Unintalling Linux

Hi, Since I installed Ubuntu on top of Vista, putting grub on the Ubuntu partition and not installing to the MBR, and booting it with EasyBCD... ... I take it that if I want to get rid of Ubuntu (to install another distro), I can just reformat that partition, and Vista will still boot without having to repair the MBR or any such thing? Then I can just remove the Ubuntu entry and add the new one when I install the new distro? Can you verify or deny? Anything I am missing? Thanks.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi ColmCille, welcome to NST.

The entry should work for the new installation as well as long as you keep the partition and just reformat. There should be no reason to delete it since it simply references the partition and not any files specific or unique to Ubuntu. If the entry doesn't work you could go back and add a new one easily or if the mbr gets messed up just use startup repair from a Vista disc or recovery disc or EasyBCD even as long as you can still get into Vista to repair it. Then just rename the entry so that it reflects the name of the distro you install. If you want to do this often to try out various distributions, I might recommend just giving the entry a generic name like "Linux" or "Linux OS". If your unsure about something, post or read up on wiki to famillize yourself.
Sounds good.

But the main thrust of my question is whether there's any reason the MBR should even need repaired, or whether there are any other issues I need to think about which may cause Windows to get messed up and/or become unbootable (given my particular setup)?

The reason I originally asked is that I'm pretty sure the recovery disks I burnt from the partition won't do MBR repairs, though it will do restores and even backup files. The system restore disk I got from HP might or might not (I haven't booted it yet to find out what it does). I don't have a regular Vista install disk.

However, I just remembered that I have the repair disk I downloaded from Neosmart Technologies. Perhaps you've heard of them? :grinning:

So either way, I think I am covered. Still, for informational purposes, if I don't install grub to the MBR but to the Linux partition, and then I reformat the Linux partition, there should be no effect on Windows or the MBR, and I should be able to boot right into Windows with neither muss nor fuss, right?

Thank you for your reply.


Super Moderator
Staff member
As long as grub is installed to the partition and not to the mbr, the Vista bootloader well remain intact and Vista or any other OS booted from there should still work. I know myself that I had a hard time during the installation proccess with Ubuntu anyway because It would refuse to install grub if I told it to install to a specific partition rather then to the mbr. In the event you also experience the same issue or just don't want to take the time to figure out the correct location (it can be a little tricky), writing to the mbr isn't exactly bad. It just makes Vista and the other OSes temporaily unbootable unless Ubuntu's installer adds them to grub until you have ran startup repair to recover the mbr with Vista's code. And yes, the recovery disc from this site is all you need to get the mbr back to the way it was if it gets messed up or if Vista isn't booting. It looks just like a Vista installation disc, but can only be used to perform repair operations on existing installations on the hard drive. Just boot from it and following the instructions on the wiki.