Grub or Easybcd

Hi Guys

I’ve been given a Packard Bell netbook to fix for a friends daughter that was runnung slow, as it turned out it had no anti virus software and was infested with viruses which I THINK I’ve got rid of the main virus was malsign.generic.7EE which had about 84 entries along with some others, anyway I’m not completely confident this won’t return and I can reinstall Windows as it doesn’t have a disc drive, so we’ve decided to install Peppermint 5 alongside Windows to see how she gets on

The only issue I have is this probably has a recovery partition so my question is if so would it be worthwhile saving the recovery partition and using Easybcd as the bootloader or should I just install normally using the live usb and install Grub as the bootloader

Here’s the partition table

peppermint@peppermint ~ $ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xf6cf0bd6

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048    27265023    13631488   27  Hidden NTFS WinRE
/dev/sda2   *    27265024    27469823      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3        27469824   625139711   298834944    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdb: 4005 MB, 4005527552 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1017 cylinders, total 7823296 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0008acbc

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *          62     7818695     3909317    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
peppermint@peppermint ~ $ 

Any help would be much appreciated


Where Win7 and recovery partitions are concerned, I pretty much always go for EasyBCD.
(eg. install the Linux bootloader to the / “partition”, not the MBR … then use EasyBCD to point the Windows bootloader at it)

If necessary GRUB is easy to install at a later date … some of the weird boot setups for recovery partitions (and in particular their custom MBR) cannot.

Point is, I’ve seen Vista/Win7 recovery/boot partition configurations that worked from GRUB, but I’ve also seen ones that wouldn’t … so I play it safe.

Another option is to use dd to backup the MBR (first 512 bytes of the drive) and recovery partition (and boot partition if separate) so they could be replaced if necessary … I’ve just had to do this with an Acer to replace a dying drive but copy the PQSERVICE (recovery) partition to the new HDD and make it bootable by writing back the custom MBR.

That said, if you loose the recovery partition but have a legitimate key it’s not a disaster anyway … you can always download Windows for free (legally) and reinstall it.
Just google “digitalriver ISO” … or see here:

The key is on a sticker at the bottom of the netbook so if Its a simple matter to to reinstall an ISO image if that was ever necessary then that’s probably the way to go.

Can I download it from the link you posted and just keep it on a pen drive ?


Yes … just download the ISO, then use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to write the ISO to a USB stick.

That USB stick will then be a bootable Win7 installation media.

Which version of Win7 is on the netbook … is it “Starter edition” ?

If it’s Win7 “Starter” edition, there’s no specific digitalriver ISO … instead, download the Win7 32bit (x86) Home Premium ISO, then use the ei.cfg Removal Utility to make it a “Universal” install ISO (which will offer “Starter” as an option) … see here:

Which version of Win7 is on the netbook .. is it "Starter edition" ?

Yes it’s starter edition

Where do i get the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool ?


First (For Starter edition) see my edit above.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

ei.cfg Removal Utility

Be Aware - These are normal Win7 installation media, so may require a phone call to Microsoft to activate (all legit and above board), and will certainly require you to manually acquire any drivers specific to the netbook.

I have a Windows 7 Ultimate ISO on a DVD with a key is it possible to transfer that to a USB drive if needed ?


Maybe … give it a shot with the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Some do work, others don’t … depends how the ISO was built.

ok I went ahead and installed Peppermint 5 and managed to wipe the entire Windows partition

when I got to the part where I had to allocate space the divider wouldn’t work but it allocated a default amount of space so I went with that thinking I can resize the partitions later but then after I clicked to install a message appeared saying I had not allocated enough space in spite of the fact the installer wouldn’t let me allocate any space, then it led me to the manual partitioner I couldn’t get my head around it went back then clicked to install not knowing it obviously reset my earlier option to install alongside and used the entire disc

Well done me :frowning:


Ooops … hope she likes Peppermint :slight_smile: