In this question posted yesterday, the OP has a Wubi system that will not start, because the Windows boot loader (which loads Wubi--in a Wubi system you select Ubuntu from the Windows boot menu) has a problem loading wubildr.mbr.

The OP was trying to boot Ubuntu, not Windows. S/he was telling us the truth.

wubildr.mbr is Wubi's boot record. It is not present on a Windows system that doesn't have (or hasn't had) Wubi. Not ever.

An error relating to wubildr.mbr is an error about Wubi (and thus Ubuntu). There is never an error about wubildr.mbr when the Windows boot loader tries to boot Windows, because wubildr.mbr is not Windows.

Unlike Ubuntu's boot loader (GRUB), the Windows boot loader is not designed with the assumption that it will regularly be booting non-Windows operating systems. Like most software, the Windows boot loader has error messages written to capture the most likely causes of errors.

So the error message said:

Windows failed to start.

But the OS that failed to start here was not Windows.

This question is an on-topic for AU as any Wubi-specific question. Does this have to do with Windows? Yes, it's an error given out by the Windows boot loader, informing the user of what is most likely a broken Wubi installation. I cannot think of any other Wubi-specific question that is more on-topic.

We should reopen this now.

A Lesson for the Future

Anyone could have mistakenly closed this. I could have. For all I know, perhaps I have made this very mistake myself. And that is all the more reason we should try to learn from this.

Here, the OP said they were trying to do one thing. Microsoft Windows said they were trying to do something else.

The mistake here was to trust a Microsoft Windows error message over the OP's pretty clear, detailed description of what they were trying to do and what happened. We assumed the OP was not telling the truth when s/he claimed to be trying to boot Wubi. We assumed it because Windows said so.

I think that pretty much sums up the matter, but if anyone has other thoughts (especially disagreement), please feel free to post an answer!

  • This is not a question or a fit for the QA format. I would rephrase as a question and self-answer... Jan 15, 2013 at 1:57
  • Q: Should we reopen this question? A: Yes, this is why... Is a QA not a diatribe posted as a meta question. Jan 15, 2013 at 2:00
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    @AbrahamVanHelpsing Meta doesn't strictly adhere to that format. The conversation is typically more important.
    – Oli Mod
    Jan 15, 2013 at 2:05
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    @AbrahamVanHelpsing Unlike main, "questions" here shouldn't always be in Q&A form. For example, see this question (which was featured). It's common for users to post on meta to request a question to be reopened, or report a bug, or request tag synonymization, or any number of other things where the question is not in question form. If you're still confused after browsing meta to familiarize yourself with the range of material here, you should post a new meta question about this. Jan 15, 2013 at 2:05
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    Fair enough, but I think there's a distinct difference between an PSA post on meta and a "I say reopen this" post. Jan 15, 2013 at 2:08
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    @AbrahamVanHelpsing If you have trouble finding all the other "I say reopen this" posts by many different users here, many of which have been well-recieved, please post a new question. Jan 15, 2013 at 2:09
  • Typically the reopen request is a "Why was my question closed" by the OP. Making it a different type of question/query. Jan 15, 2013 at 2:10

1 Answer 1


This was voted back open (five reopen votes including my own). So, the retag here says, this is .

If for some reason anyone thinks this should not have been reopened, though, please still feel free to post an answer!

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