How to Remove Ubuntu and Restore Windows 7 MBR from USB
I came across this problem last night and I somehow found a way to work around the MBR without totally ruining my system.
The problem with Ubuntu installations (except for Wubi Ubuntu installations) is that when you try to remove it, the Grub boot loader is also removed. This will make your computer impossible to start. The solution is to restore the Windows MBR in order to load your system. But how are you supposed to do this if you don’t have a Windows repair disk? Or better yet, what if you don’t even have a CD/DVD rom at all? Fret not. As long as you have a USB port, you’re good.
A.) Back up your files
The most important part in this tutorial is to backup your files to an external hard drive or another computer just in case the procedure fails, it won’t be painful. DO NOT proceed to the next steps until you back up your files.
Now you did? Sure? Okay, next step.
B.) Windows Recovery Disk
This is normally the core of the problem since most of us doesn’t have a copy of the Windows Recovery Disk. If you still have your original Windows Installation CD/DVD, you have nothing to worry about. But if you don’t have one or you don’t have a CD/DVD rom, probably you’ll need a little more extra things to do. For those who already have the CD, skip this step.
- Download a Windows Recovery Disk ISO (image file). Since Microsoft isn’t letting us have the disk image for free, most people get them from torrents. “Windows 7 Recovery Disk ISO torrent download” on Google works for “some”. (I can’t provide it to you because it’s illegal and we do not support it here)
- Once you have obtained an ISO or image of the disk, you’ll need a bootable USB drive with at least 2GB of memory and the app called WinSetupFromUSB which you can download here.
- Mount your ISO file in a virtual drive. You don’t have one? Install daemon tools here to mount your ISO files. It works as a virtual CD rom. It works like magic!
- Once your ISO is mounted, open WInSetupFromUSB. Choose the drive letter of your USB and click on RMPrepUSB. (Please take note that this will delete all of the files in your USB drive). Tick the check box with the label Vista/7/Sever2008/PE/RecoveryISO and browse on the virtual drive that your ISO is mounted on and click “GO”
- Your USB drive will be formatted and you will be able to boot your computer with Windows Recovery from it later on. But for now, just safely remove the USB drive when you’re done.
C.) Good bye, Ubuntu!
I never wanted to say it, but yes, good bye, Ubuntu! I shall see you again when I need to do some hardcore troubleshooting again. But for now, I just need the extra HD space you’re eating.
Before you proceed, make sure that you already backed up your important files from Ubuntu and saved it to an external hard drive or another computer.
- First off, you’re going to need an ext2 mounter and a partition manager. In my case, my Ubuntu partition is formatted as ext2 so I need an ext2 mounter like this. It lets you mount your ext2 drives/partitions so you can see it from windows. Assign a drive letter for your linux partitions that you want to delete.
- Next, you’ll need a partition manager. Some partition managers can’t see your linux partitions by default so you’ll need to mount them externally as I described in #1. Partition managers like this gives you the option to format partitions. Download it and format your linux partitions. Usually, Ubuntu has 2 partitions: 1 for the filesystem, and 1 other logical partition that is usually smaller.
- Good bye, Ubuntu!
Now, you’ have successfully ruined your computer. Try rebooting it and you’ll see how you ruined it.
LOL I’m totally kidding! But technically, it is, because it won’t start until you repair your MBR and replace it with Windows’.
D.) Run Windows Recovery on startup
Whether you have the USB or the CD, follow these instructions carefully.
- Restart your computer. Within 2-5 seconds after you’ll see an option to change startup device priority or something. It depends on you manufacturer, actually. Normally it would be pressing F9-F12 and change your settings so that your PC will boot from your USB drive or your CD rom.
- The Windows Recovery GUI appears.
- Choose you language, Click Next.
- Tick the “Use recovery tools” option, choose your operating system with the correct location, and click Next.
- Select Command Prompt. The Command Prompt window will appear.
- We’’ll do a little coding here but don’t be scared. YET. (I’m just kidding. )
Type: select disk0 (that’s a zero)
Type: list volume
This will list the available volumes in your system. Look for the volume drive letter of your USB/DVD.
7. Use the drive letter of your USB/DVD
Type: F: (substitute the letter with the drive letter of your USB/DVD)
Type: cd boot
Type: bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr (This is the core of the restoration process)
If it is successful,
E.) You are now a GOD
You can now restart your PC and call yourself AWESOME!
“This post is for educational/informational purposes only. Any damages, offense and violation of local or international laws are not of the blog owner’s responsibility, but that of the doer’s. Please read carefully and do with caution.”
Posted on April 15, 2012, in How TOs, Troubleshooting and tagged bootsect, daemon tools, easeus partition manager, ext2 mounter, grub, grub2, mbr, remove ubuntu, Ubuntu, windows 7 recovery, windows recovery disk, windows recovery iso, wubi. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.