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Redline 07-24-2011 12:19 PM

Uninstall 8.10 and 10.10
Hi every one. I'm a newbie. I purchased the book "Ubuntu 8.10 bible" and loaded the O/S. Somehow I managed to screw up the program that enabled connection to the net. Everything else works o.k. so I was able to learn a fair bit about Ubuntu. I then acquired 10.10 from a magazine and loaded it. Unfortunately it doesn’t show up in the menu.lst so I can't boot and run it. Rather than mess around I thought the smart move would be to erase both systems and start again. My system is a Dell 1330 laptop running Windows Vista, with 4 gig of memory. I have Acronis Disk Director Running in Vista and I could just erase the volumes of the above Linux systems but, I don't know where the menu.lst file is located that enables booting of the the selected system so if I did kill the Linux partition I could wind up not being able to boot Windows Vista.
Any ideas anyone

alfredo10 07-24-2011 12:40 PM

It depends on:
1. Installed operating systems to keep (Windows!)
2. Which Linux do you want to install?
If you install another Linux you can write the boot loader into the MBR of your (first) hd [during installation of Linux] and after installing Linux and rebooting you can choose between Windows and your new Linux.
The best would be to create partitions with GParted to automatically delete your installed Linux that you don't need furthermore.
If you are able to boot to a Linux desktop, you could open a Terminal / Konsole and run as root:

fdisk -l
- lowercase l like list

parted -l print
and post the output by using the last but one symbol, # [Wrap code tags around selected text] to better read it.

albinard 07-24-2011 01:42 PM

Ubuntu 10.10 uses Grub2, which doesn't have a menu.lst file. What might help is to boot the live CD again and mount the partition you have Ubuntu on. If the partition is number X, you would type in the terminal:


sudo mount /dev/sdaX /mnt
Then install grub to that partition:


sudo grub-install --root -directory=/mnt /dev/sda
Then reboot. With a bit o' luck, you'll find yourself back in Ubuntu 10.10. Then run:


sudo update-grub
Without the bit o' luck, you'll just have to reinstall the Ubuntu, but this time choosing your partitions carefully.

John VV 07-24-2011 04:34 PM

you might also want to install the current version of Ubuntu

10 is a bit old

Redline 07-25-2011 06:53 AM

Uninstall 8.10 and 10.10
Thanks for responding so quickly alfredo10 . I don't seem to have made myself clear.
I want to remove the 2 linux systems 8.10 and 10.10 and keep my windows Vista. All of the aformentiond O/Ss are installed. It will come as no supprise to you when I say I have no idea as a newbie what you mean when you suggest “installing yet another Linux system and writing the boot loader into the Master Boot Record of your (first) hd (during installation of Linux)”. I have as I understand your reply done just that by loading 10.10 but, it didn't show up in the menu at all so I can't run it, which is why I want to get rid of both linux systems. Neather do I have any idea of what “The best would be to create partitions with GParted to automatically delete your installed Linux that you don't need furthermore”. What is “ Gparted” ? and what does it do.
Since writing the last sentence. I have found in my my 8.10 Linux bible on page 1033 paragraph 5.
“This tool (Partition Editor) is not installed by default but can be down loaded”. So, since as I have already stated I can't get on line with 8.10 I am therefore unable to use it. As far as the fdisk -l
command is concerned it can't be used in the form that you have shown it. I have found again from my 8.10 Linux bible that I would have to use it in the following form “sudo fdisk -l” or I would be waisting my time as I would not be able to get to the root directory.
Thank you once again for your attempt to help but all I needed to know was where the menulist was located. If it is indeed in the MBR then erasing the partitions for 8.10 & 10.10 will still enable booting into Vista.

Redline 07-25-2011 07:19 AM

Uninstall 8.10 and 10.10
On reading the submission from albinard I get the impression I can't just kill the Linux partitions as there is an MBR for each partition. Bugger.
I would also like to thank John VV for his suggestion. It might well turn out to be the best way out. That is when I work up the courage to try it. So, thanks for you help so far lads.

alfredo10 07-25-2011 07:49 AM

Hi Redline!
If you only delete/ format your Linux partitions, you can't boot your VISTA.
First you should download PartedMagic, it is more than a Linux operating system, because it has many useful tools:
the first one, pmagic-6.3.iso, burn an image (not copy) and boot from it. It contains GParted, the best free partition editor, which you should use in any case; there you can see your partitions, attach a screenshot and afterwards you will get the help you need.

