When I got a new computer, I installed Ubuntu and Windows XP on it. When I turn it on, GRUB shows up and lets me choose between the OSes. All right so far.

A while later, I decided I don't want Ubuntu anymore (Linux fanboys, refrain). I deleted its partition, but I realized too late that GRUB depended on it, so the computer wouldn't boot. I installed Ubuntu again and it's working fine. So how do I tell the computer that I want it to boot directly into Windows?

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    Don't apologize for removing Linux -- even as an ardent Linux supporter I've removed it in favor of Windows a few times (and made the exact same mistake). – Andrew Scagnelli Jul 23 '09 at 15:32
  • I used to boot Linux using the NT bootloader when dual booting between Redhat and NT 4. So difficult and so pointless. ;-) – GeneQ Jul 23 '09 at 15:48

Use EasyBCD to take Ubuntu from your bootloader

EasyBCD will overwrite GRUB, after that format the Ubuntu partition: Done!

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Edit: works in XP, yes

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    EasyBCD should pay me for all this free marketing! – Ivo Flipse Jul 23 '09 at 15:42
  • Will it work in XP? – Javier Jul 23 '09 at 15:56
  • EasyBCD will overwrite grub's entry in the MBR. – Babu Jul 23 '09 at 17:21
  • The concept of a program like EasyBCD scares me just as much as apps like GPartEd and PartitionMagic. You do not want to be mucking about in the MBR and partition tables of your hard drives while they are running. – Andrew Scagnelli Jul 23 '09 at 18:52
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    Valid point, but it does do the trick (if you know what your doing) – Ivo Flipse Jul 23 '09 at 19:15

You need to reinstall the Windows NT Loader (yeah, its NT even for XP) to the primary boot partition. Thankfully, doing so is incredibly easy.

  1. Boot in Recovery mode from an XP CD. You need to boot from the CD to do this.
  2. Run fixboot
  3. Run fixmbr
  4. Reboot

As GeneQ added in the comments below, if fixboot and fixmbr fail, you can always use fdisk /mbr. The fdisk method will work on older computers that have MSDOS/9x bootdisks.

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    Sometimes when neither fixboot or fixmbr works, fdsik /mbr is the last resort. ;-) – GeneQ Jul 23 '09 at 15:41
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    that's fdisk /mbr , not fdsik – Adriano Varoli Piazza Jul 23 '09 at 16:32

When else fails (otherwise use the fixboot/fixmbr method instead) and need to get back to your Windows XP bootloader instead of the one installed by your Linux distro, simply follow these instructions:

  1. Boot up with your Windows XP disc.
  2. Select the option Recovery Console.
  3. At the prompt, type: fdisk /mbr
  4. Restart your computer.
  • A. Scagnelli's answer should be the main answer, mine is supplementary; for worst case scenarios only. – GeneQ Jul 23 '09 at 15:50

You will need to insert a Windows XP CD and boot to the CD. Instead of installing, you will need to enter the Recovery Console. There you will need to use the fixmbr command to repair your master boot record. You may also need to use fixboot on your windows partition. That should get you back to your Windows only install. You can then delete the Ubuntu partition.

protected by BinaryMisfit Nov 9 '10 at 12:51

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