Whether you are trying to escape from Windows or just curious enough to try Ubuntu briefly there are many different reasons why you might need to repair or (re)install a Windows system.
While most Windows problems can be fixed from inside Ubuntu quite easily there are occasionally times when the Windows Cd is the only reasonable answer for many of us. Of course it is also the only way to reinstall Windows or to install Windows inside a virtual machine.
Our information about Windows is limited so please confirm the accuracy of anything on this page by checking elsewhere.
The Windows Cd has a repair option. Presumably to get to the "repair" option you need to insert the Cd into the cd/dvd-drive just as you would with a LiveCd and boot from Cd just the same but instead of getting all the way to a working desktop you get some menus to navigate with the keyboard arrows, tab & space-bar.
Take great care with trying to find this as Windows has a tendency to try to wipe data and install itself as the only available operating system on a machine. Usually this can be recovered from
but it is best to make sure you back-up data before getting into such messes.
Have a Windows recovery CD/DVD available
Many computer manufacturers that pre-install Windows provide a Windows recovery/re-installation CD or DVD with the computer. However, many companies no longer ship a physical disk but instead create a hidden partition on the hard drive in which the recovery-disk information is stored. A utility is then usually provided which allows the user to burn a recovery/re-installation CD or DVD from it.
If you are buying a new computer with Windows pre-installed please make sure you have (or can make) a physical Windows recovery/re-installation Cd or Dvd. If neither a Cd/Dvd nor a recovery partition/burning utility is provided by your computer seller, you may need to telephone your vendor and ask for a Cd or Dvd (to which you are normally entitled under the Windows EULA).
It is very important to have such a physical recovery/re-installation Cd/Dvd prior to changing your hard drive, in case your hard drive becomes corrupted in the process (and the recovery partition thereby becomes unavailable for use).
Once you have created a physical backup disk from a restore-image partition on the hard-drive, the restore-image partition can either be removed or left in place. Ubuntu can be installed with it intact without problems.
See also RestoreUbuntu/XP/Vista/7Bootloader
Getting Recovery Media
You may need to request a physical recovery/re-installation Cd or Dvd directly from your computer manufacturer. Here are some resources: