How to recover Windows Vista from a USB drive

#1
Hello

I have a Dell inspiron 6400 which came with Windows Vista Home Basic(which I believe can be voted as the 'worst OS ever created by anyone' comfortably). I decided to move away from Windows and installed Ubuntu on the recovery partition (Vista is on C, the recovery partition was on D). After restart, I didn't get the option to boot Vista (I searched on the internet and found that lot of people have had this problem when they deleted the recovery partition to install Ubuntu). I then researched on how to get the Vista boot files back and that led me to NeoSmart website. I downloaded the recovery iso image and burnt it to a CD. That was when I realised that my CD ROM drive doesn't work anymore. So I am looking for a solution which can do the recovery from an USB drive. I have a 4G USB drive, I tried doing an xcopy of all the files from the CD to the USB drive. When I tried to boot Windows using the USB drive, I got a 'Disk Error'. Maybe this is not the right way, but I believe there should be a way out. All the recovery solutions that I found on the Internet wree all CD based solutions.
Can someone here let me know if it is even possible to recover Windows Vista from an USB drive? I greatly appreciate the wonderful work that everyone at NeoSmart is doing.
Advanced thanks for all the help.
Bala S
 
#3
If you can get into Ubuntu (which I'm assuming you probably can, since Grub was probably written to the MBR), modify either the menu.lst or grub.cfg (depending on whether the version of ubuntu you're using uses either grub legacy or grub2), and add a boot entry to the menu, pointed at the windows partition. Then you should have a dual-boot, without going to all the hassle of trying to recover the windows mbr with no working cd drive.