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When I decided to install Ubuntu on my laptop as a dual-boot, I recognized that Windows 7 was using four separate partitions. I (yes, this was stupid) thought the HP_TOOLS partition was probably one I could get rid of, so I deleted it and installed Ubuntu side-by-side Windows using the installation wizard, but now Windows won't progress past the loading screen without the computer automatically restarting. I've had to use Ubuntu exclusively since then.

I'm not sure how I can recover it. All of my files seem to still be there--I can mount the other partition and see them, use them, etc--but Windows 7 won't boot.

I really have no idea what to do or what to try, or even if I'm at a salvageable point. here's a screenshot of GParted:

enter image description here

This makes me suspicious that it wasn't necessarily the removal of my HP_TOOLS partition but the "unknown" status of that 992.50 KiB partition there, sda1. I'm assuming that's the recovery one?

How can I get Windows bootable again? I'm sorry, but I'm so unfamiliar with this sort of thing I'm not quite sure where to start.

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Have you disabled automatic restart on error (in Windows) so you can see which error is causing it to reboot? –  techie007 Apr 7 '12 at 23:58
    
HP_Tools partition is safe to delete, something else is wrong, some of the windows primary partitions are probably dynamic now...h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Other-Notebook-PC-Questions/… –  Moab Apr 8 '12 at 0:03
    
@techie007 During boot holding down F8 doesn't seem to stop it from auto-restarting. –  Ian Hunter Apr 8 '12 at 2:07
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1 Answer

It is possible nothing is wrong other than you need to install the Grub bootloader to make all the OSs bootable.

HP_Tools partition is safe to delete, something else is wrong. dev/sda2 is the actual boot partition for Windows.

Not that this helps now, but this is what should have been done in preparation of additional partitions on a HP notebook, which may give some insight to your problem.

Several choices at this point, make sure the sda2 and 3 are still primary partitions and have not been inadvertently converted to some other type.

If sda 2 is still primary you may have to boot from a Windows System Repair disc and repair the windows MBR.

run the command:

bootsect /nt60 SYS

Last resort: start over and use the HP recovery discs and do a factory recovery, which will wipe all partitions and put it back to factory like condition, then use the guide I posted to make room for more partitions, then install Ubuntu and Grub.

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How can I tell in Linux if sda2 and sda3 are primary? And will bootsect replace my Linux partition? –  Ian Hunter Apr 10 '12 at 18:13
    
bootsect just writes boot code to the windows system partition, it may make linux unbootable but you can fix that with grub –  Moab Apr 10 '12 at 21:13
    
@Moab - He deleted the ability to do a factory recovery so this suggestion makes no sense. –  Ramhound May 18 '12 at 17:35
    
@Ramhound they can recover if they have the discs, they can be purchased if they do not have them. –  Moab May 18 '12 at 17:39
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