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I have installed Ubuntu 11.10 on a HP Pavilion DV3 laptop for my wife, but she can't get on with it. I love the interface personally, but she wants to go back to XP since it keeps crashing and won't boot up unless I put a boot stick in.

The hard drive was a new one (the old one died). I have tried booting from an XP disc,but it just defaults to Ubuntu. I would like to remove Ubuntu entirely and then use the XP disc as a boot. How do I clean the hard drive of everything?

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so have you changed your bios options to boot from CD ... and why have you discounted dual booting? – fossfreedom Mar 1 '12 at 16:24
OK I have done reinstalls of windows and best thing to do is wipe the HDD & and set the BIOS to CD before running windows installer. why does the laptop need the USB stick to boot Ubuntu, what did you do install the boot loader on the USB stick? – zeitue Mar 1 '12 at 16:26

If you just set the BIOS to boot from CD rather than HDD (hard drive), it will start your Windows XP installer up for you. Once it has started, simply delete all partitions on the hard drive and create a single big one for the Windows XP install. That wipes Ubuntu completely, especially since it will also write Windows-specific contents to the hard drive's MBR (master boot record) -- the thing where the Ubuntu's boot up menu now lives.

The only possibly tricky part in all this is to find your BIOS settings. If you still have it, your motherboard's manual should tell you how to do it.

If not, restart your computer and on the first screen that comes up look for a line that says something along the lines of "Press to enter setup..." or similar (common keys are Delete, F2, F12, Escape). That's what you want to do. Keep restarting the system until you find it. Hit Control-Alt-Delete if you missed it.

Once in the BIOS's setup, you look for something that is related to the boot order. Set it so that the CD comes before the hard drive, save your settings, and exit the setup. Your computer will restart itself and it will boot from CD, starting the Windows installer for you.

Good luck!

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