Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

(temporarily) uninstalling Linux

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
July 30, 2006 6:12:05 PM

Apparently I need to whipe Linux off my hard drive before I can install Windows XP. I can't believe it, but I don't know how to format this hard drive!

Here's what I did:
I made a DOS boot disk (floppy).
I booted to it and typed the command "format C: /s" and it said C: is an invalid directory! :^(

So I got these instructions from Microsoft and tried that. Their instructions are weird, because the Fdisk utility actually works nothing like they describe (you always enter numbers to make the program respond, pressing "p" or any other letter that the guide says will actually do nothing at all).

But I still used the fdisk utility to delete both partitions it recognized on my disk (it said it deleted them). Then I rebooted my computer, and Linux started up as usual. Nothing had changed.

So how do I uninstall Linux?
July 30, 2006 7:37:51 PM

I formatted the hard drive using the Fedora Core 5 install disc then hit Ctrl+Alt+Del as soon as it started installing files. But I still can't install Windows and when I boot to my hard drive, something called Grub opens.

So now I guess I need to know how to COMPLETELY uninstall Linux.
a b 5 Linux
July 30, 2006 9:44:28 PM

Sorry to see you go for a while. BTW, it is completely possible to run both Windows and Linux at the same time, but perhaps it should wait for later.

Failsafe way to format a disk:

Boot up a livecd

Once booted, either become root (sudo passwd, enter a password, repeat it, su, enter password) or append a sudo to each of the following commands.

Once root, do a fdisk -l to see which one looks like your target disk (right size, right partitioning scheme). In this example, we'll use /dev/hda (could be hdX or sdX, X being a,b,...)

Once you've found the target disk, begin filling it with zeros using dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/hda, but use the device found in the previous step instead of hda

This will take a long time. Go do something else. Note that it will appear to just sit there but it's hard at work.

When complete, reboot and install Windows.

When installing Windows, don't use up the entire disk as an NTFS partition, leave a few gigs open (at least 5, preferably half of the disk) so as to allow for future dual-booting.

Once Windows is installed, if you want further assistance to install a dual-boot system, stop on back and we'll be more than happy to help.
Related resources
July 30, 2006 10:35:18 PM

Thank you very much for the help. I think I can follow your directions to solve my problem, except for the very first part.

"Boot from a livecd." Would this be the FC5 Rescue disc? And if it is, how do I get to the place where I can begin entering the commands you told me?

And I will be re-installing Linux after I have XP installed with a VMWare server running. I still appreciate Linux and I want to be more proficient with it, but I'm still a Windows-kinda guy. :^)

Thanks again for your time!
a b 5 Linux
July 31, 2006 1:51:16 AM


Or use ISORecorder:

You do not have to do the dd to zero out the entire disk

You can just dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=10

then run fdisk /dev/sda

n # new partition
p # primary
1 # parition 1

1 # first cylinder
+100G # size of the partition ( 100GB )

t # set partition type
1 # partition 1
7 # set type to 7 = HPFS / NTFS

n # new partition
p # primary
2 # partition #2

enter # hit enter
+4096M # 4096M SWAP
t # type
2 # partition #2
82 # partition type 82 linux SWAP

n # new
p # primary
3 # partition #3

enter # hit enter to start at the correct cylinder
enter # hit enter to end at the last cylinder
t # type
3 # part #3
83 # type 83 Linux Native ext2/3

w # write the partition table to disk and exit

Install XP /dev/sda1

then install Linux /dev/sda3

GL :-D
July 31, 2006 11:38:21 PM

Thanks again you two, I got it.

I'll let you guys know when I need some more help. And I'm sure that time will come soon! :^)

Keep up the good work. ;^)
a b 5 Linux
August 2, 2006 12:56:04 PM

Thanks again you two, I got it.

I'll let you guys know when I need some more help. And I'm sure that time will come soon! :^)

Keep up the good work. ;^)

Cool, let us know.