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I have a Windows XP box with Ubuntu 8.04 installed on a separate partition. GRUB is defaulted to Ubuntu, which is annoying because most of the time I need to boot to Windows. I want to get rid of the Ubuntu partition, leaving Windows XP the only bootable operating system.

How would I safely get rid of GRUB and restore the MBR to only look at Windows XP?

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Even if you do just visualize, you may want to check out 9.04 or 9.10. I think the SU community would agree in general that they're better releases than 8.04. – Nathaniel Jan 8 '10 at 18:18
@Nathaniel - I have no real reason not to get an updated version of Ubuntu, so I'll check it out. I had a major problem when 8.10 first came out that rendered my keyboard unresponsive as soon as Gnome started, after I rolled back to 8.04 I didn't want to do anything else to break it! I'm not nearly as familiar with Linux as I am with Windows, but I like to have Ubuntu around for the odd time I feel like poking around in unfamiliar waters. – Heather Kordinak Jan 8 '10 at 20:01
up vote 12 down vote accepted

To remake the MBR to windows only, boot with a Windows boot disk and type;

fdisk /mbr

You could also boot to the recovery console, and use:


To change the order of operating systems without destroying grub, you can edit menu.lst in /boot/grub/ :

cd /boot/grub
sudo cp menu.lst menu.lst_backup
sudo gedit menu.lst

You can then either move the OS entries around the file (one at the top boots first), or find the line;

 default 0

and change 0 to the number of the entry you would like to be selected by default.

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Good answer. I think using the recovery console is the safer alternative. – DaveParillo Jan 8 '10 at 16:12
Thanks. I figured it would be something in the recovery console. I'll give it a shot this evening. – Heather Kordinak Jan 8 '10 at 16:22

Looks like you are annoyed at Linux booting before you can change the boot option to Windows. Instead of removing GRUB (& indirectly making it difficult for you to boot into the LInux Partiton) why not just chnge the default OS which be loaded.....

I have done it on my PC and it works like a charm.

All you have to do is:

Try this, go to your /boot/grub directory on your boot drive ie (hda or hdb) and edit a file called menu.lst, it's only in Ascii so you cant do any harm (make a copy b4 u start). You will need to login as root so you can save your changes! Now look for these 2 entries on the first few lines

timeout 10 default 1

Pretty simple stuff really timeout is the number of seconds the system waits

"default 1" is the title number in the menu of the program you wish to launch ie,

title Fedora 7 root (hd0,0) makeactive chainloader +1

title Fedora failsafe root (hd0,0) makeactive chainloader +1

title Your menu option root (hd0,0) makeactive chainloader +1

Please note the first title entry is 0 & then 1,2,3 etc

So if you wanted "Your menu option" to load first after 20 seconds you would change the entries to:

timeout 20 default 2

Tahen from last post.

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Being annoyed at Ubuntu always being the default boot option is only part of my reasoning, I just don't use it very much since I develop software primarily in .NET. I'm not totally getting rid of Ubuntu, I plan on reinstalling it in Virtual Box instead of a totally separate partition. This info is good to have though - I may have a dedicated Linux box one of these days. – Heather Kordinak Jan 8 '10 at 17:24

you can also edit waiting time for windows....

you can get to recovery console by booting from Windows XP CD, then press R

you will be asked for administrator password. type

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