View Full Version : Removing a Linux dual Boot program from the system.

08-06-2003, 06:25 PM

I have a Dell Laptop with a 30G hard disc. I configured it originally to Dual Boot to linux. Sadly I have not managed to fulfil my Linux hopes and I have managed to reformat all these partitions to regain space.

However Upon Booting up I still get the Lilo or was it grubb interface to the dual boot.

Just for the sake of elegance how can I make it back to a windows looking machine?

Jen C
08-06-2003, 06:32 PM
You could try fdisk/ mbr after using a startup floppy. I have done this successfully in the past, but you should do a backup first.

Jen C
08-06-2003, 06:35 PM
although if you put the / in the right place, it might work better :8}

try fdisk /mbr

08-06-2003, 11:00 PM
Great, thanks.

When You say backup - do you mean a backup of the MBR? How would one do that? The rest of the disk I will definitely have thoroughly backed up.

08-06-2003, 11:21 PM
Not much help to you now but if you are dual booting using Lilo you can use the uninstall option which grub does not have.

Jen C
09-06-2003, 06:48 PM
> When You say backup - do you mean a backup of the
> MBR? How would one do that? The rest of the disk I
> will definitely have thoroughly backed up.

I just meant that you should backup your data (as you have already done) as a precaution prior to using fdisk.


09-06-2003, 07:17 PM
If you installed Linux from CD's and have the CD's for Linux around, you should be able to pop the CD into your machine, reboot - (you may need a Linux Boot Disk), and then at the installer prompt type "rescue" (without the quotes) - one of the options given is to restore the Windows Boot Loader


09-06-2003, 09:50 PM
The Linux "rescue" sounds good. I do have an old Mandrake disc that will have the rescue option on it.

I am scared that if I were just to fdisk the mbr that there would be no Windows Boot Loader at all! But maybe it is not like that - I dont really get it.

OK rescue is on the way.

I'll keep you posted, great help here people. Thanks.

10-06-2003, 03:22 AM
> If you installed Linux from CD's and have the CD's for Linux
> around, you should be able to pop the CD into your machine,
> reboot - (you may need a Linux Boot Disk), and then at the
> installer prompt type "rescue" (without the quotes) - one of
> the options given is to restore the Windows Boot Loader

The trouble was I could not see that option in the process I followed on the Red Hat or on the Mandrake disks. I then tried the Start-up disc option. The disc formatted in XP did not have fdisk on it. I could not move to the C drive... I found a Win98 disk and it had fdisk - but it informed me it was the wrong version of DOS...

Any ideas?

10-06-2003, 06:43 AM
If you use FDISK /mbr your going to loose the Windows Boot Loader entirely - Fdisk will wipe the Boot Loader off your system. Therefore, when/if you use FDISK you will need a Windows Boot disk (or the XP Installation disk assuming your OS is XP). From there, you will be required to restore the Windows Boot Loader - I don't know if Win98 has the ability to do this from in Windows, but with XP you should be able to use the recovery console


10-06-2003, 11:15 AM

I was assured by someone that just fdisk /mbr would then return the default windows boot - but that may be wrong. Still, so far i have not been able to find an fdisk that works on my XP - just as well probably.

I am running XP Home and am now looking for the Recovery Console. It seems i need an Administrators Password - which I dont have. Not sure if Home edition even has it! I will look for a FAQ on this somewhere - but any help appreciated

This is all a bit of a saga to get rid of a boot program that really is no bother, but I am on a learning curve that I am not ready to slide off.

10-06-2003, 12:34 PM
Definately don't use Fdisk /mbr on the XP machine.
The Administrator password may be the one you usually sign on when booting but you should never use this for your normal work. You should create another account giving yourself Super User rights.
When in the recovery console I think the command is Fixmbr but there is help for the commands.
You will find the recovery console if you boot off the cd as long as you don't just have a recovery cd.

10-06-2003, 01:17 PM
fdisk /mbr is overkill, this is linux!
even having to reboot the machine is rare, let alone reinstalling etc.
if you hadnt wiped the linux install you could simply reun grub (or lilo) with a remove option... man grub.
alternatively, boot a linux install CD in rescue mode to do this.
backing up the MBR is yet another thing MS never realised we might want to do, ive used ranish partition manager to do this, theres also a shareware prog called active partition recovery which does this. havent had to restore any yet...
if you do fdisk, it will restore it to win9X setup and you will have to use the install CD in recovery console to restore the XP boot loader (NTLDR).
course, you could just back it up, i think these files on the C: are enough,
(boot.ini ntdetect.com ntldr bootsect.dos), they are hidden by the OS.
if anyone knows what the essential XP boot files are, id be interested.

10-06-2003, 01:25 PM
Ive always used FDISK /MBR on my Win2K/XP and RedHat Multi-Boot... Worked fine every time Ive tried it, including a Win98 and RH8 only Dual-Boot...!?!

Doze installs its boot manager onto the first sector of the boot partition doesnt it?

10-06-2003, 01:26 PM

Boot.ini and NTLDR :-)

There may be a few others.. But I KNOW those are the most essential :-)

10-06-2003, 05:22 PM
Has Grub now got an uninstall option as I have always used Lilo because of this.

