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Here's my problem: While choosing to compress certain folders from within Windows 7, I marked the boot manager as 'compressed'. Now, when I try to boot, I'm not able to boot into Windows 7, or any other OS (I get an error: bootmgr is compressed, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to continue, which restarts the system and the same cycle continues.

I have a Windows 7 + open SUSE + Ubuntu 10.04 LTS wubi install boot setup. To complicate things, its a laptop, and the DVD drive is conked. Is there any way I can boot into any of my OS's? If not using a live boot, can I, perhaps make a bootable USB flash drive, boot into it and uncompress the boot manager ?

Note: I'm typing this from another desktop, and I do not have Windows installed on this.

/ed: Used this: http://serverfault.com/questions/137877/decompressing-files-on-an-ntfs-volume-from-linux/137906#137906 Still no go, getting the same error message.

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2 Answers

My first thought would be to see if you can get your hands on an external USB CD/DVD drive, and see if you can put a Windows installation disc in there and boot from that. If not, maybe take a look at http://superuser.com/questions/99162/reinstalling-the-windows-7-boot-manager and see if you can find a way to put the contents of the Windows installation disc on a bootable USB stick.

And if that doesn't work... maybe make a bootable USB flash drive with Linux, see if you can boot from that and install GRUB, then see if you can use GRUB to boot Windows and maybe reinstall the Windows bootloader from that... although I have my doubts about that working.

The one thing I would say you should definitely do is be very careful in the future whenever you don't have a working DVD drive ;-)

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@David maybe make a bootable USB flash drive with Linux, see if you can boot from that and install GRUB, then see if you can use GRUB to boot Windows Overnight, I was able to install grub onto a USB flash disk and I have access to my openSUSE partition. I still cannot get Windows to boot, get the same error message :( The one thing I would say you should definitely do is be very careful in the future whenever you don't have a working DVD drive Yeah, I don't know why I cannot stick to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy :/ –  Sathya Jul 3 '10 at 5:17
    
@Sathya: too bad it didn't work, although like I said, I had my doubts about that method anyway. I think GRUB just chain-loads the Windows boot loader, it can't actually boot Windows itself. If you have access to the OpenSUSE partition, though, might it work to install ntfs-3g on it and use the technique from the other answer you linked to? Or if not, see if you can get an uncompressed copy of bootmgr from elsewhere and copy it on to your Windows partition. –  David Z Jul 3 '10 at 23:31
    
Oh, and fixing things that ain't broke is half the fun of using Linux in the first place ;-) so don't be too hard on yourself. –  David Z Jul 3 '10 at 23:31
    
@David: 1. yes grub just chainloads it 2. I tried getting an uncompressed version of bootmgr but when I copy to the ntfs partition it gets compressed :-\ 3. I have VirtualBox installed,so I'm trying to install Win 7 in a VM and prepare a bootable USB drive. Thanks for all the help! –  Sathya Jul 5 '10 at 13:13
    
@Sathya: I'm surprised at point (2), I always thought compression was a one-time operation (though I'm no Windows expert). Have you tried deleting the existing bootmgr before you copy in the new one? I'm wondering if, maybe when ntfs-3g notices that you're copying a file over an existing compressed file, it automatically compresses it. Anyway, good luck with either that or the VM approach. –  David Z Jul 5 '10 at 20:32
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Well I had to take a different approach since I didn't have access to another Windows-based PC.

Tried couple of extra tricks with unetbootin, but none of them resulted in any success. Finally, I used SuperGrubDisk via unetbootin and got access to my Linux partitions. Once I got access to my openSUSE partition, I used VirtualBox to install Windows 7 in a VM. Once Win 7 was installed, booted into it, and created a bootable Windows USB disk. Finally, booted using the USB drive, went to Recovery mode, selected to uncompress the C drive, reinstall the bootloader, and everything's fine now.

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