Hi all.

I've recently installed Linux Mint 14 Nadia but wanted to keep the dual boot with XP whilst I tested it out. Now I am happy with it I want to remove Windows XP from my system. I've been googling how to do this but I can't find any sold (safe) suggestions.

How might I go about this?


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To really answer that one, you should tell us which boot loader you are using. In your setup two alternatives could be possible: grub or WinXP boot loader.

Just let us know which one.

Easiest/Safest option: Reinstall Linux on the entire system, overwriting WinXP partitions. If you can fairly easily take a backup of all your files (e.g., take a backup of /home folder) and put those files on a separate partition (non-windows, non-linux) or on a separate hard-drive (external HDD or pen-drive), then it is probably easier to re-install Linux by re-partitioning in such a way to eliminate all the Windows and current Linux related partitions, and replace them with a fresh installation. Then, you can copy the /home folder back and reinstall all the software (you can use dpkg --get-selections and dpkg --set-selections to get a complete list of installed software, and then re-install all the software from that list, that's the perfect way to restore the entire set of software when creating a fresh install). Linux makes it so easy to create a fresh install, that this is probably the easiest thing to do.

If a fresh install is not an option, then you can fix-up the dual boot into a single boot Linux. First, you have to take care of the bootloader. If you are using Grub as the main bootloader (first bootloader), then you'll have nothing to do at this step. If you are using the windows bootloader (i.e., meaning that you first see the windows-bootloader, and then you see the Grub menu (with multiple kernel versions to choose from)), then you will probably want to remove the Windows bootloader and install Grub on the MBR, such that Grub is the first and only bootloader.

At this point, all you really need to do is re-partitioning. The idea here is that you want to leave the Linux partitions intact (without any modifications), and wipe out all the Windows-related partitions (like the restore partition) and merge them into one or a couple of freshly-formatted partitions that you can use to store your personal files (music, videos, pictures, documents, etc.). It's as simple as that.

Thanks guys. I've been trying to repartition using the info at this link http://www.tuxradar.com/answers/431 . It all seems to be going okay so far up to entering

mount /dev/hda /mnt/tmp

into the terminal, at which point I get the error,

mount: special device /dev/hda does not exist

What does this mean and how do I sort it out?

Many thanks once again.

I ran

sudo fdisk -l

and got

Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x37793778

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048   176291839    88144896   83  Linux
/dev/sda2       176293886   222418943    23062529    5  Extended
/dev/sda5       176293888   220456959    22081536   83  Linux
/dev/sda6       220459008   222418943      979968   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Do I need to use /dev/sda instead of /dev/hda?

Yes. /dev/sd* and /dev/hd* mean essentially the same, it just depends on your system (I think that hd* stands for an HDD connected on an IDE-bus, while sd* is for SATA or USB connected hard-drives or flash drives).

Great. Cheers guys. All sorted now.

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