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how to uninstall ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04

Uninstall Ubuntu ? Huh! Are you kidding? not of course, in this post you are going to learn – about uninstalling or removing ubuntu completely from your computer (Desktop , Laptop, Notebook or whatever); although it’s a different fact that when you will enjoy any flavor of Linux based operating system such as Ubuntu 10.04(Lucid Lynx), 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 11.04(Natty Narwhal, the latest stable version), it won’t be easy for you to move back to the proprietary OS such as Windows or Mac.

Ubuntu is the most popular GNU/Linux based desktop operating system probably due to the ease of use. For example, if we look back around 10 years ago, the Linux based distributions were limited to ‘tech-geeks’, but Ubuntu or other Linux distro such as Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS etc has made the Linux popular among common desktop users.

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The simple reason is – easy to use GUI (common people don’t like command line or terminal) e.g Gnome, KDE, XFCE etc, free substitute of proprietary software, security etc but there are still some major problems with Ubuntu, which may be the reason that you want to uninstall it. Some of the obvious reason is – poor graphics performance (which indirectly implies that ‘gaming is not fun on Ubuntu’) and other hardware compatibility problems, instability (Frequent release cycle of Ubuntu, twice in a year – makes it almost unusable for production environment) as compared to any other OS such as Windows 7 or Mac OS X. If you don’t have much experience in Ubuntu and uninstalling it in hurry, then it may be better that you better try for few more days and understand the problem instead of just quiting it. As a Linux distro, Ubuntu deserves little more time and effort to use it effectively, as compared to other OS.

Anyway, if you really want to uninstall Ubuntu for any reason then it’s OK. It’s very simple, just create a backup of all your important data and proceed to the next step.

Important! : You are strongly recommended to create a backup of all your important data before going for the installation procedure.

Uninstall/Remove Ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04 Safely

Case #1 : Uninstalling/Removing Ubuntu from Single Boot

If you have only one operating system i.e Ubuntu is installed on your computer , then it’s very simple because after removing ubuntu you will surely want to install another, you just need to follow this simple steps –

step 1 : If you want to install windows after removing Ubuntu, then simply create the bootable disk or USB that you will use for installing Windows 7 or vista (or XP).

step 2 : I assume you have already copied (otherwise login to Ubuntu and backup your data) all the data safely to another device or online back up such as Dropbox. Next, restart the computer and boot it from the Windows installation disc.

step 3 : Now format the ubuntu partition (if you had installed ubuntu on a particular partition) or the harddisk and install windows, follow on screen instructions..and you are Done! That’s All.

Case #2 : Uninstalling Ubuntu from Dual Boot (with Windows 7)

You might be using Ubuntu as a dual boot along with Windows 7. Now, the the next step depends on how you had installed Ubuntu along with Windows 7. The most simple technique is to install Ubuntu using Wubi Installer, which installs Ubuntu on Windows as a program. If that’s the case, then you can uninstall Ubuntu just like any other program from Windows 7 or Vista. It’s quite simple.

On the other hand you might have installed Ubuntu on the other partition in dual boot mode. So now, if you delete or format the ubuntu partition then the windows boot-loader will no longer be available because when you installed Ubuntu it has replaced it with GRUB. So you won’t be able to boot into your Windows OS after deleting or formatting the Ubuntu partition.

step 1 : Insert the Windows 7/vista/xp DVD and restart your computer.

step 2 : Go to recovery windows/console and execute the following command(s) :

bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot

to overwrite the MBR (Master Boot Record).

step 3 : Now, remove the installation disc, restart the computer and format ubuntu partition (ext3/4 file system) to a windows file system such as NTFS or FAT.

step 4 : That’s All. You are Done!