Vista partition drive letter gone and recovery does not find anything

#1
Hi

So from one problem to another :smile:

This time I can not boot Vista anymore since the partition can not be found after I removed a partition holding the MBR.

Here is what happened.

I had a nice dual boot Vista and Ubuntu going. The drive looked like this
/dev/sda1 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda2 Vista x64 - C: 200gb
/dev/sda3 Linux Swap - 2gb
/dev/sda4 Linux ext3 - Ubuntu 20gb. Grub installed and booting through Vista booter
unused space 20gb

I figured I'd do a smart format of the unused space using vista disc manager. However disc manager transformed all my linux drives to RAW. Then it moved my partitions one number ahead and introduced a 1mb partition as sda1. This partition most likely held the MBR.

That screwed up my Ubuntu boot probably due to switch in partition order.

So I removed sda1 thinking I could recreate a MBR through Ubuntu. BAD IDEA.

I was not able to get Vista to boot so I tried different approaches to get Ubuntu to boot instead and then perhaps go from there. I finally managed to get Ubuntu and GRUB up and running but I am having a hard time getting Vista going again. The recovery program gives me a blue screen. I have probably messed something up bad.

Now my setup is like

/dev/sda1 Ubuntu 20gb. This was used by the 1mb MBR before so the numbering is a bit off.
/dev/sda2 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda3 Vista x64 - Not mapped and unrecognized by any of the tools. Not removed though so it should be intact.
/dev/sda4 Swap
/dev/sda5 ext3 formatted partition. Not used.

I have tried super grub iso to get vista up. Unfortunately I have not created any restore points or backups to use with the recovery tools and the boot part does not find any partitions.

So I need to somehow reset the partitions to something like:
/dev/sda1 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda2 Vista x64 - C: 200gb
unused

just to get going again. Could anyone tell me if this is even possible? I have not touched those partitions so the data on them should be ok. I have access to neosmart rescue disc and EISA is booting up but can't find anything. (probably since it's looking for C: or active or similar)

So I think either fixing so that I can use the standard resque disc approach to recreate standard Vista MBR OR using ubuntu and GRUB to boot into Vista and then using EasyBCD to rewrite the MBR and THEN setting this up to boot into Ubuntu partition Grub just like it was in the first place.

Pretty please help me. I don't have the Vista discs to start over from since it was preinstalled and I was supposed to create rescue discs. :smile:
 
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#2
Hi

So from one problem to another :smile:

This time I can not boot Vista anymore since the partition can not be found after I removed a partition holding the MBR.
First of all, the MBR sits on the drive before any partitions, so it is impossible to have to have a partition containing the MBR... :wink: What you must have actually done is removed the EISA partition, which unfortunately contained your Vista boot files...
Here is what happened.

I had a nice dual boot Vista and Ubuntu going. The drive looked like this
/dev/sda1 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda2 Vista x64 - C: 200gb
/dev/sda3 Linux Swap - 2gb
/dev/sda4 Linux ext3 - Ubuntu 20gb. Grub installed and booting through Vista booter
unused space 20gb
I figured I'd do a smart format of the unused space using vista disc manager. However disc manager transformed all my linux drives to RAW. Then it moved my partitions one number ahead and introduced a 1mb partition as sda1. This partition most likely held the MBR.
Yeah, that was a bad move...:x What you thought was "unused space" was actually your Linux partitions, and messing with those with Vista's Disk Manager caused your dual-boot setup to get all screwed up...as can be seen from the following quote. :wink:
That screwed up my Ubuntu boot probably due to switch in partition order.
So I removed sda1 thinking I could recreate a MBR through Ubuntu. BAD IDEA.
By "recreating an MBR through Ubuntu" do you actually mean installing Grub to the MBR of that drive? :wink: And by "removing sda1" do you mean you deleted that partition?
I was not able to get Vista to boot so I tried different approaches to get Ubuntu to boot instead and then perhaps go from there. I finally managed to get Ubuntu and GRUB up and running but I am having a hard time getting Vista going again. The recovery program gives me a blue screen. I have probably messed something up bad.

Now my setup is like

/dev/sda1 Ubuntu 20gb. This was used by the 1mb MBR before so the numbering is a bit off.
/dev/sda2 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda3 Vista x64 - Not mapped and unrecognized by any of the tools. Not removed though so it should be intact.
/dev/sda4 Swap
/dev/sda5 ext3 formatted partition. Not used.

