Switch back to Windows after installing Ubuntu

Q How do I return to Windows XP after installing Ubuntu on my laptop?

A Are you asking how to use Windows XP instead of Ubuntu, or how to remove Ubuntu and go back to Windows? The first question is most easily answered. During installation, Ubuntu will have given you the option to resize your Windows partition and, provided you took this option, moved the Windows data over to install Ubuntu alongside it. It then added a boot menu to choose between the operating systems each time you start up. This menu is hidden with Ubuntu. There's a brief countdown while "Press ESC to enter the menu" is displayed on screen. If you don't press the key, it boots Ubuntu, so press Esc and select Windows from the menu.

If you want to remove Ubuntu, use any partitioning tool to delete the Linux partitions and resize the Windows partition to fill the drive. You can do this with Partition Magic on Windows, or use the Ubuntu installation disc. Boot from the disc and run System > Administration > Partition Editor. From here you can delete the Linux partitions. Ubuntu uses two by default; a smallish swap partition and a large one for everything else. Make sure you only remove partitions that are marked as type swap or ext3 - any NTFS or FAT partitions are for Windows. This removes the Ubuntu data from your computer but leaves the Grub bootloader.

You this need to boot from your Windows CD to remove this. Select the rescue option and run fixmbr. This will restore the disk's boot code back to the Windows settings and your computer will now boot straight into Windows when you power up. All of this assumes that you took the installation option to resize the Windows partition. If you told the installer to use the whole disk, it will have wiped your Windows installation from the hard drive. In this case, the only way to get Windows back is to reinstall it.

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