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Old 11-21-2016, 05:58 AM   #1
scottinsydney
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Uninstalling Linux


I've got a Lenovo X1 Yoga with a high res OLED screen.

I installed a distro (Centos 7) that I don't like - it's not scaling well to the screen, and it's not recognizing the Wifi card.

I suspect the installer installs GRUB to the Windows boot partition, with a pointer to the distro's /boot partition. But that's just a guess.

What steps do I need to take to uninstall the Linux distro? I deleted the Linux partitions but that didn't do it. Essentially I want to convert it from dual-boot back to single boot.

I'll then install another distro.

Even if the installer of the new distro will fix the issue, I'm still interested in knowing how to uninstall Linux (while keeping the Windows installation intact).
 
Old 11-21-2016, 06:15 AM   #2
Turbocapitalist
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You can just install a new distro over the old one. The old one will be erased as part of the process.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 06:18 AM   #3
syg00
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Should be as simple as setting the default entry in the UEFI boot list to Windoze.

But given their history I wouldn't even attempt to guess what Lenovo get up to in their firmware configuration.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 06:33 AM   #4
pan64
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or probably you can use the windows recovery cd to restore the "original" bootloader.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 07:01 AM   #5
malekmustaq
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Quote:
Even if the installer of the new distro will fix the issue, I'm still interested in knowing how to uninstall Linux...
First thing, you must know which partition your linux is. Use a liveCD or liveRepairCD whatever you have, boot it, erase or reformat the linux partition. That is all. If you are concerned on the Grub entry that's not a problem you can control the default from Grub itself.
Quote:
(while keeping the Windows installation intact).
You can do this if you have backed up the UEFI partition, you only need to restore the backup and the windoz will boot.

The answer could have been more useful and effective if enough information was given about partition situation, the boot sector or UEFI entries, and what has been tried or done, posting as well the intermediate result.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

m.m.
 
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:08 AM   #6
masinick
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How to change installations and manage the boot loader

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottinsydney View Post
I suspect the installer installs GRUB to the Windows boot partition, with a pointer to the distro's /boot partition. But that's just a guess.
If you want Windows, at any point, to control the boot loader, then either login to Windows FIRST and run the Windows boot loader program or use the Windows recovery disk to get the boot loader back. If you don't have a Windows recovery disk, it may be a good idea to create one at some point in this process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottinsydney View Post
What steps do I need to take to uninstall the Linux distro? I deleted the Linux partitions but that didn't do it. Essentially I want to convert it from dual-boot back to single boot.

I'll then install another distro.
IF that's your immediate plan, then install another distribution and put it in charge of managing the boot loader, and install it right over the previous system. It's still a good idea to have a Windows recovery disk (and backup) if you have any intention whatsoever of using Windows. That way, no matter what you do or don't do, you'll have a way to get back to it. I'd also back up any and all systems that you care about, Windows or Linux, though ones you intend to remove and never reuse are not part of this process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottinsydney View Post
Even if the installer of the new distro will fix the issue, I'm still interested in knowing how to uninstall Linux (while keeping the Windows installation intact).
These references ought to be helpful if you want to read and learn more.

References: How to fix Windows 10 boot loader from Windows

Adding boot entries

How to manually edit the Boot.ini file in a Windows Server 2003 environment

Extensive Wikipedia booting reference

GRUB 2 boot loader with updates and explanations
 
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:28 AM   #7
yancek
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Quote:
I suspect the installer installs GRUB to the Windows boot partition, with a pointer to the distro's /boot partition. But that's just a guess.
Bad guess. If you did that, it would be unlikely you could boot windows. The Linux bootloader would install some code to the master boot record on an older system and on a newer system with EFI, it would install a separate EFI file in the EFI partition which would usually allow you to boot both systems.

CentOS is a Linux operating system and not a program or application so you don't uninstall it. As pointed out above, you simply format the partition(s) on which it was installed. You can do this before or during an installation of another Linux.

Quote:
Even if the installer of the new distro will fix the issue
Which issue, the screen scaling or wifi? You can download and put pretty much any Linux on a flash drive or DVD to test it before installing.
What happens now when you boot? Can you boot windows? Which release of windows do you have? UEFI or MBR?
 
Old 11-21-2016, 08:35 AM   #8
BW-userx
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If you are giving up on Linux , Like some said, you'll need to repair your BOOT and MBR for windows first. OR just use supergrub2 to keep booting into your windows until such time you can deal with that issue. Leaving your MBR alone. I have not actually done it to that point. I've always had a means to repair my MBR. But in theory that should work too.

Then using Windows Disk management to regain your space you used for Linux. You can delete it, and or format to the same format that your windows already is. Then expand your drive to regain that space. Skip giving it a letter because you're giving it back to Windows on the letter is already is.

Else

Just install another distro of Linux over top of the old distro. Having that Distro install format that partition before installing onto it. Else you'll be installing over top of it, ending up with two separate Linux systems within the same directory scheme.

Last edited by BW-userx; 11-21-2016 at 08:50 AM.
 
