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How to Remove Linux and Install Windows XP
Article ID: 314458 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q314458
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 247804
This article explains how to remove the Linux operating system from your computer and install Windows XP. This article assumes that Linux is already installed on your computer's hard disk, that Linux native and Linux swap partitions are in use (which are incompatible with Windows XP), and that there is no free space left on the hard disk.
NOTE: Windows XP and Linux can coexist on the same computer. For additional information, refer to your Linux documentation.
To install Windows XP on a computer on which Linux is currently installed (and assuming that you want to remove Linux), you must manually delete the partitions used by the Linux operating system. The Windows-compatible partition can be created automatically during the installation of Windows XP.
IMPORTANT: Before you follow the steps in this article, verify that you have a bootable disk or bootable CD-ROM for the Linux operating system, because these steps completely remove the Linux operating system from your computer. If you intend to restore the Linux operating system at a later date, verify that you also have a functional backup of all the information stored on your computer. Additionally, you must have a full release version of Windows XP to use during this installation. If you intend to use a Windows XP upgrade CD-ROM, a CD-ROM of a qualifying Windows product must be available. Setup from the Windows XP upgrade CD-ROM will prompt you for this CD-ROM.
Linux file systems use a superblock at the beginning of a disk partition to identify the basic size, shape, and condition of the file system.
The Linux operating system is generally installed on partition type 83 (Linux native) or 82 (Linux swap). The Linux boot manager (LILO) can be configured to start from either of the following locations:
To remove Linux from your computer and install Windows XP, follow these steps:
Sample Linux Partition Tables
Single SCSI Drive
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/sda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 2)
Multiple SCSI Drives
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/sda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 2) /dev/sdb1 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 2, partition 1)
Single IDE Drive
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/hda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (IDE hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/hda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (IDE hard drive 1, partition 2)
Multiple IDE Drives
Additionally, Linux recognizes more than 40 different partition types, including the following:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/hda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (IDE hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/hda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (IDE hard drive 1, partition 2) /dev/hdb1 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (IDE hard drive 2, partition 1)
You can also use an MS-DOS version 5.0-or-later boot disk, a Microsoft Windows 95 Startup disk, or a Microsoft Windows 98 Startup disk that contains the Fdisk utility to remove an operating system from the hard disk and install a different operating system. When you start Fdisk and multiple drives are installed on your computer, you are presented with five choices; use option 5 to select the hard disk that has the partition to be deleted. After that (or if you have only one hard disk), select option 3 (Delete partition or logical DOS drive), and then select option 4 (Delete non-DOS partition). You should then see the non-MS-DOS partitions that you want to delete. Typically, the Linux operating system has two non-MS-DOS partitions, but there may be more. After you delete one partition, use the same steps to delete any other appropriate non-MS-DOS partitions.
For additional information about how to use the Fdisk utility, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
255867After you delete the partitions, you can create partitions and install the operating system that you want. You can create only one primary partition and an extended partition with multiple logical drives by using Fdisk from MS-DOS version 5.0-and-later, Windows 95, and Windows 98. The maximum FAT16 primary partition size is 2 gigabytes (GB). The largest FAT16 logical drive size is 2 GB.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255867/EN-US/ )How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
105074When you install Windows XP, the Linux partitions can be removed and new partitions created and formatted with the appropriate file system type during the installation process. Windows XP allows you to create more than one primary partition. Windows XP does recognize the FAT32 file system. During the installation of Windows XP, you can create a very large FAT32 drive. The FAT32 drive can be converted to NTFS after the installation has completed, if appropriate.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/105074/EN-US/ )MS-DOS 6.2 Partitioning Questions and Answers
For additional information about how to multiboot with Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306559/EN-US/ )HOW TO: Create a Multiple-Boot System with Windows XP