Solved: Deleted dual boot Linux - Can't boot windows

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KaloJ

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Hi everyone,

I was experimenting with Elementary OS when it went a little wonky, just became unresponsive and features had broken. Couldn't really figure out the problem so I just decided to uninstall it. I deleted the partitions that it had been installed on and tried to restart into Windows.

I got a screen much like the one in the attachment below.

I did some searching on my other computer and found out that GRUB is the bootloader for linux and replaces Windows bootloader when you install it. I also found that to restore windows bootloader, you're gonna need a Recovery disk.

So I made a recovery disk using my Windows 8 laptop (Using a Flash Drive), plugged it into my crippled computer, booted from the USB, followed the instructions that I had accumulated from multiple websites explaining what to do.

The specific instructions were to go to the command prompt within the recovery disk and type:
Code:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
I also had tried:
Code:
bootrec.exe /fixboot
since another site had suggested trying that. They both said that the operation was successful.

I was then told that I should be able to reboot into Windows good as new. Well I can't. I'm still getting the same GRUB rescue screen linked above.

So that's the problem
Here's various bits that may be helpful:

Crippled PC -
Windows 8.1 Pro
250GB SSD - Windows install (NOTE: When trying to reset it gave me the message saying that the drive with Windows installed was locked and that it needed unlocked in order to reset/refresh it?)
1TB HD - Just extra storage for Windows
3TB HD - This is the drive that had the linux partitions, about 350GB was for linux, now just unallocated. The rest is one partition that contains some backup information. (NOTE: If it makes any difference, this was an external HD that I ripped out of its enclosure as the SATA to USB converter card seemed to be going out.)

Other notes:
The recovery disk was made on my Windows laptop that originally shipped with Windows 8, not 8.1, it's also just the Basic version, not Pro.
The crippled PC was built with Windows 8.1 Pro.
I personally built the crippled PC so there is no recovery partition within it.

If any other information is required please let me know, and thank you for any help!
Also, if this issue was already been presented and fixed, please do link it to me, I couldn't find any where using these commands didn't work.
 

Attachments

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Actually, especially if your pc has a EUFI board you should use a Windows 8.1 installation DVD, get to the Install Now screen, but instead use the Repair my pc link. Wait until it is done then reboot
 

Macboatmaster

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if 8 came preinstalled from an OEM - Dell etc. then it is definitely UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware interface not the traditional BIOS and unless Linux was also installed UEFI you were always going to encounter problems


EDIT - JUST seen that you built it - so was 8 installed UEFI - is the motherboard UEFI ?

That is very important as the cmds to repair it are totally different if it is UEFI to if it is MBR



If it was changed in UEFI and Linux was installed - legacy mode, that is the traditional BIOS mode, then there is no chance of now being able to boot Windows - as a UEFI installation will not boot in legacy mode configuration


try this command on the recovery environment cmd prompt
bootrec /ScanOs
 

Macboatmaster

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NOTE
There is as I am sure you appreciate a lot of detail in your opening post
when you reply we can further discuss the way forward


There is a good possibility that you MAY recover from this
 

KaloJ

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if 8 came preinstalled from an OEM - Dell etc. then it is definitely UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware interface not the traditional BIOS and unless Linux was also installed UEFI you were always going to encounter problems


EDIT - JUST seen that you built it - so was 8 installed UEFI - is the motherboard UEFI ?

That is very important as the cmds to repair it are totally different if it is UEFI to if it is MBR



If it was changed in UEFI and Linux was installed - legacy mode, that is the traditional MIOS mode, then there is no chance of now being able to boot Windows - as a UEFI installation will not boot in legacy mode configuration


try this command on the recovery environment cmd prompt
bootrec /ScanOs
Currently testing CleaverX's proposal, currently having to burn the iso (Need more flash drives)

Okay, that didn't work.

ScanOS returns success identifying 1 Windows installation D:\Windows (I thought it was C:\)

The motherboard is an ASUS Maximus VII Hero if that helps you any.
Bios/legacy/UEFI is my weakness, I don't know much about any of that stuff.
I'm aware I'm in over my head.
 

