How to remove GRUB and restore the Windows bootloader

Obtain a bootable Windows XP CD, and use it to boot.
Wait through all the Bill-messages until you get the first prompt. Choose R to repair an existing installation.
It will search and prompt the Windows installation, showing :
1) C:\WINDOWS
choose 1, and it will ask for the Admin password. If you have one enter it or just press Enter.
C:\WINDOWS>
Now, type
C:\WINDOWS> CD ..
C:\> FIXBOOT C:
C:\> FIXMBR
C:\> BOOTCFG /rebuild

After the BOOTCFG, it will ask if you want to add the Installation it found, and to be safe answer “Y”.

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56 Responses to “How to remove GRUB and restore the Windows bootloader”

  1. sajan Says:

    hello,
    your post about Grub Boot loader is very useful to me thanks

    • asd Says:

      PLZ someone edit the article, so people WOULD NOT have 2 XP loaders in the BEGINNING!!
      bootcfg is not needed and only makes things worse!!

  2. Blue Says:

    Didn’t work for me :(

    It just added a new windows boot option to the list to choose for.

    Maybe I have some sort of variant of crub. I used ubuntu installation package which was a windows exe, and was run under the windows.

  3. egor83 Says:

    Thanks for the advice, it helped me a lot; but I have a comment on this part:
    > After the BOOTCFG, it will ask if you want to add the Installation it found, and to be safe answer “Y”.

    I had Windows XP and Ubuntu on the same drive.
    I wanted to get rid of Ubuntu, so I needed to remove GRUB first.
    I did everything as it was desribed in the article; when I was asked whether I wanted to add the Installation, I pressed “yes” and called it “Loader”.

    Now I still have a multi-loader window when I boot, and it has two records: “Loader” and “Windows XP”, both of them booting the same WinXP.

    I repeated the actions once again, hoping that I can get rid of this second boot choice, but this time I said “no” in the last step.
    Nothing happened – I still have a choice when booting. It’s not really harmful, but I think that it’s better to answer “no” in the last step.

    • saysprasad Says:

      Hello egor,

      Thank you for you hack.

      Thank you,
      Prasad.S.R

  4. N G Rao Says:

    Will this work for VIsta Home Basic??

    • saysprasad Says:

      Hello Mr. N. G. Rao,
      To remove GRUB from windows vista you will have to use Vista CD/DVD and choose to repair bootloader its much simpler.

      Thank you,
      Prasad.S.R

  5. Rafael Barreto Says:

    Hi:
    And what if I only have a recovery partition instead of a CD/DVD??

  6. Bob Says:

    Then you are Completely SCREWED. JkJk. Just re-install ubuntu and it will bring back the GRUB bootloader. Then you can open your recovery partition

  7. rondy Says:

    i buy a laptop then i already have a linux and i want to install windows XP,when i insert windows bootble installer it cant continue the installation…do i have to set it in linux i dont know how to fix it?

  8. lasitha Says:

    thanx a lot prasa

  9. muhtar Says:

    thx a lot.,, it’s help me soo.,,

  10. kareem Says:

    hi
    this is kareem i have one problem i have pc in multhi os is there in xp 2003 and linux l go to xp device management and remove the Linux partition and next restart the pc and getting message grub> what is problem what i do

  11. qayis Says:

    thank you ….that is help me to remove grub boot..

  12. Ales Says:

    Nice GRUB removal. I found out the BOOTCFG /rebuild step is not needed. I just used FIXBOOT C: and FIXMBR and my computer boots perfect.

    BOOTCFG /rebuild just finds all available Windows OS add them to the boot.ini file, so on each boot you can choose which OS to start.

  13. Vishnu Says:

    Thanks a lot, works like a charm. I would press ‘n’ in the last step though. But i know that you recommended it just for safety.

  14. Duncan Says:

    Trying the same with Windows 7, using the repair on the install disk does not get rid of GRUB, not entirely sure where my GRUB is booting from, there are so many config options; from boot partition/Extended/MBR/Root/Custom. And Grub is meant to be simple? grrrr

    • 7tester Says:

      For Windows 7 or Vista…
      Boot from the CD, select the repair option and launch the command prompt, type these commands

      bootrec.exe /fixboot
      bootrec.exe /fixmbr

      Reboot

      • Alex Says:

        Awesome!!!!!
        worked perfect
        saved my school work
        Thank you so so much

      • Pleasant Demise Says:

        Beautiful! This helped me restore my Sony back to the original Windows OS.

        As a note, the BIOS won’t boot to the recovery partition with Grub, only the Windows boot manager. ‘Twould explain why no key combination under the sun would work :)

        Also, if you forget the key to press, making the recovery partition bootable worked for me.

      • Garrr Says:

        Thanx a million man!

      • landon Says:

        THANK-YOU so much man

      • MANOJKUMAR Says:

        thanks soooooooooo much it works well

      • derf Says:

        worked with Windwows 8 also!

  15. Ario Says:

    thanks man … you saved my day :)

    • der Says:

      This really worked. After 2 days of searchin this helped me.My system W7 THANKS

  16. vishnu Says:

    i installed ubuntu on to my pendrive …n i used my laptop for it …the grub got installed and is not letting me boot in to xp without the pendrive !!

    now what do i dooo ??
    plzzz help !!

