Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have absolutely no experience with Linux, and I desperately need to get my laptop back up and running again with Windows. How do I remove Ubuntu?

share|improve this question

14 Answers 14

To remove Ubuntu, you will need a Windows Recovery CD or Installation CD, or a Ubuntu Live CD.

Note: If you don't have a Windows Installation or Recovery CD available, you can download the Windows 7 ISO file (contact Digital River customer support as said in Microsoft help page). You cannot install Windows with a genuine Purchased Product Key though, as these ISO files are 100% legal and will only install as an Evaluation copy for 30 days without a product key.

To remove GRUB:

  1. Grab a Windows recovery media or installation CD and boot from it. You should see this on a recovery media CD.

    enter image description here

    And you should see this on an installation media CD. Click "Repair your computer" and you should see a screen like the first image. Image from bleepingcomputer.com

  2. Open the Command Prompt, then type bootrec /fixmbr into the Command Prompt.

    enter image description here

  3. Reboot and boot into Windows. Then follow the steps below to remove the Ubuntu partitions.

    (Images from HowtoGeek)


If you don't have a Windows recovery CD or you are constrained to download and burn the ISO files mentioned before, you can use Boot-repair. It is a tool that fixes most boot problems(Windows or Ubuntu). I suggest using a Windows CD if possible.

To use boot repair:

  1. Boot from a Ubuntu live CD or USB

  2. Type these lines in the terminal one line at a time.

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install boot-repair
    
  3. Search for Boot-Repair in the Dash and launch it.

    enter image description here

    To fix your computer with Boot-repair, simply click the "Recommended Repair" button. Then follow the steps below to remove the Ubuntu Partitions.


To delete the Ubuntu Partitions:

  1. Go to Start, right click Computer, then select Manage. Then select Disk Management from the sidebar.

    enter image description here

  2. Right-click your Ubuntu partitions and select "Delete". Check before you delete!

  3. Then, right-click the partition that is on the Left of the free space. Select "Extend Volume". Go through the Wizard and Finish it. enter image description here

  4. Done!

Another note from Tanner: If you are using an extended partition, you might have to remove the big extended partition to make the space unallocated.

share|improve this answer
5  
Rather than a cross-posted answer, this answer is actually edited to account for the (substantial) differences between the two questions. +1 –  Eliah Kagan May 29 '12 at 0:40
2  
You may want to add that you have to delete the partitions twice to make it unallocated before you can extend the volume. –  Tanner Jul 13 '12 at 18:04
    
So I followed these steps. But when I deleted the partitions, it showed-up as free space (not unallocated). The extend option of the left partition is not available. –  Tru May 14 '13 at 6:32
    
@Tru Try right-clicking and remove the free space from the partition. If the free space is on the left of the partition you want to extend, download this tool: partition-tool.com/personal.htm (which is free and I've been using it for 2 years) and move the partition you want to extend to the left of the free space. Hope this helps :) –  Emerson Hsieh May 15 '13 at 1:37
1  
Thanks. In the end I used a third-party disk management utility to merge the volumes. –  Tru May 16 '13 at 5:50
  1. Boot a live CD with Ubuntu
  2. Choose "Try Ubuntu"
  3. Download and install OS-Uninstaller.
  4. Start the software and select what operating system you want to uninstall. os-uninstaller-fr
  5. Apply
  6. When all is over, reboot your computer, and voila, only windows is on your computer!
share|improve this answer
2  
Hey, how can you remove as OS being at the moment under that OS? How step 6 may exist if after step 5 there should be no any Ubuntu? –  Green Jul 1 '13 at 19:02
    
I'm sorry, but I don't understand your request. –  Atem18 Jul 1 '13 at 22:53
1  
@Atem18 What #Green asked is: What happens if I do this on a non-dualboot system? (uninstall the only OS currently running) –  Lucio Jul 25 '13 at 16:45
1  
Green, the tool is used from a live-session. Lucio, if the hard disk contains only one OS, then the tool won't allow to remove it. –  LovinBuntu Jul 31 '13 at 22:14
1  
@Lucio if there is only one OS on the computer, then a simple formating will do the job. –  Atem18 Aug 2 '13 at 13:40

First download this tiny program into the Download directory.

press the windows key, type cmd.exe and on the result (The command prompt) start it as an "Administrator" by right clicking on the cmd icon, and select Run as Administrator.

In the new cmd.exe window, cd to your download directory. for example cd C:\Users\Lalu Patel\Downloads. _assuming your user name is "Lalu Patel".

Then enter this command. bootsect.exe /nt60 ALL /force /mbr. Restart your system to see that, Windows is automatically loading without grub.

Then in Windows

  1. Open the Control Panel (All Items view), and click on the Administrative Tools icon. then close the Control Panel window
  2. Click on Computer Management in Administrative Tools, then close the Administrative Tools window.
  3. In the left pane under Storage, click on Disk Management. see this.
  4. Select the the partition with unknown type. it is the Ubuntu partition. Right Click -> Delete partition.
  5. Now the former Ubuntu partition becomes an unallocated space.
  6. Select the left partition of the new unallocated space.
  7. Right click on the partition -> click on Extend Volume.
  8. Click on the Next button.
  9. Type in how many MB (1 GB = 1024 MB) you want to use from the unallocated space to extend the selected partition (step 5) into, then click on the Next button.see this.

