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Thread: rm -rf

  1. #1
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    Exclamation rm -rf

    I recently did a full wipe of Windows on a friend's computer replacing it with Ubuntu. However, she's decided that she really doesn't like it and would prefer to have Windows back on her machine.

    I've been looking up solutions online, but this seems to be a special case where the Windows installation disc is being completely by-passed, logging straight into Ubuntu regardless of the bios instructions. There is no option for partition selection or formatting or anything useful.

    So, I had the thought to use the "rm -rf" command to erase her machine and start from the ground up; however, I'm not entirely sure what in all this command entails... Will it erase the bios so that the machine won't even start? Or will it simply erase all the working files/operating systems files?

    My hope is that by erasing the operating system, the installation disc will be free to run its course. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Re: rm -rf

    No. This will not accomplish what you seek.

    Have you made sure that the BIOS is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive?


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  3. #3
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    Re: rm -rf

    I surely did. The computer acts like it is reading the disc, but completely skips it and goes straight into Ubuntu...

  4. #4

    Re: rm -rf

    Quote Originally Posted by fhornplayer View Post
    I surely did. The computer acts like it is reading the disc, but completely skips it and goes straight into Ubuntu...
    This is a long shot but may perhaps save a lot of time. The next time you can hear the disc spin up, hit enter as Windows boot discs usually display a message, "Press any key to boot from CD/DVD". Perhaps there is an issue with screen resolutions and the message is not displaying properly (long shot but you never know).

    In any event, to re-install Windows you need to be able to boot from the disc, and nothing you do to your current Ubuntu install is going to have an effect on it.


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  5. #5
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    Re: rm -rf

    Do a search on "How To Do Eveything With DD" and/or download SystemRescueCD from either SystemRescueCD (for cd) site at unetbootin (for USB stick) and do the same with nuke utility. You can wipe the drive with zeros, then reinstall what she what she wants.
    Nonsense is an assertion of man's spiritual freedom in spite of all the oppressions of circumstance-- Aldous Huxley
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  6. #6
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    Re: rm -rf

    Quote Originally Posted by not found View Post
    This is a long shot but may perhaps save a lot of time. The next time you can hear the disc spin up, hit enter as Windows boot discs usually display a message, "Press any key to boot from CD/DVD". Perhaps there is an issue with screen resolutions and the message is not displaying properly (long shot but you never know).

    In any event, to re-install Windows you need to be able to boot from the disc, and nothing you do to your current Ubuntu install is going to have an effect on it.


    404
    Ok, I tried it with no luck... The CD/DVD Drive seems to be in complete operation. I'm completely puzzled as to why this is happening in the first place. Any other thoughts that may help? Thank you for the thoughts, by the way!

  7. #7

    Re: rm -rf

    Quote Originally Posted by sidzen View Post
    Do a search on "How To Do Eveything With DD" and/or download SystemRescueCD from either SystemRescueCD (for cd) site at unetbootin (for USB stick) and do the same with nuke utility. You can wipe the drive with zeros, then reinstall what she what she wants.
    If the goal is to simply wipe the drive it can be done in a variety of ways. You could also boot with your Ubuntu disc (if it will boot) or with Ubuntu on a USB, go into a live session and then use gparted to remove all partions on the hard drive.

    I don't see this helping with getting Windows installed however.


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    EDIT: Have you tried your Windows media on another system? Or booting Ubuntu on the problem system?
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  8. #8
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    Re: rm -rf

    you're right -- any LiveCD will work if the dd command is known, but this is a failsafe method 'cause i hate messin' with Windows
    Last edited by not found; January 18th, 2013 at 04:47 AM. Reason: it is called Windows
    Nonsense is an assertion of man's spiritual freedom in spite of all the oppressions of circumstance-- Aldous Huxley
    The real power of Linux lies in the command line

  9. #9

    Re: rm -rf

    Quote Originally Posted by sidzen View Post
    you're right -- any LiveCD will work if the dd command is known, but this is a failsafe method 'cause i hate messin' with Windows
    Please re-read the OP, the whole purpose of this thread is to re-install Windows.


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  10. #10
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    Re: rm -rf

    And to get back to your original question... nothing in Ubuntu will help to get Windows back. It will not clear the bios, it will not help the CD boot, and it will not continue to operate if you rm -rf which is "remove recursively and force without prompting". That's an effective way to make a paperweight if you don't know what you're doing.

    It seems to me like your Windows disk itself is not bootable. This is pretty typical of older windows install disks, most windows upgrade disks, and a lot of recovery disks supplied with computers. Try it in another computer, try another Windows disk. And then check on the Windows help forums. As you can see the initial answers focused less on what you want to do, and more on what you wanted to try which is really of no help at all.
    "If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error." -John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist

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