I have an old laptop that is setup with dual boot, running Windows Vista and Linux Mint 12. I want to remove the Mint and reclaim the space to Windows. This is a simple task but I've been on it for the whole day and I'm no closer to a solution.

I know removing Linux Mint on a dual-boot machine and restoring the windows's bootloader is a simple task of popping in the windows disk and hitting on repair. I've done this before on my old laptop, quite a few times. But that was quite a long time ago.

Today, the laptop's CD/DVD drive is not reliable. It almost never works these days. And its also unable to boot from USB, which it used to do in the past.

Without a functioning CD/DVD drive and no ability to boot from USB, is this even possible? If there is a way to restore the windows bootloader right from within the currently working Vista OS, that would be perfect. I have the Vista Business disk and I can get files from it by reading it on a different machine and transferring via a usb drive.

So, do you guys have any ideas on how I can fix this. The laptop is, as of now, working perfectly fine, booting with grub. But this grub will be gone if I remove the Linux Mint partition.

  • Does the NIC card in the laptop support PXE (booting over the network)?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 14:54
  • How can I find out? I've never tried booting over the network.
    – sharat87
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 15:20
  • I guess you can poke around in the BIOS boot options, and if the network is an option it will list it there.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


This is actually very easy. Use the EasyBCD software and follow the steps from Type 1 recovery on this wiki page.

In the next reboot, I didn't get the grub boot menu. I removed the Linux mint and swap partitions and its working just fine.


This question was answered here on SU.

In short, no, you can't replace the MBR using Windows Vista without the installation DVD (or the installation copied to a USB stick).

If you installed grub to the MBR, then it will continue to be able to boot Windows even after you remove Linux Mint, though you may have to type in the necessary grub commands manually each time you boot. But you can live with it until you can get the laptop fixed or replaced.

If you installed grub to the boot sector, then you can simply use fdisk in Linux or diskpart in Windows to change the "active" partition (i.e. which partition gets booted first). This can be done from the live operating system.

  • Grub wasn't installed on the MBR, which was the cause of my concern. I did manage to do this without using the installation disk. See my other answer. Thanks for your inputs, helped me understand this thing a bit better :)
    – sharat87
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 3:04

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