Fixmbr or bootcfg

By ihateubuntu
Oct 17, 2009
  1. I know there are several posts about similar things, but i think my case is a bit different.
    In an XP Pro computer with 2 HDDs I installed ubuntu on my secondary drive. I had problems so I decided to remove linux. the problem is that to remove linux i formatted the second drive, so GRUB is gone, and i get the "error 17" message when booting. (i've been using supergrub cd to boot in the meantime)

    I can see both drives from windows now, access them fine, but i want to boot straight to XP.
    The boot.ini file in c:\ is still there intact*, but i guess somewhere in the BIOS or something my computer is still looking for GRUB on d:\

    I got to fixmbr in the Recovery Console with the installation CD and then got the warning about non-standard partitions. I don't actually have partitions, i think, just 2 drives. and this is what i'm afraid of, not being able to access any drive after fixmbr, with the warning windows gives you about it.

    Should I go through with fixmbr?
    Should I use bootcfg to assess/fix the situation?
    Do i just have to point my BIOS/whatever away from grub and towards my c:\ boot.ini? and if so, how?

    thanks in advance!

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Here's my understanding on what's needed (but feel free to get other opinions as well)

    1) Before proceeding do you have a backup of all your data? (just in case of the worst, of course) See How to recover your folders/files when Windows won’t boot. Backup your stuff (and/or clone the disk before proceeding to be safe)
    2) Then from recovery console you want to run fixmbr and fixboot (in that order!). Use the map command to tell you the device name of your disk with Windows installation
    > fixmbr: The disk has a master boot record. fixmbr fixes the master boot record. the MBR tells BIOS how to load the disk. (This is where GRUB probably sits now)
    > fixboot: Each partition on the disk its own boot record. It tells the system how to load the data for the disk volume (i.e. partition). fixboot fixes the boot record

    Your boot.ini file looks OK to me.
  3. WinXPert

    WinXPert TS Guru Posts: 445

    I have experiences on that too and guess what "ubuntu". Fixmbr and fixboot should do the trick.


    GAG 4.3
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Just one other thing - make sure which drive comes first in the bios boot order - you speak of grub having been on drive 2, and for that to work, that would have had to be the top of the boot order. Your XP boot.ini points to drive(0) i.e. the first drive. Now in your position, before even running fixmbr, I would check the drive boot sequence in the bios. If the drive with XP on it is not first, after you set it to be first, you may very likely find it boots up fine with no further changes required....

    If it does not, I think fixmbr is all that is necessary. Your boot.ini looks fine already, which is all fixboot would do - rewrite it. When your previous attempt to run fixmbr gave you a warning, it was actually complaining of there being no 'normal' master boot record. Of course not, Grub was there instead....

    BTW when you have a hard drive at all, it is always necessary to have partition(s) on it. You actually do have a partition - just one on each HDD
  5. ihateubuntu

    ihateubuntu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks to all who replied.
    I'll try it later today.
    Asked my usual tech guy too and he said it should be fine.
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