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Windows 7 I mistakenly formated over my MBR partion and now I need help


New Member
Jan 15, 2009
I was trying to set up a dual boot windows 7 with vista and was using a partition software and I mistakenly formated the 1st partition on my hard drive. It was a small partition of 1.5 MB and I think that is where the MBR was installed? Anyway after that I tried to fix the problem and as far as I could get was to the repair computer on the windows 7 installation disk. It came back saying computer could not be repaired by it. I tried other rescue CD's I had made over the years but nothing would let me repair my error and reinstall windows. I then (out of desperation) tried to boot from a Ubuntu CD I had made but never used. This worked and I was able to install Ubuntu to my system. To my suprise that part went very smoothly.

The problem is that I don't understand Linux at all yet. What I would like to do is somehow get windows 7 or vista to install and dual boot keeping Ubuntu to learn from.I tried various fixes using fixmbr etc but all I did was corupt my Ubuntu install and I had to reinstall Ubuntu to have a working computer

Can anyone point to any information on fixing my problem so that I can reinstall windows 7 and if possible keep Ubuntu. Or if I can't keep both then tell me how to fix windows 7 mbr so that I can install it again.

Thanks in advance for any info that you guys can give


Hi, I was able to accomplish the dual boot and everything is now good thanks :)
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this is quite challenging. but given that you already have formatted the mbr, let alone install ubuntu... the boot code will be on the ubuntu installation at this point. with that, there is nothing left to do but reinstall everything from scratch; formatting all partitions, installing vista, then win7, then ubuntu. you have to take note though that linux operating systems create more than one partition: namely the root, data, and swap partitions (correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm sure there are 3 or 4 based from what i had in the past when i installed opensuse).

also, boot operations are handled quite differently between those 3 operating systems, given that vista boots by mbr/gpt, win7 boots with GPT, and linux... not exactly sure - but it is partition or LVM-based depending on how you set it up. for the most part, i too am having trouble dual booting linux and win7 for some reason...

but then again, that's just what i think. i may be wrong with what i mentioned above, so anyone please correct me if it is so. i'm still in the process of learning each operating systems i use. i just got started with linux a few weeks back, and for windows 7 - much to my frustration, made it my primary os without dual-booting... :D
Ok here's how to do it.

1) install your Windows install CD (NOT a VISTA one -- you need XP, WINDOWS 2000, or Windows 2003 server) -- note these CD's must be slipstreamed with SATA drivers or they probably won't find any Hard disks to repair -- plenty of info on slipstreaming and using nlite on the web - just google and download the Intel chipset drivers from the Intel site.

2) Start the installation -- BUT don't actually install. Get to the stage where it asks you to Format Partitions

3) Delete the Small partition you have.


5) Now use REPAIR option using the recovery console.

6) It should find a windows installation to fix -- select the number.

7) enter your password (if you had one) or just press enter.

8) now type FIXMBR.

9) Now you are good to go again -- you should be able to boot into Windows or at least use the VISTA CD to perform a repair.

If you still can't boot then you'll need to download on another computer the GPARTED live CD -- reformat the entire hard disk and now go and install Windows (any version) again from scratch.

Then install any Linux system. - In dual / triple boot systems install Windows systems FIRST.

It's a shame but the "Dumbing down" of stuff makes things almost impossible to repair when they go wrong -- why the VISTA CD doesn't have the repair tools like XP and Windows 2000 (and 2003 server) had I just don't know.

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I fixed this in not such an elegant way of installing a new version of vista on an additional hard drive partition. At the prompt to select my operating system I quickly went to the correct Operating system and then deleted the record out of boot locations. Mine was damaged by windows xp install attempt.