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! **
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
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