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I have windows 7 home premium currently installed and I have just recently installed Linux Mint and it has replaced my MBR with GRUB.

Is there any way I can restore the normal Windows 7 Boot Loader and have the secondary option to boot my Linux Mint?

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7 Answers 7

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None of the answers here worked for me in re-installing the Windows 7 bootloader.

I tried starting with a recovery disk (USB, in my case), and diagnosing startup problems, but no luck.

Then I opened the console in recovery mode and ran

Bootrec.exe /FixMbr
Bootrec.exe /FixBoot

and then restarted.

Reference: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

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  • This one worked for me
    – fercis
    Dec 12, 2018 at 5:27
  • This worked for me as well, with one caveat: make sure that your Windows hard disk is your first boot option in the bios before doing this (just temporarily boot from the cd, don't change the boot order). I got "missing bootmgr" because of that. Doing the same again with Windows as first boot device fixed it. Apr 1, 2019 at 19:38
  • @Paul Dude you saved my several hours of time. Thanks a lot.
    – LuFFy
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:08
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Zuljin is right in that the Windows boot loader can only boot Windows, but you can change the OS that Grub boots by default quite easily. I don't know exactly where it is in Linux Mint, but it's usually in /etc/grub.conf, /boot/grub/grub.cfg, or someplace similar.

You can also change the time it takes to boot the default OS, whether you want to see the menu, etc.

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I had this problem before. And not once , but three times due to my carelessness .

( i deleted the linux partitions )

All the times , i've used this article : Restore Windows Bootloader

It's easy .If the command in main article doesn't work , then try the modified command by the user 'toolate' in Comments section . Hope this helps...

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Actually you can use windows 7 bootloader to load other operating systems.In windows press win+R to bring up the run dialog then type msconfig under the boot tab this is where you edit the boot options now editing this depends on what your trying to load however in most cases just recreate the windows entry but change the boot path to your os ubuntu webui automates this its how i know it works try that for a example but be carefull if you screw up you windows bootloader your in for a headache

grub is the safer option......unless you use ubuntu of course

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If All Else Fails!

I solved the problem. Here is how I did it. WARNING, you have to reinstall Linux / grub first!

Steps: (this is if nothing else works and takes a long time)

1: Reinstall Ubuntu / Linux mint (this is just so you can use GRUB to boot into Windows).

1.5: Restart and boot into windows (if you can't boot to Windows, then live boot to linux from the CD or USB and run the following in a console:

Boot repair (if needed right now)


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (boot-repair &)

1g: Select recommended repair and follow the on screen instructions.

2g: After your done, reboot. You should see the grub menu, even though you can boot to Windows from here, this is not what we want yet... But find the option that boots into Windows.


2: Once your booted into Windows, run your disk partition editor and delete All partitions related to Linux / grub. Especially make sure the small grub partition is removed. Reboot

2.5: Make sure the windows loader is the first selected boot device. (most likely is). Disable the Ubuntu option. Continue boot.

3: If you've done everything right up to this point you should see (depending on your computer) your splash screen for a second and then it will turn into an error screen saying that there was an error with the boot. ("Winload.exe is missing or corrupted" most likly).

3.5: Don't be alarmed (I was). The next step will restore your original bootloader.

4: Restart and boot to your Linux CD or USB.

5: Once booted, run boot repair commands from above again. This time when running it. It will act differently, there is no grub bootloader detected to reinstall and should run faster than before.

6: Once complete, restart.

7: Enjoy your GRUB free system!

This worked for me when nothing else did, I ran bootrec.exe. Nothing worked. This saved my computers life. Hope it saves yours!

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  • 1
    So how do you figure out which partitions contain grub?
    – alex
    Dec 8, 2016 at 0:26
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    It will be a very small partition. Most likely the smallest partition. Usually a few megabytes.
    – roboNerd
    Jan 6, 2017 at 17:52
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This finaly worked for me:

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootsect /nt60 C: /mbr /force

For this you need to open the console in recovery mode.

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I had a similar problem dual-booting Kali and Win 7. Tried everything.

This is what finally worked. Set PC in bios options to boot from CD/USB (depending on where the Windows 7/10 Image is) Allow the install to start and stop it at the screen that allows you to install or repair.

Select repair, Windows will scan and not find anything wrong, select next and open the Command prompt.

type: bootrec /fixmbr hit enter System will tell you "command performed successfully" now type: bootrec /fix boot hit enter again System will report result, remove media and reboot, Grub will be removed and the system will boot into windows.

Use the Disk Management utility to find the portion/s that Linux created and delete until they are "unallocated" then either create a new volume or "stretch" the volume that you took the space from in the install of Linux process.

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