How to restore the Windows XP bootloader – After uninstalling Ubuntu

By | June 7, 2009

Windows XpI have installed Ubuntu on Windows XP just to see how the new version is looking and try some features. At the end of the day, I have uninstalled it, but struck with the problem of bootloader. After installing Ubuntu, it has made changes to Windows bootloader so that while booting we can select Windows XP or Ubuntu from the list. Though I uninstalled the Ubuntu, the bootloader continued to show both operating systems and it was really annoying.

So, I have searched the Internet if there is any solution and what everyone was to use the Windows XP CD to repair it. Once we boot into the XP CD, we need to type “fixmbr” into recovery console to repair it. So, I digged the net to see if there is a simple solution and came with this. It worked for me great and there is no need to have XP CD. Follow these steps and you are done.

  • Right click on “My Computer” and click “Properties” which is at the end of the menu.
  • Select the “Advanced” tab from the list of tabs. Then, click “Settings” button in the “Startup and Recovery” section at the bottom.
  • It will open up a new window and then click “Edit” button, which will load boot.ini in notepad where you can edit it.

A normal file look like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional”/fastdetect

Though I have uninstalled the Ubuntu, the boot.ini was looking like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional”/noexecute= optin/fastdetect

I have just copied the normal boot.ini code into the boot.ini, saved it, and restarted. Voila”¦..I got rid of the nagging dual boot window. Below are the screenshots to guide you visually.

Bootloader 1

Bootloader 2

17 thoughts on “How to restore the Windows XP bootloader – After uninstalling Ubuntu

  1. kyle

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I had the same problem and it work! YOU ARE THE BEST!

  2. Srinivasan

    hello navin, can u say me how to bring back my ubundu startup screen after reformating windows? linux exists but isnot accessible

  3. Harshal Jain

    No need to go into My Computer properties and all that stuff to open boot.ini file. Simply open command prompt and go to C:\. In that, type boot.ini there it’ll automatically open boot.ini

  4. ChandraSekar

    Hello Admin. You have installed ussing Wubi. If the user installed not using Wubi, the xp boot loader will be replaced by GRUB ubuntu loader. So ur method will not work. FIXMBR is the only solution. Update your post so that users ll know this

  5. Anurag Kesari

    here’s my story:
    i installed ubuntu 9.04 this morning (with win XP, dual-boot). however, accidentally, i installed it on an external USB hard drive that happened to be connected to my laptop at that time. because of that, the ubuntu OS as well as the bootloader got installed on that external drive and now my laptop does not even let me run Win XP without that ext. drive. (Sort of like a lock and key, wherein i don’t get to use my machine unless the drive is connected to it!). I can, however, disconnect the drive once i load up one of the OSs. I’m in a total mess right now. I’m trying to undo all the damage and run linux side-by-side Win XP WITHOUT that cursed drive!
    thanks for your tip. trying it now. if it works, i’ll take all you guys on the forum out for lunch! (hehehe)

  6. Oliver Jones

    If you have booted into recovery mode AND tried this trick, and you are still getting the Ubuntu boot loader, open a command shell (Run) on Windows XP, and try this:

    select disk 0
    select partition 1

    This will set the Windows partition as the active one, so it will boot first.

  7. trinath

    hai navin i hope you will reply to my problem.i have installed ubuntu 9.04 totally in my system,i was using that for the pas ttwo months.its was good regarding security .but i want to move back to my old xp can u tell me how to reinstall my old xp.
    itried like this i inserted my xp cd and restated and pressd f8 then blue screen giving boot options came.i clicked cdw/dvd then thing it moved again to ubuntu only.please help me to get my xp back..thanks in advance

    1. Naveen Post author

      You have to uncheck other booting options. It should only boot to CD. Also, uncheck booting from other devices.

  8. Anurag

    Yaaay!!! I fixed it! But not using the method given here. There’s a way to do it from the Linux terminal. I tried it and it works well!

  9. Mike

    You do need to be slightly careful that your Win XP partition is partition 1 … just make sure you specify the correct partition number within Boot.ini (e.g. my XP partition is no 3 even though I dont dual boot – a consequence of manufacturer ‘restore’ utility).


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