Saturday, February 4, 2012

Repair Windows 7 after removing a Linux partition (Dual Boot)

I have seen the appear alot in the forums of people are running a dual boot scenario on their computers, dual-booting Windows with Linux, and no longer want the Linux system. Simply removing the paritions causes Windows to longer boot. In this article I explain how you can fix this problem.

In this article, I will show you how to repair Windows 7 after removing Ubuntu 11.10. Although, this will work regardless of the distribution of Linux you are using.

When you remove the Linux partition(s) you essentially remove the boot loader and screw up the master boot record. This need to be repaired for Windows to work again.

  1. Removing the Linux Partitions
  2. Repairing Windows Boot Loader
Removing the Linux Partitions

Boot to Windows 7 and open Computer Management. Do this by either right-clicking My Computer and selecting Manage, or simple search for Computer Management from the Start Menu. Once open, select Disk Management.

Here you will see the layout of the Hard Drive. Right-click and delete the Linux partitions. In the above screenshot, the Linux partitions are the two on the right. Windows 7 partitions are the System Reserved and C: Drive.

Once you have deleted these partitions, the space will become a logical partition, indicated by the green, remove this also.

With the now Unallocated space, you can resize the Windows 7 C: Drive partition to occupy this space. Right-click on the C: partition and select Extend Partition.

This will start the wizard that will guide you through extending the partition. At the main screen it will ask you by megabye (MB) how much you want to extend the partition by. For me, I extended it for the entire of the available space. Once you have done this, Windows is now the only OS on the Hard Drive.

Repairing the Boot Loader

Once you have successfully removed the Linux partitions, we now have to repair the Windows Boot Loader. Insert and boot from you Windows 7 DVD.

At the above screen select Repair you computer. This will take to the System Recovery Options screen.

From this screen, select Command Prompt. In this scenario, the Startup Repair function does not work. Although it detects there is a problem with the system, it does not repair the Master Boot Record or the Boot Loader.
Once at the Command Prompt, type the following:
  • Bootrec /fixmbr
  • Bootrec /fixboot
These commands repair the Master Boot Record which contain information regarding the Hard drives partitions and then repairs the Windows Boot Loader.

Once these commands have completed, reboot the computer and Windows will now boot.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Ever since my last Microsoft mouse stopped working I have hard pressed to find a decent replacement (short of buying another on eBay). I tried a variety of mouse, even borrowed a very basic mouse from work to get me buy. But this mouse has always stirred a curiosity in me and today I broke and bought one to test out.

The Microsoft Arc line of computer mouses are widely known for their unusual design. The mouse nothing more than a curved slate of plastic (forming and arch). The design doesn't look, nor feeling very ergonomical, which is something that is important when it comes to keyboards and mouse regardless of the frequency of use.

Out of the box, the mouse comes flat. I guess they did this for portable reasons, but as I think about this concept, I think that in my laptop bag, this are going to press it and bend it back into it's "Arc" form. Which incidentally is also the power switch.

As most wireless mouses these, it comes with a set of batteries (AAA) and the USB Receiver dongle to connect to your computer. Installing this on my Windows 7 laptop was painless as the drivers and software were downloaded and installed from the internet. Interestingly, the receiver is magnetic to the underside of the mouse itself for "portability". However I can see it getting lost in somebody's laptop bag.

For the buttons themselves, the main left and right button feel rather hard to click, while the centre section is actually a touch surface which responds to gentures for scrolling and clicking. Sliding your finger up and down the surface will resulting in the associatied scroll on the screen. This surface also gives a slight vibration as feedback for scrolling.

Holding it does feels awkward as your fingers sort of end up under the Arc and you feel like you should be holding on to something rather than just letting them slide under the mouse.

Ultimately, this mouse is more about looks than practicality. I couldn't recommend this for daily use, and I feel my hand is cramped from using this mouse. It's great that Microsoft is thinking out of the box with these devices, but has somewhat missed the mark with this design.

For Microsoft Hardware Mouses, see