Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Remove Linux from Windows Dual-Boot

This is not my usual post but for those who want to work in the digital world, you must know how to repair your computer ...and there are so many things that can go wrong.

I know I am not alone in setting up a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux who have later decided to remove the Linux partition, then being faced with a corrupted Master Boot Record (MBR).  I can tell this by all of the posts requesting help and the wide range of ways to fix the now "bricked" PC.

In the past I have just re-imaged and reinstalled my apps.  Since I build my systems I always have the necessary install disks, drivers, etc for each of my systems.  The only thing I don't have a lot of is time.  I would like to say that I came up with the fix but I have to give credit where credit is due and a hearty thank you. The fix comes from Robin  There are instructions for removing Linux from a duel boot system that is running Vista or Windows 7.

I had installed Windows 7 and Ubuntu, tried to replace all my apps within a Linux environment and found that it was not possible at this point.  Linux is a great alternative to Windows with the exception of Video Editing and Painting / Imaging applications.  These are the two areas where Linux lacks.  For day to day tasks, email, office apps and even Home Theater PCs, Linux is great and I would recommend it.  But it is still a Windows world and there are more apps that are written for Windows than any other platform.

Now with my Linux / Open-Source plug, the steps for removing Ubuntu that I followed, which does differ from Robin's method was:
NOTE:  You will need to have the Windows 7 installation disk to make this work.  Any copy of the disk will work since you will not be installing Windows 7 from this disk.
1 - Using Windows 7 built-in "Disk Management" utility (go to Start>Control Panel> Computer Management>Disk Manager), delete the two Linux partitions only (one being the "swap" drive) and then merge them with the "C" drive by Extending the C drive to encompass the unused disk.
2 - Restart your PC and you will find that it will not boot up ...don't panic. Change the boot order to read from "CD drive 1st.  This is done by entering your bios which is specific to your manufacture, but is normally done by tapping the F8 key or Delete key while the PC is first booting up. Thespecific key or combinations of keys can be searched online as with most computer related issues and errors.
3 - Once you boot from the Windows 7 disk, Choose "Repair" then the choose the "Command Prompt" option and enter "bootrec.exe /fixmbr" and press Enter or Y for yesSelect "Restart" and your PC will boot into windows. 

Now Linux has been removed, he MBR has been fixed and you have reclaimed all of the space on your hard drive tht was used by Linux. This is the one method that works quickly and very well.  In the past I have had to start from scratch, so I was compelled to pass on this information to save someone from that hassle.

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