After upgrading my windows 8.1 install to windows 10 about a week ago (week ago), I decided that I no longer wanted the Windows/Ubuntu dual boot I had setup. So, in an attempt to delete GRUB and set the bootloader back to the windows bootloader, I downloaded EasyBCD and fiddled with it a bit before finding the "Write MBR" option. I figured that would allow me to boot directly into windows, or at least delete GRUB, so I could use one of my many windows install DVD's to set the bootloader to a windows one. Unfortunately, I'm an idiot, and after doing that, I can't boot into anything. I've tried everything I could think of or find on Google to get it to boot into absolutely ANYTHING.

I've tried boot into every one of the boot options, including the main boot menu, but none of them load. instead, it shows me a loading screen that displays some mobo info as if it were loading a boot option I selected, but it hangs there. Maybe it was just taking its sweet little time right? Wrong! I let it sit for hours, still nothin'.

HP had a "solution" where you hold the windows key + B for one second as you start up the pc, and it should start a bios recovery. Feeling hopeless, I tried it, hoping that it would do SOMETHING. Of course, it didn't boot into that either. Just a black screen.

Finally, I learned that sometimes problems like this could be cause by hardware issues, and a lot of the times its the hard drive. I highly doubted that it was a hardware issue seeing as I bought this PC late last year (around November or December of 2014) but I removed the hard drive just in case and started my computer. Same result. FML.

Can someone, anyone, help this poor idiot get his baby up and running again? I don't have the money or the confidence in their abilities to give it to Geek Squad or anyone else for that matter and let them have a go at it, so i'm depending on the internet :(((


This answer should help, but given that I cannot comment to ask you more specifics, I am in a 'egg before chicken' bind to gain anymore rep points :)

Given the fact that we do not know how much of your MBR / Partition Table have been "messed" up by your GRUB, EasyBCD activities and it would be hard for you to pull any of that information now.

You did not mention but I hope & assume following things are working / intact before you try this out.

  • Hardware & Firmware
  • Hard Disk
  • Hard Disk Partitions and volumes related to Windows

You need to run Startup Repair using the Windows installation media (i.e. DVD (preferably) or USB Flash Drive). You may have to do this upto 3 times. It may work in one as well.

I have had to do this last month because I was unable to boot my Windows partition when copied and migrated to another hard drive.

WHY 3 Times?


Quoted from the above link:

" Startup Repair will try to repair computers that are unbootable because of the following reasons: Registry corruption Missing or damaged system and driver files Disk metadata corruption (MBR, partition table, and boot sector) File system metadata corruption Installation of problematic or incompatible drivers Installation of incompatible Windows service packs and patches Corrupt boot configuration data Bad memory and hard disk hardware (detection only)

Startup Repair will not repair unbootable systems caused by the following issues: Malfunctioning firmware and other hardware components Problems with clean Windows installations or Windows upgrades (for example, from Windows XP to Windows Vista) Windows logon errors Viruses and malicious software

After Startup Repair has run, a text log with diagnostic information and repair results is generated. The log file is located at: C:\Windows\System32\Logfile\Srt\SrtTrail.txt"

HOW? This is a tutorial for Windows 7 but same can be run for Windows 8 http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/681-startup-repair.html?ltr=S

Startup Repair Process (Summarized and quoted from above link - Content/ Images is not being copied completely due to possibly copyrights)

  1. Boot to the System Recovery Options screen using your retail Windows installation disk or system repair disc.

  2. Select the Startup Repair option.

  3. Startup Repair will now scan your computer to attempt to find and fix any startup problems.

NOTE: Startup Repair might prompt you to make choices as it tries to fix the problem, and if necessary, it might restart your computer as it makes repairs. If repairs are not successful, you'll see a summary of the problem and links to contact information for support. Your computer manufacturer might include additional assistance information.

  1. If problems cannot be found, then click on Next. NOTE: You can click on the View diagnostic and repair details link to see a detailed summary of what Startup Repair has done.

Click on the Restart button to return to the Windows log on screen.

Tip: Sometimes it may take running a startup repair (3) separate times with restarting the computer after each time before it fully fixes the startup issue.

  • thanks for the help, but i got my drive working (look at my answer). couldnt boot into any of those things you recommended. i would +1 your answer, but not at level 15 yet :< – SnaiLegacy Sep 22 '15 at 18:30

OKAY so i fixed everything (sorry for late update)

sadly, over 1TB of data was erased...all my files, videos, programs...gone. its so bittersweet because my PC works but so much was sacrified ;_;

how'd i fix it you ask? well, i remembered that i had a 2TB external HDD made by WD-- the same company that made my PC's default HDD-- and it's pretty big, so i figured there was some type of adapter or something inside the big shell that allowed a full sized HDD to connect to a PC via USB, so i opened it. and i was right.

i used that adapter to connect my PC's HDD to my laptop to check for errors and what not. found out the MBR of my PC's drive was corrupted, which is, i guess, why my PC wouldn't boot.

anyway, after trying everthing i could to repair it, i gave up and just took my 2TB hard drive and used a tool built into windows to make a recovery disk, and put it on the 2TB drive. i attached the 2TB to my PC's SATA0 slot and booted it up. fixed the boot and mbr just in case, and after a little formatting and extra tinkering, re-installed windows 10.

but...when the windows tool made the recovery disk, it erased ALL of the other data on my drive. I made a partition just for the recovery, but it formatted the entire disk anyway. i hate everything but i'm also happy my PC is alive

thanks anyways to all that tried to help!!

  • You did not share enough details or write back. If it was the data you wished to recover then there are Tools just for that. We are trying to get your "Boot" information to work. The above method has worked for me several times. You did not mention if your original machine is busted or it does work? – Alex S Sep 23 '15 at 13:13
  • @AlexS my original machine worked, it was just the hard drive that was messed up. It works now, though. i recovered the data i wanted from my original hard drive before i formatted it, but the second hard drive i used was formatted by windows, which i didnt want. I realize that there are tools for data recovery, but even using those all of my data could not be recovered intact. folder directories cant be recovered and some files were missing tons of vital data, rendering them useless. – SnaiLegacy Sep 27 '15 at 23:50
  • Many things can go wrong.. BIOS/ Motherboard busted, Memory issues, HDD physical & sectory failures, Partition related issues, Boot Code & Sector related, Windows system related issues and so on.. Each issue has a different path/ approach of tools & stuff. In your original Question I figured it was Windows / Boot startup issues similar to that I faced recently. Anyways, good luck. – Alex S Sep 28 '15 at 8:07

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