cant load from vista recovery disc


firstly i apologise for the long story, and am thankful if anyone can help at all. i have posted this on other forums but to no avail. i am trying to fix a friends laptop, a compaq presario cq60-218EM, which operating system is set to ubuntu. she broke vista, gave it to someone else to fix, and now is stuck on ubuntu. i have no experience using ubuntu so have no idea how to change it back to vista, so i tried using the recovery disc. i understand that this will only work if vista is still recovery partition or something of that sort? anyways i put in the dvd i made from and it loads nicely then asks me if i wish to install or repair (install doesnt work) after clicking repair it asks me to select an os, but sadly none are there. i can click load drivers...but have no idea which ones to load. i can also click next where im then presented with startup repair, system restore, and command prompt. system repair doesnt work. apparently there is no system restore point either. now i am stumped for what to do.
i need to check that vista is still on the computer somewhere...but dont know how. if it is...i then need to restore it to being the default os and get rid of ubuntu. if not, she does have a windows vista basic key, so could i download and install it and then use that key? would that cause problems with drivers she then wont have?
i have also followed the advice in
Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
but cant continue from the command "del C:\boot\bcd" as i get a response that "the device is not ready"
thanks for any help you may be able to give
Hi Ryan, welcome to NST.
If you've still got a Vista system you should be able to see a partition for it in Ubuntu "places", and you should see the contents looking something like this.
If you can't see any other partitions on the HDD, then it would seem that your friend's other friend, overwrote the whole disk, in which case you'll need to borrow a Vista DVD from someone to reinstall Vista (our recovery disk contains no installation files), using your friend's original licence key from the PC.
Look in Ubuntu "system"/ "partition manager" and you'll get a GParted view of everything on the HDD, including hidden partitions.
It's possible that the Compaq hidden recovery partition is still present, in which case you should be able to use it to do a "factory reset" of the PC.
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thank you for your quick response. it seems trying the use of the manual repair of the boot loader has removed the one that loads ubuntu. i think its called grub or something? anyways i can no longer load up ubuntu, when i restart the laptop it says operating system is missing. any idea how i can get that to load?
Download this ISO and burn it to a CD with Imgburn.
Then boot your PC with the CD in the tray and the BIOS set to boot CD before HDD.
Run the 1st option (boot without changing your PC), and you'll be running Ubuntu directly from the CD.
You can use it to look at what's on the HDD.
thanks yea its definitely not there so im trying to go about installing vista. i cant get it to boot into vista from the dvd, dvd is above harddrive in the bios settings, is there a way i can install it through ubuntu?
You can't reinstall Vista using our repair disk(s). They contain no installation files. They're not a free copy of Vista, just a facility for repairing a broken boot on an otherwise good copy of Vista.
If you want to reinstall Vista, you can do it legitimately with a DVD borrowed from someone else, as long as you use the serial number from your own PC, not from the borrowed DVD.
Have you tried booting the DVD on a different PC to see if it's OK ?
It's possible that the broken PC has trouble reading DVD but not CD (different laser frequency).
If the DVD boots elsewhere, see if another DVD fails on the broken PC (You could burn a 2nd temporary copy of Ubuntu to a DVD RW perhaps and try that.)
(You did of course "hit any key" when it asked ? or didn't it get that far ?)
yea cant boot from the dvd on any laptop. i tried to install it through ubuntu buy running the setup file with wine. it opens a windows looking page but just says please wait forever. doing something wrong? in the meantime will try see if anyone else has an installation disc
You need to reburn the disc. Make sure you've got a .iso file and you're burning the disc with the iso to disc feature. You cannot runit in Ubuntu.
He's talking about a real Vista DVD Jus.
Only option is to borrow another but use your own key.
progress!! borrowed another disk and it progresses to a further stage of installing windows. im stuck for what to do again however. a page asks me where do i want to install windows and there are 2 partitions:
disk 0 partition 1 - 144gb - primary
disk 0 partition 2 5.1gb - logical

(both, under the free space coloum have 0.0mb ? )
anyways it also tells me that "windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. as windows must be installed to a partition formatted as NTFS. there is a format button, as well as an extend one and a new one. where do i go from here?

thanks for all your help again
If you're trying to do a clean install and don't care about the data on there go to command prompt on the recovery options menu you get clicking repair my computer:

select disk 0

Now click the X in the upper right-hand corner and click "Install Now" to procceed with installation. When you get to the where to install screen again just click next.
Or you can click the format button and you'll get another screen which will enable you to overwrite one or both.
Mentioned it since he had trouble locating the GUI functions. Terry's right. If you click the advanced button you'll have the options you're looking for. If it doesn't let you delete that way try the post above.
couldnt create any more parititions, or format the presents ones. had to delete the existings ones and create them again..this changed the freespace coloumn to actually have figures in. install ran smoothly after that and everythings up and running and ive also installed all the drivers i could think of. is there a way to create the recovery partition that has long since deleted, the one thats supposed to be accessed by pressing f11 when booting? or should i just make some recovery discs?

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You're in the realm of "vanilla" Vista now. If you want the hidden OEM partition and the ability to factory reset, you'll need to buy the appropriate media from your OEM if you didn't take the opportunity to make your own from the recovery partition
Just start a regular habit of backing up your user data on a daily basis (here's my favourite freeware for the task) and, since you were using a borrowed Vista and can't necessarily reinstall it in future without having to find another copy, do a full partition image of your newly fixed system with some appropriate software and keep it handy on whatever external storage you have available.