Repairing a Grubby MBR

I love to play with shiny new things and it often lands me in a mess of trouble. My latest adventures with GNU/Linux messed up the MBR on my Windows 10 drive so off I went in search of a way to fix it. The problem was when I installed Linux Mint to play with it altered the MBR to run GRUB and would ask me to select from Linux Mint or W10 when booting even after I removed Linux Mint. Unfortunately if you search you won’t just find one way you will find several and if you read the comments accompanying those post you will find even more solutions … and many didn’t work for me at all 🙁

After trying a half-dozen different ways to correct my problem I finally found a way that worked well.

I used used Cub Linux live USB to set up and a second USB memory stick for this job. It takes three applications: Unetbootin, FreeDOS and Testdisk for DOS.

  1. First download Unetbootin and use it to make a bootable USB memory stick. Choose Freedos when prompted for a distribution to install on it.
  2. Download Testdisk for DOS (don’t pick the beta, but pick the stable version).
    • Unzip the files testdisk.exe and CWSDPMI.exe, and put them on the bootable memory stick (not in a folder, just straight on it).
  3. Boot your computer from the memory stick and simply press Enter, at the Default window, when FreeDOS is launched.
    • Choose: FreeDOS Safe Mode (don’t load any drivers) and Press Enter.
    • Type: C: and Press Enter.
    • Now type: testdisk and Press Enter.
      • Select [No Log] and Press Enter.
      • Select the hard drive concerned: usually the second option (the first option is the memory stick itself) and Press Enter.
      • Select [Intel] and Press Enter
      • Select [MBR Code] and press Enter.
    • Then when prompted, type y (yes) and press Enter again.
  4. Reboot the Computer

That was all there was to it, after that I could reboot my computer normally without landing in GRUB 😀

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