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How to remove Ubuntu and put Windows back on?

I just put Ubuntu 12.10 on my brand new laptop, and my display driver did not work correctly. When I tried to fix the driver by using a generic ATI driver, the computer refused to boot to the desktop on Ubuntu.

It also won't let me boot to Windows 8, and gives two errors: error: can't find command 'drivemap' and something about an invalid efi.

I tried to get to Windows by bypassing the boot in bios, but it booted and a sad-face (literally) came up on Windows for a split second and said "sorry, windows has to reboot..." and then reboots to the startup screen that asks which os to use.

When I send Ubuntu into recovery mode, to do anything, it tells me I have to change to read/write mode and then locks up when I said yes. I had to cold shut down.

Please help. I can get to the terminal in Ubuntu but that is all. How can I remove Ubuntu from my laptop so I can use it again?

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@gertvdijk give the OP a chance they are just stressing about their computer. Ubuntu is free and open source if user wants to uninstall why not tell him/her how? –  Magpie Jan 31 '13 at 1:00
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@Magpie The question is two-fold I believe: How to remove Ubuntu and put Windows back on? and "random Windows boot error". First part is duplicate (no Ubuntu needed to uninstall Ubuntu), second part is off-topic here. –  gertvdijk Jan 31 '13 at 1:05
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They've not said anything about putting windows back on. They've asked how to remove ubuntu. –  Magpie Jan 31 '13 at 1:13
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...and for what it's worth, the simple answer to the main question that got overlooked somewhat: you don't uninstall an operating system, you reinstall another (or the same), choosing to reformat and/or repartition the disk. It's much easier to get rid of it than to get it. :) –  Marty Fried Jan 31 '13 at 1:26
    
@gertvdijk youre mistaken. The boot error comes from GRUB, that Ubuntu installed and tried to configure for dualboot. You can blame Windows for a lot of things, but not for a malformed grub configuration. –  LiveWireBT Jan 31 '13 at 9:10
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marked as duplicate by mikewhatever, gertvdijk, Uri Herrera, hhlp, Tom Brossman Jan 31 '13 at 11:18

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2 Answers

Uninstalling an operating system is rather a misconception. You seem to have a computer that is set up to use UEFI. Apart from deleting the partition that contains the OS you want to remove, you should delete the UEFI boot entries, which can be done using efibootmgr in Linux running in UEFI mode or the UEFI Shell running from a USB stick, as well as removing the corresponding files from the EFI system partition.

EFI's intention was to make things easier, instead it added another layer of complexity.

If you don't want to use UEFI and you don't plan on using a harddrive greater than 2TB, the easiest way would be to disable UEFI funtionality, partiton your harddrive with a legacy MBR/MS-DOS partition table and reinstall your prefered operating systems, after you have made your backups of course.

Going the other route, I would recommend reading the UEFI related articles on the Arch Linux Wiki and the Ubuntu documentation as you can break many things when fuzzing with the wrong EFI entries.

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There are ways to uninstall Ubuntu and repair the boot from LiveCDs, such as GParted or boot-repair-disk. As for command line operations, I'm not entirely sure. Even if you did uninstall Ubuntu from within Ubuntu, you would have no way to restore your Windows boot without the Windows repair CD (which you could probably use right now to restore the Windows bootloader) or some other form of live Linux OS.

If you can burn a live CD or USB then I recommend using Ubuntu 12.04 live. Install GParted in the live session and delete your Linux partition, then either install boot-repair to boot Windows through GRUB (might not work since there's no Linux partition) or install 12.04.

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That is not true. PCAT and EFI bootloaders are store in C:\Windows\Boot\, given a proper configuration file, the corresponding files just need to be copied to the right location where the bootloader can find them. –  LiveWireBT Jan 31 '13 at 8:54
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