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My system had Windows and CrunchBang installed. It used GRUB over the Windows boot manager. I now deleted the CrunchBang partitions and want to restore the Windows boot manager.

When I insert the installation DVD and go to the repair tools, it does detect my Windows installation, but when I select it, I get an error that the installation can not be used with the repair tools. It also says my Windows installation was restored (like Windows 7 Starter (restored)) but I can not remember I did this once.

Anyway, I installed a second temporary Windows on the partition CB was installed and I can boot normally now since the Boot Manager was installed with the Windows Installation. But I want to delete the temporary installation so I was wondering if I can either move the Boot Sector or install it to another location using the instructions from the Windows Support since it would be deleted with formatting the disk the temporary windows is installed to.

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Well, I know that is not exactly what you want/need, But what is the problem with just installing Grub to MBR of the entire disk and grub executables on your target partition and then chainloading windows from Grub?

From my experience I can tell you that Grub or Grub4dos is much more stable then windows bootloader and in case you run into problems with it, then its really easy to recover.

Let me know if this solution is acceptable and if you need any help setting up Grub.

EDIT 1:

Well, since people here (in comments below) are unhappy with the answer that does not list steps to be taken, ... here it goes:

Assuming you have an installation of linux you can boot into or just a live distro on USB / CD

  1. boot into linux
  2. install grub (you will have to stick to Grub4Dos if you want to install it on NTFS partition), alternatively create a separate ext2/3 partition (doesn't have to be large, 16 MB is more than enough)
  3. configure menu.lst script to chainload your windows installation
  4. reboot
  5. be happy

As an alternative to this method, you could also perform the same steps from your second temporary windows installation that you mentioned in original post.

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  • Answers should describe steps to take to solve the problems. -1 – Canadian Luke Mar 10 '14 at 14:35
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Windows 7 MBR boot sequence:

A. BIOS firmware boots to first disk by loading and executing its MBR.

B. MBR defines (eventually) the active partition (on first disk) in its partition table.

C. Boot sector of active partition is loaded and executed which loads bootmgr for Windows 7 (again from active partition)

D. boot manager reads \Boot\BCD from active partition and displays boot menu.

As we can see the boot process depends on the existence of active partition and its contents (boot related files).

In your case you must ensure that the "temporary" Windows 7 (former CrunchBang) is not active as you want to delete it later.

You could follow the steps outlined in How to move Windows 7 boot files to another drive/partition to solve your problem.

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