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How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International. Read more.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

So far we have shown you how to setup a classic dual-boot for Windows 8, and we even showed you how to do it without creating a new partition. If you still aren’t sold on the new version of Windows, here’s how to remove it entirely.

Note: We will be playing with the Boot Configuration Database in this guide, and as this is an integral part of the boot process you should follow this guide extremely carefully, or suffer the consequences, which will most likely be an unbootable PC. This guide also assumes that you have dual-booted according to our articles, and do not have any other operating systems besides Windows 7 and Windows 8 installed.

Restoring The Boot Loader

Note: This section applies to everyone who wishes to uninstall Windows 8 from both the classic dual-booting method, as well as the VHD method.

Since we will be removing Windows 8, the first thing you will need to do is boot into your Windows 7 instance. Now we could always use the command line to manipulate the BCD settings, but there is a much easier way using a tool called EasyBCD, so we will go that route. Once you have downloaded a copy, it’s an easy “next, next, finish” type of install. Once it has installed, go ahead and launch it.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

From here we need to delete Windows 8 from the Boot Configuration Database, on the left hand side you will see a button labeled “Edit Boot Menu” click it to get started.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

On the right hand side, there will be a list of all the boot loaders that your computer has been configured to use. Select the entry named “Windows Developer Preview” once you have it highlighted click the delete button. You will be prompted with a confirmation message, choose ‘”yes”.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

Now that Windows 7, is the only entry in the database. We need to set it as the default option. To do this select the check box, under the Default column.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

Since Windows 7 is going to be our only operating system, we should also select the radio button labeled “Skip the boot menu” under the Timeout Options.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

You can now click the Save Settings button. To check that the changes have been made, you should reboot, you should boot straight into Windows 7.

Editors Note: From here depending on which method you used to dual-boot, the finishing touches will be different. If you used the classic method, the next section applies to you, if you used the VHD method skip to the last section.

Finishing Touches (Classic Dual-Boot)

We still need to reclaim the space that your new partition stole. This can be done through the Disk Management MMC snap-in, to launch the snap-in press the Windows Key + R to launch a run box, type “diskmgmt.msc” into the run box.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

Note: After completing the following any information or data that you had in Windows 8 will be lost.

When the Disk Management snap-in has loaded, we need to delete the volume on which Windows 8 resides. To do that right click on the drive in the list and click on the Delete Volume option in the context menu. You will be prompted and warned that all data will be lost, select yes to continue.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

You should now see that you have an empty partition denoted by its black header.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

Now right click on the the partition the partition with the blue header directly before it, and select Extend Volume from the context menu.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

This will open a wizard, you don’t have to change any settings so just click next, next, finish. Once you have completed that you PC will be back to how it was before. If the above method applied to you, this is where you stop, as the next section only applies to those of you who dual-booted using a VHD.

Finishing Touches (VHD Method)

The only thing that you have to do now is to delete the VHD File, from the root of your C:\ Drive.

Question

For testing, I installed Windows 8 RTM in dual boot mode on a small partition (not a separate drive) I created in Windows 7. I’m ready to “upgrade” my Windows 7 installation now, and I’m thinking that I can just delete the Windows 8 partition, extend the Windows 7 partition back to its original size, and “upgrade” the Windows 7 installation.

I’m thinking too, that before deleting the Windows 8 partition, I need to set Windows 7 as the default OS using msconfig.exe in Windows 7.

Has anyone tried this sort of thing ? Any thoughts or suggestion before I attempt it ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answers

  • Marked as answer by Nicholas Li Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:32 AM

For testing, I installed Windows 8 RTM in dual boot mode on a small partition (not a separate drive) I created in Windows 7. I’m ready to “upgrade” my Windows 7 installation now, and I’m thinking that I can just delete the Windows 8 partition, extend the Windows 7 partition back to its original size, and “upgrade” the Windows 7 installation.

I’m thinking too, that before deleting the Windows 8 partition, I need to set Windows 7 as the default OS using msconfig.exe in Windows 7.

Has anyone tried this sort of thing ? Any thoughts or suggestion before I attempt it ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

In addition, there is a good step by step tutorial at the following link.

