Looking for help on removing OpenSuse 12.3 without damaging XP Install

The only one of my 5 desktops that still runs XP is currently dual booted with OpenSuse 12.3.

This desktop runs some critical (to me) legacy software I cannot replace, and I don’t have a Win XP disk for this computer.

I’d like to remove completely my OpenSuse install, but keep my WIN XP install.

Here’s how the hard drives are currently set up:

/dev/sda IDE 74.53 GB
/dev/sda1 NTFS C: Windows XP partition primary
/dev/sda2 FAT32 Recovery primary

/dev/sdb IDE 149.05
/dev/sdb1 ext4 24.42 GB / primary
/dev/sdb2 swap 1.95 GB swap primary
/dev/sdb3 ext4 95.64 GB /home primary
/dev/sdb4 fat32 LBA 27.03 GB primary

I think what I have to do is set grub to use the root partition, (sdb1) then delete sdb1, sdb2, sdb3, and make sda1 active and startable.

Once I have WIN XP running by itself, I’ll make full backups to the sdb drive and a USB backup as well, so I don’t risk the software.

Anyone see any faults in this approach?

First see if the XP HDD will boot XP with only the XP HDD connected
This will determine if the MBR has been written to
If it doesn’t boot, then you will need a XP disk to fixmbr

It’s not completely clear.

Are you currently booting from the MBR? And, if you are, is that “/dev/sda” or “/dev/sdb”?

What you really need, is to have generic boot code installed in “/dev/sda”, set “sda1” as active, and delete all linux partitions. There’s probably a Windows XP command to put back generic boot code. If you can find that, then just set “sda1” as active, boot into WinXP and run the command to fix the booting. Then, when everything is working, delete the unneeded partitions.

The advice you have already received here from the other responders is valid, will help get you where you want to go.

However, I will make a further, refined suggestion here, and can offer follow-up help if you need it.

  1. Disconnect the 2nd HD (sdb)

  2. Use the partitioner of your choice (GParted, for example, but any good partitioner will do) & set your XP partition (currently listed as sda1) with the Boot flag (referred to as the Active flag in some partitioners).

  3. Reboot & see if it loads XP. If it does, you can then reconnect your 2nd drive & repartition it.

If XP doesn’t load, I can supply you with a quick fix.

I have created my own boot CD to take care of booting into your already-installed XP, if you need it. It is perfectly legitimate, since it is only a bootable CD that has the BOOT.INI, NTDETECT.COM, and NTLDR files to locate and boot the XP on your HD.

All that is needed is to get your own XP installation to boot once. When you shut it down, it (most of the time) will check and repair its boot files. The next time you boot, XP should be working normally.

As I said, that will work most of the time. If it doesn’t work, you just boot again to your own XP from the boot CD and run your own XP’s repair functions.

If you know enough to make your own boot CD with the above 3 files, that’s great.

If not, if you need a copy of this bootable CD, let me know. I will then make the ISO available on my website & I will send you a link to download it.


Oh, yes.

And, if you are able to make your own boot CD, the contents of your BOOT.INI file would be thus:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /fastdetect

On 2014-01-02 06:26, robertsmits wrote:
> Once I have WIN XP running by itself, I’ll make full backups to the sdb
> drive and a USB backup as well, so I don’t risk the software.

Make a working backup before you do anything, to external media.

Then proceed to remove linux as explained.

When everything works, make backup again. Being paranoid, use different media.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Elessar))

…I’m even more paranoid than you!

In such a case, I tend to use 2 or 3 different backup programs, and backup to more than one media with each!

…and then, just to be sure, I make another backup. rotfl!