MBR = MasterBootRecord: there is only one on each hd; if you have VISTA and want to install Ubuntu, then default is, writing the boot loader Grub 1.9 into that MBR - that's oaky, because after installing and rebooting you can choose VISTA or Ubuntu.
But the best is to think about partitioning before installing - that's why I recommend to use PartedMagic/ GParted.

gazj 07-25-2011 12:04 PM

If Vista will not boot, you can reinstall vista's original mbr with these instructions providing you have a xp/vista/7 disk

Redline 07-29-2011 01:28 PM

Uninstall 8.10 and 10.10
1 Attachment(s)
Hi alfredo10 I have downloaded pmagic-6.3.iso, burnt a disc and run it. I have taken a snapshot of the partitions. I havent as yet found out how to attache a file in this forum yet. I'll get back to you when I do.

alfredo10 07-29-2011 04:25 PM

Hi Redline!
Summary of your partitions:
3 primary for your Windows (1 - 3),
1 extended (4) with 5 logical partitions (8, 9, 6, 7, 5).
As you see, the logical partitions are not in the correct order (no big problem);
You have 2 swap partitions (one should be enough, if the size is okay -> later on);
2 unallocated spaces: no problem.
To continue: You have important files on one of the logical partitions?
To see the files:
Boot from PM 6.3 to Desktop; search in the Menu for mount devices or mount gtk, click.
If you want to see the files on partition sda8, mount it; in the other window: search for /media, click and you should see the folders, if the partition and the files are okay - if you want you can copy them (you have an USB stick?).
After having backed up all important data (or if you don't have data to backup), please post it and we will see what to do.
But we should know: You want to install 1 or 2 Linux distris - and which ones?
(There are different boot loaders, that's why we should know that).
Swap size depends on Memory size, please post the output of

And try to find out, if you really need swap (you want to use "suspend to disk"?)
You can compare it with Windows hibernate (where it is a file); in Linux swap usually is a partition, but it is possible to create a swap file.
If all questions are answered, we can start to partion your hd with PM / GParted.

Redline 07-30-2011 08:02 AM

Hi alfredo10

There are no files that have any importance on Sda6,7,8 and 9. as they only contain 8.10 and 10.10 which are to be scrapped.
So unless I have misunderstood there is nothing to forward to you. The swap files were loaded automaticly by the distros in newbie mode.
The only distro I will be loading is 11.4. So at this point I need to find out how to create and load the boot file into Sda3 which contains Vista before I kill Sda6,7,8 and 9.
To all who have tried to help me, thank you for your efforts and time.

alfredo10 07-30-2011 09:05 AM

Hi Redline!
If you install an operating system no one can give you a guarantee, but most times there is no problem, if you prepare partitions (with PM/ GParted).
To be on a safe side, I recommend to download SuperGrubDisk and burn an image; if you have a problem after installing, you can start your Windows or Linux with SGD (and repair Grub).
Important: You can create partitions with PM/ GParted and if you don't "apply" and "undo all operations" nothing will be written on your hd, that means: you can try to prepare your Ubuntu - I suppose - installation, take a screenshot, "undo", ask if it is okay - attaching the screenshot.
So: steps with PM/ GP:
1. Delete - one after another - the logical partitions 7, 6, 9, 8:
you click on a partition an choose partition/ delete; try that (apply or not - as you want).
2. Afterwards you should create at least a partition for root, maybe one for swap and one for home. But first you should know: swap [yes or no?] and sizes of the 2 (or 3) new logical partitions.
Example A without swap: root: 8 GB (8192 MB), home: rest.
Example B root, swap (~ 2 - 4 GB), home.
Swap size depends on your RAM (command "free") - usually at least equal or 1.1 * RAM.
Please don't install Ubuntu using "alongside", because you don't know what happens.
I never trust an automatic installer and always prepare partitions with GP - without a serious problem.

Arcane 07-30-2011 09:40 AM


Originally Posted by John VV (Post 4424090)
{...}10 is a bit old

Not really besides new Ubuntu comes with Unity which people might not enjoy. Support for 10 will be for enough time left.

Redline 08-03-2011 06:00 AM

Hi alfredo10
I have had quite a problem locating SuperGrubDisk. I found an exe program of SGD that runs in the system permanently and gives another menu similar to what I assume SGD gives. I did manage to find a site that allowed me to download an ISO of the program, which was also advertising a load of other software. When I burnt it to a disc it turned out to be in Spanish, and as such was useless.
I would like to thank Arcane for his comment, as it could well be the case. One can only suck it and see. I will not be commenting on this forum for a week as I have spent 2 1/2 days on this and everything is backing up on me.

alfredo10 08-04-2011 10:17 AM

Hi Redline!
Home page:
There are 3 possibilities:
1. Old SGD (for Grub 1, means Grub legacy) - irrelevant, because current Ubuntu comes with Grub2
2. Super Grub2 Disk (~1.44 MB !)
3. Rescatux(~ 303 MB)
I recommend 3.

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