  • Marked as answer by Nicholas Li Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:31 AM

All replies

  • Marked as answer by Nicholas Li Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:32 AM

I did this just the other day. First download EasyBCD from the link below and install. Once installed open the program and choose EDIT BOOT MENU. On the right you should see both Windows 7 & Windows 8 listed. Set Windows 7 as the default. CLICK the Windows 8 selection and hit the delete button above the window. That will take the Windows 8 option out of the boot menu.

Then go into computer and right click the drive with Windows 8 on it and format it to a NTFS partition. That will get rid of Windows 8. Then you can do what ever you want with the partition. That should do it. Let us know how you made out.

Original title: Remove dual boot

I have a two OSs (dual boot) on my PC. Each is windows 10. One upgraded from windows 8.1 and the second was upgraded from windows 7.

I want to remove one of them. How can I do it in a safe way?

Report abuse

Thank you for responding.

The screen to choose the OS for the PC to boot will not show after deleting one of the boot partition. You will directly boot to Windows 10 from the non-deleted boot partition.

If you are prompted to choose from the Windows boot page, I suggest you to follow the steps below to set the boot OS from System Configuration window and check if the issue is resolved.

  1. Open run command by pressing Windows logo + R keys on the keyboard.
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter key on the keyboard to open the System Configuration window .
  3. Select Boot tab from the window and check if Windows 10 shows Current OS; Default OS.
  4. If not set, select on the OS from the window and click on Set as default button on the same window.
  5. Click on Apply and OK.
  6. Close the window, reboot the PC and check if the changes are effective.

Write to us with the status of the issue for further assistance on the query. Your reply is most important for us to ensure we assist you accordingly.

If you recently installed a new version of Windows next to a previous one, your computer will now show a dual-boot menu in the Windows Boot Manager screen from where you can choose which Windows versions to boot into: the new version or the earlier version.

In this article, learn how to remove the dual-boot menu for the following Windows versions: XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.

How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

Fix #1: Open msconfig

Using the msconfig utility tool allows you to select which version of Windows you’d like to boot directly into when you restart your computer.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type msconfig in the search box or open Run
  3. Go to Boot
  4. Select which Windows version you’d like to boot into directly
  5. Press Set as Default
  6. You can delete the earlier version by selecting it and then clicking Delete
  7. Click Apply
  8. Click OK
  9. Restart your computer

If you choose to delete a version from the Boot tab of msconfig , that Windows version won’t be deleted, but it won’t be displayed on the Windows Boot Manager screen.

Fix #2: Use EasyBCD

Using EasyBCD, you can easily remove this bug. Just follow these steps.

  1. Click the EasyBCD icon on the desktop.
  2. Go to the “Edit Boot Menu” tab. (With the wrench and screwdriver)
  3. Click on the previous version (See below)
  4. Click “Delete” (With the X in a octagon)

More Information

New vs. Old:

  • For Windows 10:
    • Windows 9*
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
  • For Windows 9*:
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
  • For Windows 8:
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
  • For Windows 7:
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
  • For Windows Vista:
    • Windows XP
  • For Windows XP:
    • Anything else

A * indicates a development/testing OS.

Support Links

  • Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows – our repair and recovery disk.

It’s an easy-to-use and automated diagnostics disk. It’s available for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista. It’s also available for Windows XP and Windows Server.

Read more at Windows Recovery Disks.

  • The NeoSmart Support Forums, member-to-member technical support and troubleshooting.
  • Get a discounted price on replacement setup and installation discs: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.
  • Applicable Systems

    This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

    • Windows XP (all editions)
    • Windows Vista (all editions)
    • Windows 7 (all editions)
    • Windows 8 (all editions)
    • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
    • Windows 10 (all editions)

    I installed Ubuntu in the dual-boot configuration so that I can still boot up in Windows. But I just want to get Windows off of the machine.

    Anyone know how to do this without having to go through another Ubuntu install? Also are all of the Ubuntu updates safe to take? Does Ubuntu have restore points in case something goes haywire from the updates?

    How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

    4 Answers 4

    Since your question is really several questions, I’ll divide my answer into parts. Unfortunately I’m sitting on my windows laptop now, so I can’t generate any screenshots or even test the programs and see where all the options are – if there’s something you can’t find, don’t hesitate to ask.

