When installing Grub where any Windows installations are present on one of the drives with Linux going onto a separate hard drive you use the custom option when reaching the partitioning section to designate the root as the "/" mount point and simply click on the Linux drive when asked where Grub will be installed. That will generally leave the Windows mbr intact.
The bootrec /scanos command at the prompt while booting from the Vista dvd was the correct method to start with. Once answering Y for yes and seeing the installation shown successfully added message you then use the Fixboot and Fixmbr commands to correct the Vista mbr seeing the Grub entries removed. You may have to do this a few times to actually see Windows booting normally again.
Please wait, since this may take a while...
Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 1
Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y)/No(N)/All(A):Y
*Element not found.*
So what's 'Element not found.'?
The element not found is when the rebuild tool is unable to detect the installation presently on the system. That can be for different reasons like the order you type the commands in.
Another option if the BCD store itself isn't able to be rebuilt is to delete the present one. The second section seen on the MS page for this is at 'Error message when you start Windows Vista: "The Windows Boot Configuration Data file is missing required information"'
The easier commands to use at the command prompt are:
bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup (C being used here for the single OS/system drive)
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
that may be just what you need there along with the repair tools. 'Tech Solution: Vista Boot Error 0×000000f (C:\boot\BCD) « The AT Wire'
Shortly after Vista's initial release I ran across the free tool mentioned there available at 'Download EasyBCD 2.- NeoSmart Technologies'
The general documentation for use is seen at 'List Pages - Tree View -NeoSmart Technologies Wiki'
For the problem you are seeing there however there's a page seen with other commands to enter for seeing the boot loader repaired in the last section called "Step Four: Nuclear Holocaust" seen at 'Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki'
Did you attempt to reinstall Vista back onto the array or the new sata drive you added in? It sounds like you left the boot drive for the array left default in the bios setup even if you installed over ubuntu on the new sata drive you added in. The fast method is to look at which drive is set as default there.
The first thing to look at when setting up a dual boot of simply two versions of Windows if not two OSs is just which drive is set as default especially when adding a new drive onto the system. That includes external usb hard drives and usb flash drives at times since the new drive will tend to offset the order.
Now you have to find out which drive or paritition/drive saw the fresh install go to and see that set as default since the original host drive still sees the altered mbr info on that.
Later I simply used a free tool called EasyBCD to see the Linux entry
added in with one item definitely checked off namely the "Grub isn't installed into bootsector" box.
What I ended up doing was using KillDisk to completely erase the SATA drive, then I unplugged the SATA drive so as not to 'confuse' the windows recovery environment. Then I ran startup recovery, fixmbr, and fixboot, and then I could boot into Vista successfully. After this, I plugged the SATA drive back in and formatted it and everything's back to normal--and a little faster too, since I have a clean install of Vista.
I think I've had enough of trying to dual boot--for awhile at least, especially since I use this computer for school!
Thanks, NightHawk, for your prompt replies and all. I'll have to get someone who can physically look over my shoulder and help me out when I decide to pursue Linux again! But not for a little while. Hope this thread helps anybody else out having similar issues.
Warning: The update of the nForce IDE (S-ATA/RAID) drivers is dangerous, because this is a severe modification of the system with a lot of changes within the registry. There is always the risk, that the reboot into Vista will fail after the update. Exactly this is the main reason why I suggest to load the newest/best available nForce IDE drivers during Vista Setup.
Advice: Before you are going to update any mass storage controller driver, you should do a backup of your running Vista partition by using a tool like Acronis True Image.
If you are going to update the nForce SataRaid drivers and just follow the advices of Vista's driver update pop-up windows, you probably will get a BSOD.
Warning: DON'T REBOOT UNLESS YOU HAVE UPDATED ALL NVIDIA SATA AND RAID DEVICE DRIVERS (even the usually hidden ones)!
Here is the exact procedure (detected by TheMaxx32000) for an update of the nForce S-ATA and RAID drivers:
- Open the "Device Manager", select "View" and check the "Show hidden devices" option.
- Search for devices named "NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller" (within the "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" or "Storage Controllers" section) and update ALL listed devices with the said name by loading the SATA_IDE driver folder of your prepared new nForce driver package. DO NOT REBOOT!
- Open the "Storage Controllers" section and update ALL listed the "NVIDIA RAID Controller" devices and ALL listed devices named "NVIDIA RAID DEVICE" by loading the SATARAID driver folder of your prepared new nForce driver package. DO NOT REBOOT!
- Check the driver version of all previous mentioned devices to verify, that all of them have properly updated drivers.
- NOW YOU CAN REBOOT.
- Have fun with the updated nForce S-ATA and RAID drivers.
1. If you are trying to load any modded or not yet WHQL certified driver, you have to force the driver update by choosing the "Browse my computer ...." - "Let me pick ...." - "Have Disk" options. Otherwise Vista will give a message, that it has already installed the best driver software.
2. If you want to update just the RAID driver, you have to do all steps shown above except the second one.[/list]