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Old 07-20-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
learstar
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I want to change from a dual boot system to a single boot system


I just recently installed ubuntu 9.10 in my upstairs computer. It is a single boot system.

Downstairs I have a dual boot system. I have windows vista and ubuntu 9.10 installed. It worked fine.

I wanted to make this a single boot system and uninstall ubuntu 9.10. I cannot get rid of the grub bootloader.

How do I do this?


Thanks, learstar
 
Old 07-20-2010, 02:11 PM   #2
falmdavis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by learstar View Post
I cannot get rid of the grub bootloader.
You can still use the grub bootloader for a single boot system. You would edit the menu.lst file to only have the one system to boot from, and then you would select what other boot options you want for it.

You can post your menu.lst file here, and LQ members can help you to edit it. Note that you can also remove Vista and reuse that space.

Code:
mv /windows/vista /trash
empty_trash
http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html

This is the GRUB manual that you can read as well to help you to edit the menu.lst file. It should be located in /boot/grub/menu.lst or a similar location.
 
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
yancek
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Use your Ubuntu Live CD (or any Linux CD), open a terminal and use the command: sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=446 count=1

You should be prompted for your user password.
If you don't use Ubuntu Live CD, just log in as root with su - and enter the command without the sudo.

This will work if you have one hard drive (sda). You didn't post enough detail about your drives/partitions so there is no way for use to know if this is actually your situation?
 
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:34 PM   #4
diamondsandrain
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You could boot from the Vista install cd. There is an option on there to repair the bootloader.

Also, if Vista is still bootable (sounds like it is) then you could install EasyBCD on Vista (free tool) and overwrite the bootloader that way.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Use your Ubuntu Live CD (or any Linux CD), open a terminal and use the command: sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=446 count=1
Are you posting that out of malice or ignorance or what?

Please do not give instructions like that to people who wouldn't know what that means nor how destructive it might be.

It is almost certainly not a constructive step for the OP and very likely a destructive step: would then make Vista unbootable during the repair of the Windows MBR, when using Vista could have been the easiest way to repair the MBR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by learstar View Post
I wanted to make this a single boot system and uninstall ubuntu 9.10.
First you want to put the Microsoft version of the MBR code back into your MBR. That gets you the single boot Windows system you want.

Only after that is working, you want to destroy the Linux partitions.

I don't know the details of either step, but for the first step the advice you got from diamondsandrain looks right: There is a program and/or menu option from a Windows install CD that will repair the boot code (the MBR), even if you weren't able to boot Windows. There are also programs that you can download and run within a running copy Vista that will repair or replace the MBR as long as you can still boot into Windows, meaning as long as you don't destroy GRUB until you can put in its Windows replacement. On some versions of Windows the program (on the install CD or downloadable) is called fixmbr, so if the advice from diamondsandrain isn't enough, look for fixmbr.

The advice you got from falmdavis is unsound because you then couldn't destroy the Ubuntu partitions without making Windows unbootable. The advice you got from yancek is even worse.

After you verify that the Windows MBR is working (booting goes directly to Windows) you can delete the Linux partitions. I think the disk management software in Vista lets you delete partitions from other OS's but I'm not certain. If that is a problem, you can boot any Linux liveCD (such as the Ubuntu install media) and run the partitioning GUI and delete the non Windows partitions.

Last edited by johnsfine; 07-20-2010 at 04:04 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 03:53 PM   #6
MTK358
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It would have probably deleted Windows, too.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
diamondsandrain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
I don't know the details of either step, but for the first step the advice you got from diamondsandrain looks right: There is a program and/or menu option from a Windows install CD that will repair the boot code (the MBR), even if you weren't able to boot Windows. There are also programs that you can download and run within a running copy Vista that will repair or replace the MBR as long as you can still boot into Windows, meaning as long as you don't destroy GRUB until you can put in its Windows replacement. On some versions of Windows the program (on the install CD or downloadable) is called fixmbr, so if the advice from diamondsandrain isn't enough, look for fixmbr.
I don't know for sure, but I don't think fixmbr is valid anymore. They changed the whole bootup environment in Windows Vista (same applies for 7). Its now something called BCD.

But I have done it that way before though.

I also found this. A visual guide.

http://swanbros.blogspot.com/2009/01...ootloader.html

EDIT: I've also had instances where I've actually had to run this tool more than once. It can fail.

Last edited by diamondsandrain; 07-20-2010 at 05:00 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 04:32 PM   #8
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
It would have probably deleted Windows, too.
I assume you mean the advice from yancek.

I believe that dd command would only have made the hard disk unbootable. Windows and Linux would still both be there. You just couldn't start either without help from CD.

Assuming you were going to use a Windows install CD to fix the MBR, following yancek's instructions before using that Windows CD would do no real harm (but it also would do absolutely no good).

But if you don't have a Windows install CD and/or don't know how to use it for this task, and you also don't know how to use the Ubuntu install media to repair grub, then following yancek's advice could yield quite inconvenient results.

