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Windows fails to boot and Vista DVD does not load

After playing around with partitions and trying to dual boot, with no avail, I decided to put the partition back into 1, like it was before I started (One NTFS with 55GB). I had shrunk the partition when installing Ubuntu, and later, XP. The XP install did not work as when trying to complete installation (after the automatic reboot) the boot failed and I had to use the Vista DVD to automatically repair the boot. This worked fine. After trying and restoring the boot twice, I erased the second partition and merged it with the original. This took about an hour. Now when I try to start, I get the error "BOOTMGR is missing, press any key to restart". This was the message I had gotten previously that I had fixed with the Vista DVD, but now when I try to start the Vista DVD it does not work. The DVD loads files then shows the vista logo like usual, then the screen goes black. After a minute or so, the mouse comes up, but the screen is still black. I have tried restarting many times and the result is always the same. What do I have to do to repair this problem? I was using GParted to edit the partitions. When I flag the partition with "boot" I get a different and more detailed error, but basically means the same thing (That Boot is screwed). Thankyou for any advice you might be able to give.
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My first question to you would be, did you back everything up before you started to change your partitions?  Irregardless, I think it's safe to say that your data is probably gone.  So, I'm going on the assumption that you're not going to dual-boot, and you just want to put Vista on the computer.

The first thing I would do is completely wipe any partitions off of the hard drive (as I mentioned, I'm assuming that you've either backed up your data, or are just starting over from scratch).  The program that I use is called DBAN  (Darik's Boot And Nuke)  and can be found at http://dban.sourceforge.net   [bold]Read and follow his instructions carefully[/bold], as this will completely wipe any hard drive that's connected to that computer.

Once you've wiped out the parttions with DBAN, it should become a matter of booting the Vista DVD and doing your installation.

Most likely what happened in the beginning is that when you installed XP over ubuntu, the computer was still looking for LILO or Grub and couldn't find it.  The Vista DVD probably fixed the boot manager on the second partition (where LILO or Grub) was located and the computer was looking).  Then, when you erased that partition, you erased the boot manager, and now the computer has no idea where to look.

BEFORE doing my suggestion though (especially if you haven't backed up), I would suggest pulling the hard drive out of the computer, setting the little jumper on the back (where the connectors are) to "Slave" and plugging it into another computer.  See if your data is still there, and back it up if it is.  If you can't get into the drive at all, then it's safe to say that you'll be doing the clean install.

Have a good week:-)
kingadamAuthor Commented:
Thankyou Patrick for your assistance. I will try plugging the drive into another computer as slave. Thought it might be helpful to mention that I used Vista Boot Pro to back up the BCD (I think this is what it was called) to my My Documents file just prior to merging the partitions. Could this be retrieved and used to fix the problem in anyway?

Also, if I was to split the partition again, reinstall Ubuntu and therefore GRUB, would that allow the Vista DVD to load and therefore allow the boot repair to function?

Thanks for all your help and patience so far.
kingadamAuthor Commented:
After alot of work, I have fixed it. (I write the details in the case that someone else runs into this problem) I reinstalled ubuntu on a new partition, but I don't think that had anything to do with the error correcting itself. A friend told me to use a windows 98 recovery disc to use the command "fixmbr". I have done this once before and it has worked. I used my Win XP installation disc to enter the recovery console, but I was faced with "Enter Administrator Password" (or something to that effect). No matter what password I typed in, it didn't allow me to enter recovery mode. So I followed Patricks advice and tried putting the HDD in my Dad's computer as a slave. This worked and allowed me to backup any important data before I did a fresh install.

When I started my Dad's computer, boot time CHKDSK started and ran a scan on my HDD. This corrected a few errors. After plugging back into mine, I got the same error, but the Vista DVD would load. I ran the boot recovery twice and VISTA WORKED! I lost no files in the process and Vista runs normally.

I am still going to use DBAN to wipe the HDD, because I have done a lot of partitioning that I would like to remove and it's probably time to do a fresh install anyway. However, if there were any super important files I needed to save, I could have recovered them and it shows that if you get in this position, you can still totally recover Vista. If more explanation is needed please ask me.

Thanks Patrick, I'm giving the points to you as without your advice, I wouldn't have been able to get to the stage I am now.
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