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HELP, i need to reinstall windows to my computer! I installed linux then, ALL my files and windows vista have been lost! Answered

HELP i need to reinstall windows and ALL my files back on my computer!!! I installed Linux but that is the only OS i can run... while rebooting, it wont give me the choice of running windows vista!

i didn't back up anything as i was lazy and didn't want to get a secondary hard-drive.

can i at least recover all my files? how do i recover windows without a CD?

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Burf (author)2010-12-23

If you didn't (or didn't tell the Linux installer) partition your hard disk, then all your Windows files are gone.
If the disk was partitioned, then you may need to re-install the Grub boot loader so that the Windows partition is recognised.
Which version of Linux did you install?

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24
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-max- (author)-max-2010-12-24

i dont remember if i "partitioned" my computer. how do i "re-install grub boot loader"? i would like both Linux mint and windows both on my computer. when i first downloaded it (it took 3 hours for the 900Mb file) i was hoping its was a theme. (right-click > properties > themes.) when i tried to open it, it asked me to burn it to a disk, i did, then i restarted my computer. with the disk in, then i was running Linux mint. there, it asked me to install it, while running linux, i first pressed install alongside other operating systems.

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Burf (author)-max-2010-12-24

Okay, you need to first determine if Windows it still on the disk. Open a terminal (command line) and C&P the following into the terminal:

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

You'll be asked for your P/W, type in your login P/W and then enter.  In the results, look to the right hand side under System, if you don't see this in the list,  HPFS/NTFS then Windows has been erased and you're out of luck without a backup stored somewhere else.
If it is there, then go to this page

http://www.supergrubdisk.org/

Download the "Rescatux" and follow the instructions for that program.
Good luck!




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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

( A day for firm decisions!!!!! Or is it? )
-----------------------------------------
o
o \_\_ _/_/
o \__/
(oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/\
||----w |
|| ||
maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $ sudo fdisk -1/dev/sda
[sudo] password for maxim:
Sorry, try again.
[sudo] password for maxim:
fdisk: invalid option -- '1'

Usage:
fdisk [options] change partition table
fdisk [options] -l list partition table(s)
fdisk -s give partition size(s) in blocks

Options:
-b sector size (512, 1024, 2048 or 4096)
-c switch off DOS-compatible mode
-h print help
-u give sizes in sectors instead of cylinders
-v print version
-C specify the number of cylinders
-H specify the number of heads
-S specify the number of sectors per track

maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $

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Burf (author)-max-2010-12-24

Did you C&P the command or type it in? Because that is supposed to be a lower case letter ell 'l' not the numeral 1.

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

ya figured that out. thanks, can you decode all this and tell me if it means windows is still on here?

maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0005686d

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 9347 75078656 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 9348 9730 3069953 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 9348 9730 3069952 82 Linux swap / Solaris
maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $
maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $
maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0005686d

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 9347 75078656 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 9348 9730 3069953 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 9348 9730 3069952 82 Linux swap / Solaris
maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $

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Burf (author)-max-2010-12-24

Well, bad news. That means that Windows is not on that hard disk, its all Linux and Linux partitions. Since this is a laptop, I doubt you have a second HDD, so Windows is gone.
Check your current documents folder and see if some of the old Windows dox were copied over. Depending on what you selected during installation, they may have been saved.

Grub is a menu for a multiple OS system that lets you select which OS you want to boot.

Sorry about the bad news, but I don't see any hope for you rescuing the Windows system and files unless they were copied over during the Linux installation. And re-installing windows will be a new install, not a rescue.

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

whats an HHD, an operating system? how do i reinstall windows? what are windows DOX, are they all my files, pictures, documents?

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Burf (author)-max-2010-12-24


HDD = Hard disk drive

Operating System (OS) = Windows Vista or Linux Mint

Re-install Windows = Read the instructions that came with your laptop

DOX = Documents, etc.

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-max- (author)Burf2011-01-11

do you know if i can copy windows from another computer and install it to my computer? or do i HAVE to buy a new version from the Microsoft site?

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

well, thanks. are you ABSOLUTELY SURE there is NO hope whatsoever? at all? :(

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

oh, and what the heck is "GRUB"?

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

is that bad, i don't see "HPFS/NTFS"

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-max- (author)Burf2010-12-24

ignore the text rein deer, after i typed it in, it gave me all this...
.|
V

[sudo] password for maxim:
fdisk: invalid option -- '1'

Usage:
fdisk [options] change partition table
fdisk [options] -l list partition table(s)
fdisk -s give partition size(s) in blocks

Options:
-b sector size (512, 1024, 2048 or 4096)
-c switch off DOS-compatible mode
-h print help
-u give sizes in sectors instead of cylinders
-v print version
-C specify the number of cylinders
-H specify the number of heads
-S specify the number of sectors per track

maxim@maxim-Presario-C700-Notebook-PC ~ $

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Lithium Rain (author)2010-12-27

You can try running recovery software on it (on another computer - remove the hard drive and hook it up as an external).

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-max- (author)Lithium Rain2011-01-05

i dont want to take apart my laptop

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Lithium Rain (author)-max-2011-01-05

You don't have to take apart your laptop, just unscrew a cover and take out the drive.

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-max- (author)Lithium Rain2011-01-11

i dont know anythind about the guts of a laptop

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-max- (author)Lithium Rain2011-01-11

still, my parents won't let me take anything apart (usually, anything i touch and take apart will break)

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-max- (author)2010-12-24

also, which GRUB should i download?

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