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I just got a new netbook and I'm setting up operative system configuration. It came with windows 7 starter but I installed dual boot ubuntu 12.10. I did some stuff on the ubuntu version of the system that makes me not want to use it at school. No illegal stuff or porn or anything. Basically just writing on a forum about my feelings. Nothing extremely advanced, but I'm just not comfortable with previous searches and stuff popping up while we're doing groupworks. We do a lot of group work so I will have to solve it. I'm considering a disc wipe and reinstallation of the ubuntu installation.

Ubuntu was installed by download an iso from inside windows, then put on an usb drive and rebooted and installed alongside windows. I did not do any fancy configuration about swap spaces or partitions and do not feel I have control over it or understand it. When I start, I get to choose if I want to boot up as windows or ubuntu. It automatically chooses ubuntu. Also, I would like to change this so that it chooses windows by default.

My question is, is it possible to reinstall ubuntu without having to reinstall Windows 7? Will such a procedure make it "safe" to use ubuntu again? I'm not interested in a wiping of free disc space or any goverment-level confidentiality. I just want my ubuntu partition cleared, from occasionaly peeping curios eyes in school, not having previously visited websites or previously written documents popping up accidentely. If I remove ubuntu from my hard drive, and then install it again, will a lot of the stuff still be there? I really would like not to format my hard drive because I have stuff on the windows part of the system that I use. Also, what way of unistallation will be good for my needs? I've never uninstalled ubuntu before.

thanks for your help

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Let’s comment, your answer is deleted because it wasn’t a real answer. So my recent comment was: Windows can’t access the Ubuntu partitions. If you did nothing for partitioning at the first time you installed Ubuntu, it should be all in one partition (separated from Windows of course), and reinstalling it will clear its own partition, not Windows’. But as I mentioned I recommend to at least try deleting Dash history through Privacy Settings before a new installation. Anyway, yes, it’s impossible to install both Windows and Ubuntu on a common partition. –  AliNa Feb 15 '13 at 0:05
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2 Answers 2

Reinstalling Ubuntu has nothing to do with Windows 7. Just make the bootable USB again and reinstall Ubuntu on the same partition as before. If you choose to format the partition everything, including all files (under home) and settings and also installed application will be lost.

But I think it’s not necessory to reinstall Ubuntu in your situation. You can delete your history:

For deleting Firefox history, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy and click on clear your recent history and you can choose Never remember the history. (Also you can use Private Browsing to temporarily prevent Firefox from keeping your browsing history.

Clear Firefox history

For deleting files history in dash, simply go to System Settings -> Privacy and delete all histoty. You may also want to turn off record activity at the bottom.

Delete Dash history

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The short answer is Yes, you can re-install Ubuntu without having to re-install Windows 7. I'll try to give you a more precise step by step when I can get back on, but for now take a look at this answer and see if you can apply it to your situation.

How to install Ubuntu, remove Mint and set up a separate home partition?

You should be able to follow the same steps, but ignore the last part about the separate /home partition. Hope that helps.

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This re-install would make the old files difficult to retrieve by anyone just "stumbling across" them. –  Argusvision Feb 12 '13 at 22:25
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