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removing Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows 7


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#1 amanda hoover

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:06 PM

Okay, so I've spent the last couple hours researching how to remove my ubuntu partition from a multi-OS boot with Windows 7 and Vista ... still not convinced of an exact method or strategy. I need the space, but am more afraid of losing all my data and having to reformat and reinstall Windows. Yes, my data is backed up, but it's just the hassle of having to reinstall apps and shortcuts and every single little thing I've tweaked (especially the registry) in the past year. Does anyone know of a full proof method to uninstall and remove this ubuntu/linux partition? Does the fact the i installed Windows 7 after Ubuntu (laptop came with Vista, then installed Ubuntu to dual boot, then recently got 7) change anything ... or the fact that Windows 7 is listed as my default OS? Until i know for sure, i guess I'm just gonna have to leave it there ... any help would be greatly appreciated. I knew that grub was gonna come back and kick me in the ass ...


Vista Home Premium
Ubuntu 9.04
Windows 7 Professional

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:15 PM

So you have a triple-boot? Vista, Ubuntu, and 7?

Do this for me while inside Windows 7:

in the Start Menu search, type this and hit Enter:

msconfig

Once on the "Boot" tab, take a screenshot and post it here.
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#3 amanda hoover

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:33 PM

already did that, that's where i saw that Windows 7 is listed as the default OS ... this is what it says tho ...

Windows 7 (C:\Windows) : Current OS; Default OS
Microsoft Windows Vista (D:\Windows)

#4 amanda hoover

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:35 PM

don't know why Ubuntu isn't listed there, i figured it was because msconfig is a microsoft/windows thing and they don't want to share :-)

Ubuntu is however, listed as an option when i boot ... tho the default OS if i make no selection is set to Windows 7

And I can still get into Ubuntu (after the addition of 7) ...

#5 keyboardNinja

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:40 PM

Default OS simply means that it is the default one to boot into without user intervention (during the timeout I'm sure you've seen before).

I wanted to see the msconfig Boot tab to see if Ubuntu showed up there or not. I know extremely little about Ubuntu, so I didn't know how (or if) it adds itself to a Windows bootloader.

This tutorial seems enlightening....
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#6 amanda hoover

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:48 PM

thanks, but this tutorial is one of many of the same i ran across ... my issue is no one seems to mention if this will cause data loss. Also, the point of this tutorial, and the others, is to overwrite GRUB with the Windows Boot Loader, which i'm wondering if i already did when i installed 7 as the third OS. Ugh, don't get me wrong i like linux, but right now it's just an inconvenience for me and i really need the space. And, i love 7 now ...

i dunno :-(

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 12:14 AM

Well, here is what I would do:

Make a full system image backup (different than just a file backup) inside Windows 7 Backup and Restore to an external hard drive or slave drive. This will ensure that if you screw something up, you have something to fall back on. That system image has saved my butt more than once.

Doing the procedure outlined in that tutorial should not result in data loss. And if it does, you have your system image to go back to. The tutorial should just remove Ubuntu and leave your other OS's (Vista and 7) intact. I make no guarantees, as I have never done anything like this before. But it should work.

Honestly, if it were me, I could just format everything and clean install Windows 7. You don't want Ubuntu anymore...I'll bet you don't use Vista anymore. Why bother keeping them around? I've done about 4 clean installs in the past 2 months, for various reasons (on different computers). It's not really that bothersome. I was back up and running in about 2 hours with no adverse affects (this includes restoring data, settings, registry tweaks, installing programs, etc..). You just have to know how to prepare for it. If you do chose to take this path, let me know. I have quite a few pointers and tips for it.

But yeah, I wouldn't be afraid of removing Ubuntu like the tutorial said to do. Just do the system image backup first, and you'll be fine. :huh:

So, which do you want to do? Clean install or just remove Ubuntu?

If you're pressed for hard drive space, you can always buy a bigger one....
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#8 amanda hoover

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 12:28 AM

it seems like i've done an image backup before, but doesn't it end up being about the same size as the drive your taking it from? Also, will an image keep all my tweaks and the little things i've done in place? I keep Vista mainly for all my apps i acquired and i also still keep all my data over there ... i have a bleep load of apps and the thought of having to transfer them all over to 7 scares me. Then i have media libraries indexed etc and a lot of little things that I'm worried about having to reset back up. I'm just not sure if a clean install is a route i have the time or patience for right now.

