Saturday, November 13, 2010

Delete Ubuntu partition from a dual boot computer without Windows CDs

Okay, so you have tried Ubuntu, and you want to delete it. But the annoying thing of uninstalling a Linux OS from a dual-boot configuration is that you mess up the Master Boot Record (MBR), and you can no longer boot Windows. You need the Windows CD/DVD to fix this.

But what if you don't have the Windows disc? You can't do anything. You're wrong. I have a way to fix this.

When you delete Linux, it also deletes GRUB, the bootloader that comes with it, because it is (usually) installed in the same partition. That causes Windows to become 'hidden' and your BIOS cannot boot from it anymore. The bootloader is gone too. But the way to fix it is that you fix the MBR so that your BIOS knows that Windows needs to boot from it. Thus, Ubuntu (or another Linux) is no longer accessible. Then you can delete the partition from your hard drive normally.

Before carrying out this process, you need to make sure that you have backed up all important stuff from the Linux partition. This step comes just before the Linux partition is thrown away.
  • First, install EasyBCD and tell it to write the Windows bootloader to the MBR, as shown in this article.
  • Now, use another partition manager in Windows, like EASEUS Partition Magic to remove the Linux partition and merge it with your Windows partition.
You should be able to remove Linux with no problems, and run Windows normally.