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I have Ubuntu running by itself on an older computer. I would like to repurpose the computer using old DOS software. I am having the problem that DOS 5.0 won't recognize hard disk with Ubuntu on it. So I cannot reformat C: and experience joy. Will the Ubuntu disk I installed with help me uninstall the program?

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3 Answers

Yes, you need to boot the Ubuntu installation disc and use gparted to format the hard disk as Fat so that DOS will recognise it & the filesystem.

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First of all, there is no way to "uninstall" ubuntu. When you want another OS, you simply let the new installer overwrite all the data on the hard drive. Also, DOS not recognizing the hard drive has nothing to do with ubuntu being installed on it.

It is important to understand the difference between a hard drive and a partion. A physical hard drive is the device you put inside your computer, and it will usually be identified by ubuntu as something like "/dev/sda". A partition, on the other hand, is a logical section of the drive, which ubuntu would show as something similar to "/dev/sda1". In this example it indicates that it is the first partition of the drive "sda". Partitions can be created, deleted or formatted, and you can have several on a single drive.

When you talk about "C:", you actually mean the partition that Windows usually creates to install itself on. This partition is not present in this case and doesn't need to be in order to install any OS.

Now to solve your problem, is the DOS installer not detecting the physical drive, or does it not recognize the partition? If it can't find the hard drive, you may be out of luck, although I suggest you ask someone who is good with DOS. If the hard drive is recognized, you should try to create a new partition table and a new partition. In case the installer doesn't support this, you should boot from an ubuntu CD, and run GParted. This program will allow you to create the partition that DOS needs.

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MS DOS 5.0 was released in 1991 and is not maintained by Microsoft any longer. How old is this computer? Since it can run Feisty the hardware can't be that old. MS DOS 5.0 is not appropriate for hardware newer than 2000 and will cause problems like driver issues. If you really want to run DOS on that machine try Free DOS instead, it has the advantage of being still maintained. Another solution would be to install DOSbox or use VirtualBox and set up a virtual machine to install Free DOS in there. You probably want to install a more recent and lightweight Linux distribution first.

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