    1. How do you remove Windows from a dual-boot configuration without having to go through another Ubuntu installation?

    When you installed Ubuntu alongside Windows, the installer created (at least) one new partition on your hard drive, on which Ubuntu was installed. Windows usually occupies two partitions (one for the boot loader and one for C:\), so that would mean you now have three.

    If you, when you start Windows, have any files you want to save on C:\, you need to back them up before you continue. One way to do that would be to simply copy them to the Ubuntu partition, which can be done by following these steps:

    1. Boot your computer into Ubuntu
    2. Open Nautilus (the file browser, equivalent of Explorer in WinXP) and find your Windows partition in the device list on the left. Click the device.
    3. Find your files on that partition, and copy them to somewhere you can find them. If you put them in

    username/backup they won’t be in anyones way.

    Next, you want to remove the Windows partition entirely, in order to free the space so Ubuntu can use it. This most easily done with GParted.

    1. If you don’t have GParted installed, install it by opening a terminal and entering
      sudo apt-get install gparted
    2. Open GParted by typing gksu gparted &
    3. In GParted, locate the Windows partition, select it, delete it and click Apply. Warning! After you do this, the data on your Windows partition is lost forever!
    4. Mark the empty space, find “Create new partition” somewhere and choose an appropriate name (“Data”, for example). If you intend to only use Ubuntu in the future, you can format the drive as ext4 – but if you may want to move back to Windows you should probably choose NTFS so Windows can use that partition. NTFS works almost as well as ext4 under Ubuntu, but there are a few quirks – for example, Google Chrome (and Chromium) cannot download files to an NTFS drive.
    5. Open “Storage Disk Manager” (for example by searching for it in the Unity search box). Click the partition you just created (you might have to look around for a while and click several of the /dev/sdaX options. ) and configure it to mount on startup. Note the mount point that is shown – this is where on the Ubuntu file system you will access the files on the partition from now on.

    Instead of creating a new partition and mounting it, you could also start from a Live CD/USB and expand the Ubuntu partition. However, I would strongly recommend having a separate partition for stuff you want to keep regardless of OS version. My reasons for this will become apparent in the next part of this answer.

    2. Are the Ubuntu updates safe to take?

    If, by “Ubuntu updates”, you mean the updates provided by the package management system every now and then, then yes, they are safe and stable. However, the upgrade process between Ubuntu versions (for example from Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10) is not always as stable, and it is usually recommended to install the new version from scratch instead of upgrading. (A fresh install is also usually a lot faster. )

    Because this is so, it is often useful to have separate disk partitions for stuff you want to keep between upgrades. On my Ubuntu machine I have separate partitions for /home , /boot , and /data – and that has saved me many times when I screwed up some weird configuration file and had to reinstall Ubuntu to fix it.

    3. Is there any such thing as a restore points in Ubuntu?

    No, there is not. Therefore, it is extremely important that you take care and backup any sensitive data that you do not want to lose before you alter your system.

    Technical Level : Intermediate

    Summary
    We previously looked at how to install Windows 10 with older versions of Windows. In previous scenarios, the older version of Windows is installed first. Can you install an older version of Windows, if Windows 10 is installed first? The answer is yes. There are some perquisite tasks required; such as ensuring the system is compatible with the older version of Windows first. Also, newer computers come with certain security mechanisms built in, disabling them will be required to facilitate the older version of Windows. Dual booting is more convenient, since you don’t have to delete Windows 10, while still maintaining a legacy version of Windows for compatibility purposes.
    Details

    Before we begin, I strongly recommend you backup your new computer with Windows 10 before carrying out these procedures.

    Make sure the computer you plan to install the older version of Windows on has supported hardware drivers. If you are planning to install Windows 7 or Windows 8, check the download section of the manufacturers website to see if they have native drivers for your model.

    Important Drivers you should download and save in advance

    When you perform a new install or upgrade, you should download the latest software drivers from the manufacturers website for your computer model. Important drivers include: Chipset, Video, Audio and Network (Ethernet/Wireless). For laptops, make sure you download the latest Touch Pad drivers. There are other drivers you will probably need, but you can often download these through Windows Update after have a working Internet connection setup.

