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Thread: Deleting Partitions

  1. #1
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    Deleting Partitions

    Hi,

    Semeone has given me a number of Ubuntu OS's to try.

    I would like to test and install each in turn to the hard-drive, then delete the partition to restore the machine to its original configuration, then install the second, and so on. After the tests, I can install the OS of choice

    Should I be able to do this without a problem?

    On a related point, When installing to the hard-drive sometimes I am presented with two boxes and can adjust the size of the partitions.

    Assuming that Vista is on the machine, is the box to the left the vista partition, and the box to the right the partition that will be used for the new OS?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Strictly speaking, deleting the partition will not restore the drive to its original condition, because installing an OS also involves writing a boot sector to the start of the drive (in the Master Boot Record area, outside of any partitions). Just deleting the Ubuntu partition will leave the machine unable to boot at all because the bootloader that Ubuntu installs will not be able to find Ubuntu any more. This doesn't matter if you are going to install another Ubuntu straight afterwards (which will also install an updated bootloader) but it will matter if you want to run Vista again.

    There are lots of tutorials on the internet about how to restore a windows bootloader. I can't vouch for any as I've never wanted to restore windows after a linux install, but I have used systemrescuecd to replace a damaged windows bootloader for someone in the past.

    P.S.
    Backup all your important data before you even start. If something goes wrong, like a badly burned installer CD, then you could lose all your drive contents.
    Last edited by The Cog; January 9th, 2013 at 02:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Thread moved to Installation & Upgrades

    Why don't you just try them all from the LiveCD. You don't need to install them to the hard drive at all ...

  4. #4
    ibjsb4 is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Forget partitioning

    https://www.virtualbox.org/

  5. #5
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    On top of the other things already mentioned, if you want to test linux OSs you don't need to delete the previous partition at all. Most linux installers offer some type of manual method of installation where you can select to use an existing partition. So, no need for the partition to be deleted just so it can be created again.

    In the ubuntu installer for example, this method/option is called Something Else.
    Darko.
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  6. #6
    Rebelli0us is offline Extra Foam Sugar Free Ubuntu
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    What you're proposing can be done, but it seems like a lot of work and you risk damaging your Windows installation.

    Instead, you can use VirtualBox (free form Oracle) to create virtual machines of each of the Linux versions you want to try out, it's much quicker, simpler and cannot damage your Host OS.

  7. #7
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cog View Post
    Strictly speaking, deleting the partition will not restore the drive to its original condition, because installing an OS also involves writing a boot sector to the start of the drive (in the Master Boot Record area, outside of any partitions). Just deleting the Ubuntu partition will leave the machine unable to boot at all because the bootloader that Ubuntu installs will not be able to find Ubuntu any more. This doesn't matter if you are going to install another Ubuntu straight afterwards (which will also install an updated bootloader) but it will matter if you want to run Vista again.

    There are lots of tutorials on the internet about how to restore a windows bootloader. I can't vouch for any as I've never wanted to restore windows after a linux install, but I have used systemrescuecd to replace a damaged windows bootloader for someone in the past.

    P.S.
    Backup all your important data before you even start. If something goes wrong, like a badly burned installer CD, then you could lose all your drive contents.
    Good explanation. +1

  8. #8
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Quote Originally Posted by darkod View Post
    On top of the other things already mentioned, if you want to test linux OSs you don't need to delete the previous partition at all. Most linux installers offer some type of manual method of installation where you can select to use an existing partition. So, no need for the partition to be deleted just so it can be created again.

    In the ubuntu installer for example, this method/option is called Something Else.
    Thanks for responding.

    Have I understood you correcly.

    I should create a partition using GParted. The total size could be say 30 Gib (15 Root, 10 Home, 2 Swap).

    I should then install into this partition.

    If I wanted to use another OS, I would simply install into this partition and the existing Linux would be overwritten - without affecting Vista.

    Suppose I wanted to remove the OS (Linux) and restore my machine to its original configuration - Vista.

    Would using this method protect the Vista boot loader.

    I'll also have a look at the other suggestions

  9. #9
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Quote Originally Posted by ibjsb4 View Post
    Forget partitioning

    https://www.virtualbox.org/

    Hi,

    I might have some difficulty in using Virtualbox

    Although I have Vista installed it will not run due to insufficient memory, hence I need to install an OS that will run before I could consider using Virtualbox.

    Having no experience with Virtualbox, my previous comments are guesswork.

  10. #10
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    Re: Deleting Partitions

    Quote Originally Posted by anon_private View Post
    Thanks for responding.

    Have I understood you correcly.

    I should create a partition using GParted. The total size could be say 30 Gib (15 Root, 10 Home, 2 Swap).

    I should then install into this partition.

    If I wanted to use another OS, I would simply install into this partition and the existing Linux would be overwritten - without affecting Vista.

    Suppose I wanted to remove the OS (Linux) and restore my machine to its original configuration - Vista.

    Would using this method protect the Vista boot loader.

    I'll also have a look at the other suggestions
    Not exactly. The root, /home and swap are all different partitions, so you can't call it ONE partition. It's three.
    But yes, if you later install another linux version using these same partitions, it will not affect Vista in any way, or any other partition on the disk.
    You can create the partitions in advance with Gparted, but it's not needed since you can do it with the installer. In any case, you should have the 30GB unallocated space (not belonging to any partition) before you start. And not have reached the limit of 4 primary partitions.

    From ubuntu live mode, can you open terminal and post the output of this command:
    Code:
    sudo parted -l (that's small L)
    That will show us the existing disk layout.

    If you install the grub2 bootloader to the MBR (which I recommend) it will overwrite the windows bootloader, but it's easy to restore it back even if you don't have a vista dvd. Making ubuntu boot with the windows bootloader is more complicated especially if your vista is not working good right now because of low resources.
    Darko.
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