Ubuntu/Vista dual-boot issue

  stejsmith 14:17 03 Jun 2008


I've just installed Ubuntu on my Acer Aspire 5315 laptop to dual-boot with Vista. Everything seemed to go fine with the installation; however, when I attempted to re-boot, all I get, after the initial Acer splash screen is a message saying "No bootable device - insert boot disk and press any key". Above this is a message saying "PXE-E61: Media test failure. check cable".

So I can't get into my computer at all, not Vista or Ubuntu. I don't have a Vista CD as Acer didn't provide one, nor do I have a rescue CD or a back-up (like a dork, I didn't do that and boy do I regret it). Fortunately: a) it was new, so there isn't a huge amount of value on it and b) I still have XP desktop, so all is not completely lost. But it sure feels that way at the moment. The hard drive is showing up on BIOS, but I can't get anywhere with booting.

Is my new laptop completely dead or is there a way out of my complete stupidity?

  dms_05 15:06 03 Jun 2008

Don't feel alone. I've done much the same whilst trying to Dual Boot PCLOS Gnome from my Ext HDD.

You aren't completely lost. You need to rewrite the Vista MBR (Master Boot Record) - this will return you to a Vista only boot.

I did this from another Linux distro which (thoughtfully) included a 'Redo MBR' utility. But you'll need to download PCLinuxOS 2007.

However you may find another method. Basically you want a bootable CD with the utilities on it.

At least running Ubuntu from the LiveCD will give you access to your computer AND access to your Vista partitions so you can copy any data from the Vista partition.

I also didn't make the Acer backup CD when I first started. But in this case they would have been useless as you need to be able to boot to enter ALT/F10 to access the recovery program.

Finally if you have to return the computer Acer are exceptionally good. They issue a reference number, send you an email detailing how and what to return, provide a contact number for DHL, give you their contract DHL number - you call DHL to arrange pick up at a place suitable to you. All at no cost - however they have a standard charge if they feel it's a non-warranty claim (about £30) which covers the courier both ways and even if they only reset the computer to factory default it's not bad value.

  stejsmith 15:34 03 Jun 2008

Thanks, dms_05.

I actually managed to get it working again using the Vista recovery download from here: click here. Repairing the boot system seems to have worked with that - I got the GRUB screen and have (fingers crossed) managed to get to Vista - haven't tried Ubuntu yet. Also haven't checked my data, but I think it should be all there...

Thanks for the info as well about Acer - will bear that in mind, sounds a good service...

  LastChip 21:00 03 Jun 2008

If you have the Grub screen, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to use either system.

Certainly, just selecting Ubuntu from Grub will not alter anything on your computer.

In the worse case, if it freezes or fails in any way, just reboot and you should be able to go back into Vista, as you are now.

  stejsmith 21:53 03 Jun 2008

Cheers, Lastchip - just tried Ubuntu and it works fine.

  dms_05 16:17 04 Jun 2008

The Recovery Disk you downloaded works fine if Vista is complete and functioning (even if you can't get to it normally). With an Acer if you've installed Vista SP1 then you can access the same functions by pressing ALT/F10 when booting. However as you found you couldn't get that far and the disk is really very useful in that case.

  [email protected] 16:26 04 Jun 2008

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