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Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

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Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

Due to some "unforseen" problem... I had to replace Win 7 home on my wife`s (rarely used ) laptop, with Linux Mint 18...

Now it has come to the time to replace Mint 18 with Win 7 Professional, NEW INSTALL from DVD

In theory,... no particular problem... however  view this pic

002.JPG

 

Which shows a  Dell Utility on Partition 1... and a Recovery Partition 2.

I am going to buy a WIN 7 Pro 64 bit DVD because I do not have the original Win 7 Home disc, so I am assuming that the "Recovery" will not work, with a different dvd .

I have downloaded all the relevant Dell Drivers in readiness for a "new install" from the WIN 7 Pro DVD.

Would I have to format the HDD first to "wipe" all the previous/present windows stuff, or will that happen "automatically" when I get the question of how I want to install Windows in the "install procedure".

 

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

The recovery partition is there to enable you to restore the original Windows 7 Home and set the computer back to its as-supplied ("Factory") state.  I'm not sure if you can still access it via the F8 key on start-up or if the F12 boot options allow this.  If neither of those work it is still possible but much more fiddly.

But if you want to install Windows 7 Pro instead and are confident you will succeed and prepared to burn your bridges behind you then you can delete all the existing partitions.  Early in the installation you will be asked where you want the installation to go and given the option to format partitions or the entire hard drive.  I'm not sure what the Windows installation disk will make of your Linux partitions.  

 

 

 

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

If you see this page https://randemsystems.com/support/expert-computer-repair-23/completing-a-dell-pc-recovery-when-ctrl-... then then the process B described by Randem at the bottom the page was worked for me several times when the F8 did not bring-up the usual Windows options that allow direct access to the recovery process..  

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

OK... Thanks for that... Yes, I`m pretty confident in doing a full HDD format... and then a "clean install".. and then adding in the dell drivers as downloaded..( have done this a couple of times )... the only downside is the actual time it takes to get all the Updates, downloaded and installed...( last time it was about 2 days.. ! ! ).  No rush on this one... so will probably be a week before I am satisfied that it is ready to be turned over to her again !..

When booting up at present, there is only two options F2 for setup and F12 for "boot menu"... which does not mention the recovery, just the usual HDD or DVD/CD drive.

 

Did not know about F8  ! !

 

Just tried F8 and it shows  two windows 7 (loader)  on dev/sda2 and def/sda3  both of which bring up a version of Win 7 Home premium.

and  shows c;/ 28.9GB free of 108GB

 

So... it seems I don`t need to buy Win 7 PRO... ( was only getting that cos it has a longer update support date apparently)

However... I now would like to remove MINT 18... and make the space it is using available to Windows again... how do I do that  ?  so that when it boots up... it starts off with the Windows boot up  procedure

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

Thanks for the post about Randem... will have another look in the morning... off to bed now !.

Good night all !..

 

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

These are Dell's instructions on how to reset one of their machines running Windows 7 back to its as-supplied (factory) state.  https://www.dell.com/support/article/uk/en/ukbsdt1/sln291879/restore-or-factory-reset-windows-7-on-y... .  This will work if you can still get into the Repair Your Computer options via the F8 key (and from what you wrote it seems you can).  The Dell Factory Image Restore will reformat the part of the drive after the recovery partition and write the as-supplied version of Windows 7 to it.  This will include Dell drivers and utilities and any "free" software that came bundled with the computer.  Once Windows is operational you may need to remove or reformat the Extended Partition 4 (as it is shown in your pic.) but that is easy to do.

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

Once again, you have come up with some valuable info... Thanks. very much.

There isn`t much "personal" stuff on the machine... so I shall copy that to a USB stick, and then give it a go... it does work on the windows 7 home... once the F8 is pressed and Windows is chosen from the menu.. it just needs to be a bit more "simple" for her to use... like    switch on ---- boot up--- and away ya go    type simple ! ! ..

Got plenty to read up, learn and digest.. so will be doing this late in the evenings this coming week.. 

 

Many thanks for all the help and advice @ReedRichards Much Appreciated.

