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Old 02-25-2008, 02:00 AM   #1
brjoon1021
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don't want to dual boot any long... how do I get back to just windows ?


Hi,

I have been dual booting my laptop with Linux and win XP by GRUB. I just want windows on here from now on. I installed GRUB in the MBR. This laptop has no floppy drive which I think is necessary for doing the win 98 fix MBR trick. I definitely forgot how to do that anyway... Linux is great on my desktop but has been nowhere worth the effort on my laptop so I want to get back to a windows only situation.

1. What is the easiest way for me to get back to running windows only (without reinstalling windows) ?

Last edited by brjoon1021; 02-25-2008 at 09:55 AM.
 
Old 02-25-2008, 02:14 AM   #2
paragkalra
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1.] Insert Windows XP CD
2.] boot the system from CD ROM
3.] Press R to Repair
4.] type "help" on the command line to know the valid commands
5.] just type "FIXMBR" as shown below:
C:\>FIXMBR

This will just give you the option to boot Windows.
 
Old 02-25-2008, 02:22 AM   #3
b0uncer
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1) put your legally bought Windows' setup disc in the disc drive, reboot
2) choose to enter the Recovery Console
3) answer any questions asked, and when you get to the command prompt, run 'fixmbr' (this ought to rewrite your MBR writing Windows bootloader there, overwriting Grub)
4) once this is clear, delete the Linux partitions; you can use any partitioning program you like, for example XP's partitioning program if it "sees" the partitions occupied by Linux - just delete them
5) now that you have only XP partition(s) and free space, extend an XP partition to fill the unused space, so it's not wasted

That's the way. If XP's partitioning program causes trouble, you can easily use any Linux live-cd (like Ubuntu Desktop, Knoppix, ...) that contains a partitioning tool (like GParted) and handle this all with that. The hardest part is to get Windows' bootloader back to MBR, after that it's just re-using the space that was reserved for Linux.

Note that you should deal with MBR first. If you remove the Linux partitions first, the bootloader (Grub) won't work after that anyway, so it's all the same to overwrite it in the first place. Once that's finished, the partitions are easy to deal with. You will need the XP setup disc to do this the easy way, so if you don't have one...well you should, if you have a legal copy of XP. The older bootdisks (win98 for example) are said to work with the bootloader, but I wouldn't really count on it - XP has some new things in it.

In a bad case - like the one where I found that it didn't want to install XP's bootloader back anymore - you could basically reserve a small boot partition (/boot, size around some to some dozen megabytes, depending on how you like it), then install Linux bootloader onto that and make it automatically boot Windows with zero seconds wait time in the menu. That would look like ordinary Windows booting, except that you had some megabytes reserved from your harddisk (for the bootloader's on-partition config files etc.) - but that means you'll need to have a separate /boot if you still don't. Well, it's an "emergency solution" anyway, and you don't need it as long as you have a working Windows setup disc. In any case you could just reinstall Windows formatting your whole harddisk.

You of course have backups made of your important data prior to doing anything else, don't you?
 
Old 02-25-2008, 04:23 AM   #4
Takla
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If you don't have a Windows CD you can instead do the same thing using SuperGrubDisk which is free open source and also a very tiny download. You'll need a blank CD or CDRW and a burner.
 
Old 02-25-2008, 04:44 AM   #5
b0uncer
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First time I hear about that..sounds interesting, if it does what I think it does. But if it can restore Windows' bootloader to MBR ("fix boot of Windows"), does it then break law in some way, if it contains Microsoft code (their bootloader)? Or does it perhaps use some other, user-transparent way?
 
Old 02-25-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
brjoon1021
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Thanks for your help.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 05:40 AM   #7
Takla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0uncer View Post
First time I hear about that..sounds interesting, if it does what I think it does. But if it can restore Windows' bootloader to MBR ("fix boot of Windows"), does it then break law in some way, if it contains Microsoft code (their bootloader)? Or does it perhaps use some other, user-transparent way?
If you have reason to believe that restoring the original Windows MBR using something other than an original Windows CD is unethical or illegal there's no need to do it. Instead you can use supergrubdisk to install syslinux bootloader configured to boot Windows by default.
 
  


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