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-   -   Does a Windows XP repair install overwrite the MBR? (

BigFoot13 05-03-2007 02:26 PM

Does a Windows XP repair install overwrite the MBR?
Hi guys, I know this is more of a Windows question, but I think someone will now the answer.

I am planning to do a repair install of Windows XP. I have a dual boot of XP and Kubuntu. Kubuntu was installed after Windows, and the GRUB menu is located in the default location (/boot/grub/menu.lst). I wanted to make sure that Windows wouldn't overwrite my MBR before doing this because I don't want it to erase GRUB and make me loose Kubuntu. I know GRUB can be repaired, but I would rather avoid that route if possible.


LaRoza 05-03-2007 02:31 PM


This will give you several ways to reinstall grub, graphical and command line, with a live disk and the install disk.

It is not hard.

Hern_28 05-03-2007 02:34 PM

My windows xp pro repair install did wipe grub. LaRosa's link should help you fix it and get Linux back up. might want to print out your grub info before repairing.

GrapefruiTgirl 05-03-2007 02:55 PM

In my personal experience here at home, a Windows XP repair-install did NOT remove GRUB from the MBR (we were actually trying to reinstall NTloader to the MBR, but it didn't work -- hadda use recovery console -> fixMBR).
However, to be safest, follow the advice above, and at very least have a backup of your GRUB data before proceeding. GRUB should be easy enough to repair if it does get messed up :)

BigFoot13 05-04-2007 07:15 PM

Thanks guys (and girls)! One more question, do you know if installing the recovery console will remove GRUB?

GrapefruiTgirl 05-04-2007 09:26 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by 'install the recovery console'.. Can that be done? If you mean 'adding options to the windows boot.ini file' then no, that shouldn't affect GRUB. But please clarify.

BigFoot13 05-04-2007 11:09 PM

Take a look at this MSKB article:

This is what I mean.

GrapefruiTgirl 05-04-2007 11:51 PM

Ahh OK. Well, it sure doesn't look like it affects the bootloader. It adds an entry to the boot.ini file, which gives you the menu when you turn on the machine. And it appears to put a folder in the C:\ drive root, containing a bootable image, presumably which starts the recovery console.
Based on what's in that article, I'd say it won't affect GRUB, but again, be prepared for the worst case scenario; know what would be required of you *IF* you do wind up with a screwy MBR.

Hern_28 05-05-2007 03:53 PM

I will have to watch next time and see what I did to the mbr last time then. thx for the post though.

GrapefruiTgirl 05-05-2007 11:34 PM

@ Hern -- might be a difference between Home and Pro? You said you used Pro when you did that, and I used Home.

BigFoot13 05-06-2007 12:37 AM

Thanks guys. I am going to install the recovery console and will post back with the results.

Hern_28 05-06-2007 02:40 PM

GrapefruiTgirl @ Hern -- might be a difference between Home and Pro? You said you used Pro when you did that, and I used Home.

prolly right, just figured that the recovery process would be the same, might not be though.

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