How to uninstall Ubuntu on dual-boot Windows using Windows only

I originally posted this on my personal blog in 2007 where it gets a steady 100-300 hits a day. So I’m reposting here, with a few updates. The technique here works for XP, Vista, and Windows 7 and should work to deinstall any non-Windows operating system in a dual-boot environment.

My dual boot Ubuntu installation on Windows XP got hopelessly trashed, with endless command line errors upon booting. Clearly, it needed to be deinstalled. After a bit of research, I discovered how. It took about three minutes and worked flawlessly.

What trips up many in deinstalling dual-boot Ubuntu is that deleting the Ubuntu partition is not enough. It will still try to boot into it. This is because GRUB, the Ubuntu bootloader is still present with the Windows bootloader. However, using Windows Fixmbr (Fix Master Boot Record) solves that.

Here’s how to do it

A.) Use Disk Manager in Windows to delete the Ubuntu partitions (There are several of them.)

B.) Boot off your Windows installation CD.

  1. Choose “Repair”
  2. When it asks for the installation number, I put in “1”, and it worked fine (you may want to test this first to be sure.)
  3. Enter Admin password.
  4. At the command prompt type “fixmbr”, then confirm. Windows will overwrite the dual boot info in the MBR that Ubuntu put there. This is the crucial step.
  5. Reboot.
  6. Use Disk Manager again to recover the Ubuntu space for Windows, perhaps making it a new partition.
  7. You’re done!

How to use Disk Manager (from Microsoft)

To start Disk Management:
1. Log on as administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.
2. Click Start, click Run, type compmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
3. In the console tree, click Disk Management. The Disk Management window appears. Your disks and volumes appear in a graphical view and list view. To customize how you view your disks and volumes in the upper and lower panes of the window, point to Top or Bottom on the View menu, and then click the view that you want to use.

NOTE: Microsoft recommends that you create a full back up of your disk contents before you make any changes to your disks or volumes.

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