Currently, I dual boot with win7 and opensuse 12.1. Is it okay if I first restore the MBR for win7, and then format the linux drives? Or would it be better for me to first format the linux drives, and then restore the MBR? The reason I ask this is sometimes I get nasty errors when I try and boot into my win7 cd in the latter method. Is it possible to restore the MBR without having to boot into the win7 cd? Like, can I remove linux using the disk management utility in win7, and then fix the mbr while I'm still in win7, or do I have to boot into the win7 cd? If I can do this, how do I go about doing so? Thank you.


The spamming of f8 didn't work, it just made loud beeping noises, so I decided to simply boot into my windows disk and use the

bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr command. 

Note: I haven't formatted my linux partition yet. After I did that, I restarted my computer, and nothing happened. Basically, GRUB is still the MBR and I'm still able to access openSUSE. I think the reason why this is happening is because I think my GRUB is on a separate partion than the linux OS. Here is a picture of my diskmgmt in win7: My diskmgmt.exe.

openSUSE did all the partioning stuff for me. All I know is that the 40gb that is there is where openSUSE is installed, but I have no clue what's on the 6.05gb and the 14.75gb partitions. Can anyone help me find which partition GRUB is on, and then remove it so I can restore the windows MBR? Thank you.

  • You can't do this by just updating the MBR, you have a problem with your active partitions. See my answer. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi May 5 '12 at 0:44

You have multiple issues, starting with the fact that GRUB is installed to the MBR and ending with the fact that your Linux partition is marked as active. This means that changing the MBR bootloader is not enough.

  1. Boot into Windows 7, start disk management (the screenshot you showed) and assign a partition letter 200 MiB NTFS partition at the start of the driver.
  2. Download and install EasyBCD (free).
  3. In EasyBCD, change the boot partition to the 200MiB partition you assigned a letter to.
  4. In EasyBCD, go to the BCD Deployment page and reinstall the Windows Vista/7 MBR code.
  5. At this point, you can re-open disk management and unassign the partition letter if you choose.
  6. At this point, you can re-open disk management and format the Linux partitions, if you choose.
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  • I'm a little confused about your first step. What you mean assign a partition letter 200MiB NTFS? Do you mean that i should assign a letter to the 200MB partition shown above, or that I should create a new 200MB partition from the free space? Thank you. – de1337ed May 5 '12 at 3:19
  • Also, when I open easyBCD, I get the following error: The boot configuration data stored could not be opened. The system cannot find the file specified. Would You like to manually load a BCD registry for EasyBCD to manage?... – de1337ed May 5 '12 at 3:23
  • Yes, assign a letter to the partition first. You won't get the EasyBCD error then. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi May 5 '12 at 8:34

If I understand what you're proposing, you have Windows 7 and a Linux distro on the same HDD in different partitions. You want to have Windows be the boot loader now, and you want to format over the Linux partitions and use them for other purposes.

The order of this doesn't matter, but what will make your life easier is doing the MBR "fix" first, then formatting inside Windows. This way you will for sure be left with a bootable OS you can work in.

You can do this in reverse order, but it will require booting from a Windows install disk and using the repair tools. It's kind of a pain in the ass really.

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  • Can you link me to some directions about how to fix the mbr in windows without having to boot into the cd? I seem to only find articles that require you to boot into the cd... – de1337ed May 4 '12 at 16:56
  • @de1337ed using your existing boot loader, boot into windows, but right after you select windows and hit enter, spam f8 so you can get the Windows boot menu. Then go into the repair mode, and you will get the tools in there to repair the bootup or to go to the command line and use the tool "fixmbr". – BloodyIron May 4 '12 at 16:59
  • I made some edit's above, please read. My mbr wasn't restored as it should have been. Thank you. – de1337ed May 4 '12 at 22:49
  • @de1337ed Grub actually exists in two places. The first handful of sectors of your HDD, as the bootloader, and on one of your linux partitions. Running "fixmbr" with the windows command prompt rewrites the MBR sectors of your HDD so it uses the Windows boot loader (BCD) instead of GRUB. I don't think you did that properly. – BloodyIron May 4 '12 at 23:30

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