Ubuntu

Can't do clean remove of Ubuntu

Reported by YannUbuntu on 2010-10-02
108
This bug affects 25 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Ubuntu
Undecided
Unassigned
grub
New
Undecided
Unassigned
ubiquity
Invalid
Undecided
Unassigned
grub2 (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: grub2

Many beginners try Ubuntu in dual-boot with another OS. Some of them want to remove (uninstall) Ubuntu from their computer, whatever the reason (don't like Ubuntu, or want to install it on another PC, or because Windows won't start after Ubuntu's installation..)

Currently they can't do it cleanly, whatever the way they choose, they will get one of the following problems :
- if they had installed Ubuntu via Wubi, they will be unhappy because Windows' bootloader will still be visible
- if they installed Ubuntu on a separate partition and then format Ubuntu's partition, they won't be able to access Windows any more ( GRUB won't work any more, as it needs files that are on Ubuntu's /boot folder).
- if Windows was broken by Ubuntu's installation (we see this problem several times per month on ubuntu-fr forum), they currently can't easily restaure the initial situation.

Generally those users will have to re-install Windows and will discourage other people to try Ubuntu.

This bug won't happen if we add a simple way to remove Ubuntu in a clean way.
For example :
1) Ubuntu's installation shall save the MBR and other appropriate bytes before the installer (GRUB, or other if Wubi) writes on them
2) The live-CD (or other appropriate place) shall propose a way to remove Ubuntu by restauring the bytes saved in 1).

Hope this helps making Ubuntu better.

YannUbuntu (yannubuntu) on 2010-10-02
description: updated
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Not a ubiquity bug, and in any case we use the ubiquity source package in Ubuntu (/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity) for ubiquity bugs, not the ubiquity project (/ubiquity).

Changed in ubiquity:
status: New → Invalid
YannUbuntu (yannubuntu) wrote :

That is a very general User Experience problem, so maybe that is something the Desktop Experience Team cares about ?

Can you please stop marking random products as affected by this bug?

Yes, it seems like a general issue. No, it isn't the sort of thing that
obviously falls within desktop experience. No, there's no way that
we'll be able to fit in a fix for 10.10 at this point (it likely
involves some discussion with GRUB upstream - the question of saving the
MBR has come up before there and probably needs to be revisited), so
there's no need to rush.

YannUbuntu (yannubuntu) wrote :

thank you for your answer.

> Can you please stop marking random products as affected by this bug?

Sorry if you think I did so, I did not mean to. I wanted to affect Ubuntu in general but did not find the way to do it, so I chose the projects which seemed to me the closest to the subject.

> No, there's no way that we'll be able to fit in a fix for 10.10 at this point
> (...) no need to rush

I did not say so, and I understand there are other priorities at the moment.

> (it likely involves some discussion with GRUB upstream - the question of saving the
> MBR has come up before there and probably needs to be revisited

Thank you for this information. I will then contact GRUB upstream concerning technical points. Nevertheless, I believe a bootloader can't handle the entire "Uninstalling Ubuntu" process, so IMHO this should be supervised by Canonical team.

(For people understanding French, we are working on a solution here : http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?pid=3768409 )

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

I'm a GRUB upstream developer. You don't need to contact GRUB
separately.

YannUbuntu (yannubuntu) wrote :

Dear all,
here is a proposition of solution that solves this bug : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1615667

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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