Remove linux or linux uninstallation

Posted: November 14, 2008 by Narendra Shah in Linux Box
Tags: , ,

There are many people trying out the Linux Operating system . . . for various reasons. Some people want it for a change and some for the sake of “cheap software” some boast about its simplicity and security. And most of them surely like the power of freedom and the privacy they get when the data is not sent to a company that seriously believes in preserving your personal data while it records themselves as well.

But the tougher part is the maintenance of the Operating System. Some people find it a daunting task to manage the software. . . to install and to uninstall, some issues with multimedia codecs, games and there are many more reasons why people tend to start disliking the Linux Operating System.

So here are some steps you can use to REMOVE LINUX SAFELY from the system after you have installed it. There are multiple cases which arise when we think about UNinstalling Linux Operating System. They may be classified as below:

1.Windows + Single Linux

It is well known that when we install Windows over Linux, it removes Linux OS from the boot menu and so the Linux gets inaccessible. So in most of the cases, we would install Windows first and after that we would install Linux over it and it will automatically import Windows OS into the OS list. But how to remove it after you are fed up with Linux?

Some people think that they will just open the Windows’ Management Console and format the partition containing Linux and everything will be OK. But that is wrong. When you format the partition, The program which maintained the booting of Windows also gets removed and hence the Windows OS gets inaccessible. So what to do now? Just pop in your Windows disk, boot from it and enter the “RECOVERY CONSOLE” by pressing ‘R’ key. Now choose the Windows installation you would like to use to recover (usually, there is only one residing in “C:\WINDOWS\” directory. Just choose it, Enter the administrator password and pass the command:

Code: Select all
C:\ fixmbr

And the job is done! You have the Windows back with you and Linux is gone!

Note: If you have not set the Administrator password in your Windows installation, the method will fail as the recovery console will not accept the “blank password” So the pass word for the Administrator account must be set beforehand and you must remember it as well

2. Windows + Multiple Linux

In this case, there are another two cases:
1> You want to remove both Linux OSes
2> You want to remove only one Linux OS.

1) For the first case, the Steps are the same as in the First case where you wanted to remove the Linux OS. Just boot into the recovery console and from there, pass the fixmbr command.

2) For the second case, the complicatedness arises. There are two cases in this way:

When you install 2nd Linux over the previously existing [Windows + Linux] combination, the Linux that was installed later will import the previous boot settings and then will make its own boot loader as the default one. So if you remove or format the partition which was created/used by the Linux which you installed later, the boot menu will go away as the boot menu resided on the partition which you would format! So the first step is that you have to preserve the boot menu and the boot partition from where the Linux (the one which you want to leave on the system) would boot.

It is very simple to do that. Follow the steps below in the exact sequential manner.
1> Boot into the LINUX OS WHICH YOU WANT TO LEAVE on the system.

2> Note carefully the name of the partition on which the LINUX TO BE REMOVED is installed and write the name on a piece of paper (do not use your computer).

3> Now go to the OS’s control center. Note that you are on THAT LINUX SYSTEM WHICH YOU WANT TO KEEP, not on the one which you want to remove!

4> From the control center, find out the boot loader applet which would show you the boot loader configuration. Using that applet, you install the Boot loader. You must see that the Windows OS and the Linux that you are on, are present in the boot menu. The third Linux (the one you want to remove) may or may not be present in the menu, as we are not concerned with that one.

5> If the Linux is present, just remove it from the boot menu.

6> Now install the boot loader (there must be an option for that). Make sure that the boot loader boots from the MBR and has the option for Windows as well.

7> Reboot the computer. It should boot properly into both the OSes.

8> Now you can format the partition on which the Linux you wanted to remove is installed.

Yet another probability in the same case is that you may like to remove the OS which you had installed before. In that case, the method above remains the same. What you have to do is:

1> Boot into the LINUX OS you want to keep.

2> And remove the OS entry from the boot menu and save the settings. There should not be a need to reinstall the boot loader.

3> Now you can remove/format the partition on which the previous Linux installation as existing.

3: Multiple Linux OSes ONLY

In this case, the steps remain the same as in the case of [Windows + Multiple Linux OSes.

The same steps can be used to remove Windows OS as well. One thing that must be kept in mind is that if you have more than one Windows OS, removing the Windows entry using the Linux OS will remove BOTH the WINDOWS OS.


I hope that it helps those who want to remove Linux from their system. If you have any queries, post back comment and I shall try to be of help. . . as much as I can.


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