
then hit enter (you may get error, just ignore for now)

On Windows 7:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
Then hit enter
bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
Then hit enter (again you may get error – just ignore)

Then type in:
BootRec.exe /FixBoot


Next type in:
attrib bcd -s -h -r C:\boot\BCD
Then hit enter

Next type in:
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
Then hit enter

Then type in:
BootRec.exe /ScanOs
and Enter

Then type in:
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
And enter again

Type in:

Exit. and reboot your system.

HOPEFULLY you will be able to get back in.

If not be prepared to spend a few hours or more searching the web for solutions. Or better yet just restoring your system from a backup image Smile