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I had a working Windows 8.1 which I used regularly.
Today I needed Linux, so I chose Ubuntu and installed it from a bootable flash drive alongside Windows. Everything worked well, I could choose which OS to boot: Windows or Ubuntu.
Due to some reasons (please don't ask me...) I decided to install another distribution and chose Mint. Apparently I didn't delete Ubuntu and just tried to install a third OS.
I don't know why, but at the and of the installation process I got a linux error so that the installation couldn't be finished. After the restart I couldn't start neither of my 3 OS. There was an error while booting.
So I installed Fedora (my current system). During the installation I had to partition my hard drive. It showed me my 3 OS, so I deleted the other 2 linux distribution and installed Fedora.

The good thing: Fedora works!
The bad thing: When it boots, it doesn't show me my 2 OS (Windows and Fedora), it just boots Fedora.
I know that I haven't deleted Windows, I still can access my windows files through Fedora. There must be an error with the "boot manager", where I can choose which OS to boot.

Is there any chance I can get my Windows back to work with all my files? Maybe just reinstalling it?

  • 3
    Sounds like you need to repair your boot-loader – ryekayo Jul 31 '14 at 23:00
  • I had a very similar experience about a year ago. Digging through the Grub documentation, I eventually got everything working. It didn't kill me but it was painful. – ben rudgers Aug 1 '14 at 0:14
  • Go to askubuntu.com, it's plenty of answers for this – smonff Aug 1 '14 at 14:55
  • @user1170330 There is an attempt to answer this here. – somethingSomething Oct 20 '14 at 2:10
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Had same issue, fixed after running sudo update-grub (you'll see if windows boot loader is detected).

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First of all, windows need to be in the first/main partition in a multi boot disk. Check with a partition tool if windows still there, if yes, see if it's on first partition, if yes reinstall the bootloader. You are probaly using grub, it is easy to be installed, just search on internet

  • Windows can be booted from any partition with Grub. However, it can require chainloading and configuring Grub becomes a non-trivial exercise in my single case experience...I eventually got everything working, but it took some effort. – ben rudgers Aug 1 '14 at 0:07
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I had a similar issue when I switched from Windows 7 to Ubuntu and found Fixing the MBR quite helpful.
Here's the link to it: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/win7-windows-7-mbr,10036.html


Fixing the Master Boot Record (MBR)

Step one: Turn your computer on, booting from either your Windows 7 Installation DVD or Windows 7 System Recovery Disc. Remember, you may need to change the boot order inside your BIOS to have the your DVD drive boot first.

Step two: After the installation or recovery disc loads, if prompted, select your language settings and then continue. If you are using the installation DVD, when prompted by the following screen select Repair your computer.

Step three: The computer will take a moment now to scan itself for any Windows installations, after which you will likely be given a choice to select which installation you wish to repair. Select the appropriate Windows installation from the list and then continue. If by chance a problem is detected in one of your Windows installations at this initial stage, the system may also ask you if it can try to repair the problem automatically. It is up to you if you wish to let the system try to repair itself, but otherwise just select No.

Step four: Once you have reached the System Recovery Options screen, as shown below, you will be faced with a list of choices that can aid you in repairing a damaged Windows 7 operating system. If you wish to try the Startup Repair option first, it is often successful in automatically fixing many different start up issues, but in this article we will be using the Command Prompt option to resolve our problems manually. So, click Command Prompt to continue.

Step five: Now sitting at the command prompt, enter the following command and then press enter:

     bootrec.exe /FixMbr

If successful, you should be greeted with the message The operation completed successfully. That's it! Your Master Boot Record has been repaired.

While the above command does fix the MBR, and sometimes that is enough, there still might be an error with the system partition's boot sector and Boot Configuration Data (BCD). This might occur if you have tried to install another operating system alongside Windows 7, such as Windows XP. To write a new boot sector, try the following command:

    bootrec.exe /FixBoot 

If you are still faced with your Windows 7 installation not being detected during start up, or if you wish to include more than one operating system choice to your system's boot list, you can try the following command to rebuild your BCD:

    bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

The above command will scan all your disks for other operating systems compatible with Windows 7 and allow you to add them to your system's boot list. If this fails, you may need to backup the old BCD folder* and create a new one in its place with the following commands:

    bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
    c:
    cd boot
    attrib bcd -s -h -r
    ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
    bootrec /RebuildBcd

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