So a while back I talked about how to get (k)ubuntu onto the vostro as it didnt have a cd/dvd drive. Luckily things have improved greatly around that and the ability to just get it onto a usb drive to install.
So here I am having to give the laptop to one of the other employees in the company, a man that will never need the linux partition but will certainly need all the space he can get on a drive.
The first step is very easy, just a case of deleting the linux drive space, format and extend all done through the windows tools. This is obviously nice a quick and easy until you reboot. Grub tries to get all of its configuration data from a location that no longer exists. Back to playing with USB drives and ISO images here we come.
As with most laptops (and many other systems these days) no original disks are supplied as you are expected to make disc images when you first get the devices. Me, being the consummate professional that I am, obviously ignored that I was expecting to so destroy the OS at some point, as is normally the case, that I would end up just getting a fresh copy, and putting that on there.
So how did I do it this time.
First step hunt down a USB drive and then hunt down a windows disk. USB was where I expected but for the life of me I could find a single copy of vista or windows 7, silly considering the number of copies I own. Luckily a quick search on the internet revealed the Neosmart website with a nice link to a disk that was perfect for my needs and was easily downloaded using a bit torrent client.
Onto the USB and making it bootable and back to the old school.
open up a command prompt, yep run with cmd in it. Check you know what the drive size is as this is need to identify it in the next step.
select disk x (where x is the disk number of the USB drive)
clean create partition primary select partition 1 active format fs=fat32 assign exit
Hopefully by now you will have the iso downloaded so you need to mount it in a virtual drive.
Back to the command prompt and change to the mounted virtual drive
xcopy *.* /e /h (usbdriveletter):
You should now see all the files copying across.
You can now put this into the laptop and reboot it, select the windows partition and then at the next step repair manually. I didn't try the automatic repair as I have no idea how it works and couldn't risk destroying the raw data of the laptop due to the time I had do get this done.
Once in the repair console just type..
bootrec.exe /FixMbr bootrec.exe /FixBoot
There you go all done, reboot and everything will be back to just windows.