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I have two inter-related problems on my computer.

My install of 9.10 had a boot failure last week. Looks like a file was deleted or corrupted. I was unable to get it to work. Realising it was a boot issue, I took the CD and installed 9.04 to co-exist with 9.10 on the disc. 9.04 was put into a 2.5 gb ext3 partition. I was able to boot into 9.10 from grub menu selection. 9.04 was now the default in grub menu.

I want to remove/delete/purge 9.04 completely from my system and "clean up" the stuff so that the machine boots straight to 9.10 (no grub menu).

I haven't tried to delete partition yet as I'm uncertain of the possible outcome. I think it might break my boot. Here's my partition table:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1   29702 238581283+ 83 Linux 
/dev/sda2 29703 30401 5614717+ 5 Extended 
/dev/sda5 30029 30401 2996091 82 Linux swap / Solaris 
/dev/sda6 29703 30006 2441817 83 Linux 
/dev/sda7 30007 30028 176683+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

df -Th | grep -v "fs" | sort
/dev/sda1     ext3    224G   30G  183G  14% /
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on

How are these accomplished in a "safe" manner?

Also wanted to add that this system has been operational for 2+ years now.

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Are you running this machine with graphic desktop, or is it strictly text-mode (command line)? –  david6 Nov 24 '11 at 7:59
    
Have you considered updating to LTS (eg. Ubuntu 11.04.3 LTS)? –  david6 Nov 24 '11 at 8:00
    
thanks for the response. graphic desktop. actually did upgrade 9.10 to 10.4 hoping the upgrade would add the option to remove the older version. it didn't. –  denk doink Nov 24 '11 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

Like other users, I'm slightly concerned by the age of the operating system. Is there a good reason you're not upgrading to something that is still officially supported? Neither 9.04 or 9.10 is so you're not getting security updates.

If there isn't a good reason, I would suggest a clean install of a supported version. Newer the better but 10.04 will be supported for a while still if you're determined to run something old. Assuming you have data you want to save, here's what I would do:

  1. Back up. I'm not going to labour the point but nobody likes data loss.
  2. Boot into your LiveCD.
  3. Using gparted, create a new partition and copy any data you want to keep safe there from your other partitions. This will probably include portions of /home amongst other stuff, depending on what you use the box for.
  4. Nuke your existing install partitions, leaving the newest partition we just copied data to.
  5. Load the installer, do a nice fresh install. When you reboot into the new install you can copy back all your old data.

I'm really just thinking about time. Accurately fixing things by strategically removing partitions isn't guaranteed to fix your problem and you'll still be on 9.10.

Downloading/burning a new ISO, backing up files and doing the fresh install doesn't take that long and you can be doing other things while they progress. And you end up with a nice fresh install of something new.

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i understand the advantage of a clean machine. and i plan to do this on a different hdd. but i am trying to learn more about linux and don't really get the grub. however, i did add the "optional" part in the menu.lst file to the "default" part and the system boots directly into the 9.10 (now 10.4) with no problem. i plan to make a flash drive grub bootable and then remove the 9.04 partition. i expect the problem to disappear. thanks all for the responses. –  denk doink Nov 28 '11 at 17:23

You can boot into 9.10 and then remove the partition created using Gparted or another program, and run the grub configuration manually while in 9.10 (I would assume it safe this way after 'scanning' through this page: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2)

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I would recommend running sudo update-grub in a terminal in 9.10 before deleting 9.04 just in case the grub configuration file that is loading is the one from 9.04. Otherwise we will be back to a system that will not boot again. –  grahammechanical Nov 24 '11 at 19:30
    
did it and this is the result. Searching for GRUB installation directory ... found: /boot/grub Searching for default file ... found: /boot/grub/default Testing for an existing GRUB menu.lst file ... found: /boot/grub/menu.lst Searching for splash image ... none found, skipping ... Found kernel: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-35-generic Found kernel: /boot/memtest86+.bin Updating /boot/grub/menu.lst ... done –  denk doink Nov 24 '11 at 21:40

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