Fun with MBR and partition tables

I use Ubuntu as my primary operating system. Because I needed Visual Studio for college, I also installed Windows 7 on the same hard-drive.

To be able to access files on the Linux partition, I installed a little program called Ext2Fsd. Unfortunately, it wasn’t updated to work with Ext4 partitions so, yesterday, I decided to uninstall it. After restarting the machine, GRUB wouldn’t load; the partition table was busted.

This is the process I went through to make everything go back to normal:

Deleting GRUB

  1. Get a Windows 7 .iso image
  2. Burn it to a USB stick using Windows USB/DVD Tool
  3. Boot from the stick drive
  4. Choose “Repair Windows”
  5. In the Command Promt, type Bootrec.exe /FixMbr

At this point, I was able to boot Windows. In hindsight, I could have skipped this part completely.

Rebuilding the partition table

  1. Get an Ubuntu 10.04 .iso image
  2. Burn it to a USB stick using UNetbootin
  3. Boot from the stick drive
  4. Recover Ubuntu partition using gpart
  5. Re-install Grub

In hindsight, I could have ran gpart directly under Windows.

Anyway, back to work…

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