Macboatmaster

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it may indeed be C the recovery environment often moves driver letters one forward


You will I think have noticed that you are on the recovery cmd prompt at an X:\ prompt
that is a ram drive created for the recovery environment


Please be aware that if you do not know if that M/B is UEFI and if 8 or 8.1 was installed UEFI then I am really going to struggle to give you the correct cmds


For instance if is UEFI FixMBR has no chance as there is no MBR - Master Boot record


There is a FAT partition called the EFI partition from which windows 8.1 boots


Please explain what you mean by the 8.1 install DVD did not work - what occurred
ALL I have is what you tell me so please be as descriptive as possible


WHEN you reply please do not quote back to me what I have just posted to you
Click reply NOT quote
 

Macboatmaster

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Take out or disconnect these drives
1TB HD - Just extra storage for Windows
3TB HD - This is the drive that had the linux partitions, about 350GB was for linux, now just unallocated. The rest is one partition that contains some backup information. (NOTE: If it makes any difference, this was an external HD that I ripped out of its enclosure as the SATA to USB converter card seemed to be going out.)


then when you reply to 6 having also disconnected the two drives we will proceed
 

KaloJ

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Alright. The top of my bios says in big letters "UEFI BIOS Utility" Other google searches point me to believe it's UEFI.
The windows install was Windows 8.1 Pro, that's as it came from my university.

Alright, with all drives disconnected less the SSD, when I force it to boot to the SSD it goes black for a couple seconds and then returns to my bios screen.

I vaguely remember when trying to partition out my 3TB seeing that it was labeled GPT and all the others labeled MBR. This was in partition wizard before any of this happened. I don't know if that's helpful.

Trying the install DVD like CleaverX suggested led to the startup repair, and it said that it could not repair the drive. I tried the commands I tried earlier also without any progress.

I just tried to startup repair again so that I could relay the exact message and it booted to my desktop... -insert facepalm-
 

Macboatmaster

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go back to cmd prompt FROM the 8.1 disc
that is at the install windows screen press shift and F10


if you cannot get there from that go back to the cmd prompt you had from the recovery usb


Please may I tell you how I work
I will not go without telling you I am doing so.
Even if the indicator by my name goes red it only means I have left the forum.
I will be back


Please DO THE SAME for me, as otherwise neither of us know if the reply is coming or not


When you get back to a cmd prompt
Type


diskpart


when diskpart shows it has loaded


it should now be disk 0
diskpart numbers them not letters


to be sure type


list disk


come back when you have that
 

Macboatmaster

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Just seen this
#
I tried the commands I tried earlier also without any progress.
My advice is do not try cmds, except what I tell you -
You may of course try anything you wish
It is your computer

Perhaps you missed what I said
For instance if is UEFI FixMBR has no chance as there is no MBR - Master Boot record
MISSED THIS LINE I apologise

I just tried to startup repair again so that I could relay the exact message and it booted to my desktop... -insert facepalm-
OR have you inserted that after I read it ?


SO are you good to go?
 

KaloJ

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I'm sorry for such a hassle, but the problem seems to be solved, just slow booting, but only after 3TB is reinstalled. But that's a different topic. Thank you for you're assistance. Marking Solved.
 

Macboatmaster

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No problem just pleased it is fixed - CleaverX gave you that one. But I continued when you said it did not work
Can sometimes work when ONLY the windows drive is connected.
Other drives especially with the Linux grub left can throw it

Do make the image and the recovery usb, then if it goes pear shaped again you do not have this problem

Do you want the correct procedure to rebuild bcd from cmd prompt
 

KaloJ

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Will be making a recovery immediately, lesson learned.
It worked after I disconnected them all, so that probably was the problem.

I'll probably stick to Wubi installs in the future, those are have far less consequences.
 

Macboatmaster

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DO NOT do WUBI on 8.1 It does NOT work with UEFI and you will end up in real trouble

Do you want the cmds
Do you want the correct procedure to rebuild bcd from cmd prompt


YOU NEED a system image on an external drive and the recovery usb 0- you boot the recovery with the system image drive connected and then you - are presented with the option
recover - from system image

At this time, Wubi does not work with Windows 8 default boot-loader. Thus at this point Wubi would not work on a new Windows 8 machine. You would be able to install, but not reboot into Ubuntu.
OR indeed into Windows
 
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