So this weekend when my Windows install crashed I decided to create a partition for Ubuntu for my application development instead of running Ubuntu on a VM. But I didn't install Ubuntu with the right file system I wanted, so I formatted that partition while I was in my install of Windows.

Now I am getting this when I am trying to boot into Windows.

error: unknown filesystem
grub rescue >

What do I need to do to get past this so I can boot into Windows? And where would Ubuntu install the extra files for something to run like this?

I know basic Unix/Linux commands, but not enough to figure out how to get past this.


grub2 consists of 2 stages. the first (small) one lives in a boot-sector and launches the second one, which will do all the fancy stuff, and resides on the /boot partition (or lacking that, on the / partition of your system).

since you have wiped your entire linux installation, you have also wiped the 2nd stage of grub.

quick (ad-hoc) solution

you could try switching to the (U)EFI boot menu of your system, and launch w32 directly. this effectively bypasses grub.

usually you should see something like "F12 Boot Menu" which will get you to the (U)EFI boot menu (if such a thing exists on your system).

a more permanent solution

install the linux-distribution of your choice on the newly formatted partition, without worrying too much about w32. once the linux system is up and running, you will have a working grub again, which you can configure to chainload w32. (chances are high, that it will even detect w32 during installation and automatically add it to the boot menu).

  • Thank you for your response. How could I locate the Ubuntu boot loader that is installed on another hard drive? I cannot find it, because I am going to go a different route with my Ubuntu install. And I want to remove grub so I can boot straight into Windows. – Justin Clarke Nov 12 '13 at 1:33

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