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linuxmom 09-21-2005 11:06 AM

Remove Mandrake Linux (sigh!)
Some time ago, I tried to install Mandrake Linux (I believe it was 9.1) on my laptop. Something went seriously wrong with the install, and I have never ever been able to get it to work in gui mode (KDE, etc.). In fact, it generally hangs shortly after I log in. I think I may have had a corrupted install CD or selected a wrong option somewhere.

I want to remove the botched install, and start again totally fresh.

The laptop is running a dual-boot with Windows Me, which works just fine.

If anyone can give me *totally cookbook instructions* on how to remove the entire Linux partition and have things just boot up in Windows, I would be exceedingly grateful. Again, my goal is to reclaim the partition space for Windows and make sure that Windows comes up when I push the on button. Then I will try again with a new Linux install. (Wish me luck!)

The key words are *totally cookbook* -- I'm a Linux newbie!

Many thanks!

nabeelmoidu 09-21-2005 11:32 AM

When you boot from a linux cd , you will have options to repair your linux installation . You should find somewhere there an option to restore your windows boot loader.
Then get into windows , go to the disk management and just format the partitions you had set for linux or instead just reinstall the new linux version on the current partitions directly

Hope it helps

kuser:) 09-21-2005 11:37 AM

if You want to reset boot loader (erase lilo/grub boot loader), You should create start disk in Win ME, run computer using it and in DOS use:

mbr /fix

john2 09-21-2005 11:39 AM

Or just do a fresh Linux install. When you get to partitioning, tell the installer to format the non-Windows partitions (or delete them and create new ones). The actual way you do this varies from distro to distro, but most are pretty obvious.

titanium_geek 09-21-2005 11:52 AM

STEP 1) BACK UP EVERYTHING!!!! yes I mean it! all your files, on a cd, somewhere safe.

2) think about it. Do you want windows to have all the space and repatition, or just reuse the existing partition?

after doing those and responding to step 2, post back and I'll continue (sorry- gotta go... grr. more time later)


linuxmom 09-21-2005 02:52 PM

Well, titanium_geek, if I were to do a fresh install, and the installer actually offered to delete the old Linux partition (as suggested by John2), I could live with that.

My fear is that there was something wrong with the old partition...not enough space, something corrupted, I don't know what.

I am guessing that I would be safest restoring the computer to Windows-only, and then starting a fresh install.

Please note, I am indeed, planning a fresh install, so I don't really care how I achieve it. I just don't want to lose the disk used by the existing partition.

I don't remember for sure, but I think I have 10Gb, of which I think I allocated 3.5Gb to Linux.

witiwap 09-21-2005 03:19 PM

No Worries
I am a hardware tech with almost no Linux expirience, but I've done a bit of screwing around with installing linux. When you are re-installing your distro it will give you the option to re-format your drive, choose this, but be careful not to wipe your Windows Me. The boot loader/MBR is basically a shortcut that will be overwritten when you install the distro again, so there isn't a reason to set it back to windows before you re-install the mandrake. As long as you reformat when installing, nothing from the old install can affect the new install. Basically, just do what you did the first time, but you might want to be careful about dependencies (ie just install the default package.) Have fun. :)

titanium_geek 09-21-2005 07:48 PM


Step 3: make sure you have ALL the necesary disks on hand- driver disks for windows, cds, everything. This is collecting ingredients, so if there is any configurations you need to remeber, write them down. you also need a knoppix cd.

Step 4: put a knoppix cd in the drive. any recentish version will do (3.6 on) if you can't manage the DVD.
4.1)turn off the computer, turn it on again. make sure that the bios is set to boot from the CD before the harddrive.
4.2)when you put the CD in, you will get a commandline type thing. if you just hit enter now, it will boot knoppix. (also after a time out will boot knoppix) Now, this is cool, but before it does this, type knoppix 2 [ enter ]

step 5) ok, so now you are at a commandline type thing. don't panic! we only need to do one thing, nothing complicated.
5.1) type cfdisk /dev/hda this is telling it to start cfdisk (a partitioning program) and telling cfdisk to look at your first harddrive (in your case, only)
5.2) now we are going to go into a cfdisk howto- move on to step 6.

Step 6) CFDISK (it's really not that bad)
at the top of the screen is a list of partitions with some info about the partition. below this is a menu. to change which partition is selected, use the up/down arrow keys. To change the selection of what you want on the menu, use the left-right arrow keys.

I can't check this out right now for specific instructions, it's fairly easy to work out.

6.1) the best way would be to delete both partitions and make new partitions. the windows ME one should be Fat 32 (right?) and the linux ones should probably be ext3.

umm.. are you still with me?


witiwap 09-21-2005 10:27 PM

not sure
I don't think she wants to wipe the Windows, but I could be wrong.

john2 09-22-2005 04:08 AM


I don't remember for sure, but I think I have 10Gb, of which I think I allocated 3.5Gb to Linux.
3.5GB is a bit on the low side, but should be enough as long as you don't try to install too much. Most distros tell you how much space the packages you select need. Try a fairly minimal install - you can always add more later, and only create a swap partition (twice your memory) and a root partition.

titanium_geek 09-23-2005 09:40 AM

ok- if you are concerned about the partition quality, then you need to start over. it also depends on the age of the hardware- do you want a swap partition or not? Do you want to give more to linux?

don't worry- this is possible... it just takes a little effort in the head department.


linuxmom 09-29-2005 04:53 PM

Thanks, folks for all your suggestions!

I've not been tracking this for a little while...I thought I'd try the re-partitioning via a new install, but I discovered that the CD on my laptop doesn't work :-(

I'm investigating other installation options, but they seem to be rather complex.

I thought I'd try debian this time, but the documentation really seems a bit intimidating.

Maybe I'll just get an external CD drive :-)

titanium_geek 09-29-2005 08:44 PM

external cd's are fairly cheap- repartitioning via new install is good- though this has been known to fail (probably my fault though *blush*)

let us know how it turns out. Debian is cool- but it is tough to get your head around.


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