Windows 7 Balls'd it all up with Ubuntu on spare drive. I want Win7 back


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A few weeks ago I tried out an Ubuntu installation, just to see if it met my requirements.
I have all I need on Win7 but being the adventurous type and already having tried and dismissed Win8 I thought I'd try Ubuntu.
My machine has 4 hard drives and one of them had shown up as not available and I couldn't format it with Win7 so in went Ubuntu to try and sort it out.

On installation (yeah I know I could have just used the live disc instead) it chose a drive that I presumed was one in my machine, but it appears that it was an external drive.
On reboot at completion of installation the monitor screen just didn't do anything. It didn't even show itself as being there, ie no ON light to the start button which normally goes blue at start-up.
Naturally there was no appearance of any of the start-up messages, booting display or anything. Just blank.

Leaving the machine, the hard drive activity light was still flickering away urgently for as long as I left it, but still no start up.
I tried several attempts to resolve this with suggestions from all sources. I made a startup repair disc and tried that. No good, still no appearance of anything on the monitor that could allow me to figure things out.
I inserted the Win7 disc to see if it would boot into that and allow me to to a repair. What actually happened is that it allowed the system to start into Win 7 and everything seems normal and the computer can run. However, the computer just won't start without the disc in. It seems to be booting into the system using the disc rather than what's on the hard drive.

I'm guessing it's looking for the GRUB menu which Ubuntu would have installed but can't find it so hangs and goes round and round searching for it.

I can't find any way to copy the necessary files over to windows on the hard drive and no means of doing a repair using the win7 disc as I just can't get into the startup menu on boot. I can't change any BIOS settings as I can't get to them.
What I have basically is a computer with a system that starts up if the Win7 disc is inserted but without any means of changing anything.

Oh, I tried doing a live drive repair from both Ubuntu and Knoppix but can't find anyway to remedy the situation in their system.
Installing Ubuntu has mucked up the Windows 7 Boot Manager. You probably don't want to hear this but, the only way to fix your situation is clean install Windows 7 from scratch.

You, really, should have stayed w/ Windows 8... it is the better OS.

So given that I have Win7 on two of the 4 hard drives, can I do an install onto any of the two I just use for storage?
If so, can I do an installation from a running windows environment in one of the other hard drives as I can't get into the startup on booting to tell it to do an install?
Naturally I'm being cautious now and don't want to mess up the OS on my working hard drives.

I appreciate what you say about WIN8 but I tried it, didn't like it and found it to be less than intuitive.
I can't get to grips with the tile sort of system. I bought a tablet last year to take on holiday and I don't like that either.

Win7 is straightforward, it does everything I need it to and obviously I know how to use it after the many years of doing so. There's no learning curve to using something you know how to work already whereas with Win8 I found myself scratching my head in frustration or complete bemusement several time a minute.

Actually, Ubuntu is very good too but I have several crucial programmes that I need running that it doesn't support and I can't get going in anything but a windows OS. I do have Ubuntu operating on a spare laptop and it's very good but obviously it has replaced the normal boot-up with GRUB where I choose which partition and OS to use.

So, can't install Windows at boot up as it just goes into the normal start-up and can't gain access to the disc options at start-up. Install from a running Windows?
FWIW, using Windows 8 does not need to involve the use of any tiles. Use of that screen is entirely optional & can be treated as unnecessary.

Now, to the issue @ hand...

What drive gets the installation is not critical. Pick whatever one you like; sure use a Data Drive you mentioned. What I am suggesting is this:

Take your Windows 7 disc, put it in the ROM. Hit any key to boot from CD. Format the drive being used. Upon completing the install you should have a working, bootable, computer, again.

Thanks Drew.
I agree this is the way I'd normally do this, BUT I can't do a boot start of the installation disc. I can't do anything at all and there's no response while pressing the various keys that I'd normally do to change BIOS settings, boot from cd etc. It just goes through the startup into Windows as if the disc is the drive holding the start files. Until the computer starts with the Windows installation I don't have any chance to do anything at all since no screen options appear.

Like I said, the computer starts up into a working Windows 7 environment within my current main hard drive, but there's nothing I can do to prevent it, or to interrupt it to boot into the cd for an installation. If I could do that I could probably do an MBR repair from the disc anyway and wouldn't need to install a new OS to a different hard drive.

I can run setup while Windows is running and I can probably tell it which drive to install on, but would this put me a new MBR on the system.

Unplug all the drives except the one to which you want to install the OS and try it, again. Before that, shut the machine down and pull the power cord out of it. Open it up, remove the M/B battery, leave it out for a minute or 2, replace. Button it up, plug the AC cord back in & now go to my 1st sentence. You shouldn't need to get into the BIOS... should boot from the install disc, no matter; will have nothing else from which it can boot, anyway. Hit any key, etc, etc.

Installing Ubuntu has mucked up the Windows 7 Boot Manager. You probably don't want to hear this but, the only way to fix your situation is clean install Windows 7 from scratch.

You, really, should have stayed w/ Windows 8... it is the better OS.


A re-install isn't needed, boot the windows dvd and use the repair option and it'll reapply the mbr. If it doesn't do repair again goto advanced open up a command prompt and do bootsect /nt60 c: /force /mbr