    How to find and download drivers from the manufacturers website:

    Drivers can normally be found in the Support section from the manufacturers website where you will find a Software and Drivers sub-section. The method to find it will vary depending on the brand. You can go to your favorite search engine then enter the following query “model and make drivers download’ example: ‘hp 8460p drivers download’. This will often provide a direct link.

    Learn more – references Windows 10, but the same principles work for finding Windows 7 or Windows 8 drivers:

    Have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 install media ready.

    If you plan to dual boot, you should have a full version copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you don’t, you will need to purchase a full version license. If you have a genuine product key, you can download a copy from the Microsoft Software Download website.

    Review the following article for instructions if you have problems downloading Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 install media:

    Prepare the install media

    Depending on the type of computer you have, an optical drive might not be available, which means, you will need to prepare a bootable copy using a USB thumb drive. This is ideal for newer 64 bit computers that come preinstalled with Windows 10. Rufus is the best solution to use:

    If your computer is UEFI based, these are normally systems that come pre-loaded with Windows 8 or later, you will need to prepare the ISO file for such a configuration or you will receive an error message during setup. The thumbdrive needs to be formatted as FAT32 and use the GPT partitioning scheme. To do this, you need to use Rufus, a small tool you can download for free.

    How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

    Rufus – credit: Pete Batard/Akeo

    After you have installed Rufus:

    • Launch it
    • Select ISO Image
    • Point to the Windows 10 ISO file
    • Check off Create a bootable disk using
    • Select GPT partitioning for EUFI firmware as the Partition scheme
    • Choose FAT32 NOT NTFS as the File system
    • Make sure your USB thumbdrive in the Device list box
    • Click Start
    • Close when complete

    Disable Secure Boot

    Secure Boot as a part of the wave of Windows 8 devices provided enhanced security; using a security signature built into the computer firmware. This ensure that malware was not able to easily compromise a system. Older versions of Windows such as Windows 7 do not support this technology. Also, for Windows 8.1, it must be disabled.

    Review the following article for more details about disabling both UEFI Boot and Secure Boot:

    Prepare Partition where Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will be installed

    You will need to set aside some space where Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will be installed. Considerations for the operating system, applications, software updates and personal files must be taken into account. If you plan to keep around the older version of Windows long term, then the bigger the better. I personally recommend a minimum 60 GBs.

    Press Windows key + X then click Disk Management

    Select the system partition where Windows 10 is currently installed. Right click it then click Shrink.

    Enter the amount of space you would like to allocate to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then click Shrink. The more, the better.

    An unallocated partition will now be available. Right click it then click New Simple Volume

    This will start the New Simple Volume wizard, which will let you format, assign a drive letter and label the volume.

    Once your partition is prepared, you are now ready to install Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Insert or connect your install media. If setup does not start automatically, click Start > File Explorer > This PC. Double click the install media to begin setup.

    Click Yes when prompted.

    Click Install Now

    Click Custom (advanced)

    Select the partition we created earlier then click Next.

    Wait while Windows install files are copied.

    After restarting, Windows will boot into setup.

    Windows setup will continue copying files then restart again.

    A boot entry will be added for the older version of Windows. You will notice an entry is also available for Windows 10. This will allow you to easily choose, which version of Windows you would like start when you turn on your computer.

    Complete Out of Box Experience

    You will need to complete the Out of Box Experience which includes creating an account/password, machine name, join an available wireless network, adjust time zone.

    After you have completed setup, proceed to install recommended drivers downloaded in advance:

    Chipset, Video, Audio and Network (Ethernet/Wireless).

    Also run Windows Update and also ensure you have an Antivirus utility installed and updated immediate.

    That’s it, when you ready to boot into your OS a choice, you can easily do so.

    If you set up your PC to dual boot between Windows 7 and Windows 8, but have decided to end the experiment and go back to using Windows 7 full time, we have good news. It’s incredibly easy to erase Windows 8 from your hard drive and reclaim those precious gigabytes of storage space.

    Note: If you overwrote Windows 7 with Windows 8 rather than dual-booting, then you’ll need to do a full system restore from a back up.

