Need to reinstall windows...

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Need to reinstall windows...

Postby carlos on Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:42 pm

Unfortunately I need to reinstall windows. Yep you guessed it malware. Anyway I don't use the windows partition too often, but for a few needed applications.

If I remember correctly, if I reinstall windows it will blow out my MBR, is this right? If so is there an easy method of reinstall it? I would rather not have to also reinstall mint.

Btw, both OSs are on different hard drives.

Thanks for the help ahead of time.
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Postby alan2273 on Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:19 pm

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Re: Need to reinstall windows...

Postby JAK on Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:19 pm

carlos wrote:Unfortunately I need to reinstall windows. Yep you guessed it malware. Anyway I don't use the windows partition too often, but for a few needed applications.

If I remember correctly, if I reinstall windows it will blow out my MBR, is this right? If so is there an easy method of reinstall it? I would rather not have to also reinstall mint.

Btw, both OSs are on different hard drives.

Thanks for the help ahead of time.


Depending on what you need to use Windows for, you may be able to get away with running it under Linux in a VirtualBox session. If you plan to use Windows in an intense graphic situation, then you'll need to do a normal install. As for wiping out your grub, been there done that. There's supposed to be an easy solution to repair the grub, but I never got it to work. You may want to look at remastersys to make an image of your current Mint installation to make a reinstall easier.

Good Luck
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Postby merlwiz79 on Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:27 pm

It will write over the MBR of the hard drive that Windows is using to boot from.
I use BIOS to select which hard drive is 1st to boot then installed Windows.
Then swicthed the hard drive to the one that I wanted for Linux Mint to the 1st hard drive.
Then I use Grub to trick Windows to think it's the 1st hard drive.

As long as the Windows writes the MBR to the correct hard drive, you shouldn't have to reinstall grub.
Last edited by merlwiz79 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby carlos on Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:43 pm

Thank you all for the quick responses. Chances are, I will just wait till Celena goes gold. I always like to do a full reinstall when new OSs ship, so I will make my move then to reinstall windows.

@Jak yep unfortunately the big guns, such as adobe products i need windows for. And some few small ones for my printer.

@merlwiz79 Your solution seems simple. But, how would I trick windoze with grub?

Again Thanks you all! :D
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Postby KernelJ on Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:18 pm

This is what I do to get around this problem. It's a fairly satisfactory solution but working out the partition numbers might be a bit confusing for a newbie.

If you're in Linux now, type df and note what is across from /, e.g. /dev/sda1.

Now you can re-install Windows on another drive/partition, or run Windows' recovery tool to restore the MBR.

Download GRUB for DOS here: and extract the file "GRLDR" to your boot partition, e.g. C:\.

Open a RUN box in Windows and type notepad c:\boot.ini

Add the line
Code: Select all
C:\GRLDR="GRUB Boot Loader"

And also
Code: Select all
timeout=30

if there's no timeout already.

Open another RUN box and type notepad c:\menu.lst. Create the new file. Add the following text:

Code: Select all
# GRUB Menu

timeout 30
default 0

title Linux Mint
root (hd1,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic root=/dev/sda1 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.20-15-generic


The parameters (hd1,0) and /dev/sda1 are the only ones that might need changing.

If your Linux OS is on the primary partition the (hd1,0) will change to (hd0,0). Also you can try substituting sda1 with hda1 - it may take a bit of trial and error. (If anyone wants to simplify this procedure please do.)

If you like you can also add this:

Code: Select all
title Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1


Save and restart and it should give you access to both your Linux and Windows OSes.

It works for me anyway!

[As a side note, perhaps it would not be a bad idea for Linux Mint to do this by default where there is a Windows installation on the system? It would be handy to have all of this automated.]
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Postby merlwiz79 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:22 pm

carlos wrote:Thank you all for the quick responses. Chances are, I will just wait till Celena goes gold. I always like to do a full reinstall when new OSs ship, so I will make my move then to reinstall windows.

@Jak yep unfortunately the big guns, such as adobe products i need windows for. And some few small ones for my printer.

@merlwiz79 Your solution seems simple. But, how would I trick windoze with grub?

Again Thanks you all! :D
Here is the part for Windows in my menu.lst:
Code: Select all
title      Microsoft Windows XP Professional
root      (hd1,0)
savedefault
map      (hd0) (hd1)
map      (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader   +1

title      Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root      (hd2,1)
savedefault
map      (hd0) (hd2)
map      (hd2) (hd0)
chainloader   +1

If you reinstall Windows 1st then Celena, this should be added automatically.
I always have to add the
Code: Select all
map      (hd0) (hd1)
map      (hd1) (hd0)
though.
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Postby carlos on Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:16 pm

Thanks Again!

As soon as I get to finish with my laptop, I will hit the desktop with this new knowledge.
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Postby Stretch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:16 pm

Some very interesting info in this thread. Thanks for posting it you guys :wink:
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Postby Husse on Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:59 am

I think you can install Windows and then follow the wiki
http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php ... _your_grub
I've done this several times but not after a windows install but when distros with installers not quite so friendly to other distros as uiquity has messed up grub
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