Has Ubuntu disappeared from your Windows Boot Manager list after installing it with Wubi?  Here’s how you can quickly restore it and use your Ubuntu as before.

Wubi makes it easy to install Ubuntu from your Windows computer and keeps you from messing up your Windows Boot Loader.  It simply adds an Ubuntu entry to your Windows boot loader, and you can manage it directly from Windows.

However, several different things can mess up this boot screen.  If you ever install a different boot loader, restore your Windows Setup from a boot disk, or reinstall Windows, your Ubuntu link will disappear.  What’s worse, there’s no apparent way to add it back to Windows.  Even though the Ubuntu files are still on your hard drive, you won’t be able to restore them to the boot list from Windows Startup and Recovery tool or from the Wubi Installer.

But, with the EasyBCD tool and a little Command Prompt tweaking, you can get your Wubi Ubuntu restored and ready to use again.  Here’s how to do it in Windows 7 or Vista.

Add Wubi to the Windows Boot Loader with EasyBCD

If you don’t already have EasyBCD installed, download and install it as normal (link below).

Once it’s installed, run EasyBCD, and select Add/Remove Entries from the toolbox on the left.

Select the Linux tab in the Add an Entry section on the bottom.  Click the drop-down menu beside Type, and select Wubi from the available options.

You can name your Ubuntu entry whatever you’d like, and then click the Add Entry button.

You should now have two entries: Windows and Ubuntu.  Now, at the top of the EasyBCD window, click Save, and then exit the program.

Edit the Boot Information in Command Prompt

If you try to reboot and launch Ubuntu right now, you’ll receive an error in the Boot loader because Windows doesn’t know where you Wubi Ubuntu is stored.  So, as soon as you have added the entry in EasyBCD, launch Command Prompt in administrative mode.  To do this, right-click its icon in the start menu and select Run as Administrator.

In Command Prompt, enter the following to see the boot entries that are setup on your Windows boot loader:


Now we can change the entry to let Windows know where our Ubuntu is saved.  Note that the Real-mode Boot Sector section contains the information we need to edit.  On our computer, we had installed Ubuntu on our E: partition, so we need first to add this to the entry.  If your Ubuntu is installed on your main C: drive, you can skip this step and proceed to the following.

To change the drive or partition, enter the following, substituting {device_id} for the identifier of your drive from the identifier listed under Real-Mode Boot Sector, and X: for your Drive letter designator.  Note that you can quickly insert the drive identifier by copying and pasting the information printed out already in Command Prompt.

bcdedit /set {device_id} partition=X:

Finally, we need to add the path to our Ubuntu install.  The path should be \ubuntu\winboot\wuildr.mbr, though this may be different, depending on your setup.  Browse to your Ubuntu folder to check if you’re not sure, and then enter the following in the Command Prompt, substituting \your_ubuntu_path for the correct path to the Ubuntu files in your computer:

bcedit /set {device_id} path \your_ubuntu_path\winboot\wubildr.mbr

Close Command Prompt, and reboot your computer.  Now you will be able to boot into Ubuntu as before!


Wubi makes it easy to use Ubuntu on your Windows computer, and with this trick, you can keep it running even if something messes up your boot loader.  You can even use this trick to copy your Ubuntu install to another computer; copy the Ubuntu files, and then follow these steps to add the entry to the boot loader. 

If you don’t already have Ubuntu installed with Wubi and would like to try it out, here’s some articles to help you get started:

  • Easily Install Ubuntu Linux with Windows Using the Wubi Installer

  • Install Ubuntu Netbook Edition with Wubi Installer

  • Install Linux Mint on Your Windows Computer or Netbook – uses a Wubi-like installer, so works the same


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Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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