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Old 05-27-2007, 10:06 AM   #1
bv_mike
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Default Convert a Linux hard drive back to Windows?

I'm back at Hardware Secrets Forum with a question that I have been told has no answer.

Is there a way to remove ALL Linux partitioning and formatting from a hard drive to make it possible for Windows to recognize it again, so that it can be formatted once more on a Windows system?

Or, alternatively, does a Linux OS itself, such as Ubuntu or Kubuntu, have a utility that will allow you to completely clear all Linux partitioning and formatting from a hard drive, so that Windows will once again recognize it?

Or is such an operation flat-out impossible, as at least three gurus I know have insisted?
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:37 AM   #2
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Ime not realy sure what you are asking?

but yeh window's will alway's be able to re use the harddrive its just a matter of formatting you'r hard drive completely then partitioning it with you'r set file type, i.e. FAT FAT32 EX2 NTFS

windows carn't use the EXT2 type, where as it can use FAT FATE 32 & NTFS, linux used to use EXT2 but the more 'windows' friendly version's now use NTFS or at least give it an option.

just stick you'r windows disk in install select you'r hard drive format it set the partition type to NTFS and you'r away

...well atleast if that's what you were asking for.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:28 AM   #3
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Hi,

You could use partition utility such as Partition Magic or similar.

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Gabriel.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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Why not just install EX2 for windows, and use that to transfer the files you want to keep to a NTFS partition if you want to keep anything. It can both read and write to ex2 and 3 partitions from windows with out issue. (Except for the one noted below.)
Gparted works for creating NTFS partitions, and also it can resize EX2 and 3 partitions. (It should be on the Ubuntu live cd.)
And windows should automatically detect and mount the NTFS partiton.

Also any reasons for getting rid of Linux, were you to just not getting along. You could always just make the EX3 partition smaller, and dual boot windows and Linux. Personally I use Ubuntu and windows on the same hard drive without issues.

*Note there are some issues with transferring non Unicode files from EX3 to NTFS, the data will get transfered properly but file and folder names do not. If you have no clue what I'm talking about then well you will probably be fine.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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Use an external drive to help trans the data over and back under a new format if all else above fails u.

Last edited by ElXtronic; 06-07-2007 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:55 AM   #6
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ok but what about a complete conversion on an hp netbook with no disk drive on linux files to nfts files?i tried to download gparted on a flash drive and i couldnt get it to boot and so on.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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You will have to learn how to make a bootable USB drive first (I myself could never get this working). Alternatively, you can install an external optical drive.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:23 AM   #8
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i know i tried the usb but it was a severe hassle to get through i downloaded gparted on it and followed instructions but just didnt work
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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I just ran into the same issue. If you don't care to boot from the drive, and just use it to store data, you can go into Windows Disk Management, right click the drive and convert it to a GPT disk. Then you can create a simple volume that Windows 7 recognizes.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:21 AM   #10
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I know this is a old thread but I think users today such as myself still faces similiar problems with from-Linux-to-Windows partition/ formatting issues.

For Linux-to-Windows formatting, if you have access to another pc, it gives you another option. Unplug the target hdd, hook it up and format it on that pc.

Recently I broke my Linux box and instead of trouble-shooting it, I decided to low-format it back to GBT (simple) NFTS on my Winbox which did not posed any problems as a single partition on this particular drive and put the OS back again.

Re-installing Linux was interesting as the start-up menu showed that there were four partitions about 10mb each and a larger partition contain with the rest of the drive on it while Windows disk management only showed a single partition. After successful installation of Linux, I could not sudo apt-get install several packages.

The solution was to wipe (DOD) the offending hdd. This restored the hdd to its almost original blank stage. I re-installed Linux and the packages back on the hdd without any further problems.

I also had problems with one notebook recently after upgrading from XP to Win7 together on a brand new Seagate XT hybrid drive. All Windows updates attempts failed consistently. Even following instructions from the MS forums like low-formatting it, downloading update packages singularly and using a cable instead of WL failed.

Finally, I wiped first, then formatted the XT and had no problems with Windows updates after that. If I had done this earlier, I would have saved myself two weeks. Wiping your disks will remove any hard-to-remove malicious programs. You can then use this either as a primary, scratch or storage disk.

After this experience, I'll wipe any drives be it new or used I have purchased before formatting and using them for security reasons. Formatting it is just not secure enough anymore (for me).

If you intend to wipe your disk, ensure that only the target disk is hooked up and other disks such as storage, scratch, RAID etc. are disconnected before you proceed. Otherwise, it will also wipe out any disks it detects.

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