View Full Version : [ubuntu] uninstalling unwanted distros

August 18th, 2009, 05:24 PM
I'm a new linux user, and I started by installing several distros on my 40Gb hard drive. I've now settled on Ubuntu (Intrepid) and I want to uninstall the others to make more room. This is either so easy that it isn't worth mentioning anywhere (and I have looked everywhere I can think of) or only possible with a Windows CD (I don't have Windows on this machine), and even then only with considerable difficulty.
As far as I can make out, simply deleting the partitions for Suse, Debian and so on will create problems with GRUB. Is this so, and is there a simple solution?
I know that I can't be the only person with this problem, so if there's anyone out there who can point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful.
Thanks, Bob

August 18th, 2009, 05:35 PM
gparted should do the job...

August 19th, 2009, 02:18 PM
gparted should do the job...

OOPS! I should have asked a few more questions here. I deleted unwanted partitions with gparted and now get grub error 17 on booting. I thought that seemed too easy. Any further suggestions welcome. Bob

August 19th, 2009, 02:27 PM
Just delete the useless partitions, and after that re-install Grub.

Here's one guide for re-installing Grub:

If you also expand your current Ubuntu partition to use the available space this will change the partitions UUID, so you'll have to edit your /etc/fstab accordingly to use the new UUID. You can check the new UUID with the "blkid"-command.

And no, you don't need Windows CD to fix Linux installs. Some of us might find suggesting such things insulting.. (just kidding :D)

August 19th, 2009, 06:40 PM
...SuperGrubDisc restores GRUB easily:


August 21st, 2009, 07:12 PM
First of all thanks very much to realzippy and mcduck. Everything is now sorted and working fine. I really appreciated your help.

Just in case anyone else reads this with the same problem, there were a couple of twists in the story which may be useful. First of all, I tried the basic method given on this link from mcduck.


It didn't work, so I downloaded an image from


as suggested by realzippy, burned it to cd and booted. No problems, straight into the lost ubuntu partition - it was good to see it was still there. BUT the disk didn't change anything, and when I removed it, error 17 reappeared.
I booted from the cd again, followed the more advanced technique beginning sudo mkdir /mnt/root from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351, and this time everything was fine. Hooray!

A couple of points arise. First of all, did I download the correct supergrub disk? There were so many downloads to choose from that I may not have done. I downloaded the grub rescue disk.

Secondly, I have another computer (running windows at the moment, sorry!) so there wasn't a problem accessing information on this forum even when I couldn't boot into ubuntu. But what could I have done to avoid all these problems in the first place? If anyone out there can tell me, I'm sure it would be helpful to others in the same situation. I couldn't find anything relevant when I searched. The only thing which cropped up again and again was if you were dual-booting linux and windows, not if you had multiple linux distros and wanted to get rid of some of them.

Anyway, thanks once again for your help. I love the linux philosophy, and this forum convinces me that linux is the way to go.