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I had my greatest moment of incredible stupidity and deleted all hidden files of the Windows partition, most commonly known as C:\, while running Gnu/Linux. All the directories are intact.

I instantly unmounted it, and run ntfsundelete, though of the thousands entries I wonder which ones I have to recover.

So hence my question: Which files located directly under C:\ are necessary for Windows 7 to boot?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You have to repair not only the booting using "StartUp Repair" from Windows Recovory CD/USB but also should run from recovery prompt:

sfc /scannow - which scans system files and repairs them. If errors are found you can run the sfc /scannow command two-three times but you have to reboot before every run for best results.

After you have Windows up and running you can add a boot menu entry to Windows 7 BCD (boot configuration) using a so called "boot sector loader" (the file needed as boot sector file is either stage1 (GRUB) or boot.img (GRUB2) found in Linux /boot/grub directory).

See here how to create boot sector loader for booting Linux based OS.


To get to the boot menu in Windows you need this files and directories:

  1. Windows MBR

  2. Windows PBR (partition boot record)

  3. bootmgr in \

  4. \boot folder with BCD (boot config data) inside.

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The "StartUp Repair" did the trick just fine. I did had to run the other command. Why did you recommend sfc as well? – k0pernikus May 20 '12 at 14:54
StartUp Repair can fail to fix everything, sfc too. Once you can boot sfc is what you really need to repair system protected files if there are other than boot related problems. Startup Repair is more complex and runs longer (it includes sfc as sub-task). Running sfc can be considered as a check if system files are intact - it does not do any harm but can correct demagged system files (even errors which are not seen or experienced by the user but are there for some reason eventually caused by faulty or harmful programs). – snayob May 22 '12 at 23:21

Windows 7 just need bootmgr on the root.
You can take it from another Computer or just boot on your Windows CD and ask for Repair your computer

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Be careful if you use Repair your computer from the Windows CD. It might overwrite your bootloader, and you might not be able to boot into Linux afterwards. – Ove Apr 16 '12 at 18:12

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