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Help! I'm brand new to Ubuntu and need some hand holding. I just created a Live CD of Ubuntu and installed version 12.10 when I think I may have been better off just trying it:( I started my Ubuntu journey after reading a post that touted its diagnostics (lifehacker.com/5551188/best-computer-diagnostic-tools). I'm hoping to get a critical look under the covers of my desktop PC (Gigabyte MB, AMD Phenom II X4 965 Processor, 4GB RAM). Some apps (Google and iTunes) are incredibly slow to start, and although I've confirmed with a separate ISO boot CD of memtest-86 that my RAM is error-free, I'm looking to learn more about this machine and why it might be running slow.
Now that Ubuntu is installed I think I need to retrace my steps, and I would like to know how to do so safely. I'm not sure I'm finding a lot of value in having another OS on my machine when all I really wanted was some dependable and free diagnostics...I'm not a heavy enough user of XP to notice its flaws, and although Ubuntu may be wonderful (and free thanks to the selfless efforts of many), it represents to me at best a learning curve with little payback if I boot to Ubuntu, and at worst an annoyance in the form of having to bypass the Ubuntu OS at start-up in favor of Windows XP (when my wife starts using this machine that will freak her out).
Furthermore, I'm gravely concerned that my partitioning activity during installation has somehow robbed me of otherwise usable space on my rather modest 200GB Western Digital drive. I did not know how to tell what the partitioning "slider" tool was going to do, e.g. how much would be allocated to Ubuntu versus XP, so I just left it set at the values shown during the install dialog (122GB on the left, 63GB on the right), hoping and thinking that the installer would automatically apportion modestly. Now my drive has only 63GB of usable space with the other 122GB used for something, which I suspect is Ubuntu).
So I'm looking for some wisdom in the following areas:
1) Does Ubuntu give the ability to critically evaluate (other than memtest) the condition of hardware as well as the overall health of a system (registry, etc etc), enabling one to intelligently diagnose and correct performance issues? If so, are these tools/utilities available WITHOUT installing Ubuntu (e.g. to those "trying" it)?
2) Is there a way to safely uninstall Ubuntu, returning the system to Windows XP only?
3) If there a way (either with or without uninstalling Ubuntu) to optimize the partition sizes of my disk, to allow for maximum availability to Windows XP (with a modest amount allocated to Ubuntu should I choose to leave it installed)? Currently I have 122GB used and I can say with almost 100% certainty that my sparsely populated machine is naturally consuming nowhere NEAR that amount of data...rather, I believe I "clobbered" this storage during my partitioning activity during the install.
4) If I choose (or am forced for practical reasons) to leave Ubuntu installed, is there a way to default to Windows XP at boot instead of to Ubuntu, if no keys are depressed within the allotted timeframe?
Thanks to all who offer me advice!!