I could follow that bad advice on one of my own computers and I then would know several different ways to undo the damage, none of which would be very hard for me to do in person (might be hard for me to talk someone else through when I can't see it).

If you know enough to understand what that dd command does, it probably isn't very harmful to you. But if you know that much you don't need advice on this topic. If you know little enough to need advice, you know too little for that particular advice to be safe.

Last edited by johnsfine; 07-20-2010 at 04:33 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 04:38 PM   #9
diamondsandrain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
After you verify that the Windows MBR is working (booting goes directly to Windows) you can delete the Linux partitions. I think the disk management software in Vista lets you delete partitions from other OS's but I'm not certain.
Linux partitions would show up in Vista's Disk Management tool (and you could delete them). They would be listed as unknown partitions. As an extra added bonus, you would then be able to (right) click on the vista partition and extend it to use the entire hard drive without the need for partition magic or some other tool of that kind.

EDIT: I'm giving Vista advice on linuxquestions? I feel so dirty.

Last edited by diamondsandrain; 07-20-2010 at 04:47 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
yancek
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The code I suggested will delete the mbr leaving the partition table intact. The command would not have deleted windows or Ubuntu.

I neglected to inform the OP what the command would do, my mistake.

He stated in the original post he was unable to remove Grub. Windows is often unable to repair the mbr when non-windows code is present and removing that code is often necessary. Then installing vista code to mbr will work.

I neglected to ask OP is he had an install disk for windows, my mistake.

Hopefully the OP will have resolved his issue.

Last edited by yancek; 07-20-2010 at 11:32 PM.
 
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:26 AM   #11
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Windows is often unable to repair the mbr when non-windows code is present and removing that code is often necessary.
I don't believe that is correct.

Obviously, I can't demonstrate it is incorrect, because I don't have the Windows source code and because any number of tests (I've done many over a period of years) in which that behavior is not seen is never enough to prove that the behavior wouldn't occur under other conditions.

It is very easy to confuse yourself during Windows OS repair tasks so that when some behavior changes you leap to a wrong conclusion about which (if any) of the actions you took actually triggered the change in behavior. So I would be completely unconvinced by any anecdotal (not reproducible experiments) accounts of the behavior you claim.

Your suggestion would be constructive if the behavior you describe were likely and you had remembered to say that your instructions were only preparation for using the Windows install CD to replace the MBR code.

Quote:
He stated in the original post he was unable to remove Grub.
Newbies are usually confused that way. They think the problem is removing Grub or Linux or something, when really the problem is installing whatever part or all of Windows should replace Grub or Linux.

We are used to software packages within an OS, where we typically need to remove a package before installing a conflicting package. An expert is aware of the situations (including MBR code and OS's themselves) in which that mode of thinking does not apply.
 
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
yancek
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[QUOTE]Windows is often unable to repair the mbr when non-windows code is present and removing that code is often necessary[QUOTE]

This may not be correct. I have seen numerous posts on differernt forums where users claim to have been unable to repair the mbr with xp/vista, etc but it is impossible to know exactly what they have done. My suggestion should be a last resort. Obviously trying the fixmbr for xp, the bootrec /Fixmbr on vista, using SuperGrubDisk or EasyBCD would come first.

You're right, I should have stated this was a first step to repairing the mbr with his install disk. I also intended to post the link for the EasyBCD CD which I see I neglected to do.
 
Old 07-23-2010, 08:34 AM   #13
learstar
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by falmdavis View Post
You can still use the grub bootloader for a single boot system. You would edit the menu.lst file to only have the one system to boot from, and then you would select what other boot options you want for it.

You can post your menu.lst file here, and LQ members can help you to edit it. Note that you can also remove Vista and reuse that space.

Code:
mv /windows/vista /trash
empty_trash
http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html

This is the GRUB manual that you can read as well to help you to edit the menu.lst file. It should be located in /boot/grub/menu.lst or a similar location.
it looks like I have a lot to learn. Thanks for your input. chuck
 
Old 07-29-2010, 10:54 PM   #14
falmdavis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by learstar View Post
Downstairs I have a dual boot system. I have windows vista and ubuntu 9.10 installed. It worked fine.

I wanted to make this a single boot system and uninstall ubuntu 9.10. I cannot get rid of the grub bootloader.
GRUB is one of the main bootloaders for Linux. As this is a Linux forum, I have been assuming that you are going to be using Linux on your other computer that you want to be a single boot system. As such, my advice was right on the money. What you can also do is to backup your data, and then reinstall Linux and use the entire harddrive.

Quote:
Use your Ubuntu Live CD (or any Linux CD), open a terminal and use the command: sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=446 count=1
Yes, that will get rid of GRUB and your MBR that includes your partition table! It does answer the OP's question though. The OP should give better detail in the question to get a better answer! Linux does what you tell it to do. Don't tell it to wipe your MBR!
 
Old 07-31-2010, 08:40 AM   #15
pixellany
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Moved to Linux--Newbie (not a hardware issue)
 
  


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