Unpartition Drive

linuxnow

New Member
Credits
115
I loaded Linux Mint on a laptop PC for the first time. Was a brand new cheap PC with Windows 10. I loaded it, and selected the install option that allowed for Windows to stay on (partition). Something came up like "warning: this can not be undone." My question is: can I undo it? I decided I am fine with Linux, and would like to have Linux only and no Windows partition, as this allows me to have the whole power of the computing and storage space for the Linux OS.

If I just put the thumb drive back in and load a new version, will it delete the old partition info, including the other copy of Linux, as well as the Windows 10 OS?
 


stan

Well-Known Member
Credits
4,477
"warning: this can not be undone." My question is: can I undo it?
No, you can't "undo" it, but you can "do-over" to change it.


If I just put the thumb drive back in and load a new version, will it delete the old partition info, including the other copy of Linux, as well as the Windows 10 OS?
Yes, it will overwrite the entire disk if you choose "use entire disk" during the setup (instead of "install alongside Windows" or instead of "something else"). This is probably the easiest, the safest, and quickest way to make Linux Mint your only OS, but this will also erase your Linux Mint and any programs or files you have on there. So backup anything important, if needed.

One more suggestion: If you have a spare USB flash drive (probably 16 GB or 32 GB)... you may want to first go into Windows and make a "System Recovery" on to your USB flash drive. Your Windows is paid for and a registered copy, so this is the way to preserve it in case you want to return to it later, or if you want to sell or give away the laptop. A USB as small as 8 GB may work, but Windows keeps getting bigger and bigger and I'm not sure if 8 GB is enough anymore. Definitely don't use anything too big as it would just cost more than you need for this purpose. The System Recovery USB will NOT save any programs or files that you have on there either, so consider if you need to backup anything there as well
 

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
13,144
When it said it can't be undone, it meant that it would install Mint (creating the required partiton(s)) and that anything in its way would be eliminated - so anything in that disk space is now gone and Mint takes its place. That's what it means when it says that it can't be undone. It doesn't mean you can't change it in the future, it just means that anything that was there will no longer be there. Seeing as it chose unoccupied space, it means no real data was deleted. If you had data there, that data would be gone and that can't be undone.*

Now, to redo this the "right" way...

Insert that Mint USB (or DVD) again and boot to it. Open the partition management software (labeled 'Disks' if you want to search for it in the start menu) and just go to town removing all the partitions. Eliminate all of them and then just make one big partition. You'll quite likely have to tell it to do this, or it will try to write it all into a single existing partition. You don't want that, so you'll remove all the partitions.

Once you're done with that, you can do a fresh install of Mint - letting the installer do its thing by choosing the 'erase' option during the installation. That will make any required partitions and reserve the rest of the space for your shiny new Mint install.

If you want, you can backup any existing files and settings and then do this. If you don't have anything important, there's no reason to save it.

* When I say it can't be undone, I mean practically. It's sometimes actually possible to 'undelete' data, but that's another discussion entirely. The installer also means practically. There's no practical way to undo what you did in the sense of recovering any data that was in that disk space.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
13,656
Why am I reminded of Mac and Tosh?

"After you". "No, after you - indubitably"
 

linuxnow

New Member
Credits
115
One more suggestion: If you have a spare USB flash drive (probably 16 GB or 32 GB)... you may want to first go into Windows and make a "System Recovery" on to your USB flash drive. Your Windows is paid for and a registered copy, so this is the way to preserve it in case you want to return to it later, or if you want to sell or give away the laptop. A USB as small as 8 GB may work, but Windows keeps getting bigger and bigger and I'm not sure if 8 GB is enough anymore. Definitely don't use anything too big as it would just cost more than you need for this purpose. The System Recovery USB will NOT save any programs or files that you have on there either, so consider if you need to backup anything there as well
Where is a good step by step on how to make a System Recovery thumb drive?
 

linuxnow

New Member
Credits
115
I see. If I do this and remove the Windows OS, how can I make sure the recovery drive keeps up to date software, so that if I later load it, it won't be a scan download updates? So that it won't be the subject of some hacking as soon as it goes online and before it can download the updates? Seems like if I has the license code and serial number of the PC, that I likely could get a new Windows thumb drive from Microsoft or the PC manufacturer at some later date with only cost of production and not cost of the license I already paid fort. Is this correct?
 

stan

Well-Known Member
Credits
4,477
The Recovery USB will not update. It's purpose is to bring your computer back to the way it is when you bought it. That may (or may not) include extra software provided by the manufacturer. So if you use a Recovery USB a year or more from now, it will be very out of date and it will take some time for Windows Updates to run and complete. If manufacturer software is saved with the Recovery, it may want to update also.

A year or more from now, the manufacturer may not provide you with your original software, or they may charge you a fee to provide it. Long ago, manufacturers provided media (first floppy disks, then CD's, then DVD's) including Windows, and drivers, and other software in case you needed to recover your computer. But they stopped providing any media, and they expect you to make a Recovery USB to protect yourself from system failures. Some manufacturers may include their own Recovery tools or applications... you should investigate if any are included with your system (check your owner's manual).

A year or more from now, unless things change, you will be able to download the latest copy of Windows 10 and install it at no cost. And this fresh copy should "activate" the registration when you go online and it communicates with Microsoft. It will recognize your computer was previously activated and is legal... unless you make some serious hardware changes (like a new CPU or motherboard).

But things do change, and I can't predict the future. What if Windows 11 is released? What will Microsoft do then? The cost of a 16 GB or 32 GB USB is minimal to create a Recovery USB, whether you ever use it or not. Making a Recovery USB is recommended by Microsoft, and by manufacturers, and by me.

But it's up to you. :)
 

linuxnow

New Member
Credits
115
A year or more from now, unless things change, you will be able to download the latest copy of Windows 10 and install it at no cost. And this fresh copy should "activate" the registration when you go online and it communicates with Microsoft. It will recognize your computer was previously activated and is legal... unless you make some serious hardware changes (like a new CPU or motherboard).
But it's up to you. :)
Exactly why I don't want to use Microsoft anymore. They do so much surveillance that the software can be free. Their programs are getting stupider and stupider. I have Microsoft on my work PC. Seems like they're making more and more of themselves as the single point of failure, managing all backups, antivirus, operating systems, malware detection systems, and tracking people's habits while they are at it. When they fail, everything will fail.
 

stan

Well-Known Member
Credits
4,477
Exactly why I don't want to use Microsoft anymore.
I totally agree with you. But before I erased Windows 7 from many computers that I own, I let them upgrade to Windows 10 for free, and I made sure they were activated. Now they all run Linux. But if I want to sell (or give away) any of them... I can put a legal copy of Windows 10 on them, if that would be preferred by whoever would get them. It just gives me an option in the future... whether I use that option or not. That is what I'm suggesting to you.
 
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!

Staff online

Members online


Top