How to restore the Ubuntu/XP/Vista/7 bootloader (Updated for Ubuntu 11.10)
This How-to is for windows dual booters who reinstall an operating system only to find that it has taken away access to their other operating system.
Whether you want to restore the XP, Vista, 7 or Ubuntu (Grub) bootloader, this guide will walk you through it.
All three parts of this tutorial require that you boot from a cd. If you don't know how to do this, check here.
If you have made a mistake and want to revert the changes, simply follow the instructions for reinstalling the previous bootloader. For example, if you have installed vista over ubuntu, try to get the ubuntu bootloader back, but want to get the vista bootloader back, simply follow my instructions for installing the vista bootloader.
How to restore the Ubuntu grub bootloader (9.10 and beyond)
First you need to find out what your drives are called. You can do this by going to a terminal and typing:
From that you need to find the device name of your Ubuntu drive, something like “/dev/sda5″.
sudo fdisk -l
So, still in the terminal, type:
And then, to reinstall the grub:
sudo mkdir /media/sda5
sudo mount /dev/sda5 /media/sda5
Push enter and you’re done! Of course you need to replace “/dev/sda5″ and “/dev/sda” with what you found in the fdisk output.
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/sda5 /dev/sda
How to restore the Ubuntu grub bootloader (9.04 and older)
First of all, all credit for this part of the tutorial goes to catlet. I am simply rewriting his tutorial to have all three bootloaders in this tutorial.
So, lets begin. To restore the grub, you must boot off the ubuntu live cd. Any ubuntu live cd will do.
Once there, open a terminal (Applications>Accessories>Terminal) and type this:
Next, you need to find which hard drive ubuntu and the grub is installed to. You do this by running this command:
Take note of what it returns (something like (hd0,1).)
Now you need to tell Grub where it is installed. Using the output of the last command, change this one and run it:
Replacing <a> and <b> with what you got back before. For example, if "find /boot/grub/stage1" gave me "(hd0,1)", you would run "root (hd0,1)"
Ok, so thats the configuration over and done with. Now we just need to run one command to install the Grub to your hard drive:
Now to quit and check if it has worked:
Make sure you have taken the live cd out of your disc tray. All going well, you should start back up and see the grub once again.
How to restore the Windows XP bootloader
For this you will need your Windows XP installation CD. Boot into it now.
You will get to a part where it asks if you want to repair or recover. To do so, press "r".
If prompted, enter your Windows XP administrator password. This will leave you at at a command line, so type in the following two commands:
then remove your XP cd. If everything has gone well, you should come to your XP bootloader.
How to restore the Windows Vista or 7 bootloader
To restore the Windows Vista/7 bootloader, you must first boot off your Windows Vista/7 installation DVD.
If you have one of the many OEM computers that didnt come with a Vista/7 installation disk, you can get the same effect with a Vista recovery disk, which you can download for Vista or Win 7.
When you get to the Regional settings, select your Location/Keyboard setting then click next. On the next page you must click on "Repair your computer."
On the next page, if it finds your Windows Vista/7 installation, make sure it is UNSELECTED before clicking next.
Then click on "Command prompt". From there, type in the folowing:
Now close the two windows and click "Restart."
Take out your Vista/7 DVD and hopefully, you will be left with your Windows Vista/7 Bootloader.