I have tried super grub iso to get vista up. Unfortunately I have not created any restore points or backups to use with the recovery tools and the boot part does not find any partitions.

So I need to somehow reset the partitions to something like:
/dev/sda1 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda2 Vista x64 - C: 200gb
unused

just to get going again. Could anyone tell me if this is even possible? I have not touched those partitions so the data on them should be ok. I have access to neosmart rescue disc and EISA is booting up but can't find anything. (probably since it's looking for C: or active or similar)

So I think either fixing so that I can use the standard resque disc approach to recreate standard Vista MBR OR using ubuntu and GRUB to boot into Vista and then using EasyBCD to rewrite the MBR and THEN setting this up to boot into Ubuntu partition Grub just like it was in the first place.

Pretty please help me. I don't have the Vista discs to start over from since it was preinstalled and I was supposed to create rescue discs. :smile:
Hold on while I think of a solution to the problem...

-Coolname007

EDIT: Have you tried using the NST recovery disk yet to attempt to repair Vista's boot?
 
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#3
No I didn't remove the EISA partition.

After disc manager did its magic it put a 1mb partition BEFORE all the other partitions. Thus going from:

/dev/sda1 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda2 Vista x64 - C: 200gb
/dev/sda3 Linux Swap - 2gb
/dev/sda4 Linux ext3 - Ubuntu 20gb. Grub installed and booting through Vista booter

to

/dev/sda1 1mb disc manager crap.
/dev/sda2 EISA backup - not mapped 12 gb
/dev/sda3 Vista x64 - C: 200gb
/dev/sda4 Linux Swap - 2gb (Displaying as RAW in Vista dm)
/dev/sda5 Linux ext3 - Ubuntu 20gb. Grub installed and booting through Vista booter (Displaying as RAW in Vista dm)

When runing the Ubuntu LIVE CD I could still see all the other partitions. The unused space was indeed unused space which was unpartitioned and I was planning to use it for Mac OSX. Unfortunately the mac installer doesn't do a good job finding unpartitioned space so I wanted to make a dummy partition using windows disc manager. That's what got me in to this mess :wink:

I have tried the NST disc but it can't find any partition to fix. Perhaps since the drive letters are all messed up now.

Actually I'm reading Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki but I'm stuck on how to get the bootsect.exe into the system?!?!?

Any suggestions? Will USB drives be mounted in NST mode if I copy it from EasyBCD folder? Kinda stuck here.

"By "recreating an MBR through Ubuntu" do you actually mean installing Grub to the MBR of that drive? :wink: And by "removing sda1" do you mean you deleted that partition?"
Yes and Yes :smile:. I figured if I got Ubuntu going I could use it to boot Vista somehow. Removing the sda1 was done with the "it's only 1mb big. How bad can it get" approach.
 
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#4
No I didn't remove the EISA partition.

After disc manager did its magic it put a 1mb partition BEFORE all the other partitions.
Hmm...it could be then that when the 1 MB partition was created before all the other partitions, it became "active" instead of the EISA partition, which according to the screenshot you posted in the other thread was the "active" partition, and obviously contained your Vista boot files...:wink:
So, if that's the case, then you could try setting the EISA partition to "active" again, using Gparted from the LiveCD, and see if it boots into Vista as it should.

Cheers.

-Coolname007
 
#6
I'll try to get Grub back on line with super grub disc.
Not sure what you mean by that...:wink: I was simply stating to set the EISA partition to "active" again with Gparted, which will hopefully fix the issue with Vista not booting.
Any ideas on how to get bootsect onto the NST recovery session?
No need to...you can use the Command Prompt on the recovery cd to navigate to the bin folder within the EasyBCD directory on your Windows partition, and run bootsect from there if you have to, but I really don't think that's necessary at this point. Just set the EISA partition to "active" and see what happens.

-Coolname007
 
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#7
I meant that I needed to use super grub to set Grub as default booter again.

Well I can't use the command prompt to browse since it is only browsin my EISA partition for some reason. Probably related to the NST rescue tools not working as they should.
 
#8
I meant that I needed to use super grub to set Grub as default booter again.

Well I can't use the command prompt to browse since it is only browsin my EISA partition for some reason. Probably related to the NST rescue tools not working as they should.
First try setting the EISA partition to "active" again, and see if Vista boots. :smile: Though you could probably get it working from Grub, you would be going to a whole lot of trouble, what with editing the menu.lst and all, and so you would be better off just setting the EISA partition to "active" and then Vista should boot. :wink:

Cheers.

