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I have a Toshiba A135 laptop, came with Vista. Was dual-booting with Ubuntu. Tried to upgrade my Ubuntu install last night, but the install froze at about 25%, with the CD drive making a somewhat unusual noise (about this time, i thought, "yeah i should have backed up those last two years of pictures of my kids before doing this...")
So i restarted, and it appears to be trying to read the Ubuntu install CD, but shortly comes up with Grub Error 15. Perhaps something went wrong (CD drive half-broken?) in the middle of updating the boot sector? Not the end of the world; in similar situations I've just used a bootable CD to go in and restore the boot sector...
But I haven't been able to boot from the cd (GRUB Error 15 every time); except for the first time i popped in the Toshiba recovery cd. Came up with the option to basically wipe out and restore my disk, but i didn't want to lose the pictures on the vista partition! So i quit that, and now that cd getting skipped at boot, going straight to my GRUB error.
Any suggestions about how i can get in and back up my pictures? it would be great if I didn't have to wipe out the whole thing, but I fell short on boot options with a laptop that only has the CD drive, which isn't working! There is a LAN boot option in the BIOS (and a FDD option) but I haven't found instructions for using that. I've heard of the usb stick boot, but assume if i don't see it in the BIOS boot order, it's not available.
You could boot your Windows disk into recovery mode, go to a DOS prompt, run fixmbr and fixboot. It would then clear grub, and allow you to boot straight into windows.
The easiest way to backup your pictures, is get a thumb drive thats big enough to hold them all, or get an external USB drive and keep backups like you're supposed to. Once you've got one of the two, boot a Live CD, and move all your pictures onto the external drive, then attempt your recovery options.