    To erase your Windows 8 installation from the dual-boot configuration and just have Windows 7, perform these steps:

    1. Boot into Windows 7

    2. Launch Msconfig by hitting Windows + R to get the run box, typing msconfig and clicking Ok.

    3. Select the Boot tab.

    4. Select Windows 8 and click Delete.

    5. Click OK to exit msconfig.

    6. Launch Disk management by typing “Create and format” into the Start Menu and clicking on the “Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions” shortcut.

    7. Right click on the Windows 8 partition and Select Delete Volume.

    After you delete Windows 8’s partition, you can either turn the unallocated space it leaves behind into a separate partition for data or add it on to your current Windows 7 partition by clicking on the primary partition (usually your C drive) in disk management and selecting Extend volume.

    We’ve talked a lot about running multiple operating systems on the same computer—whether it’s Windows and Linux , Windows and OS X , or something else —but what happens when it’s time to get rid of one? Here’s how to delete Windows or Linux from your system after you’ve dual-booted them.

    Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu in Perfect Harmony

    Windows 7 and Ubuntu, despite their opposing missions, can get along like best pals on a single…

    The process is actually quite simple, but many of you ask us this when you go through your first dual-booting process, so we’ve decided to lay out the instructions here for easy access. All you really need to do is delete the partition on which your unwanted OS is installed. That process will vary a little based on which OS you’re keeping, so here are three sets of instructions.

    Note: Before you start, make sure you have an up-to-date backup of the system you want to keep. If you make one tiny mistake in the steps below, you could end up deleting the wrong partition, which would be very very bad!

    Keep Windows and Remove Linux

    If you’ve given Linux a shot but you’re ready to stick with Windows as your main OS, you’ll have to go through a few extra steps. This assumes Windows and Linux were on the same drive, and the partitions are located next to each other. Here’s what you need to do:

    Head to the Start menu (or Start screen) and search for “Disk Management.” Open up the Disk Management tool.

    Find your Linux partition. It won’t be labeled since Windows doesn’t understand the Linux file system, so you’ll need to figure out which one it is by size and where it is on your hard drive. Make sure you have the right one before continuing!

    Right-click on the partition and choose “Delete Volume.” This will delete the partition from your hard drive, leaving free space. If you get a green box of “free space,” you’ll have to right-click on it and choose “Delete Volume” a second time until you get the black “Unallocated Space.”

    Right-click on your Windows partition and choose “Extend Volume.” Extend it to fill the free space your Linux partition left behind.

    Lastly, insert your Windows recovery disc (or recovery USB drive ) and boot from it. Choose “Repair Your Computer,” go to “Troubleshoot,” and then enter a Command Prompt. Type the following command:

    This will remove Linux’s bootloader and replace it with Windows’.

    Reboot your computer and you should find that it boots directly into Windows, with no Linux partition to be found.

    If you set up your dual-booting differently, your instructions may vary slightly—like if you put Linux on a separate hard drive, or if you have other operating systems on the drive. But for most people, these instructions should suffice.

    by Nik · Published March 20, 2012 · Updated February 3, 2016

    I had a dual boot using Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

    As I’ve decided to remove the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I will share info on how to safely remove the dual boot using Bcdedit command.

    Boot into Windows 7 and run Command Prompt as an Administrator (elevated mode)

    Type bcdedit and hit Enter

    You should see the list of entries for the dual boot configuration.

    Find the entry for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview OS and check the identifier line. As you can see from the picture below in my case identifier was

    Run the following command:

    bcdedit /delete

    How to uninstall or remove windows 8 from your dual-boot setup

    Now restart and login to Windows. There’s one more thing to do. We need to delete the Windows folder from the partition where Windows 8 Consumer Preview was installed.

    Here’s how to do it:

    Locate the Windows 8 Consumer Preview folder named ‘Windows’ (be careful not to delete your Windows 7 folder)

    Right click on the folder and select properties

    In the Security | Advanced Security | Owner tab take ownership of the folder.

    Close the Properties Window and re-open it. Grant yourself or Administrators group a Full Control permission for the folder and propagate permissions to all child objects.

    Now you should be able to completely delete the folder.