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How Do I Uninstall Ubuntu Linux From WinXP Dual Boot Machine

By RobWilson ยท 10 replies
Nov 30, 2005
  1. I'm Rob, a newie to this site and have found it to be most informative as well as friendly... I hope you will be able to help with my problem.

    Here's my problem:

    I have an eMachine S2485 with Win XP Home SP1. I installed Ubuntu Linux with a dual boot configuration using the Boot Loader that came with Ubuntu (GNU GRUB as the Boot Loader). Now I want to uninstall both the GRUB Boot Loader as well as Ubuntu and go back to my origional boot configuration and can't figure out how to do this.

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!


  2. BiZ


    First we'll need to know how you have it set up. Like how many HD's you have, how theyre partitioned and which OS is on HDA with the boot loader.
  3. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 648

    If you have your windows setup cd, load it, restart the PC, boot off the CD and start the Recovery console. Here you can use the fixmbr command to commandeer your MBR.

    Fixmbr (microsoft.com)
  4. RobWilson

    RobWilson TS Rookie Topic Starter

    CD/DVD Not Reading Files

    Well, It seems that I have another problem that has to be solved 1st. My CD/DVD Optical Drive will NOT read files on a disk. There seems to be a problem with the drivers (I am guessing). What is wierd is that I am able to copy a DVD movie using 1clickDVD v OK but the drive will NOT Read any files on a CD or a DVD while in WinXP using Windows Explorer or even at boot up, but it will play the burned DVD movie using Windows Media Player.

    I've tried going into SAFE Mode and then device manager and deleting the drivers for the CD/DVD and the drivers for the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controlers then rebooting and letting windows reinstall all the drivers. This does not work.

    I really don't know what else to try.

  5. RobWilson

    RobWilson TS Rookie Topic Starter

    MBR Repaired

    I was able to get the CD ROM to read the Install CD and do fdisk/mbr and that fixed my boot parimiters to go directly into windows. However, the Cd/DVD is still not reading the disks while in Windows Explorer and the Device Manager is still telling me the device is working properly. I think I probably have defective optical drive.

    I will probably try the drive in another machine and see if it works there.

    Thanks alot for the replies.

  6. blaacksheep

    blaacksheep TS Rookie Posts: 69

  7. gelatinous

    gelatinous TS Rookie

    Do a complete image backup before installing Ubuntu!

    What a pain this Ubuntu was to remove from my computer without losing files. The Linux master boot record takes over the whole system and just removing Ubuntu will leave the "GRUB" master boot file left over on drive C.
    Of course since it can't see Ubuntu, it will lock up the machine. Finally using a previously made image, I was able to restore the drive back to its previous status.

    My advice...don't even think of putting this OS on your machine until you do a complete backup. There is no facility for restoring the computer its previous MBR in Ubuntu. The OS is OK but it still needs work.
  8. PRayOdessa

    PRayOdessa TS Rookie

    First off, Linux doesn't have a Master Boot Record. Your hard disk drive (hdd), however, does. Linux doesn't take over your whole system, either. Linux, in the default installation of Ubuntu, divides off a certain percentage of your hard drive space for it's uses, including a small "swap" partition, which is used in a manner similar to RAM to assist the machine in processing data more efficiently. What Ubuntu Linux does to the Master Boot Record, on the other hand, is installs a boot loader called GRUB into the Master Boot Record and allows you to boot into Linux, Windows, BeOs, or any other operating system installed on the computer. You are right that removing Ubuntu will leave GRUB on the Master Boot Record, because the Master Boot Record resides in a completely different and separate part of the hard drive than the location where Linux is installed. There is a simple remedy for the presence of GRUB on the Master Boot Record. As mentioned, please enter the recovery console from your Windows XP CD-ROM, or your recovery disk supplied with your machine. You did keep that disk, didn't you? at that point, do a fixmbr from the command line (Google this for further instructions), and your machine should boot into Windows automatically (I'm not sure why you'd want this, but I'll suspend my disbelief at least temporarily).