-Coolname007
 
#9
I'm updating my Ubuntu packages now. It was a fresh install so I will get back to you once I have gparted up. Should I also set the Vista partition as active?
 
#10
I'm updating my Ubuntu packages now. It was a fresh install so I will get back to you once I have gparted up. Should I also set the Vista partition as active?
You can only have one "active" partition per hard drive, so the only one that needs to be set to "active" in your case is the EISA partition...:wink:

-Coolname007
 
#11
I see. Trying to get gparted now using apt-get install gparted but I can't find it. ?!?!? I'll see if I can find alternatives.

Addendum:

Ok. Set the active partition to the EISA partition. gparted has flagged my ntfs (EISA and Vista) partitions with a warning triangle. Saying that it could not read the contents of those partitions due to some thing (can't translate from swedish) were available. However I can access the EISA partition so I think the data is ok.

Addendum:

I also set my EISA partition to active but it seems like Grub is still booting. I want to add that Grub has added Vista boot alternatives. One is not working since it can not find a file and is most likely the previous EISA alternative. And the one that is working. Probably the old Vista is now EISA.

This must be a result of the /dev/sdaX sequence being changed by Vista disc manager. Could you advise on how to fix this?

Addendum:

I notice that when inside the Vista rescue disc my C: drive is my EISA drive. Is there anyway for me to map my Vista partition as C: instead?

Addendum:

Adding my /boot/grub/menu.lst contents.

# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
# grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
# grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
# and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
#
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not use 'savedefault' or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default 0

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout 10

## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)
#hiddenmenu

# Pretty colours
#color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line) and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
# password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

#
# examples
#
# title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader +1
#
# title Linux
# root (hd0,1)
# kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro
#

#
# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

### BEGIN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=UUID=ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
## alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
## lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet splash

## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false
## lockold=true
# lockold=false

## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=

## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
## altoptions=(recovery) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
## memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false

## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-11-generic
uuid ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-11-generic root=UUID=ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-11-generic
quiet

title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-11-generic (recovery mode)
uuid ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-11-generic root=UUID=ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-11-generic

title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic
uuid ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=UUID=ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
quiet

title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic (recovery mode)
uuid ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=UUID=ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic

title Ubuntu 8.10, memtest86+
uuid ec3cc9fa-575f-48e2-94e6-63aba1e0aa89
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin
quiet

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title Other operating systems:
root


# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda2
title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root (hd0,1)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader +1


# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda3
title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root (hd0,2)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader +1
 
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#14
You haven't deleted the 1 MB partition! :S According to the screenshot you just posted of the Gparted screen, the 1 MB partition that you said you deleted still exists...:wink: And are you sure you even set the right partition to "active"? The 12.05 partition is the one you should have set to "active", not the Vista partition, or the allegedly deleted 1 MB partition...

-Coolname007

Addendum:

I see. Trying to get gparted now using apt-get install gparted but I can't find it. ?!?!? I'll see if I can find alternatives.

Addendum:

Ok. Set the active partition to the EISA partition. gparted has flagged my ntfs (EISA and Vista) partitions with a warning triangle. Saying that it could not read the contents of those partitions due to some thing (can't translate from swedish) were available. However I can access the EISA partition so I think the data is ok.

Addendum:

I also set my EISA partition to active but it seems like Grub is still booting. I want to add that Grub has added Vista boot alternatives. One is not working since it can not find a file and is most likely the previous EISA alternative. And the one that is working. Probably the old Vista is now EISA.
If you get to Grub first at startup, that means that Grub has been installed to the MBR...so you must have used Super Grub Disk to write Grub to the MBR. :wink: Something I advised not to do in one of my above posts...
I notice that when inside the Vista rescue disc my C: drive is my EISA drive. Is there anyway for me to map my Vista partition as C: instead?
Your EISA partition is shown as C: by the recovery disk, because it is the active primary partition on the first drive in the boot sequence (drive 0)...:wink: There is no way to change what the recovery disk calls it, but I imagine you would probably see a different drive letter from within Vista itself. :smile:
Ok, notice the two quoted entries in your menu.lst...
# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda2
title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root (hd0,1)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader +1


# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda3
title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root (hd0,2)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader +1
See the one pointed at (hd0,2), which is the first hard drive, third partition? Now the reason that entry doesn't work is because it is pointed at your Vista partition, instead of the EISA partition, which last time I checked contains your Vista boot files...:wink:
But naturally, the one above it works because it is pointed at the EISA partition.

