need to remove Linux from dual boot drive...

I have a laptop with a small (dual boot) hard drive.

It is a dual boot with Windows XP and Open Suse 11.1
I want to remove Suse Linux but keep the Windows side.
I need to keep that Windows drive just the way it is. I have OpenSUSE 11.2 installed in ANOTHER laptop and want to keep them separate.
I don’t want to damage the proprietary program on the windows side.
My challenge is I DO NOT HAVE a Windows install CD, I do have the recovery disk that came with the Laptop, but this DOES NOT include the Proprietary program I want to keep.

Is there a way to remove Linux from this dual boot drive without erasing Windows?

Your input will be greatly appreciated!


There are two steps. The first is to make sure the active flag is still on the original windows partition. The second is to restore the original windows code to Master Boot Record MBR).

Step 1: open a console and run su to get rootly powers than run this command:

fdisk -l

. The active/boot flag is an asterisk. It should be on the windows aprtition, ususlly sda1; e.g. here’s what I have:

/dev/sda1   *           1       10382    83393383+   7  HPFS/NTFS

If the asterisk is somewhere else, on a different partition, go to Yast Software and install Gparted. Run Gparted as root by opening a terminal and running su to get rootly powers then run the command


. Do nothing else then change the “boot” flags. Highlight the partition where the boot flag is, right click, select “manage flags” and untick the boot flag. Then highlight the windows partition, right click, select “manage flags”, and tick the boot flag. Don’t change anything else unless you’re an expert. Click the tick-mark at the top to make the changes permanent.

Step 2: Usually the windows boot code from the MBR is saved when openSUSE is installed. To restore it, goto Yast → System → Bootloader. Bottom right hand side click the button Other → Restore MBR of Hard Disk.

If you make a mistake, the drive might become unbootable, which is not too hard to fix, but it would be wise if you’re a newbie, to backup your data first.

Step 3: once you can boot to windows, you can erase the Linux partitions by using the windows partitioner in Control Panel and make it a windows D: drive for data storage. Or use the Gparted Live CD to stretch/expand the C: windows partition over the whole of the drive space.

Of course you’re NEVER going to believe this!

I followed your directions AND STILL managed to mess it up.
It is now un-bootable.

At boot it showed:

GRUB loading
error: file not found
grub rescue>

Sorry to be a pest, but what do I do to make Windows bootabe?



Try this: download and burn the bootable Parted Magic Live CD. Boot off it and select to run in RAM. Click the console icon at the bottom to open LXTerminal. Run command

fdisk -l

. I assume you’ll verify the target windows partition is hda1 and that it has the asterisk against it. Then run this command:

ms-sys -w /dev/hda

Then reboot.

FIRST OF ALL!!! THANKS A BUNCH!!! For your help.

I followed your directions to the letter and this is what I got:

Unable to automaticly select boot record for /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1 has an x86 boot sector,
it is an unknown boot record

YES, it shows:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 4179 33559785 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 4179 6610 19531250 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 6611 6913 2433847 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4 6914 9729 22619520 83 Linux

I hope this help, I’ll be up for a while, but the machines remain on and on-line.

I hope you can help.
Thanks a million


Did you run exactly this:

ms-sys -w /dev/sda

(not sda1)

And reading this man page: ms-sys(1): Microsoft boot block - Linux man page
maybe for your drive you do this:

ms-sys -m /dev/sda


I made the mistake and wrote “sda1” instead of “sda”.
(when will I ever learn!!!)

Of course it wrote the master book record back to windows.
But now it’s in a loop, tells me it is looking for “autochk” and it is skiping “AUTOCHECK”.

Sounds like I goofed someplace, Will try another source.
I may have to get the whole drive re-formated.

Thanks so much for your help.
It was a valuable learning experience!


Yeh you may have to reformat, its tough enough to shrink a windows partition to expand it without destroying anything is out of the question… almost
My suggestion is to reformat the linux side to NTFS and hopefully windows will pick it up as extra space.
I would run a live CD like gparted live to re assign the partition to a windows NTFS drive.
Then when its cleared off and windows is the only OS on the system you could try to reformat the new partition again and label it as a new drive.
This way you regain your space but not mess anything up.
Turn the new partition into a new doccuments drive or something, I set windows up to have a linux like partition scheme before.
I only suggest reformat the partition twice as even though gparted live can format a NTFS partition windows might gripe about it.

What a mess!!!

Finally, had to re-install Windows for that drive.
Of course it does not recognize the ethernet card or the wifi.

But that is the new owner’s problem, I also included a fully formated, fully functioning, Opensuse 11.2 drive (Laptop has removable drives.) with all the bells and whistles!

If he insists on using that “W” stuff let him set it up!

A BIG THANKS to all of you for your help. :slight_smile: