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Re: Removing debian from hdd



On Thu, 05 Jan 2012 15:05:58 -0300, Guido Martínez wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> I recently borrowed a hard drive and installed debian on it, alongside
> windows. I used it for a couple of weeks.
> 
> Later, I tried to remove debian by deleting the partitions I had
> installed it on, but that caused grub to fail horribly, and I had to
> reinstall debian. How can I remove debian? Can I make grub ignore that
> partition and then delete it?

The trouble is that grub uses files within Debian to find all the OS's on 
the system so it can boot.  Once you delete Debian, you've lost those 
files.

So you have to restore whatever MBR boots your other OS's, as you did 
before.  I don't know what facilities your install or rescue disk has for 
that.  

There's a thing called a super grub disk -- it's basically all grub needs 
to boot on a single floppy. CD, or USP stick.  See http://
www.supergrubdisk.org/wiki/Boot_Problems for details.  You should be able 
to boot your other system with it.  Here's hoping your other OS has a way 
to rewrite the MBR the way *it* wants it, after which you won't need grub 
or the files it keeps in Debian.

Or else reinstall a minimal grub-bootable Debian system.  You might be 
able to use that to boot your other OS.  

There's a possibility your system has an "EFI" partition.  This is used 
by some bootloaders to store extra info they might need while booting.  
My laptop has one; it seems to have need there from the beginning, 
presumably to boot the Windows that was there initially.  I hope you 
didn't delete that one, if there was one initially -- if yo had one you'd 
probably need it to boot Windows.  I've heard grub is capable of using 
that to store its stuff, but I don't know how true that really is.

-- hendrik


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