NOTE: If you want to use all of the unallocated space to extend into, then type in the maximum available space shown for the unallocated space. 10. Click on the Finish button. you're done.

[source: bootsect]
[source: disk management].

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks a lot it works for me!!!! –  Ajay Patel May 16 '12 at 5:14
    
i really appreciate your answer anwar :) –  Ajay Patel May 16 '12 at 11:59
    
@lalu patel, You can accept this as an answer, if it does what you want. –  Anwar Shah May 16 '12 at 13:43
2  
@lalupatel Hi if this answer helped you then please accept the answer as it will help future visitors of this question! –  Ravi May 25 '12 at 14:36
2  
You shouldn't have to download bootsect.exe if you have a Windows repair CD - and if you don't have one (you should) it's easy enough to create one. –  bcbc May 26 '12 at 16:29

Actually the solution to this is very easy, anyone can do it. First things first. Download something called EasyBCD (there's a free version, you have to download it into Windows as it's a .exe) http://neosmart.net/download.php?id=1 run through the set-up.

  1. Launch EasyBCD and go to the sixth button down, EasyBCD deployment. Since you're a Windows XP user, select Write the Windows XP Bootloader to the MBR then press the big red button called "Write to MBR"
  2. Next head up to the second button called "Edit boot Menu" and select the first option "Skip the boot menu" and click save settings. Congrats, you now have Windows XP bootloader back, and it will automatically boot into Windows, but we aren't done yet. You still have Ubuntu on your system, we want to change that.
  3. Open up disk management and find your Ubuntu partition and the Ubuntu Swap Partition (I assume you know how big it is, [the swap is about two gigs, should be right next to the Linux partition]). Delete the swap first, and then delete the Ubuntu partition. If done properly you will get Unaccounted space for HD and the swap will become "Free Space" time to also fix that.
  4. Next right click on the Free-Space partition (swap space) and delete it again, it should become part of the unaccounted space. Now you don't want to just leave all that empty space on your HD. Right click on your Windows partition now, and click extend the volume. It should default into the maximum size of your HD, (which you want so XP has all the space.) and click continue. There you go, it'll do it's thing and Windows XP should now have your entire HD, Ubuntu will be gone, and you Will have the XP bootloader back. Hope that helped for you!

    (Video tutorial from Tech-Harvest doing basically the same thing but on Windows 7 - http://youtu.be/AAWBZq04Izc )

share|improve this answer
1  
Thank you. I reviewed this option and it looked promising. However I chose to try out the suggestions from Pestilence as it did not require additional software. I was thinking why add to my issue with more software... when I must already have the tools.. if only I knew how to use them. I did also use the Microsoft Console Disk Management feature to delete the swap and Ubuntu partition... so THANK YOU for the idea. –  eastavin Mar 20 '12 at 19:08

You need to restore the MBR that was overwritten by grub when you installed ubuntu. In the old days, you ran fdisk /MBR on your system disk. The way to do it in Windows XP is to run the "Windows Recovery Console" which can be run from the installation disk or installed to the hard drive and run from there.

The instructions for installing the Recovery Console are here: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314058

However, since you don't have the CD you'll need to try installing it from what you have already. Open up the run dialogue (win+r, or start->run) and enter this:

%windir%\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

Then you will have to reboot into windows and select the recovery console while it's booting. From there you will need to run FIXMBR which is documented here: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/bootcons_fixmbr.mspx

Once this is done successfully, your computer will boot straight into windows again.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. This was good. I found my Recovery DVDs & Recovery Tools CD. The latter started the Microsoft Recovery Console. It then asked to start miniNT or I386 -so based on your command line I chose I386. I then entered FIXMBR with no options. Then EXIT. Microsoft then prompted to choose System Restore, Destructive Reovery or TURN OFF and I chose OFF. When I powered up again it boot straight into XP & did a CHKDSK. My XP again works as it did before my UBUNTU experiment. THANK YOU. Next time I will install it in Windows XP so I can use the add/remove feature rather than this manual method.@Marco –  eastavin Mar 20 '12 at 19:03

You can go into the Disk Management utility and delete the Ubuntu partition. Right click My Computer, select Manage, Disk Utility. Once you delete the partition, right click My Computer, select Properties and go to the Advanced tab. Go into the Start Up and Recovery, set Windows as the default operating system and set the Time to display the list of operating systems to 0 and click Ok.

share|improve this answer
    
I follow your advice in the first 2 sentences.However in your 4th sentence you say to set Windows as the default OS... This cannot be the problem that causes UBUNTU to boot first as it is currently set to Windows as being the default OS. there is something else that is overriding this that was installed by Ubuntu 11.10... what could that be? –  eastavin Jan 29 '12 at 15:58

If you're in to paid software I highly recommend Acronis. Paragon is also good. It has a lot of interesting options. It allows you to do everything you need to in order to do this. The order of operations is:

1)Get live media that will let you perform all these operations without an OS or MBR backup
see acronis link
2)Delete the Ubuntu partitions(probably anything that's not NTFS or FAT32)
3)Resize your windows partition to fill the disk
4)Apply changes and possibly reboot depending on which version of which software you have
5)Run the 'fix boot problems' wizard in Acronis. It's magic.

