I am working on the best way to eliminate Windows XP from my older desktop and replace it with Linux Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as my sole operating system. I've done a dual boot alongside Windows to get used to Ubuntu like many people have done. Now, I would like to totally have Ubuntu as the OS.

Any suggestions? I've read that if you've had problems with a CD, disc, install that some have gone to a network boot option and had to upgrade their BIOS if their older desktop doesn't match. Am I thinking correctly?

  • Nah, the people who have to mess with their BIOS have a different issue - they cannot boot to Live Media in the first place to get to the point where they can install Ubuntu. You have installed Ubuntu successfully; removing Windows and enlarging the Ubuntu partition to make more hard disk space available to it is a relatively simple procedure. – Richard Jul 13 '13 at 17:26

Before you begin, you want to make sure that all of the data from your Windows installation is safely backed up, or moved to your Ubuntu partition. Also read these instructions briefly to ensure that they make sense.

  1. Boot from the Ubuntu live CD.
  2. Open the GParted program. Your hard disk is split up into 'partitions'. You will have three (3) partitions: One for Windows, one for Ubuntu, and one (the smallest) swap partition.
  3. Once GParted opens, identify the Windows partition. The partition type is NTFS and will be outlined in greenish blue. The Swap area will be red and the Ubuntu partition will be navy blue, but you want to keep these.
  4. Right click the greenish blue Windows partition and click "Delete partition".
  5. Now, right click the navy blue ext4 Ubuntu partition and click "Resize/Move Partition". A dialog box will open - drag the right or left edges of the navy blue box so it fills up the maximum amount of space possible.
  6. Click OK to close that dialog box.
  7. Click "Apply" in the main GParted window to apply these operations. Confirm that you want to, if you are 100% sure that you do not need Windows any more. The operation will begin, and it might take a long time - but be patient while it finishes.
  8. One finished, reboot into your Ubuntu installation.
  9. Open the Terminal with ctrl+alt+T and type sudo update-grub, then Enter. Type in your password, which will not appear, and press Enter again. This will remove Windows from the Grub menu.

Then, you are finished.

But seriously, make sure you don't need anything (internet history, etc.) from your Windows installation! I find Firefox Sync, Microsoft Skydrive, and Google Drive very handy for ensuring a smooth migration to a new OS.

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    Some systems also have a hidden rescue partition that can be used to reinstall Windows. If you're really done with Windows, you'll want to delete that as well before making the Linux partition bigger. – Joe Jul 17 '13 at 18:15
  • Although you may not want to do it right away and wait until you know a bit more about Linux, it's really good to move /home onto its own partition and possibly create another partition just for data. That makes backups and upgrades much easier. It also helps prevent running out of disk space needed to run Linux after storing too many data files on the main (/ or root) partition. There are posts on stackexchange covering how to do this. – Joe Jul 17 '13 at 18:21
  1. Start from a Live CD
  2. Open the GParted progam
  3. Select the Windows partition (the one with NTFS as "Filesystem"), and delete it.
  4. Then extend Ubuntu's partition (probably the largest one) by dragging it's edge to fill the whole drive and click the checkmark.
  5. Wait for the operation to finish.
  6. After rebooting, start the terminal and type:

    sudo update-grub
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    Extending the Ubuntu partition will be impossible if he is already booted into the OS on that partition. – Richard Jul 13 '13 at 17:08
  • @searchfgold6789 Thanks for noticing. Edited now. – stommestack Jul 13 '13 at 17:10

you can just delete the partition where window is using your favourite partition manager.

Don't forget to backup your files.

After deleting the partition run sudo update-grub2 in a terminal, and type your password.

Now you can use the free space to place a new partition for your files or whatever you like.

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Good thing you are going to Ubuntu. Microsoft End of Life for Windows XP is going to be on April 8, 2014. I already started Migrating all of my XP machines to Ubuntu. If I were you I would create a COMPLETE hard drive image of your computer with Clonezilla before installing Ubuntu. My reasoning for this is that in the event that you need to recover your Windows XP installation exactly to where it is at this very point in time, you can easily recover it without having to finagle with re-installing Windows XP or wait around for all of the Windows XP updates and Service Packs. However, if you are going to totally wipe your Windows XP installation just backup your files and erase Windows.

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