Monday, May 10, 2010

Recovering GRUB (Bootloader) after windows installation

GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) is a bootloader package used to support & load an Operating System from a list of several operating systems already installed.

   I dont know about others but here at P.I.C.T most of the students install Linux on Windows with the help of WUBI (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer). When you run wubi on windows operating system it prompts many options but most of us select 'Install inside Windows'.

   I also have been doing the same since many of my last semesters, but I always used to face the same problem. The problem is 'how do I recover my Ubuntu installation if I reinstall a fresh copy of Windows operatin system.' This is where recovering GRUB comes into picture. So this time I just set my shoulders to go ahead and take a look into getting this all in charge.

    There was nothing like a rocket science in all this. First of all to get this done I just backed-up the bootloader from within windows. You people are advised to follow the steps below carefully. The procedures to back-up the bootloader is as follows:

1. Right click 'My Computer' on the Desktop.
2. Goto 'properties'.
3. Goto 'Advanced'.
4. Click 'Settings' under 'Startup and Recovery' division.
5. A window titled 'Startup and Recovery' will pop-up.
6. Click 'Edit' under 'System Start-up' division.
7. A text file named 'boot.txt' will pop up. (as shown in the adjoining image)
8. Now copy the lines written in this 'boot' file and save these copied lines in a new text file. (Dont save on Desktop.)

This is how I backed-up bootloader in windows. But in order to getting Ubuntu enlisted in the startup booting screen you also need to back-up two more files namely wubildr and wubildr.mbr

to do this just goto C:/ (or where ever your windows is installed) and back-up these files in some other file in some other Drive say(D:/)

Now, what I did was just begun installing a fresh copy of Windows operating system. I got windows running again on my computer in just 7-8 minutes (using USB Boot). Now what you have to do is just open up the boot loader as mentioned earlier and copy the code from text file saved in step 8. above and save this 'boot' file.
Also copy those files (wubildr and wubildr.mbr) back to C:/ (or where ever your windows is installed)

Now just reboot Windows and voila...!!! your Linux is back again to life.


  1. there isn't any boot.ini file in windows 7.
    what to do?

  2. There's UAC setting in windows 7. I dont really recall where it is. when I find it out I will post a good article for recovering Boot Loader from Win 7.



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