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Installed Ubuntu on USB HDD. XP won't boot.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by thredayevt, Jun 2, 2010.

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  1. thredayevt

    thredayevt Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
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    I installed Ubuntu on an external USB HDD (an 8gb thumb drive). The idea was that I could boot Ubuntu from the USB stick, and then pull it and boot into XP from my notebook HDD as normal. The Ubuntu part works fine, and it installed on the 8GB USB drive. However, Windows no longer boots. When I pull the USB stick, it tries to boot into Ubuntu, and then tells me it can't find the OS. To complicate matters, my laptop is encrypted with PGP so I can't see the notebook HDD at all.

    Is there anything I can do to get Windows back? I don't think I overwrote anything on the notebook HDD. Ubuntu only installed to the external USB drive. It's like the computer doesn't know to look for windows any longer. Could it be a PGP problem? I'm open to any and all suggestions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Welcome to TSG!

    You may have installed Ubuntu to the USB drive, and most of Grub as well, but if Grub is trying to load when the USB is removed, then the Grub bootloader was installed on the hard drive.

    The usual fix is to boot with the XP CD into the Recovery Console, and run the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands. If this notebook uses code in the MBR to check for a keypress to do a Factory Recovery (Dell does this, as do many others) FIXMBR will likely remove the ability to do a Factory Recovery at boot, but then Grub has likely already removed that anyway.

    I'm not familiar with PGP though; if it modifies the MBR or Boot Sector, you'll need to use a PGP Recovery Disk to decrypt the system, then you can run the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands, then you have to re-encrypt the system.

    Here's a start, with links to more info on PGP Recovery
    HOW TO: Create Recovery Disks for PGP Whole Disk Encryption

    The Recovery disk can fix some things that cause a BSOD, so it may be able to repair this without having to decrypt/encrypt the disk, see section three here:
    PGP Whole Disk Diagnosis and Recovery - PGP Desktop 9.x for Windows
     
  3. thredayevt

    thredayevt Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
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    Thanks for the speedy response. Those links are a great starting place. I'll try the PGP recovery disk, and I'll post the results.
     
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