Reorganising hard drive letters in Windows after installing Linux

Q A few months ago, having installed Mandriva on my system, I replaced it with SUSE 10.2. I have two internal hard disks both split into two partitions. Windows 2000 shows them as C and D on the 0 disk and F and G on the 1 disk. SUSE is installed on drive F. I also have an external disk which is drive J. When I originally installed Linux, I unfortunately had drive J switched on and unless this is switched on at start-up, cursoring down the available items on the start menu is not possible. What I wish to do is uninstall Linux from the system completely and start again with another, larger, secondary hard disk.

However, nowhere in the Help tabs in Linux software does there appear to be any means whereby I can go back to my simple Windows 2000 and HD 0. I suspect that if I wipe the Linux software from HD 1 (drive F in Windows), which I am tempted to do at the moment, there will be no menu appearing at switch on, so I am completely baffled. I'm hoping that you could please tell me how to uninstall Linux completely, so that I am able to go back to where I was before installing Mandriva. Given the choice at switch on between Win2000 and XP, and not having to have the external drive switched on always I would be very grateful to be able to sleep soundly again.

A The boot menu would probably start to work if you left it a while, it would appear that the Grub bootloader is trying to read the missing disk and should time out eventually. You do not need to reinstall to fix this, only edit the bootloader configuration. You should be able to do this from YaST. Boot with the external drive connected then unmount and disconnect or power off the drive. Run YaST, go to System > Boot Loader > Boot Loader Installation and select Propose New Configuration from the popup menu at the bottom right of the window. This should scan your disks (which no longer include the external drive) and set up a new menu for your Windows and SUSE installations. Go into the Section Management tab to make sure everything is as you wish and then click Finish.

If you really want to remove Linux from these disks, select Restore MBR of Hard Disk from the same popup menu, which will replace the bootloader code with whatever was there before you installed SUSE. If this was Windows, fine, but if you went straight from Mandriva to SUSE, this will replace the Mandriva boot code, which you don't want. In this case, you should boot your Windows CD in rescue mode and run fixmbr, which will wipe all Linux bootloader code and replace with the Windows bootloader. Alternatively, you could simply replace the secondary disk, which probably would mess up your hard disk booting without doing any of the above, and boot straight from the SUSE install disc, install it and let it set up a new boot menu for you, making sure you leave the external drive disconnected this time. SUSE, as with all current Linux distros, is quite capable of detecting the external drive when you connect it after installing the operating system.

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