How do I remove GRUB 2 and repair my original Windows XP bootloader?

pavol Skulavik May 6, 2013
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Hi I have a question about recovering my Windows XP boot loader.

Situation is the following: I have two HDDs on my notebook. Primary (first HDD) was installed with Windows XP. This HDD has two partitions (C(system),D(data)), on the Data partition I installed a second OS, Windows 7. Bootloader was taken from Windows 7 and booting was just fine. Then I have decided to install Windows 7 on second HDD (HDD in CADY instead of DVD). Installation was successful and I could choose from BIOS whether to boot from primary HDD (then Windows XP or Windows 7) or second HDD and only Windows 7. I then wanted to install also Ubuntu 12.1 and here I made mistake…

I installed Ubuntu on second HDD where the only free space I had was available. It messed up my boot loader on my primary HDD and thus takeover option to boot primary Windows 7 and second HDD Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I want get rid of Ubuntu Grub2 boot loader and rather come back to the Windows XP boot loader. I do not care anymore about primary Windows 7 OS (this was handling XP booting), I will keep Windows 7 only on a second HDD and Ubuntu will reinstall to my second HDD with its Grub2 boot loader.

My question is: how do I get rid of Ubuntu’s Grub2 boot loader and bring back the Windows XP boot loader? Because this is a company notebook and it is a company installation of XP, I don’t really want to reinstall Windows XP if I dont have to. I do not have experience with FreeBSD and don’t want to let it break my copy of XP if I dont have to. I still can live with this setup, I can choose un GRUB2 Windows 7 and then in Windows 7 boot loader select Windows XP.

Editor’s Note: So to recap – remove GRUB2 bootloader and repair the Windows XP bootloader ideally without using the installation DVD or re-installing XP itself.

  1. Jan Fritsch
    May 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    You can restore the Windows XP boot loader simply by booting from the Installation CD, going into the recovery console and issuing the commands "fixmbr" followed by "fixboot".

    However doing so you will lose the ability to boot either Linux or Windows 7. The old XP boot loader can't boot either without some "hacking".

    If you do want a Windows based boot loader yet be able to boot all OS your best option is to go with the Windows 7 boot loader
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32523/how-to-manually-repair-windows-7-boot-loader-problems/)
    Then add GRUB or Ubuntu using the following method:
    https://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Ubuntu
    * This would be a multi-stage setup allowing you to add additional OS to the GRUB boot loader.

    There may be an option to add GRUB to the XP boot loader and select either Ubuntu or Windows 7 in it but I haven't found anything on that.

    Nevertheless if you do want a multi-boot option I would simply stick with GRUB.

    • null
      May 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Hi, thanks, this is the option I likely will follow. All I need now is to obtain winXP installation CD/DVD or some boot recovery image dvd/cd if exist, just to use it for boot recovery console. thx for hint

  2. Amit S
    May 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    First delete the partition containing ubuntu system root drive and try repairing windows xp, this might help you

  3. yudics
    May 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    why not install it to virtual machine like VMWare to reduce risk?. the only way to remove linux and their grub is reformat the hardisk where is you install linux , and then, reinstall your windows with repair option. but this can be the hardest work to do..

  4. Alan Wade
    May 7, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Try a repair install, that way you wont lose anything in XP.

    • pavol Skulavik
      May 7, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Hi, thnks for hint. to be sure, did u mean winXP recovery console? or something else?

      thx

    • susendeep dutta
      May 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      He meant using Windows CD/DVD and use the repair option.

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