Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Remove Windows 8 From Dual-boot (or Multiboot) Machines

Easily Remove Windows 8 Beta from Your PC

The time has come for me to uninstall Windows 8 Developer Preview (I just could not adapt to Metro). Here’s how I did it.

To test out the new Windows operating system, I had created a 3rd partition on the machine’s hard drive and installed the Win8 DP there. The other 2 partitions held a Vista and a Win 7 operating system. My concerns about removing Win 8 centered on the fact that Windows 8 had installed its own bootloader — would simply deleting the (Win8) partition prevent the other OSes from booting? To eliminate that possibility, I started the operation by editing the machine’s BCD file ¹.

** Backup Your Important Files To Another Location Before Doing Things Like This! **

1) Download BootICE (or EasyBCD) and extract it. ¹ It is a “portable” app, so you can run it from a thumb drive, or your Desktop. Double-click to Run (aka Open) the bootice.exe file.

2) Click on the BCD Edit tab, then click the “View / Edit” button.

3) In the left column, click on the “Windows 8” entry and turn it blue (aka “select” it)…

.. and then click the “Del” (delete) button.

4) Reboot the machine. You should now see the old style multi-boot menu. Choose one of your older OSes (in my case, I chose Windows 7).

5) Now you can go into Disk Management and delete the partition where you had installed Windows 8, and reclaim the space it took up.

5a) Press the Windows Key + “R” key to launch a Run dialogue box, and type “diskmgmt.msc” (no quotes) into the run box.

5b) Right-click on the appropriate 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. (You did make a copy of anything important, right?)

5c) You should now see “empty” space.. and the top bar has turned black. Right-click on the the partition the partition with the blue header, directly before it, and select Extend Volume from the context menu.

A “wizard” will open – simply click “next”, “next”, OK.

That’s it. You’re done. Windows 8 is gone, and your machine is back to how it was before you installed the beta.

¹ Note: This is for machines where at least one of the other operating systems is Vista/Win 7 (which uses a bcd boot loader). If the only other OS in your multiboot setup is XP, you might try the msconfig method instead of Steps 1 – 3. A tutorial for that is here.

 Today’s quote:A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” ~ Mark Twain

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 17, 2012 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m with you. I’m ready to uninstall Windows 8. Last night I was on Gmail and opened a link. For the life of me, I could not figure out how to get back to my email. I literally had to hit the button and restart the computer. I’ve never had to do that in any version of Windows. I could always count on Alt-Ctrl-Delete if all else failed. But not anymore. I am not looking forward to this new OS.


    Comment by Lynn T | May 17, 2012 | Reply

    • Lynn T,
      I believe I will surprise no one when I say that IMHO the ONLY place for the “Metro” UI is on a touchscreen device – a phone or a tablet, for example.

      If, when the final version is released, Microsoft does not make it easy to (always) disable Metro, I will just buy several copies of Win 7, and run that until the wheels fall off.
      (There is a simple Registry hack to disable it, in case you had not heard.)

      I suspect MS is well aware of the public reaction (to Metro) but whether they care about old-timers, like me..?
      We shall see.


      Comment by techpaul | May 17, 2012 | Reply

  2. Well, I’m late with my comment as usual. Apologies.

    Due to both financial and functional reasons Ive decided NOT to use tablets or smartphones, so Windows 8 will never see the light of day on my machines. I’m a hardcore OFFLINE high-end graphics gamer. Surfing is something I do only to check a handful of websites, with emphasis on security and privacy related information.

    T4E, What’s on my PC, and a small group of other blogs are nearly all I use the internet for these days (excluding email). I do occasionally visit Grooveshark for the latest streaming music, and I sometimes search Google for subjects of interest… like my own name. I’m still trying to get that info removed.

    All I can say is I’m a dinosaur. My 5-1/4 floppy disk holders make great CD/DVD cases. I still posess every computer I ever owned, and I can still operate and program them all.

    Metro, the cloud, and most of the rest of recent technological advancements have left me with a cold, uncaring attitude. I think I’m getting too old to accept these changes. And I don’t really care if I’m left befind anymore. I suspect that in the future I very well may wish I had kept up with the latest greatest gadgets, but keeping up with current security trends is number one on my list for now.

    Good luck to all those buying tablets and smartphones. You’ll soon be technologically way ahead of me….


    Comment by kstinman | May 18, 2012 | Reply

    • kstinman,
      In my mind, one of the connotations I associate with the use of “dinosaur” (besides being very old) is “something that failed to adapt to the changing climate” (and died out because of it).

      I too have my roots in the “old school”, and I find it is a bit of a challenge to keep up with tech’s evolution.

      And yes, since I do not give a fig for what is this week’s “viral video”, or “connecting” with virtual “friends”, or ANY of the “social networking” hype (We’re giving away a 2012 Pontiac to those who “Like” us on ____________ and “Follow us” on _____________!!!!) I find the Internet less and less exciting (and helpful) each passing week. (I have no time for people seeking Fame, or trying to sell me something I neither want nor need.)
      But that said, I am a “webizen”. I have seen some amazing developments (a lot of flash-in-the-pans too). And I use the ‘net for something each and every day.
      (I hope they fix it soon.)

      Personally, I find uses for my high-octane gamer, and my smart phone.. separate and distinctly different uses. I cannot see one replacing the other. However, when our computers are in our eyeglasses.. I think I’ll draw the line, and go Luddite.
      And that will be next year.
      Or the year after.
      That’ll be just too new school for me.

      (And Windows 8 withOUT the Metro is a fine Desktop OS, from what I have seen. Basically 7 with some enhancements. Smooth. Quick. Stable. Smart. I did not note any real game performance improvement.. but it is far too early to assess that.)


      Comment by techpaul | May 18, 2012 | Reply

  3. Many agreeable/mutual points made here!

    At times when I am undisciplined…spending too much time with the technology…I ask myself, “where was my life when I was a Luddite”?


    Comment by Gaia | May 19, 2012 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      It is often hard (for me) to remember.. there is a generation of people – now – for whom there always was an Internet (and ATM machines)(and portable “cell” phones).


      Comment by techpaul | May 19, 2012 | Reply

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