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My Lenovo x220 notebook no longer boots from the hard drive. If I use a gparted live OS, it says that the entire hard drive is unallocated space. If I start an installation from a Fedora 15 live OS, it says that it can't detect any partitions or filesystems on the device. I have run the grub command from the Fedora live OS and tried to find "/boot/grub/stage1" but it couldn't find anything.

The problem first occurred immediately after restarting from a perfectly-working Windows 7 session so I assume it's not a hardware problem.

I am dual-booting Fedora 15 and Windows 7 so at a guess the problem has been caused by GRUB being killed by some kind of Windows 7 update.

This notebook does not have a CD drive, and I don't have any Windows 7 installation media. I don't know my Windows 7 product key. I have access to Windows XP and Windows Vista machines but not another Windows 7 machine.

I did make an external backup of the Windows 7 install using Lenovo Rescue and Recovery.

Ideally I would be able to restore both Fedora and Windows 7 but my priority would be Windows. I guess my minimum aim is to get Windows booting and then restore my backup.

What steps can I take to restore all or some of my machine?

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2 Answers 2

The problem first occurred immediately after restarting from a perfectly-working Windows 7 session so I assume it's not a hardware problem.

Why would you assume that? Get a bootable Windows disk and run a disk check, or use the Fedora disk and run dosfsck and badblocks.

The Lenovo backup should include a "bare metal" restore. It should not be necessary to get Windows booting to use the backup.

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Yes I realised after I posted that hard drive corruption was possible/likely. Do the windows disk check and the Fedora dosfsck handle dual-boot setups? –  jwaddell Jun 8 '11 at 21:39
    
You would have to point either dosfsck or the Windows disk check at a particular partition (vfat or NTFS). If the partition table itself is corrupted, you need a different set of tools. –  CarlF Jun 9 '11 at 3:51
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

In the end I used a Parted Magic live USB to do the following:

  • TestDisk to rebuild my partition table
  • The grub command line tool to install GRUB into the MBR.

I also needed to manually modify the grub.conf file to add the Windows 7 entry and reflect the correct partition for the Fedora 15 entry.

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