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My laptop is Dell Inspiron N4030. I used to use Ubuntu 12.04 and it was on the entire hard drive. I tried to install windows 7 but my laptop couldn't install it. So, I decided to delete the entire hard drive and do a fresh install of Windows 7. But after deletion I immediately removed the gparted live usb which I was using to delete the partitions of my hard drive. And then tried booting from windows 7 cd, didn't work, tried ubuntu live cd, didn't work, tried hiren's boot cd, didn't work, tried super grub disk, didn't work. Probably I'm not doing it right. Help needed badly.

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Could you elaborate a little on "didn't work"? actions? messages? –  RedGrittyBrick Jun 29 '12 at 14:13
    
If I booted using a cd or usb it'd simply show the message - error: no such partition grub rescue> –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 14:17
    
You probably have to fix the master boot record. In DOS we used to do it with "fdisk /mbr". Not sure how to do it with GParted. –  Ed Manet Jun 29 '12 at 14:19
    
Can I do it by myself? It wouldn't even boot from gparted live usb anymore. At purchase I was provided with a FreeDos Operating System install cd. My laptop wouldn't boot from it either. I have no back up cd or wasn't provided with any install cd or rescue cd or anything. –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 14:23
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It sounds like your changing the boot order did not succeed. The message about Grub should not arise if the system is booting from a good CD. You should be able to change boot order permanently (and later change it back to HDD first) –  RedGrittyBrick Jun 29 '12 at 14:58

2 Answers 2

Your BIOS is probably configured to boot off the hard disk before the CD/DVD drive. Try changing the boot device order in the BIOS and then booting from the Windows 7 CD. You should not need a valid Master Boot Record on the hard disk to boot off a CD.

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I've changed the order every time I tried booting from a cd or usb thumb drive. Would always show the same message. –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 14:27
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You may have a faulty CD/DVD drive. I can't think of any other reason the BIOS would skip booting from CD/DVD if you have it configured ahead of the hard drive. –  Fran Jun 29 '12 at 15:07

You likely did not delete all data on the disk since it looks like parts of GRUB are still there. But this should not matter. If you have explicitly selected to boot from the DVD/CD drive and it does not work with different (known good?) discs, a defective drive is the most likely cause. If you do not care about a non-working drive, you can install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive. Instructions are here: Install Windows 7 from USB flash drive

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I installed windows 7 with usb just by formatting the usb to fat32 and copying the components of the iso to the usb. It used to work on my laptop and still works on my desktop. –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 14:52
    
I meant this process. 2. Clean, partition, and format the USB drive with diskpart Run diskpart Type list disk to see which disk number your flash drive is Type select disk #, where # is the number from step (2) Type clean to clear the drive Type create partition primary Type select partition 1 Type active to make the partition active Type format fs=fat32 to format the partition Type assign to commit the changes to disk Type exit to leave diskpart –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 14:55
    
So you also cannot boot from the flash drive, which works in other systems and has worked before on your Inspiron? Remove the HDD temporarily to see if it causes the problem. It might also help to delete the disk's MBR on another computer, but a BIOS that is working correctly should not care about a MBR on HDD when it is told to boot from optical or flash drive. –  Gurken Papst Jun 29 '12 at 15:03
    
Yes. I'll give that a try. As far as I can tell BIOS is working perfectly. I'll be trying to do installs of both windows and ubuntu with a flash drive again. If it doesn't work, I'll have to open my laptop. If that fails I'll post again or take it to do servicing to local computer fixing people which costs quite a lot even though the problems are not that big of a deal. And we have no Dell servicing center here. –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 15:19
    
Sorry for my grammar. –  Jahan Jun 29 '12 at 15:21

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