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.


If you haven't replaced the HP_Tools partition (IE, you only deleted it and did nothing more), you might still be able to recover the partition. If you're familiar with the command line, you can use the parted rescue command (type info parted Using Command rescue for this info on the command-line).

Assuming your deleted partition is at the very beginning of the disk, you can try using 0 or 1 as your start point, and 992.5 as your end point. Excerpt from man page below:

-- Command: rescue START END Rescue a lost partition that used to be located approximately between START and END. If such a partition is found, Parted will ask you if you want to create a partition for it. This is useful if you accidently deleted a partition with parted's rm command, for example.


      (parted) print
      Disk geometry for /dev/hdc: 0.000-8063.507 megabytes
      Disk label type: msdos
      Minor    Start       End     Type      Filesystem  Flags
      1          0.031   8056.032  primary   ext3
      (parted) rm
      Partition number? 1
      (parted) print
      Disk geometry for /dev/hdc: 0.000-8063.507 megabytes
      Disk label type: msdos
      Minor    Start       End     Type      Filesystem  Flags

 OUCH! We deleted our ext3 partition!!!  Parted comes to the

      (parted) rescue
      Start? 0
      End? 8056
      Information: A ext3 primary partition was found at 0.031MB ->
      8056.030MB.  Do you want to add it to the partition table?
      Yes/No/Cancel? y
      (parted) print
      Disk geometry for /dev/hdc: 0.000-8063.507 megabytes
      Disk label type: msdos
      Minor    Start       End     Type      Filesystem  Flags
      1          0.031   8056.032  primary   ext3

 It's back!  :)

Alternatively, you can try using TestDisk. I've never actually used it, though; their instructions for the process are available here.


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.

  • 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

Try Boot Repair Disk. You can burn the image on a DVD or install unetbootin in Ubuntu to put it onto a usb (very easy).

Boot Repair Download Link

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.