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Ask How-To Geek: Fixing the Windows Boot Record, Sharing Mac Folders with Windows, and Reviving the Outlook Reminder Bell

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You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. Today we look at how to boot into Windows after uninstalling Linux, sharing folders between a Mac and a Windows computer, and how to reinstate the missing Outlook reminder bell.

Once a week we dip into our mailbag and help readers solve their problems, sharing the useful solutions with you I the process. Read on to see our fixes for this week’s reader dilemmas.

Recovering the Windows Boot Record after a GRUB Loader Meltdown

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Dear How-To Geek,

I have an issue with my computer. I had Windows 7 and Ubuntu installed (on separate drives) and would select which one I wanted to boot into via the GRUB loader. The Linux disk died and now the GRUB loader doesn’t recognize Windows or boot into it. At this point I don’t even really need the GRUB loader; I just want to boot into Windows again! Help!

Sincerely,

Can’t Boot It

Dear Can’t Boot It,

It sounds like the fastest solution for your problem is to restore the Master Boot Record and start booting, sans GRUB, as you did before you installed Linux and turned your system into a dual-boot computer. Here’s what you need to do. Put a Windows installation disc in your disc drive and reboot. Press any key when prompted, do the basic setup (selecting your language, time zone, etc.) and click next. Then click Repair your computer. Click on the operating system you want to repair and click next. At this point you’ll be at the System Recover Options menu, click on Command Prompt.

Now it’s time to execute a simple repair on your machine. At the command prompt type in bootrec.exe /FixMbr and hit enter. When the command is done executing your Master Boot Record will be repaired and GRUB free. Reboot the computer and things should appear, during the boot process, as they were before you installed Ubuntu.

Sharing Folders From a Mac to a Windows PC

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Dear How-To Geek,

I need to share a folder on a Mac laptop with a PC on my network. I’m totally unfamiliar with Macs and my rudimentary attempt to get things working failed miserably. I just need simple file sharing, nothing fancy. I’d prefer to not have to install anything or mess around with the Mac laptop too much (I’m helping out a friend and want to risk breaking as little as possible). Thanks!

Sincerely,

I’m a PC

Dear PC,

We can help you and you don’t have to install a thing. The likely reason you were having trouble setting up the folder sharing is because Windows uses SMB sharing. Macs support this but it’s not the default setting. You’ll need to specify that the folder share is SMB-based when you set up the folder sharing configuration. Check out our step-by-step guide to setting up a Mac folder share with SMB here.

Reinstating the Outlook Reminder Bell

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Dear How-To Geek,

We just upgraded from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010 at work and I’m confused as to where the little bell is in my calendar? Outlook used to have this little bell icon on any entry that had a reminder attached to it. I know it’s a super tiny thing but I actually got used to that little bell being part of my work flow! Please tell me I can get it back!

Sincerely,

Longing for the Bell

Dear Bell,

You’ll be thrilled to find out that it benefited you to have your company skip Outlook 2007. For some reason Microsoft removed the little Reminder Bell of which you are so fond. The public outcry was loud enough that they reinstated it in the 2010 edition. All you need to do is navigate to File –> Options –> Calendar and then check the box beside Show bell icon on the calendar […] to enable the reminder bell again. Want some screen shots to guide you through? Check out our previous post on the topic here.


Have a question you want to put before the How-To Geek staff? Shoot us an email atask@howtogeek.com and then keep an eye out for a solution in the Ask How-To Geek column.

 

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/14/11

Comments (3)

  1. C_3PO

    Very handy tips, keep em coming! :-P

  2. david

    good stuff, had to use that fixmbr a few times

  3. Philip Sydell

    My computer has a dual boot with Windows XP and Windows 7 Ultimate. They are on one disk which is partitioned. How can I eliminate the dual boot and just keep Windows 7?

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