Author Topic: Dual-Boot Question  (Read 1529 times)

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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Dual-Boot Question
« on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 10:50:18 »
So I have an XP machine that I installed Ubuntu on to fiddle around with.  Turns out I dislike Ubuntu because none of my hardware is compatible with it, so I can't even connect to the internet.

Ubuntu installed a 'GNU Grub' menu that lets me choose between XP and Ubuntu when I start the computer.  I was thinking of replacing Ubuntu with the Windows 9 beta or something; if I simply erase the partition that Ubuntu is installed on and put Windows over it, will the GNU menu recognize it and simply replace the Ubuntu option, or will I have to do something else entirely?

Offline EpicSNES

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 10:55:31 »
I've never setup a different version of Windows on a separate partition, but if you want to just remove Ubuntu have a look at these instructions: http://bobmorris.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/how-to-uninstall-ubuntu-on-dual-boot-windows-xp-using-windows-only/

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Offline EpicSNES

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 10:58:31 »
Just a side note, I'm not sure if I would use GRUB after removing all Linux partitions. I'm pretty sure that if you use the utility to setup a Windows Beta partition it'll setup a new boot option from the MBR. I'd probably try doing something similar in a virtual environment first before doing it on your main machine.

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Offline Computer-Lab in Basement

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 10:59:04 »
It depends on how you installed Ubuntu.

Did you use WUBI from within Windows? Or did you do a full install direct from the boot CD?

If the former, uninstall Ubuntu in the Windows Program Manager, and create a new partition for the Win9 beta install. If the latter, reformat the partition and install the Win9 beta.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:01:31 »
Well, I did a full install from the boot CD.  Looking at my partitions, I have the XP partition, the Linux partition, and a very small partition that I don't think was there before I installed Ubuntu; is that where GRUB is?

So it's just as simple as erasing and reformatting the Linux partition and GRUB will just recognize the new OS?

Offline Computer-Lab in Basement

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:05:47 »
Well, I did a full install from the boot CD.  Looking at my partitions, I have the XP partition, the Linux partition, and a very small partition that I don't think was there before I installed Ubuntu; is that where GRUB is?

So it's just as simple as erasing and reformatting the Linux partition and GRUB will just recognize the new OS?

Make sure that GRUB is on that small partition before you do anything. I'm not super familiar with full Ubuntu installs, I always use WUBI from within Windows precisely for this reason.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:08:10 »

Make sure that GRUB is on that small partition before you do anything. I'm not super familiar with full Ubuntu installs, I always use WUBI from within Windows precisely for this reason.

Well, I suppose the worst that could happen is GRUB being destroyed along with Ubuntu, which would just leave me with a blank partition alongside XP, and then I'd just have to find out how to get another dual-boot thingie on there.  Thanks for the help, Computer-Lab and EpicSNES.

Offline Computer-Lab in Basement

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:12:29 »
Just make sure that you don't accidentally delete GRUB and end up having no boot manager, then you might not be able to boot back into XP.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:17:00 »
Just make sure that you don't accidentally delete GRUB and end up having no boot manager, then you might not be able to boot back into XP.

 :eek:  Ok, so how do I find out if GRUB is on that partition then?  Essentially, I have a 364 GB XP partition, a 115 GB "Unknown" partition (which is what I set aside for Linux), and a 4 GB "Unknown" partition, which I assumed GRUB was on.

Offline samwisekoi

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:17:15 »

Make sure that GRUB is on that small partition before you do anything. I'm not super familiar with full Ubuntu installs, I always use WUBI from within Windows precisely for this reason.

Well, I suppose the worst that could happen is GRUB being destroyed along with Ubuntu, which would just leave me with a blank partition alongside XP, and then I'd just have to find out how to get another dual-boot thingie on there.  Thanks for the help, Computer-Lab and EpicSNES.

Nope, the worst thing that could happen is an unreadable disk that won't boot your computer into anything AND that the Windows installer refuses to format.  Ever again.  Seriously, THAT is the worst thing that could happen.  Blame UEFI and associated magic partition goodness.

Source: sad and painful experience in making dual-boot Linux/Windows PCs.  Mutiple experiences.

I have to jet to work right now, but my experience is that you will need to use a Linux disk utility to remove the hidden paritions.  GParted might work.  I'll re-reply with some more detailed help later today.