I thought about getting a bigger hard drive, but then that again would involve having to start over (this is on my laptop so i can't just add another) ... i do have a couple externals i use that are full too though ... i download a LOT of music, movies and apps

is there a way i could image or backup all my apps and data, do a clean install, and then apply the changes i had before?

#9 keyboardNinja

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 12:51 AM

doesn't it end up being about the same size as the drive your taking it from?

Also, will an image keep all my tweaks and the little things i've done in place?

I thought about getting a bigger hard drive, but then that again would involve having to start over (this is on my laptop so i can't just add another)

is there a way i could image or backup all my apps and data, do a clean install, and then apply the changes i had before?

Not exactly. It is about the same size as the used space on your hard drive, not the size of the whole drive itself.

Yes, if you have to go back to the image, things will be exactly how it was at the moment the system image was taken. This includes registry, programs, Windows itself, user files...everything. That's why it's called an "image". Because it is like a snapshot of your hard drive.

You wouldn't necessarily have to start over. You could simply clone your current hard drive onto a bigger one and replace the current one with the new larger one. There are plenty cloning programs out there that can achieve this with minimal effort. Now, obviously you would have to tear into the hardware of your laptop, but even then, there are plenty of tutorials out there for replacing hard drives. It's not that hard.

No. You cannot bring your apps with you through a clean install (if you did a clean install, then restored from the system image, you would be exactly where you were before the clean install). You would have to reinstall all of them. But like I said, there are a few tips and tricks I can give that would make a clean install less hectic.
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#10 amanda hoover

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 01:11 AM

Yes, if you have to go back to the image, things will be exactly how it was at the moment the system image was taken. This includes registry, programs, Windows itself, user files...everything. That's why it's called an "image". Because it is like a snapshot of your hard drive.

You wouldn't necessarily have to start over. You could simply clone your current hard drive onto a bigger one and replace the current one with the new larger one. There are plenty cloning programs out there that can achieve this with minimal effort. Now, obviously you would have to tear into the hardware of your laptop, but even then, there are plenty of tutorials out there for replacing hard drives. It's not that hard.

No. You cannot bring your apps with you through a clean install (if you did a clean install, then restored from the system image, you would be exactly where you were before the clean install). You would have to reinstall all of them. But like I said, there are a few tips and tricks I can give that would make a clean install less hectic.


So do you mean that if i did a system image, then wiped everything out, reformatted and did a clean install, i could apply the image after and restore all my apps, tweaks, shortcuts, data etc to the clean install? If so, that would be a way for me to merge everything over to windows 7 without having to spend days reinstalling apps and everything else ... or does the image just re-create what was before, so Vista would come back with it?

Thanks for putting up with me :-)

#11 keyboardNinja

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:58 AM

So do you mean that if i did a system image, then wiped everything out, reformatted and did a clean install, i could apply the image after and restore all my apps, tweaks, shortcuts, data etc to the clean install?

No.

or does the image just re-create what was before, so Vista would come back with it?

Yes.

I'm sorry if I was not clear.

Scenario 1: You remove Ubuntu and things go wrong. Restore back to your system image and try again.

Scenario 2: You use a cloning program to move your installations (operating systems and all) from your current hard drive to a larger one.

Scenario 3: You just reformat and clean install Windows 7. You would have to reinstall your apps after this.

Did that make sense this time?
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#12 amanda hoover

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:04 AM

yes, thank you ... i'm gonna have to think about it ...

#13 keyboardNinja

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

All right...you're welcome.

Take your time. There's no rush.

While you're thinking about it, I will take the time to make my list of time-saving things to do beforehand if you decide to do a clean install. :huh:
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#14 amanda hoover

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:44 PM

thank you ... that would be greatly appreciated!

#15 keyboardNinja

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:31 PM

What is your computer's manufacturer and model?

Edited by keyboardNinja, 06 March 2010 - 08:32 PM.

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