10-06-2003, 07:41 PM
Im not too sure, Ive only ever had to re-install it, but all Ive ever done is FDisk /mbr?

10-06-2003, 08:06 PM
At one time I was triple booting and being able to use Lilo's uninstall option saved a lot of grief. Had one play with Grub until I discovered it didn't have an uninstall option but that was a while ago.

10-06-2003, 08:49 PM
I may have misled a little with the title of this topic - it should read:

Removing a Linux dual Boot program from a now totally XP system.

I am now trying to get to the XP Recovery Console - but having password problems. Have started separate new Topic: "Administrator password In XP Home Edition"

15-06-2003, 12:52 AM
I am not much further ahead with "Administrator password In XP Home Edition" - and further behind with my machine. After the SP1 update I can now no-longer log into my machine - I am on my partner's computer here writing this.

I am no longer greeted with the RH dual boot window from lilo - with the choice of OS - rather I get straight into lilo which predicably stops and displays the letters LI

I guess there are only two ways around this. Reinstall Linux and then do the propper uninstall i should have done in the first place or reinstall windows.
Any other options?

Right now I can boot into Linux off a Knopix CD. Perhaps i can access the Boot program from there and remove it? I will need the instructions as I have no clue how to do that and it was not obvious after a bit of a poke around.

Any ideas?

15-06-2003, 02:05 AM
If you have backed your data up...I would boot to DOS/boot disk and FDisk /mbr

Then set the boot sequence to CD ROM and boot with your Windows install disc, delete the Linux partition and while i was at it, attempt to use the repair feature on the Win disc and set-up new logons & passwords. Will something like that.

15-06-2003, 02:13 AM
Archibald, yes that makes sense but as recorded above in XP Home I cant get into the Recovery Console as there is a problem with Passwords. Hence no fixmbr, which would seem to be the preferred command.

The problem is that with the boot problem I am unlikely to fix the password problem - a sort of catch 22.

Using Win XP CD to repair the current setup just leads back to the failure to boot. Hence I suspect a complete reinstall is needed. OR the Knopix option.

Am, I missing something?

15-06-2003, 09:00 AM
AFAIK, WinXP will also have installed itself onto the first sector of the partition.

If it ONLY installs into the MBR, then Linux must be aweful nice to copy it's boot loader out of the MBR, onto the first sector of the booting partition.. and then install itself onto the MBR!

15-06-2003, 11:25 AM
Chilling, I am not sure i have got it clear what your are saying.

It is strange how once I got a RH screen with a chocie of OS and after the SP1 update I only get lilo trying to boot a nonexistent Linux.

You are suggesting that lilo is there on the first partition because it copied itself again from the MBR?

Whatever it is I am still stuck.

15-06-2003, 10:12 PM
I got some phone help from a friend today.

Basically the idea is to use a Linux Install disk in Rescue mode and then use Linux to boot Windows. An amazing idea, as the Windows disks wont let me do it!

This is the process with Mandrake 8.1 once in Rescue mode :

boot (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

(BTW the rationale for the (hd0,1) is that it is the first hard disc, *second* partition as the first partition is a Dell Utility Partition)

The trouble is that it does not work :( It just sits there on the last command doing nothing.

I am hoping somone might be able to say why and what might be done to fix that?

15-06-2003, 10:31 PM
Format your HDD and reinstall Windows should fix the problem:D

Sorry, I'm not being smart or anything, but thats what I would of done long ago. :)

15-06-2003, 10:54 PM
I think I'll do just that. It will be a lot of work putting everything back on - SP1 updates palm mozilla etc etc

But i am at the end of this process....

Thanks all!

15-06-2003, 11:06 PM
Also, I found Nortons Ghost to best app ever to be developed since Adam was a cowboy. When you have the OS, SP and drivers etc installed and running nicely, Ghost It! It will save you so much time in the future if anything goes wrong.

15-06-2003, 11:19 PM
Hmmm, how does Ghost reininstall itself? Does one need to format the disk etc?

15-06-2003, 11:35 PM
Once everything is running as it should be, install Ghost and make an image of your HDD (I image my C: Partitian only) and burn the image to a CD or you can write the image to a seperate partition. I said it before and i will say it again, Ghost is the best app ever developed!

You will need to make a Ghost boot disk to reimage your drive.

Once you have an Image of your drive saved (on CD or HDD) it should only take 10+ minutes (depending on the size of image) Ghost it back to when you first imaged it. If you understand where I'm coming from.

Just let me know if I'm not making sense. :)

15-06-2003, 11:51 PM
Well, In the Set up Process I had the option to delete partitions etc. I deleted the smallest one, and recreated it. Then it continued the setup. It must have reinstalled over the top of the old win XP - seemed to work. I still have everything. It now boots into a screen giving me the option of Win XP Home or Recovery Console. The win option works - and still wants my old Pasword! However it seems to have lost its SP1 status.

Ok I can give my daughter back her machine! (ie my old laptop) :)

16-06-2003, 12:07 AM
Ghost sounds good. If i ever get it the way i want it :) I might buy a copy!