FYI, More than once I found the easiest thing to do was to actually replace the drive with a brand-new one fresh out of the box and to let Windows format it fresh.

Again, seriously.

Whatever you do, get good backups.  (Plural.)

 - Ron | samwisekoi
Typed from a dual-boot Linux/Windows computer.

I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:24:43 »
Nope, the worst thing that could happen is an unreadable disk that won't boot your computer into anything AND that the Windows installer refuses to format.  Ever again.  Seriously, THAT is the worst thing that could happen.  Blame UEFI and associated magic partition goodness.

Source: sad and painful experience in making dual-boot Linux/Windows PCs.  Mutiple experiences.

I have to jet to work right now, but my experience is that you will need to use a Linux disk utility to remove the hidden paritions.  GParted might work.  I'll re-reply with some more detailed help later today.

FYI, More than once I found the easiest thing to do was to actually replace the drive with a brand-new one fresh out of the box and to let Windows format it fresh.

Again, seriously.

Whatever you do, get good backups.  (Plural.)

 - Ron | samwisekoi
Typed from a dual-boot Linux/Windows computer.

Welp, now I'm terrified, so I'll sit tight until later.  Here's a screenshot of my partitions, if that means anything, and the Ubuntu I installed is Bodhi Linux from www.bodhilinux.com


Offline Computer-Lab in Basement

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 11:29:02 »
Try looking at your hard drive from within Ubuntu using it's disk manager, it will be able to read those "unknown" partitions and show you what's on them.
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Offline samwisekoi

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 13:52:22 »
The issue AFAIK is the UEFI partition thing.  I am not a WIndows guy, so have not got detailed knowledge on the specifics.

However, another option is to leave GRUB alone and set it to auto-boot Windows instead of Linux.

Also, Windows cannot see the Master Boot Record, which is certainly not the 4GB partition.  That is either /boot or / (root) and the 115GB partition is either /home or / (root).  The MBR is a tiny partition where the boot loader lives.  Unfortunately the MBR scheme only support disks up to 2TB, so the GUID Partition Table (GPT) scheme is used instead.  Switching between these two is the really hard thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

If all you want to do is install Windows 9 instead of Ubuntu, then possibly you could remove the Linux partition and install Win9 there.  Then you could retain GRUB and add Win9 as a boot option in GRUB.

But the WIndows installer has a habit of killing MBR, so you might end up without a bootloader at all, and then you wouldn't be able to choose where you booted.

Personally, here is what I would do:

Option A: Two disks.  Install a new 500GB disk and remove your old one.  Do a clean install of your main WIndows environment on the new disk.  Then physically re-install the old disk,and copy all of your files and data.  Finally unplug the new disk, and try and install WIn9 on the old disk.  Then you should be able to hit F12 at boot time and choose your boot drive.

Option B: One bigger disk and a  VM running Win9.  This is what I do, although my base OS is Linux.

Install a 1TB drive and install your primary operating system on it, using the entire drive.  Copy your old data and programs over from the old drive and make sure everything is happy.  Then install VirtualBox or the free version of VMware, and set up a virtual machine for Win9.  There will be some overhead while inside the Win9 environment, so don't game there, but it makes a really good sandbox.

I like and use Option B even on dual-boot machines.  For most things I run Linux and do Windows-specific things in a VirtualBox Windows VM.  The only reason I ever boot the entire machine into Windows is to use all of the possible power of the hardware.  Gaming and rendering are the only thing that require me to boot into Windows.

Ah, I thought of a third option.

Option C: Two small boot SSDs plus your existing disk for data.  Get a couple of small, inexpensive SSDs.  Install your primary Windows OS on one, and leave your data files on the existing hard drive.  Then, install Win9 on the other SSD, also using the existing hard drive as a shared data device.  There are good guides and How-Tos on this process.

Again, make a good backup or two before you do anything with your existing drive.  You may need to boot from an Ubuntu Live CD to use a Linux disk utility to fully free up the MBR/GPT in order to use that 500GB drive as a Windows boot drive.

Sorry for the pain, but Windows and Linux make completely different assumptions about who should be in charge of the bootloader.  Dual-boot systems are not for the faint of heart, and removing them can be as hard or harder than the original creation.

I hope the above helps!  Also, Google and the Ubuntu forumns are your friends in this situation.

