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After replacing my preinstalled Windows 7 with Ubuntu, how do I get it back?

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I recently installed ubuntu 12.04 with grub. But now I have decided that I don't like ubuntu and I want windows 7 back. How can I get it back? I don't have a windows 7 disc because windows 7 was pre installed on my laptop. So how can I get windows 7 back?

Answers

  1. If Windows was pre-installed, you should have a recovery partition on the hard disk to let you reinstall Windows; there's typically a way to start the recovery progress upon booting the computer, please see your manual.
  2. However, if you chose "Use entire disk" when installing Ubuntu, the recovery partition may have been deleted. Unfortunately, you will then probably have to contact your manufacturer for a set of recovery disks OR send the laptop in for service so they can reinstall Windows 7 for you.
  3. Finally, if you are fairly computer-savvy and can find and install Windows drivers, etc. and other things that are normally preinstalled, you can install Windows by legally downloading and burning the ISO for your edition, using the key from the sticker on the bottom of your computer. Note that you will have to call Micosoft within 30 days to activate Windows though--if you tell them you didn't like Ubuntu and love Windows they will be happy to allow you to do it ;)

(Assuming Windows 7 is on the first bootable partition of your boot disk.) You should be able boot Windows from grub and then reinstall the Microsoft MBR using Windows.

This will stop Grub from running in the future. The Microsoft MBR will transfer to the first bootable partition on your boot disk whenever you boot.

Of course you can also keep grub and simply tell it to boot Windows whenever you boot, but I'm assuming the above is what you have in mind.

You probably need to contact you computer's brand or retail shop for a new installation disk.

Some computers come with hidden recovery partitions that allow you to restore you computer's software, but you should be able to see them using the Disk Utility inside Ubuntu, if Disk Utility does not show you anything else besides your Ubuntu partitions then you need to get a installation disk and re-install your system.

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