Tuesday, 10 February, 2004
Removing the GRUB boot loader
I deleted my Lycoris install the other day because I needed the partition for something else. What I forgot was that the GRUB boot loader configuration file was on that partition. Oops. Computer doesn't boot. I set the problem aside and headed off to work, confident that I could fix it easily enough when I got home. I won't go into details about all the hoops I had to jump through, but I got it fixed. A few notes in case you find yourself in a similar situation.
- It takes a very long time to boot from the Windows 2000 installation media (CD-ROM)
- The manual recovery process is useless in this situation. Or it appeared to be. Windows would spend 10 minutes examining my drives before rebooting, and then GRUB would give me the same error.
- The Windows Recovery Console, poorly-documented as it is, is the solution. When you boot the install media (this was my fourth or fifth try), get to the Recovery Console and then execute the two commands fixmbr and fixboot. fixmbr will give you a dire warning about a non-standard master boot record and that you might make your disk unreadable. Everything seems to work, though.
- You can get more information about Recovery Console from this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.