 - Ron | samwisekoi
I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

'85 IBM F-122/Soarer Keyboard |  Leopold FC200 TKL (Browns) + GH36 Keypad (Browns/Greens) | GH-122 (Whites/Greens) with Nuclear Data Green keycaps in a Unicomp case

Offline Hundrakia

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 04 August 2014, 14:01:53 »
Definitely use the Ubuntu live CD method. Gdisk / Gdisk are both fine, well documented as well

Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 08:57:07 »
Well, thanks for the help; I really wish there was an option that didn't involve purchasing new drives.  Couldn't I use the option below to essentially restore XP to the entire drive and go from there?

I've never setup a different version of Windows on a separate partition, but if you want to just remove Ubuntu have a look at these instructions: http://bobmorris.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/how-to-uninstall-ubuntu-on-dual-boot-windows-xp-using-windows-only/

Offline osi

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 09:02:26 »
Well, thanks for the help; I really wish there was an option that didn't involve purchasing new drives.  Couldn't I use the option below to essentially restore XP to the entire drive and go from there?

I've never setup a different version of Windows on a separate partition, but if you want to just remove Ubuntu have a look at these instructions: http://bobmorris.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/how-to-uninstall-ubuntu-on-dual-boot-windows-xp-using-windows-only/

Purchase an external HDD from a larger retailer with a flexible return policy. Use it to back up your data and get your system back into shape.

Format/Erase the freshly purchased drive and return it!

:D

Offline samwisekoi

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 09:03:44 »
Well, thanks for the help; I really wish there was an option that didn't involve purchasing new drives.  Couldn't I use the option below to essentially restore XP to the entire drive and go from there?

I've never setup a different version of Windows on a separate partition, but if you want to just remove Ubuntu have a look at these instructions: http://bobmorris.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/how-to-uninstall-ubuntu-on-dual-boot-windows-xp-using-windows-only/

Oh yes.  That might work, or another method of erasing the drive and then re-installing.  Just be especially sure of your backups!

 - Ron | samwisekoi
I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

'85 IBM F-122/Soarer Keyboard |  Leopold FC200 TKL (Browns) + GH36 Keypad (Browns/Greens) | GH-122 (Whites/Greens) with Nuclear Data Green keycaps in a Unicomp case

Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 12:19:38 »
Purchase an external HDD from a larger retailer with a flexible return policy. Use it to back up your data and get your system back into shape.

Format/Erase the freshly purchased drive and return it!

:D

Why, that would just be wrong! :-)

Oh yes.  That might work, or another method of erasing the drive and then re-installing.  Just be especially sure of your backups!

Well this seems to be the only method that doesn't involve reformatting my computer.  I guess I can give it a shot and go through the slog of reformatting and reinstalling all my stuff if it goes wrong.  Maybe I'll look for a good backup software that takes an image of the HD for fast reinstallation.

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 12:54:26 »
In my experience, if you install Windows again after a linux it will destroy grub in the process. What I would do is boot the live linux image and pop into gparted and just clear the linux partitions and leave it raw, exit then reboot with your new Windows usb installer in. Then the Windows installer shouldn't have any trouble setting itself up on the raw partition.

Offline samwisekoi

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 12:57:07 »
In my experience, if you install Windows again after a linux it will destroy grub in the process. What I would do is boot the live linux image and pop into gparted and just clear the linux partitions and leave it raw, exit then reboot with your new Windows usb installer in. Then the Windows installer shouldn't have any trouble setting itself up on the raw partition.

Gparted can't see the MB/GPT.  I use fdisk for that, although there are probably GUI tools as well.

 - Ron | samwisekoi
I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

'85 IBM F-122/Soarer Keyboard |  Leopold FC200 TKL (Browns) + GH36 Keypad (Browns/Greens) | GH-122 (Whites/Greens) with Nuclear Data Green keycaps in a Unicomp case

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 13:08:51 »
? When I use it if it is GPT it has some message about it detected GPT signatures or some such if creating a new partition table. Also, if you go into advanced you can set it to GPT if you like as the default in gparted is to make mbr. I always use the gui version.
In any case there shouldn't be any need to change it here. If using XP will need to leave it as MBR since that OS can't boot off GPT.

Offline Hundrakia

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Re: Dual-Boot Question
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 06 August 2014, 13:51:45 »
Gdisk for gpt!