About a year ago I installed ubuntu on my notebook and made it encrypt my hard drive. Problem is, I don't know what password I used back then, 'cause I haven't touched the notebook in a while.

Now I need a clean Windows OS on it. [How] can I install Windows 10 on this hard drive?

I did encrypt it via ubuntu not bios

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    So the real question is "how do I unlock a locked drive when I've forgotten the password?" I suggest your edit your question to say this. – DavidPostill Mar 23 '16 at 16:18
  • Boot into gparted, delete all existing partitions on the HDD, then boot to the Windows 10 installation media and proceed as normal. – Ramhound Mar 23 '16 at 16:20
  • Did you encrypt it via BIOS or via linux? – Romeo Ninov Mar 23 '16 at 16:21
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    If you did this from the bios configuration of your laptop then it depends on laptop model/brand and also disk model/brand, most of them can be unlocked with entering the bios as an administrator, if you did it with linux or some other software then simply delete the partitions. – arana Mar 23 '16 at 16:23
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    Encrypting and locking a hard drive is 2 different things. Normally the hard drive is "locked" using the bios and a password. If it is only an encryption password, just format/wipe the drive using a boot disc, then install windows. – Moab Mar 23 '16 at 16:23

Just put the Windows disk in and install as normal? It should be able to just wipe and overwrite the forgotten OS.

If the Windows installer doesn't like that then you can use an Ubuntu install disk to delete the partitions from the disk. If Windows can't cope with an apparently empty drive then there's something else wrong!

If the drive really is password-locked at the firmware level then that's another matter.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks, I just wanted to know if that's sufficient before I prepare an installation USB stick (ultrabook, so no CD drive) – keinabel Mar 23 '16 at 17:12
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    There is no reason why normal installation process would not work. – yoyo_fun Mar 23 '16 at 18:27

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