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I dual-boot Windows 8 and Crunchbang Linux. I installed Windows first, then Linux. GRUB was installed directly in the MBR.

However, now I suspect that GRUB is the reason why I can't use bcdedit on Windows, so I'd like to restore the default Windows bootloader. How can I do it without breaking Linux?

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You would have to restore the Windows bootloader, typically from the Windows installation media, and then add a boot option that chainloads GRUB - I believe EasyBCD can do that. –  Bob Mar 7 '13 at 15:24
    
Turns out the reason why I couldn't use bcdedit was that my Linux /boot partition was located at the start of the hard drive. Apparently Windows doesn't like that. All I had to do was delete it, move my Windows partition to the start, then run bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /fixmbr to inform Windows of the change. Now Windows lets me use bcdedit. My Linux installation is still inaccesible (and without a /boot directory to boot - no pun intended) but I'll try reinstalling GRUB to the Linux partition and running EasyBCD on Windows to make it accessible from the outside. –  jSepia Mar 13 '13 at 14:01

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