Can't boot laptop to Vista after trying to install Linux

By Rifero ยท 12 replies
Dec 9, 2010
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  1. Hi guys, I hope this is the right forum section to post this in;

    I downloaded and burned Debian 507 to CD (needed that to run a server) and I tried to install it. I got confused about the installation so I shut down the setup.
    When I tried to reboot my laptop again, it shows Packard Bell Recovery Management.

    I can't start my OS anymore, and the Recovery Management is unable to find the OS, so also unable to recover. I don't have a copy of the Vista installation CD.
    Im afraid I accidentally made some changes during the Debian setup progress but I have no idea how to undo/restore them.

    I am using an old PC now to post this message.
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Having post moved to more appropriate forum.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    At what point did you abort the setup?

    It sounds to me like you did it after confirming the changes to disk, and you've also removed the main Windows partition, as well as the recovery partition.

    If this is the case, there is no reliable way of getting it back, so your going to have to contact your laptop manufacturer and request (and purchase) a set of recovery OS disks I'm afraid.
  4. Rifero

    Rifero TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I aborted the setup at the step "Partition disks"
    Here you can see a picture of the screen:

  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Did you run that again to take a picture? Or did you take that picture before?

    If you just took it, your "NTFS" partition is still there. I don't see your recovery partition though, so what happened to that - Or wasn't there one listed (which would mean no recovery partition)?

    What exactly is it doing when it boots? Any fault codes if it tries to boot into Windows?
  6. Rifero

    Rifero TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Yes, that picture is from the last time I opened Debian.
    I have no idea what happened to my recovery partition, I dont even know which one that is.

    Whenever I try to boot it normally, it will give the following error:

  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    The Recovery partition isn't present in that storage device menu above, and the Vista install is behaving like its had its MBR boot loader wiped. :confused:

    The only way I could imagine you can resolve your problem right now would be to use a third party boot loader, or to complete a linux install so it installs a boot loader for you, and you can then boot Windows back up.

    There are no guarantee's unfortunately., and I'm unaware of a way of resolving this issue without the Install medium or partition.
  8. The recovery partition is most likely the 2.7GB of free space. It's normal to see an unused couple of MB at the end of a large partition like that, but not as much as 2.7GB. It looks like you've removed it accidentally as the partitioner certainly wouldn't do it without you telling it to. All is not lost however, as you should be able reinstall the master boot record to sda (SCSI1) and get your windows to boot from the primary boot partition. I'm not a windows user so not sure how you'd go about this, but it's certainly possible.
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    You need the Windows install media to boot into recovery mode and rebuild the MBR unfortunately. Like I said before, you need to order a copy of the install media from your computer manufacturer, unless you can find someone who has the same or similar laptop, with the exact same OS - In which case you could use that to restore it.

    I think your being somewhat optimistic about the recovery partition still being there. The impression I'm getting is it has been removed, and I'm not entirely sure it can be repaired - But its worth a try I guess.
  10. Rifero

    Rifero TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I think I will follow Leeky's advice and completely reinstall Vista, or maybe I'll give Windows 7 a try. I sort of gave up hope after I tried the Vista Recovery Disc, butt it didn't work.
  11. I made no such claim in fact. The recovery partition is gone, the only course of action now is to reinstall the bootloader or the entire OS.
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Yeah, having re-read your comment I see what you meant more. I read your first sentence and it made it sound like I said, but in fact the rest confirms what you've said above.

    A simple misunderstanding on my part.
  13. Not to worry.

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