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Trying to format Ubuntu for Windows XP

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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May 25, 2012 8:30:13 PM

First of all, I cannot overrite the Ubuntu OS with a bootable Windows XP OS disc (extracted .ISO files). i was also unable to format the drive from inside of UBUNTU; i do not have an authentication code. Now, trying to format using cables to my PC: IDE to USB with molex power connected to electricity (cables to go); can't get the drive to be recognized. The drive is still in the PC but the cables are disconnected from the HDD to the motherboard. i am going to remove the HDD from the PC all together, then try to connect it to my PC to format it (IDE to USB with cables). this has worked before, but it is not happening today. Is there any way i can overrite Ubuntu with Windows XP or at least format the HDD without taking it out of the PC to format it through my desktop? if it will show up under Disk Management or on the PC at all.

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May 26, 2012 1:04:59 AM

The drive is now formatted; i was able to get it to read on my desktop. Had to turn on the power as i plugged in the IDE/USB cable. i have a Windows XP setup disc. i was getting an error message: file system not found - grub error> (with prompt). i figured it was a Linux thing (which i know NOTHING about). So, since the BIOS wouldn't read the XP disc, i tried a W2K disc and it read that one fine! i have two XP discs but neither one will load on bootup and it won't install from inside of W2K! i Need to get XP on this PC. Someone HELP!!! Please.
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May 26, 2012 5:03:57 AM

the reason you are getting the grub error is because you formatted the disc and there is no operating system. the computer is still booting from the hard disk first which engages the boot loader on the master boot record of the hard disk. You must set your computer to boot from the windows installation disc in the bios or via one of the F-keys to change the boot sequence if your computer supports that option.
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May 26, 2012 8:58:56 PM

But he can boot from a Win2k disc without issue???

Let me get this clear. You can boot from a Win2K CD and you can get the install screen to load OK?

When you try to boot from either of the XP discs you have it gives the grub error?
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May 26, 2012 9:37:30 PM

No. the grub error came before i was able to install the W2K; since i know nothing about Linux - other than Ubuntu is one of the OSs, i had no idea what that was. you all have helped me to understand that now. at This point, neither of the XP discs will work; they are not OEM, they are .ISO extractions. i've reviewed the discs; the setup files are there (.exe, .msi, etc); the I386 folder is there but i haven't been able to install from it. Just found an OEM XP Home disc; it may work. then hopefully i can upgrade using the XP Pro disc. will let you all know. thanks for the help with ubuntu; that's gone now.
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May 26, 2012 11:29:43 PM

as you may have already found out, you cannot extract the files from an .iso and record them to a cd. you must burn the image to the disc.
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May 27, 2012 12:48:02 AM

i did, then extracted THOSE files to the DVD. can i boot from an .ISO image - or maybe i should ask - SHOULD i boot from the .ISO image? i think i can download it again. These are OSs from MSDN Student Alliance/Digital River. All legit with keys, etc. i guess i'm just having problems downloading them properly... none of them worked. i had to use an old XP CD for a new Dell install - originally on a client's laptop that someone stole from him. i've been WAITING to cancel out the thief's OS!
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May 27, 2012 5:32:04 AM

if you want to be able to boot off the image you downloaded then you must record the image to a disc. if you simply record the file to a disc then you will have a cd that contains an iso file which is not helpful. Once you record the iso image onto a disc then the contents of the disc will be exactly how the original one was with all the boot files and directories etc.
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May 27, 2012 7:00:05 AM

Then that is what i did. Now that you put it like that, i remember. i followed the directions on the MSDN (Microsoft Student) site to burn the image to a disc. i have XP and Windows 7 OSs, created that way. i believe i've tried to use them before and was successful with a laptop awhile back. it has been eons since i actually extracted an .ISO file; that was done on my AMD at the office. Anyway, that OEM XP Pro disc for a new Dell worked fine. i saved all of her Ubuntu files, but she'll have to get one of the experts at the college to take care of those for her. My friend wanted a Windows environment, so that is what she has now. i have no idea why those other XP discs wouldn't boot her system. Something must be missing. i Hope i saved the .ISOs; i should have them on a disc somewhere. i've much software to download yet, so hopefully i will get it right this time. Thanks for your help.
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