Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is my situation:

  • installed Ubuntu without a CD (using unetbootin)
  • dual boot installation (Windows XP+Ubuntu)
  • didn't like the installation and decided to boot into Windows and delete the Linux partitions
  • forgot to fix the mbr from within Windows

Now, when I boot, I am stuck in the GRUB rescue limbo.

Simple question: How can I boot into Windows from GRUB rescue?

I cannot boot from CD, therefore the usual solutions (recovery CD etc) do not work. An older question mentions the possibility to boot Windows but doesn't specify details: Ubuntu grub rescue prompt!

Any hints?

share|improve this question

When GRUB is gone, so is the ability to boot into Windows. You would now need to boot from the Windows CD to restore the Master Boot Record (MBR). You can also use other boot CDs such as the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, Bart PE or Hiren's Boot CD in case you don't have Windows installation media handy. Here are the steps:

  • Boot from the Windows CD and choose "Repair". Alternatively, boot from one of the other aforementioned boot CDs and run a command prompt.

  • For Windows 8 computers:

    1. Insert disc
    2. set boot order to disc at first priority
    3. reboot, wait for installer to load
    4. select language and keyboard type and click continue
    5. DO NOT CLICK INSTALL, instead click repair my computer in the bottom left corner
    6. click troubleshoot
    7. click advanced
    8. click command prompt and enter the commands below.

Add more tutorials for Operating Systems please.

  • Run the the following two commands in a command prompt:

    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /fixboot
share|improve this answer
Thanks, that worked for me! – Simon Boudrias Nov 1 '12 at 0:00
You may also boot from a LiveCD of Ubuntu and then move the bootloader to Windows: sudo apt-get install lilo ; sudo lilo -M /dev/sda mbr – jevon Feb 8 '15 at 11:58
This worked for me. Thanks a lot dude! – Francisco Oct 4 '15 at 2:22
+1 I found this to work too, on Windows 10 32 bit Pro installation media DVD that I created using Media Creation Tool (… ). My problem was that had deleted my Linux partition by mistake when wanting to adjust the size of the partitions, in the Windows Partition Manager. This answer here fixed my issue - I can now boot into Windows. I will re-run my Linux install DVD as I wanted dual boot Windows 10 and XUbuntu. Thanks very much. – therobyouknow Feb 6 at 16:57
up vote 6 down vote accepted

As Gilles already pointed out, grub rescue only has a few commands which allow you to load modules (e.g. from a grub rescue disk).

In my case - booting from another source wasn't possible - the only option was to remove the hdd from the computer and use a cheap external hd case to connect the disk to another computer via USB. On that computer, I used MbrFix to fix the mbr.

share|improve this answer

You can use grub rescue to start windows again.

The command list would be something similar to

chainloader +1            

From reading over the comments on grub rescue this seems like it'll work then you can get into windows and reinstall the windows bootloader into the MBR. This only works however if your windows partition is the first partition on the drive AND it's on the first drive that the computer sees. If you have several drives or SATA drives instead of PATA drives then you may need to use a different command for rootnoverify (try sd0 instead of hd0)

Update me on if it works.

share|improve this answer
The grub rescue prompt does not provide the chainloader command (at least not without manually loading the module, and I don't know how to do that). – Gilles Oct 11 '10 at 20:22
well, if that's the case then there's always the choice to use a flash drive (assuming the computer will boot off it) and to make the flash drive bootable with unetbootin and a copy of super grub disk (or something similar) OR you can put a copy of part of grub onto the flash drive and load it by saying "kernel PATH" – Kravlin Oct 11 '10 at 20:46
googling around i found this. That might provide some help – Kravlin Oct 11 '10 at 20:47
Unknown command 'rootnoverify(hd0,0)'. So next I need to find which grub-rescue command loads the module for rootnoverify? – Marcos Sep 3 '13 at 10:02

Another tool to add to what Ricky and preufsumme have to say is boot-repair-disk.

share|improve this answer

I have exactly the same issue, i deleted the ubuntu partition so i could install the new one, but crapped it up and stuck in grub rescue also

I am currently searching for the fix also

Here is how far i have got


It seems we need to use our windows 7 disks, boot in and delete something called an MBR

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer. My problem is that I can't boot into any CD. If I somehow managed to boot into Windows, I could use the MbrFix tool (see: – pruefsumme Oct 11 '10 at 14:42
Ok it sounds to me like you need to go into your bios and make it look at the CD before booting – Tom Oct 11 '10 at 14:49
Unfortunately, this is not possible since I have no cd drive. – pruefsumme Oct 11 '10 at 14:54

Boot from the Windows XP/Vista/7 installation CD, and select the Repair (R) option. Select the correct partition, and then enter the Administrator account password. At the command prompt run the following commands:

fixmbr (C:\WINDOWS\fixmbr.exe)

fixboot (C:\WINDOWS\fixboot.exe)

Type 'exit', and the computer will reboot.

share|improve this answer
The original poster states that they can't boot from CD, so a little unsure how this answers them? – Rowland Shaw Nov 7 '12 at 12:51
you have to set the boot sequence to check the CD/DVD Drive before the HDD – Malachi Dec 11 '12 at 18:52

I had a similar issue, I had to go into the bios to set the boot up sequence to the CD/DVD Drive first so that it would check for the boot stuff there. I am using a solution from somewhere else that told me to first re-install Ubuntu so that the grub loader is installed then you can get back into windows and remove the partition the right way. hope this helps someone out there

share|improve this answer

protected by studiohack Jan 20 '12 at 20:22

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.