Alternately, you could use supergrubdisk. Directions on their wiki include screenshots and step by step directions.

share|improve this answer
    
I had a look at this. Seemed like a great idea but I was looking for something to the job with the commands already available to me via XP or Ubuntu. –  eastavin Mar 20 '12 at 18:59

The way to "delete" Ubuntu is to delete the partition it's using. That will make the partition available for reformatting and use in another OS.

If you can still run Windows, use its disk manager to delete the Ubuntu partition. You could then format it to use in Windows. Or, perhaps (I don't know very much about Windows) expand an existing partition.

You can also boot the Ubuntu LiveCD and choose the "Try Ubuntu" option. After it loads, find and run gparted and remove the partition.

If Windows and Ubuntu are both gone and you want to reinstall Windows, you can repartition and reformat during the installation.

share|improve this answer
2  
Since the bootloader doesn't seem to be working, you may also need to restore the MBR (master boot record) after removing Ubuntu. You can usually do that using a Windows install disc, if you have it inserted when you boot up. –  Marius May 8 '12 at 1:34

If you can boot Ubuntu the Live CD, choose "Try Ubuntu" option. Then try installing it again by choosing manual partitioning, It is the last option in the 'Prepare your disk' step. Reinstall it in the same partition you tried before.

  • First delete the old Ubuntu partition, (you can recognize the old Ubuntu partition by looking at the partition type column, it should have the type as ext4 or ext3)

  • Then create a new partition by clicking 'Add' button. In the new dialog change the "Do not use the partition" with ext4, place a 'tick' mark at 'format' check box, and in the bottom select list, select /, then click OK.

  • Check that, you choose the bootloader install device as /dev/sda (if you are installing on the local hard disk). Then proceed.

  • See if any error message appears. If it completes successfully, it should give you a message with two options - "Keep trying Live CD" and "Restart your Computer to use newly installed system". Restart your laptop.

I think it should work.

share|improve this answer

A simpler method - Burn an rBoot CD and boot from it. When the menu shows up, select your Windows partition.

When Windows loads, in the disk management, right click on the boot partition and apply the boot flag. Restart.

Hopefully, this will work.

If it does, delete the Linux partition from the disk management. You're done.

share|improve this answer

If you don't have a Windows CD and deleted the Ubuntu partition

Scenario:

You want to remove Ubuntu, and deleted the Ubuntu partition from within another OS. Now, your computer wont boot ("no such partition") and you lack a Windows Recovery CD to fix it.

  1. Create a Ubuntu LiveCD/USB.
  2. Boot from your Ubuntu LiveCD/USB by selecting it in the BIOS boot options.
  3. Once Ubuntu loads, open a Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), and run these commands:

    sudo apt-get install lilo
    sudo lilo -M /dev/sda
    

    Note: you may have to replace /dev/sda with the main hard drive you installed Ubuntu and Windows to.

  4. You can then reboot into Windows.
share|improve this answer

From windows7, Install easyBCD.exe on your windows (you can find it at www.softpedia.com) Run it, and select RepairMBR, And then delete some partitions were made by ubuntu's system.

My question is, why do you want to remove the ubuntu ?

I think, ubuntu is quiet Prettier than Windows !

share|improve this answer
1  
Yes ubuntu is best! At least no worries about viruses. –  Ravi May 25 '12 at 14:37

1) Start with a working 32 bit live CD of Ubuntu and choose "Try Ubuntu" - check to have a working Internet connection (wired or wireless is the same)

2) Exec gparted and delete all partitions found. Re-run gparted to check it ok

3) open terminal (CTRL + ALT + T) and type:

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install mbr; sudo install-mbr /dev/sda

4) reboot and install Windows normally from original installation CD/DVD

share|improve this answer

What I did was

moved new drive into c: place

moved old C: drive into D: place

booted off D:

i used a disk copy program to copy the 'partition' of my XP to my new bigger HD. then I tryed to boot of C:...no go

I then went into windows install, and went to dos and used bootrec/ fixmbr command (as shown above) on the C:

I then powered down and removed the old drive completely.

i boot ok fine off the new C: 250GB windows ONLY system. and I still have a backup 60GB with linux on it too...

share|improve this answer
7  
Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! It's unclear how one would follow these instructions. What does it mean to move the "new" or "old" drive into "C: place" or "D: place"? Also this doesn't seem to be answering the question that was asked here. In your case, you switched to a separate hard drive--this question is about removing Ubuntu and going back to Windows on the same hard drive. –  Eliah Kagan Jan 24 '13 at 9:36
    
@EliahKagan - 2 downvote, 5 (now 6) upvotes on your comment, and no-one tried an edit? I think I'll follow suit... –  Wilf Jan 16 at 18:34

protected by Community Jul 25 '13 at 14:39

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.