    As for your CD ROM drive, it probably doesn't work any more because "I've tried going into SAFE Mode and then device manager and deleting the drivers for the CD/DVD and the drivers for the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controlers then rebooting and letting windows reinstall all the drivers."
    Find out what make and model drive you have, and manually reinstall the drivers. Check out the manufacturers website, and they should have driver, if not, Google probably will be able to steer you in the right direction in finding a driver. I know this thread is long since dead, but as a point of information to all the newbs out there, it doesn't make much sense to uninstall CD ROM drivers if you're wanting to uninstall Ubuntu. Ubuntu lives on the hard drive, leave the CD ROM alone!

    One thing to make sure of after uninstalling Ubuntu is you may want to restructure your hard drive's partition table. Ubuntu sections itself off a certain amount of diskspace (default install) and resizes the windows partition when it is installed. After you uninstall Ubuntu, this partition may remain resized, with the former Ubuntu partition existing as empty space unusable by Windows. The Ubuntu CD has a useful application for modifying the partition table, or you could use Partition Magic, again, GIYF (google is your friend). Otherwise you'll end up with lots of space on your hard drive that you'll never use (which is terrible, cause where you gonna put all those torrents when your HD fills up?

    My advice, stick to Ubuntu, and, if you can manage it , a Windows partition for necessity only, and you'll end up fine. if you make Ubuntu the default choice for GRUB, you will tend to boot into it more often, and you'll start to see that it can do very nearly everything Windows can do. Why remove Ubuntu? You might ought to leave it there, and maybe some day in the near future you'll be bored on a Sunday afternoon, and decide to play with Linux a little bit. That's how many of us got our starts with it. Try it. I mean really try it, like used it exclusively for a week, or a month, and see how you feel about it. I bet you'll like it...
  9. upapilot

    upapilot TS Rookie

    Another way to delete ubuntu

    Another way to do it using a program called MBRFIX. Download it.....Then extract the contents to C:\.
    Next click on run and type 'command'
    This will open a terminal.
    Type 'cd\'
    Then type 'MbrFix /drive 0 fixmbr /yes /vista
    Now the GRUB menu will be gone and you will automatically boot into Windows.
    Next boot from the Ubuntu installation CD.
    Go to the Partition Editor.
    There will generally be two-three partitions one for Linux, one Windows and maybe antoher as a recovery or something
    Delete the Linux Partition (ext3)
    Next resize the Windows Partition (NFTS) to full capacity.
  10. tojoshua

    tojoshua TS Rookie

    Thanks for the simple clear awesome post !!

    I installed Ubuntu in a partition on a machine running XP. I only have 60GB and need Windows but wanted to test Linux. I gave linux too much space and ran out of space on my XP machine. I followed your instruction exactly and used MbrFix and it worked!!

    1. Downloaded MbrFix
    2. Extracted MbrFix.exe to c:\
    3. Entered C:\> MbrFix /drive 0 savembr Backup_MBR_0.bin u just in case
    4. Entered C:\> MbrFix /drive 0 fixmbr /yes
    5. Booted from Ubuntu live CD.
    6. Went to System > Administration > Partition Editor
    7. Removed the swap on sda5 linux-swap
    8. Removed the swap on sda6 linux-swap
    9. Resized my XP partition (ntfs)
    10. Rebooted into windows with all my disk space back.

    Thank you for taking the time to provide the easiest and cleanest solution.

    WOOTFOOL TS Rookie

    A question

    I'm sorry to quote such a big passage for a question only pretaining to the first paragraph, but I wasn't thinking fast enough to say "Hey, why don't I just copy?".
    Anyway, I've installed Ubuntu on a computer, but I've got a new computer, so now I want to give my old one to a friend, only, he doesn't like Ubuntu (Actually, he doesn't like having to navigate on GRUB to Ubuntu), so now I need to uninstall it.
    So I did, but then I ran into the same problem gelatinous had, so now I'm pretty much screwed.
    The reason that I'm brining up that again is that I do not have a Windows XP CD-ROM or anything else that I know of (I got this computer from someone else), so now I have no idea what to do, and even if I did, I'm afraid that I still wouldn't know what to do following the directions that I've read so far (When they talk about noob, they're talking about me, I act big, but I can barely run spell check sometimes).
    Please help!
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