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

To wipe Mint from it, just run the M$ Disk utilty, select the "unknown" partition at the end delete it, and reformat it to NTFS
to get rid of grub (if it still runs) then from a command prompt enter "fdisk /mbr".
OR boot from a Mint USB/DVD and run gparted and delete the extended partition (4) and extend the NTFS one to the end of the disk.
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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

Oh, I see, @shutter.  The NTFS Partition 3 still contains your old copy of Windows but you had lost track of how to access it.  That wasn't really what I had in mind but I guess the F8 key is always worth a try!

I think you'll find that fdisk /mbr (suggested by @HairyMcbiker) does not work in Windows 7 and the equivalent command is bootrec /fixmbr .   Also Windows 7 will let you delete the extended partition and then extend the NTFS one to the end of the disk; you don't need to use gparted to do this.

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

@HairyMcbiker Thanks for your input.. 

@ReedRichards So, if I just go to Start and type in the box above   bootrec /fixmbr  that will bring up the original ( replacement ) Windows Boot sequence...   ? ?   and presumably Mint will be on there as a "dual boot"  Option  ?

  or should I attempt to remove  Mint first somehow....

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

@shutter, if you want to dual-boot between Windows 7 and Linux Mint you need to use the Linux boot loader (or at least NOT the Windows one).  I am afraid I don't know anything about this.  It would seem from what you wrote earlier that you already can dual-boot between Windows 7 and Linux but only by using the F8 key.  I presume one can modify the Linux boot loader to make this simpler if that is what you want to do.

I don't think you can access the bootrec command unless you boot from a Windows disk or via the Repair My Computer startup option (which we have not yet been able to access).  Once you use bootrec you will only be able to boot into Windows and this will be the same as when the computer was new.  

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

No, I just want to have the windows 7 working... my missus is not keen on Linux Mint...  so I just want it to work on the one  O.S.

 

If I can just remove the Linux Mint and boot up to windows, 7 that would be as simple as it gets.

 

Thanks.

 

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

Backup any files you want to save on the Linux partition

Find a Windows 7 disk and insert in the drive.  Start the computer and quickly select F12 for the boot device options.  Chose to boot from the disk drive.  When you are asked if you want to install Windows look for the other option to repair the computer.  You should then get to the option to run a CMD window.

Begin with bootrec /ScanOs and check that your Windows 7 partition is found.  If so, I think the next command to execute is bootrec /FixBoot .  This should create a Windows standard boot sector in place of the one modified by Linux.  There is a third option which you might or might not need to follow net whcih is bootrec /RebuildBcd .  I'm not sure that this last one is necessary and whether it could go wrong and cause you to lose access to Dell's system recovery option.

(bootrec /FixMbr should not be necessary).

See https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/927392/use-bootrec-exe-in-the-windows-re-to-troubleshoot-st...

 

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

@ReedRichards AH.. Thanks... that will be very useful to follow those step by step instructions.. I do have a couple of Windows discs... one is for  32 bit WIn 7 pro.. (already in use and "activated" ) and the other is for 64 bit Win7 pro ( also in use and activated.)

It is possible to download all the drivers for Dell computers by going to their download site and entering the "TAG number"  I am almost certain it includes the Dell Recovery part too... but not too worried about that, as I have never used it ! ! .. usually use a new disc, and a new install on a new HDD.

 

Thanks very much for all your posts and your advice and help on this one...  very much appreciated.  WinkSmiley

Will try and report back when the job is done..... ( or if it fails ! ! ! ). probably end of next week !.

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Re: Replacing Mint 18 with Windows 7 Professional

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So long as you have your original hard disk with its recovery partition intact then you have the capability to restore your computer to its as-supplied (factory) state.  You don't need a disk to do this.  And it seems your original Windows 7 remains intact so you may not need to do this at all.

You should not need the Dell drivers unless you have replaced your hard drive or totally wiped all of its original contents.

These instructions http://lifehacker.com/how-to-uninstall-windows-or-linux-after-dual-booting-508710422 tell you how to remove Linux from a dual boot system (starting from Windows).  In step 5, any Windows 7 disc would serve as the 'Recovery Disc'.  According to what they say the correct bootrec command is indeed bootrec /fixmbr so what do I know!  Well what I don't know is how Linux modifies the normal Windows boot process - so I suppose its the Master Boot Record that gets modified and not the Boot Sector as I had imagined.  There are lots of Linux fans here who should know these details better than I do.  @HairyMcbiker obviously knew what to do but unfortunately gave the Windows XP version of the necessary command.