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Need Big help

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
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Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#1
Hey again, I've got a truly awesome one for you. I seriously doubt you've ever had such a big **** up on here, especially not one caused by complete user incompetence. And sorry if this is in the wrong place but a bit of everything is messed up.

Basically I was messing about with a ubuntu live CD, and had the bright idea of installing it on a USB drive. So I partitioned the flash drive as it asked and started the install, all through it the indicator light was flashing and my hard drive wasn't making a sound so I nievlly presumed everything was fine.

Then I went to restart my computer and thought I'd completely lost everything, it just wouldn't boot, I get a Grub error 21 or something similar. So after a while I put in the vista CD and attempted various repair options, but nothing worked. Then I restarted it with the USB in and it works,lol.

I get a choice of operating systems to boot from and if I choose Vista all my stuff is still there( thank goodness) .

So basically without the USB stick my laptop is useless, not being technical minded I have no idea what has changed to make this happen and I know it was complete idiocy on my part, but if you could possibly help me I would be as ever very grateful.
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
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Windows Vista - Home Premium
#2
Hi Shrimply.

This is for XP, but should be similar for Vista:

Right click "My Computer" and choose Properties>Advanced. Go into "Startup and Recovery" and select Vista as the default operating system.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
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Messages
457
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Galashiels, Scottish Borders
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Windows Vista - Home Premium
#4
Thanks, Seth. I think its a bit more messed up than that, Vista is set as the default OS and doesn't appear to detect that there is a second installed.

I'm just a bit worried about changing anything at the minute, as obviously I'm happier in the position I'm in now where I've still got everything.
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
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#5
Thanks Randy. Time to make the change:).

Shrimply,

What happens when you start it up without the usb stick?
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
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Messages
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Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
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Windows Vista - Home Premium
#6
When I start it with the USB stick it works as you'd expect any hard drive to load if it had two operating systems, I get a choice of Several Ubuntu options and a Vista option, If I don't choose anything Ubuntu loads up, both operating systems load and work fine.

sorry, misread your question, When I try to load up with out the Stick I get a Grub Error 21, I think, something like that and nothing else.
 
Last edited:

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
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#7
Sounds like the bios (motherboard program) is set to boot from the USB device first.

Pull the usb stick and go into the bios (setup) and change the first device to cd and the second to hard drive (hd). Be sure to save the changes before exiting.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
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#8
Sorry no, not that either, It was set to load from the USB first, but that was one of the first things I changed, Now the SATA hard drive is first and then the CD drive and then the Flash drive.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
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Galashiels, Scottish Borders
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Windows Vista - Home Premium
#9
Just adding the exact messages I get, without the USB Stick I get,

Grub Loading stage1.5.
Grub Loading, please wait
Error 21

If the USB drive is in I get the first two Grub lines then it takes me to the OS options

Curse my stupidity, I don't even want to use Ubuntu really just wanted to check it out at a faster speed than off the live CD.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
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4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
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#10
21 : Selected disk does not exist
This error is returned if the device part of a device- or full file name refers to a disk or BIOS device that is not present or not recognized by the BIOS in the system.

What repairs did you try? Did you try fixmbr?
 
W

Wolfeymole

#11
When I start it with the USB stick it works as you'd expect any hard drive to load if it had two operating systems, I get a choice of Several Ubuntu options and a Vista option, If I don't choose anything Ubuntu loads up, both operating systems load and work fine.

sorry, misread your question, When I try to load up with out the Stick I get a Grub Error 21, I think, something like that and nothing else.
Well I don't what you have managed to do here Shrimps mate but to me it looks like you have both Ubuntu and Vista on the stick.
Is it a stick or an external hard drive?
I hate the terms for these things, pen drive, flash drive, usb stick etc.

Completely remove this stick/drive or what ever the hell it is and any linux cdroms that may be lurking.

Go into the bios and change the first boot order to the hard drive that in theory should contain Vista and tell us what happens.

Make sure you Save the settings before exiting the bios.



This is the ONLY thing you should be seeing in your Start Up and Recovery section.
 

Attachments

Dalo Harkin

FPCH Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
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Location
Stockport near Manchester
PC Experience
Elite PC Guru
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#12
Sorry no, not that either, It was set to load from the USB first, but that was one of the first things I changed, Now the SATA hard drive is first and then the CD drive and then the Flash drive.
Under these settings in the BIOS there should be an option saying 'boot other device' go in and DISABLE it - try again ;)
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
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Beginner
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Windows Vista - Home Premium
#13
Hey, I'll just go through and answer the questions,

RandyL, All I did was insert the vista CD( without the USB stick in) and ask it to go back to a restore point, which it was happy to do, and sure enough once I tried booting with the USB stick in vista had been restored to a day or so ago. I also scanned for start-up errors for which it found none.

Wolfey, Yeah I really did bad huh, Vista is definitely on the original 80gb hard Drive, its a 4GB Attache flash drive that has know got Ubuntu installed on it. When I boot from the hard drive that's when I get the Grub error. And that's exactly what I see when I go into start-up and recovery.

Dalo Harkin, will do.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#15
Yeah, i have done several times and all i get is the Error 21,

I've actually got an external hard drive on the way, so I'm hoping that once I get that and back up my stuff then I'll be able to do something, even if its a fresh install.
 

Flair4it

Tech Guru
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
37
Location
Meath, Ireland
PC Experience
Elite PC Guru
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#16
W

Wolfeymole

#17
Maybe I'm missing something here but how did Vista on C: get affected by installing Ubuntu to the 4gb stick?
I profess not to know everything.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
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Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
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Windows Vista - Home Premium
#18
Don't ask me Wolfey, I'm just the idiot that managed it,lol.

The boot sectot seems to make sense, is it likely to do any damage to the OS or anything else if I carry out those instructions?

I had considered, shrinking my C: partition slightly then copying the memory stick on the the hard drive ( using Ubuntu) but I have no idea if that would work, and it wouldn't fix the problem as such just mean I didn't have to use the USB stick

Oh and Wolfey for future information which term would you prefer I used when talking about a USB flash drive.
 
Last edited:

Flair4it

Tech Guru
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Meath, Ireland
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Windows XP - Professional
#19
imagine;

you have two hard drives in your computer

with two operating systems installed.

Disk one has Vista

Disk two has UBUNTU

now

Vista was installed first to disk one. couple of months later you say fook it ill install Ubuntu on my other Disk

Now because Windows Vista was allready pre-loaded
there is a file on that disc that makes vista boot. (couple of acctully)
we have to re-write this file so Ubuntu will Load and thus having a dual boot system.

So even thoe Ubuntu is on a Completely seperate disc its using a resource on the first disk to generate the GRUB (LINUX BOOT LOADER)

because he was using a flash drive when its not attached its only loading the initial loader and not geting as far to the "second disk"
thus generating his error.

Now because this was a linux install it uses completly different architecture to XP or Vista it is why you cannot find a trace of it when in the operating system.

"Might see files but wont be able to open them"

The instructions in my previous post should successfully build you a new Boot sector and loader which will remove the linux boot sector.
 
Last edited:

Flair4it

Tech Guru
Joined
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Location
Meath, Ireland
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Windows XP - Professional
#20
Not if you do it correctly

ignore anything to do with deleting partitons formatting drive etc that will loose data.

it might kill the OS if done incorrectly , but should leave data in tact


You do relise as well you can just do a clean install of Vista and just set it that it installs to a different location that should load vista no problems and you can manually delete the old windows data

P.S if you do the install you gotta sniff through your HD to get your data back dont expect it to be in the one location.
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