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:23 PM   #9
suicidaleggroll
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You don't "uninstall" Linux or any other OS, you simply overwrite it with something else. If you want Windows to take over the job of booting, you should be able to boot the Windows recovery disk and have it repair the installation. If you want to delete the Linux partition and merge that space back into your Windows partition, you can do that from within Windows, but it would be a gigantic waste of time if you plan on just re-partitioning and installing a new Linux distro back in that space.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
scottinsydney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW-userx View Post
If you are giving up on Linux , Like some said, you'll need to repair your BOOT and MBR for windows first. OR just use supergrub2 to keep booting into your windows until such time you can deal with that issue. Leaving your MBR alone. I have not actually done it to that point. I've always had a means to repair my MBR. But in theory that should work too.
Thanks all for the replies. Much appreciated.

First of all, I LOVE Linux! Not giving up on it at all. My ultimate aim is to wipe Windows completely, and run it from a VM in Linux (KVM) when and if required. But for now, I'm being conservative and dual-booting. I've installed Linux numerous times in VirtualBox and Parallels, but this is my first install on "bare metal".

My goal is a stable KVM host and numerous VMs within that.

I didn't want to bog down the forum with the gory details in my original post, but here goes...

The machine came with: (1TB SSD):

#, Partition, Capacity, File System, Type, Status

Partition 1: *:SYSTEM, 260MB, FAT32, GPT (EFI System Partition), Active & Boot
Partition 2: *,16MB, Other, GPT (Reserved Partition), None
Partition 3: C:WINDOWS, ~900GB, NTFS, GPT (Data Partition), System
Partition 4: *:WinRE_Drv, 1000MB, NTFS, GPT (Recovery Partition), None

Windows braindead Disk Manager wouldn't let me shrink the Windows partition, so I used MiniTool Partition Wizard to shrink the Windows partition to 200GB.

I then created a 400GB NTFS Data partition to share data between Linux and Windows, and an ~350GB EXT4 partition in which to install Linux. So, that partition within Linux is #5. The partitions were obvious within the Linux installer due to size and existing file system.

My first install was Centos 7. It didn't want to install into the existing EXT4 partition, and the installer crashed a few times with a bug. Once I deleted the Linux partition via MiniTool (so it was unallocated), Centos installed. However, the scaling was horrible, and the network manager didn't recognize my wifi card (the wifi tab was grayed out).

I next installed Fedora 24 Workstation over Centos 7. That was much better, but not sure if that's what I want as my KVM host. I want something *stable* with LTS.

I deleted the partition using MiniTool. I now want to install Arch (and I have to think whether that's what I want as my KVM host, but that's another issue).

My machine right now has these issues:

* GRUB still displays on boot. Obviously the Fedora choice(s) don't work, but I can still select Windows from GRUB.
* The key press during POST to select the bootloader (a subset of the BIOS configuration) is F12. When I do that, I have the choices: Centos, Fedora, (external USB drive or stick), Windows Boot Loader, (hard disk device), PCI.

I'd like to get rid of GRUB and the F12 bootloader choices. In essence, restore the machine to single boot, as much as an academic exercise as anything (but definitely reinstalling Linux, and wanting to make it my primary o/s).

I should have been more patient and done a disk image before doing this. I guess we learn from our mistakes. But perhaps the Windows recovery partition is sufficient for that?

(Sorry for all the Windows related stuff in here :-/ I'm looking forward to Linux as my primary o/s. But work requires occasional access to Windows.)
 
Old 11-21-2016, 04:19 PM   #11
scottinsydney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Bad guess. If you did that, it would be unlikely you could boot windows. The Linux bootloader would install some code to the master boot record on an older system and on a newer system with EFI, it would install a separate EFI file in the EFI partition which would usually allow you to boot both systems.
That was my guess since I see GRUB when I boot the machine, with <Linux>, <Linux Rescue>, and <Windows> choices. I assumed GRUB installed to the UEFI system partition, then the Linux choices pointed to the /boot partition on the Linux partition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
CentOS is a Linux operating system and not a program or application so you don't uninstall it. As pointed out above, you simply format the partition(s) on which it was installed. You can do this before or during an installation of another Linux.
Thanks, bad terminology on my part. I want to manually restore my machine to where it was before. Per my other reply, I should have imaged the disk before doing this. My bad, I won't make that mistake again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Which issue, the screen scaling or wifi? You can download and put pretty much any Linux on a flash drive or DVD to test it before installing.
What happens now when you boot? Can you boot windows? Which release of windows do you have? UEFI or MBR?
See my other reply. GRUB is displaying, the Linux choices are broken (which is fine for now), and Windows is still booting fine. Windows 10, UEFI, with Secure Boot turned off in the BIOS.

Perhaps a summary of my issue is, I want to delete GRUB from wherever it installed. Hopefully that will remove the defunct entries in the F12 bios bootloader choices.

I'm happy to also restore from the recovery partition if that will fix the GRUB issue. There's nothing in Windows that I can't quickly reconfigure, it's still pretty stock, out-of-the-box.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 04:33 PM   #12
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottinsydney View Post
I want to delete GRUB from wherever it installed. Hopefully that will remove the defunct entries in the F12 bios bootloader choices.
That will likely cause more problems - the firmware will still go looking for the default entry is has marked in the NVRAM. Should percolate to the next entry in the list, but each manufacturer does it differently.

You should be able to reset the default entry from the hardware boot screen - if not Windows recovery should give you the option to just "fix the boot" (may mention MBR I can't remember - but for UEFI it's not a MBR problem).
Any Linux liveCD will allow you to use efibootmgr to clean this up - including setting the Windows entry as boot - fastest, cleanest, best solution.
 
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