March 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm #28592
Hi,My old Pentium 3 is packing up, and my brother who is moving to Europe has given me his old one, which is a 2.6G Pentium4. He is a computer freak, but I just use computers for emails! When he gave me the computer, it kept wanting to boot into Ubuntu? I told him this, and he came around and removed Ubuntu just before he left on his cruise to Europe, while I was still at work. He said XP would still be there, which is cool as he had a whole bunch of music on it which I would like to keep, and some family photos.I've come home, tried to start it up, and it wont boot at all now!He has left me with all the discs, including Windows XP and ME. I know (at least I think!) I can just wipe it all and start again, but I'd rather make it work rather than losing all the stuff he left me. Its a custom computer and I have no idea what parts he used, but I know the hard drive is 160GB and its a Pentium4 2.6G. Has he just removed everything? How can I tell if I cant make it boot?Can anyone help me?March 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm #31349
We need to know more details about 'the computer won't boot'Is the power coming on? Can you here the fan giong? Is the screen blank or does it have a flashing cursor? Do you see any writing on the screen? Have you tried to boot into the bios?March 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm #31350
wow that was fast!the computer starts, the fans all come on, it goes through all the usual spiel on the screen, and then i get a message - cannot locate operating system. I guess he has just removed everything instead of just Ubuntu? How can I access the BIOS if I cant boot the computer?? what would I do when I got there?March 10, 2009 at 6:37 am #31351
Before we get the bios, what order did the computer boot to before he took UBUNTU off? Did it boot to Windows or to UBUNTU first? I think Windows would still be there because if your brother is playing around with dual os booting then he would know if he had uninstalled Windows or not.March 10, 2009 at 7:06 am #31352
whenever I booted the computer, it would go through all the normal spiel as the computer loaded, then offer me the choice of Ubuntu or Windows, but I had to be there ready to select, because it only gave me a few seconds to choose. If I was too slow to select Windows, it would just start booting into Ubuntu automatically. Ubuntu looked pretty cool, but I couldnt make my wireless network card work on it, because I cant work out how to install any programs on it at all. It was really annoying, because I would have tried Ubuntu for awhile, but every time I needed to boot Windows, I couldnt just turn the computer on and walk away for a few minutes - I had to wait for the option to choose Windows first or I would come back and Ubuntu would be loaded instead of Windows.Since I doubt I would have chosen Ubuntu unless it was a boring rainy day and I felt like experimenting, it wasn't worth having to go through that every time I booted the computer, so I asked my brother to uninstall it. I still think he has removed everything though, because the computer says there is no operating system, and surely it would know?March 10, 2009 at 7:13 am #31353
Although I do not deal with ubuntu, it seems that the computer would automatically boot to that first. Maybe you need to tell the computer to boot to Windows now? I think dak will know about this as he is into dual booting os.March 10, 2009 at 8:00 am #31354
woohoo a Linux problem… the first I have seen in this forum 🙂I'm only a novice Linux user myself, but its great fun and I do like a challenge. As it happens, I think I can tell you exactly what the problem is, Rob.When you install a Linux distribution as a dual boot, it needs to interfere with the way Windows loads, or you wont have a dual boot.. Windows will just load. This is because the hard disc has whats called a Master Boot Record, or MBR. When you start your computer, the first thing that loads is the BIOS, which is a program that is hardwired into your motherboard. Thats all the 'spiel' you see running down your screen when the computer starts. The BIOS searches for the MBR, which contains instructions to tell the BIOS where to start looking for operating systems. In a Windows-only computer the MBR will tell the BIOS to load Windows. The Linux distribution you have had installed, Ubuntu, has had to modify the MBR to allow you the choices of more than one operating system, and since it cant change Windows itself, it modifies the MBR to make Linux load instead of Windows. The options you then see which ask you what you want to boot into are actually a small program called GRUB (part of Linux), which then takes control and allows you to boot into either operating system.Your brother has no doubt uninstalled Linux, but forgotten to restore the MBR back to its original state, so the BIOS cannot find Linux now that its gone, and cant see Windows in the MBR. It thinks there is no operating system as a result of this.Since you have said you have an XP disc, the solution is actually pretty easy. Stick the Windows disc into the computer, and boot the computer. Let the disc go through all the stuff that it does, and when it gets to the option.. what do you want to do.. install windows XP.. repair an existing windows installation using recovery console.. etc.. choose the recovery console option.Once you've done that, it will search for a bit, then come up with a list of operating systems. I am confident your Windows installation will still be there!Select that, and you'll get a command prompt... a bunch of writing and a flashing cursor. Type in where the flashing cursor is.. exactly as followsfixmbrthen hit enter. It should only take a few seconds, and then the flashing cursor will reappear.Shut down the computer. removing the XP disc while its shutting down. Restart the computer, and I am willing to bet Windows loads!
Mitz from Tips4pc
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