  17. Daniel Says:

    Hello. I have totally screwed up everything.First i installed xp pro on my laptop, than i installed linux ubuntu 9.10. After i choosed to remove xp so i could get rid of linux. But i did a stupid mistake. Now i cant get rid of linux, and everytime i trying to boot from xp cd and press r it says couldent find a hardrive check this and this if its set correctly. I want to get rid of grub loader and linux. But i think i must get rid of grub loader first. I cant use the xp cd to remove linux and the grub loader, because i cant even install xp. I have tried a win 98 boot disk iso that i found at the net, i took away all the partitions and formated c, but it came another problem. Now i cant boot from this cd anymore. I can only reinstall ubuntu and only boot from that cd. HELP ME THIS IS REALLY HELL!!!

  18. Abilash Says:

    i followed your steps…. for the last i up y(yes)… i named the the thing 2… Then i rebooted and still had ubuntu and a third option 2!!! can u help me revert this…

  19. joy Says:

    I did this process, but it cant work. After remove grub it cant boot, it show insert boot media in select boot device & press a key… what can I do now…

  20. Chris Says:

    Man you saved my life with this – thanks from the bottom of a Mac users heart!

  21. justin Says:

    I have an ACER AsprieOne with no cd-rom or installation CD because they don’t give you one when you buy it. IT has a windows recovery built in. After a virus crashed my Windows XP(the one that is rated as the worst in the world right now…..first time I’ve had a virus in 3 years), I installed Ubuntu and Windows XP as the 2ndary OS. Unfortunately GRUB never loaded Windows in the menu, and I went through many forums and posts about how to get Windows back on the menu, to no success. Even posted in some forums with no success.

    Now Linux is going crazy with the new install Ubuntu 10 and I want to just do a full revamp to get Windows back as my main OS and Ubuntu as 2ndary, but can’t seem to get rid of GRUB to have boot into Windows. No forums, tutorials, or anything seems to do anything to remove GRUB. I even tried some USB recovery softwares to no avail. Is there a way to do this without a Windows CD?

    I’ve been a linux user for about 3 months now, but I’ve rapidly lost faith in it. Lots of crashes, bugs, it’s slow, I can’t do things I used to be able to in Windows, etc. I’ve worked in IT for Windows based systems and know Windows inside and out. Enough to be able to quickly fix almost any windows problems quickly…., but when Linux crashes there seems to be a million fixes and most of them don’t work. I’m feeling like ubuntu still has years to go before it reaches enough stability to be worth moving to permanently.

  22. Oody Says:

    you are a savior !

  23. chamila Says:

    Thanks lot…!!!

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  25. Ivan Says:

    Hi saysprasad, i have a problem, i cant load from CD to do the recovery because when i switch on the computer, i cant get into BIOS, is there any way to do it when you are already loaded in windows xp?

  26. Ivan Says:

    I hope you can help me

  27. JC Says:

    Here is a way to fix dual boot option issue on this site

    http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_remove_boot_choices_that_i_no_longer_want.html

    I had two windows xp options showing up and this fixed it.

  28. saud Says:

    Thanks. Its very helpful. I solved my problem i was facing after loading Fedora core 6.
    Thanks
    Saud

  29. Kiki Says:

    How to fix the GRUB boot loader ubuntu that error?

  30. Chintansinh Jadeja Says:

    Its a very easy to remove grub…

    thanks a lots…

  31. Ganga Says:

    Hi,
    I have Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 7 installed. Later I have partitioned and installed Fedoa 8. Now I tried installing Obuntu. But couldn’t installed. So I deleted the partition created for Fedora. Now I’m unable to start my system, as it is showing Grub is deleted or some thing like that. What I should do now to restore my windows 7 OS ?
    How do I fix this so that I can recover all the data along with OS

  32. Bea Hall Says:

    OK, my XP install disk doesn’t see my hard drive. May I go throw myself off a cliff now? What is next???

  33. dvd Says:

    Forget about windows and just use linux mint. For around the house use, it’s just as good or better.

  34. raven Says:

    thank you…it worked

  35. prabhakaran Says:

    Hi Prasad,

    i have deleted the Linux partition through windows disk management option and now,when i start my laptop the linux grub is loading ,so please tell me how to remove the Linux grub permanently and how to load into windows directly.

  36. raheman Says:

    thanku dude,,,do u hv any personal site….plz send me

  37. oro Says:

    This doesn’t work (for me), the grub bootloader still apears after using the fixboot, fixmbr and bootcfg commands (and, as mentioned above, the last command is not required – and can take a while to complete). “FDisk /mbr “via DOS is probably what I need…

  38. Thierry Salmon Says:

    It worked for me. I didn’t do the last step. Thanks.

  39. Craig Says:

    Skipped the last step and it worked great. Then I used Partition Magic to delete the Linux Ext3 and swap partitions. Next I used the redistribute free space option to restore the drive to it’s original size. Note that you cannot delete both partitions at the same time. Must be a P.M. quirk I guess. Delete the swap space first and then the Linux Ext3 partition. Remember to do a defrag when all is said and done. Can’t hurt to create a new rescue disk as well.

  40. Danilo Says:

    It TOTALLY worked for me. My Windows XP system is back. I did, however, say ‘No’ at the end, and had no problems, whatsoever

  41. manu Says:

    will this formats the computer
    is it safe guys

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