Cheers.

-Coolname007

Addendum:

Anyway, I'm glad you got it all working ok now (from what it sounds like anyway...). :wink: You can boot into Ubuntu, right? You can safely remove the extra entry in your Ubuntu menu.lst (the one with the root line pointed at (hd0,2) ) with no problems, if you want, so you don't have any entries in your menu.lst that doesn't work. But, of course, that is optional...:wink:

-Coolname007

Addendum:

I see. Trying to get gparted now using apt-get install gparted but I can't find it. ?!?!? I'll see if I can find alternatives.
Oh, and I meant you could use the already existing version of Gparted on your LiveCD...:wink: You will find it at System>Administration>Partition Editor while booted from the LiveCD.

Cheers,

Jake
 
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#15
I had problems running EasyBCD after that so I threw away all Linux partitions and I am going to start from scratch on that.

However now my rescue and vista partitions are not longer at sda1 and sda2 rather at sda2 and sda3.

How can I move them to sda1 and sda2?
 
#16
I had problems running EasyBCD after that so I threw away all Linux partitions and I am going to start from scratch on that.

However now my rescue and vista partitions are not longer at sda1 and sda2 rather at sda2 and sda3.

How can I move them to sda1 and sda2?
Not really sure why you did that, but you can delete your 1 MB partition (for real this time...) and move sda2 and sda3 up into the free space with Gparted (though that wont make them sda1 and sda2)...:wink:
To do what you're trying to do, you would need to edit the partition table in the MBR, and move the partitions up so they get the sda1 (first partition in the MBR partition table) and sda2 (second partition in the MBR partition table) values.

-Coolname007
 
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#17
Is editing the MBR difficult to do? :smile:

I have already moved my two other partitions so that there no longer is a 1mb space.

One other thing. When using EasyBCD now I get the message:

"BootGrabber.exe has stopped working"

I tried unintsalling and reinstalling but ever since I resqued Vista BootGrabber.exe has been crashing on me. Any ideas on why this could be?

Addendum:

Here is the output:

c:\Program Files (x86)\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin>BootGrabber /list

BootGrabber utility.
Copyright NeoSmart Technologies 2009 <http://neosmart.net/>

Error issuing IOCTL_DISK_GET_LENGTH_INFO on disk 1. Last error: 21
Error issuing IOCTL_DISK_GET_LENGTH_INFO on disk 2. Last error: 21
D,0,2096380
 
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#18
You can use the freeware tool DIY DataRecovery MBRtool to edit the partition table in the MBR. As for the BootGrabber error you're getting...have you tried [thread=642]the latest version of EasyBCD Beta?[/thread] I believe the problem has been fixed in that version. :wink:

Cheers.

-Coolname007
 
#19
Thanks for the DIY tool.

Actually I am using the 59 build.

I managed stopping it from crashing by using BootGrabber.exe from build 53 but when booting now I get:
Try: (hd0,0): Ext2

But then it stops.

Perhaps I didn't install grub correctly this time?

Addendum:

I did a full reinstall of Ubuntu putting grub on the Ubuntu partition but I still get the same "BootGrabber.exe has stopped working" pop-up window in Vista.

The error you fixed previously didn't result in a pop-up window like this one. Is there anyway I can gather some more info for you?
 
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#20
Thanks for the DIY tool.
No problem. :smile: Please be careful in using the tool though, as its very easy to seriously screw something up just by typing the wrong command...:wink: And I assume you're aware that once you change the position of the EISA partition in the MBR partition table, you'll need to edit your menu.lst to reflect the new location? If you move sda2 (the EISA partition) to slot 1 in the partition table, you will need to change the value from (hd0,1) to (hd0,0) as that is the first hard drive (as detected by the BIOS), and the first partition in the MBR partition table (starting the count from 0 in this case).
Actually I am using the 59 build.

I managed stopping it from crashing by using BootGrabber.exe from build 53 but when booting now I get:
Try: (hd0,0): Ext2

But then it stops.

Perhaps I didn't install grub correctly this time?
hmm...do you get this error when trying to boot into Vista or Ubuntu?

-Coolname007