On, my system I originally installed Windows 7 and then after that Debian. At this point GRUB would appear and I could choose to boot either Win 7 or Debian. Now after upgrading to the latest version of Windows 7, I no longer see GRUB and it boots straight into Win 7.

I tried fixing the problem using the Super Grub Disk's auto repair and boot features but it didn't work. I assume the partition for Windows has been made Active from upgrading, but I am not sure. Will the problem be fixed if I use a partition manager to set the Linux partition as active?


When windows (any version) upgrades / fixes itself it installs the windows boot manager/loader into the system mbr. You need to restore the grub mbr.

The exact sequence of commands needed very with the version of grub that you use. Grub2 (v1.95...v1.97) is very different from grub legacy. I do not know which version of grub is used by your version of debian and super grub disk. If the super grub disk grub version does not match your debian grub version the repair will surely fail. You will have to read the documentation for your distribution.

If you post more details of your setup I might be able to get you a repair recipe. I have done this many time on my own machines. Once you grok the fullness of the boot sequence fixing this sort of problem becomes easy.

If you would like more background / understanding of the function of the mbr, boot loaders and boot mangers wikipedia has some decent articles

  • Reinstalling Debian again without overwriting the home directory might also reset the boot loader to work like it did before. – Chris Nov 18 '09 at 21:11
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    Like Chris said reinstalling the system (without touching /home) also installs the grub mbr. This may be the quickest solution. No need to dig into the documentation :) – Rodney Schuler Nov 18 '09 at 22:20
  • I think this might be the solution I need, I'll just reinstall Debian tonight. I didn't really get to do much because shortly after installing Debian, I installed Windows 7 – Jonno_FTW Nov 19 '09 at 11:36

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