Uninstall Mandriva Linux From Your Computer

January 13, 2011, By Fouad Bajwa

Mandriva LogoHave you been playing with various Linux distributions and installed Mandriva Linux but cannot remove it from your computer? Are you afraid that your computer will not boot after uninstalling Mandriva Linux?

Let us help you uninstall Mandriva Linux ensuring your computer will reboot nicely after the uninstall.

After you have installed a Linux distribution, it may be a bit hectic to remove it from your computer without affecting the bootloader in the Master Boot Record MBR. There may be a number of other troublesome issues that emerge once you attempt to uninstall a particular Linux distribution and many have had trouble uninstalling Mandriva Linux but mostly are related to the partitions you made during the Mandriva Linux install.

The most suitable way to uninstall Mandriva or any other Linux distribution from your computer is to install a new operating system because you will have to repartition your hard drives after removing the previous partitions made by Mandriva Linux. This is done in order to overwrite the current bootloader in the MBR so that the new operating system can be loaded.

You will need a bootable CD or DVD of the new operating system that you would like to install over Mandriva Linux. Using a bootable operating system install CD/DVD, you should also ensure that your computer’s BIOS is configured correctly so that the boot order has the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM selected before the hard disk. If the BIOS is configured correctly to check the CD/DVD first before the hard disk, it shows whether your CD/DVD is bootable or not.

The best way is to backup all your important data to an external disk drive and format the whole system by removing all the partitions using the new operating system install disk you want to install on your computer. In the event that you do not have a bootable CD/DVD, you can use your Mandriva Linux install CD, press the “F3” key to load options and select “Linux Rescue” option during botting to boot in to rescue mode. As it completes and you have reached the hard disk prompt, just enter the following command

fdisk -l

fdisk will display the list of all the partitions available on your computer’s hard disk that are listed as /dev/hda otherwise you will get the result empty. If you do not get anything, try the following command

fdisk /dev/hda

The above command launches a disk partition program:

  1. Once the program starts, press “p” that will list all the available partitions.
  2. Now press “d” to delete any partition.
  3. Choose the partition id like 1, 2, 3 so forth.
  4. Once you delete all the partitions, press “p” again. This will verify whether your hard disk is empty or not.
  5. Now you will have to press “w” to write all the disk changes.
  6. Once all the changes have been written, type “reboot” to restart the computer.
  7. Now you will have to get a bootable Windows, MAC or any other disk to install the new OS.

The second quickest way to wipe your hard disks clean of any partitions is using the DBAN tool here. DBAN automatically deletes all the contents of any hard disk that it will detect. The installation and disk partition removal are self-guided process and you shouldn’t have any trouble following the instructions.

If you are a Windows user and have a desktop computer with a floppy drive, you should always keep a bootable floppy handy that can be created following the procedure given here on the Microsoft support website. In the event that you do not have a floppy disk in your reach, try creating a USB disk based bootable deivce by downloading the bootable USB tool from Microsoft given here and the procedure to install it is given here.

The third method to uninstall Mandriva Linux is:

  1. Launch the console by pressing ALT+F2
  2. Type ‘su’ to gain root privilages
  3. Press enter, and type your root password
  4. Once done, type ‘diskdrake’
  5. Delete all Linux partitions that you see listed
  6. Finally reboot the system with the afor mentioned DOS boot or USB boot disks
  7. Type ‘fdisk /MBR’ to delete the Linux boot loader
  8. Grab a Windows XP or Windows 7 install CD/DVD and load your new operating systm
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