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Old 10-31-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
wilbyforce
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Remove Dual Boot


Linux newbie here.

I have an old-ish laptop with XP Pro on it plus Ubuntu 9.4.

I want to ditch XP completely and use the disk space it will yield and add it to my Linux partition. I have Acronis Disk Director so I can manipulate the partitions, but my question is how?

If I delete the primary partition I will lose Grub (won't I?). I could wipe the HDD and start from scratch but then I would lose personal settings and stuff.

Can anyone suggest a method of doing this? Is it just a question of backing up user folders to a CD, doing a clean install and then reinstating the backed up folders?

Told you I was a newbie

Thanks very much
 
Old 10-31-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
abi0909
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You can use GParted bootable disk to format the partition where you have loaded the XP and then add that space to the Ubuntu partition. This is what GParted is meant to be used for. Also I say GParted because it work best for this purpose.

For your question about losing the GRUB, it cannot be answered with the information you have provided. Please provide in information about your partition layout and then we could go from there.

Cheers !!!
 
Old 10-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
Mario Blunk
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Hi Wilbeforce !

I assume you have only one harddisk in your box. One primary parition is for XP, one for Ubuntu, probably one for swap.

If you delete the (primary ?) partition where XP resides, the boot loader will not get lost. The boot loader menu will still be there but if you select XP for boot there the loader will run into void and output an error message.

From the running linux system you should be able to reconfigure the bootloader menu.

Hopefully this reply is still helpful.

cheers, Mario
 
Old 10-31-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
wilbyforce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abi0909 View Post
For your question about losing the GRUB, it cannot be answered with the information you have provided. Please provide in information about your partition layout and then we could go from there.
Many thanks for such a fast response

I'm not sure what else I can tell you but here goes. XP was loaded onto the laptop first. I then used Acronis Disk Director to take some of the space from the XP C drive to use as the Linux partition.

I then used a Ubuntu live CD to format the new partition and to install Ubuntu. Is that enough info?

I'm afraid I also need to ask you where to look for the GParted bootable CD - is it on my Ubuntu live CD?

Thanks for you patience
 
Old 10-31-2009, 01:33 PM   #5
abi0909
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http://sourceforge.net/projects/gpar...d-live-stable/

Go in here and download the gparted-live-0.4.6-1.iso under 0.4.6-1 . Download the ISO image on to your computer and burn this ISO image on to a CD AS AN IMAGE NOT AS A DATA (people do this mistake in common ).

This will be a bootable CD. So put this into your CD Drive and reboot your computer. It should reboot into the CD or choose to boot from CD/DVD from your BIOS boot options.

Then you can format and delete the XP partition and then ass the freed up space to UBUNTU partition.

About the GRUB, form what you have mentioned, if you did not choose any other option than as specified the Ubuntu installer, you should not be loosing your grub because Ubuntu bu default loads the grub into the partition you have Ubuntu and hence deleting the XP partition should not be causing you an issue (I assume).

Try this and let me know how it goes.
 
Old 10-31-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
yancek
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Based on your first post, I am assuming you are using the Grub bootloader in Ubuntu to boot Ubuntu and xp, is that correct? If you are, then there should be no problem just deleting, formatting to create a new filesystem on that partition. If you are booting with Grub, its stage1 file is in the master boot record and the remaining files are on the Ubuntu partition. The master boot record is outside the partitions and would not be affected. If you are not booting both system with Ubuntu Grub, ignore this.
 
Old 10-31-2009, 03:55 PM   #7
wilbyforce
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Thanks to everyone for replying, it never ceases to amaze me how generous the Linux community is.

I tried using GParted and Acronis DD to free up space from my ex-XP partition without success so I bit the bullet and wiped the HDD. Am installing a new Ubuntu now.

A bit defeatist, I know, but I was getting a bit frustrated with it and it would have been a "nice to have" but the frustration was not worth the small amout of lost data.

Thanks again everyone
 
Old 10-31-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
jamwaffles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbyforce View Post

I'm afraid I also need to ask you where to look for the GParted bootable CD - is it on my Ubuntu live CD?
you are EXACTLY right. Boot up your ubuntu live disc, and go to System > Administration > Gparted

James
 
Old 10-31-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
cantab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbyforce View Post
I want to ditch XP completely and use the disk space it will yield and add it to my Linux partition. I have Acronis Disk Director so I can manipulate the partitions, but my question is how?
That probably wouldn't have been possible. The chances are your Windows partition was 'first', then your Linux. You can't normally enlarge partitions into space before their start, only after their end.

The best thing you could have done might have been the following:

Delete Windows partition.
Make new Linux partition in the freed space.
Copy files from old Linux partition onto new Linux partition. Use something like
Code:
cp -a /media/oldpartition /media/newpartition
as root from a liveCD.
Edit etc/fstab and boot/grub/menu.lst on the new partition to reflect the change.
Attempt to boot into the new Linux partition. If successful, proceed. If not, figure out why not.
Delete the old Linux partition.
Extend the new Linux partition into the space formerly occupied by the old.
Ta-da!

It sounds involved, but it's not actually that hard. That said, I screwed it up once before. (Copy went wrong so I meant to delete it, but accidentally deleted the original!)

You can use a similar approach to move a Linux installation onto a new drive, and even transfer an install to a new computer (though in that case there'll be other config files to fix).
 
Old 11-01-2009, 04:50 AM   #10
wilbyforce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantab View Post
That probably wouldn't have been possible. The chances are your Windows partition was 'first', then your Linux. You can't normally enlarge partitions into space before their start, only after their end.
Yeh I think that finally dawned on me

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantab View Post
The best thing you could have done might have been the following:
I'll certainly find that useful at some stage I'm sure, thanks very much for posting it. In the end (and before I saw your post) I wiped the HDD and started again. I was then able to upgrade to the 9.10 distro and here I am!

Thanks again for your reply and to all of the people who generously responded, you guys are the best

Last edited by wilbyforce; 11-01-2009 at 04:52 AM.
 
Old 11-01-2009, 05:17 AM   #11
jamwaffles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbyforce View Post

A bit defeatist, I know, but I was getting a bit frustrated with it and it would have been a "nice to have" but the frustration was not worth the small amout of lost data.
I'm also a defeatist :P

Thing is though, a fresh install instead of an upgrade is better; it clears out your old gunk, in terms of system files, but any custom configs can be a pain to get working again.

James
 
Old 11-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #12
rich_c
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I've got a Windows partition I'll probably want to re-use in the near future. WhatI'll do is reformat the partition as ext3 and use it to keep shared files in, mounted as /shared or something...
 
Old 11-02-2009, 01:37 PM   #13
jamwaffles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich_c View Post
I've got a Windows partition I'll probably want to re-use in the near future. WhatI'll do is reformat the partition as ext3 and use it to keep shared files in, mounted as /shared or something...
If you could use ext4 it would be a LOT faster, and futureproofed, but older OSes dont support it.

Although ext4 is backwards compatible with ext3, and will be mounted as the latter on unsupporting systems

Just a heads up

James
 
Old 11-03-2009, 02:33 AM   #14
rich_c
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I'm not sure what support ext4 has in Mepis at the moment. With Mepis 8.5(?) about to become available for testing soonish, I'd imagine it will be supported in the next version. So, I'll bear it in mind. Thanks.
 
  


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