So, during an attempt to install Linux Mint 14 to dual boot on my Windows 7 laptop, something went terribly wrong. I'm not sure what, but I suspect it has to do with a previous partition that was set up. The bottom line is now neither Windows or Mint are able to boot, rendering the laptop effectively useless. About the only thing I can do at the moment is run Linux Mint from the liveUSB, and that's it.
My plan was to wipe everything, start fresh with windows 7, and use the windows 7 system restore feature to get all my files back, and then once everything's back to normal, only then try reinstalling linux mint 14 for dual booting (this time with a fresh partition).
However, things immediately became difficulty. In an effort to cut costs, no doubt, Lenovo no longer sends you the windows system restore disk- you have to burn it yourself, which I dutifully did. However, apparently I somehow neglected to burn the Applications and Drivers disk along with the System disk, so as it turns out, I can't actually use the disk to restore the computer to factory settings (it keeps asking for the Applications and Drivers disk and refuses to proceed further).
Now, I made a point to backup my windows system using the built-in Backup and Restore program, but I don't know how to access it outside of Windows. My external hard drive came with the highly annoying NTI EZ Backup Now pre-installed, which will launch if try to boot from the external hard drive, but that can only handle .cat files, not the .wbcat that Windows Backup and Restore uses.
So, is there anyway, with what I have, to get back to the originaly pre-dual-boot-attempt state?
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!