Appendix B. Removing Red Hat Enterprise Linux
To uninstall Red Hat Enterprise Linux from your x86-based system, you must remove the
Red Hat Enterprise Linux boot loader information from your master boot record (MBR).
It is always a good idea to backup any data
that you have on your system(s). Mistakes do happen and can result in the
loss all of your data.
In DOS and Windows, use the Windows fdisk
utility to create a new MBR with the undocumented
flag /mbr. This ONLY rewrites
the MBR to boot the primary DOS partition. The command should look like
If you need to remove Linux from a hard drive and have attempted to do
this with the default DOS (Windows) fdisk, you will
experience the Partitions exist but they do not exist
problem. The best way to remove non-DOS partitions is with a tool that
understands partitions other than DOS.
To begin, insert the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD #1 and boot your system. Once you have
booted off the CD, a boot prompt appears. At the boot prompt, type:
linux rescue. This starts the rescue mode
You are prompted for your keyboard and language requirements. Enter
these values as you would during the installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Next, a screen appears telling you that the program attempts to find a
Red Hat Enterprise Linux install to rescue. Select Skip on this
After selecting Skip, you are given a
command prompt where you can access the partitions you would like to
First, type the command list-harddrives. This
command lists all hard drives on your system that are recognizable by
the installation program, as well as their sizes in megabytes.
Be careful to remove only the necessary
Red Hat Enterprise Linux partitions. Removing other partitions could result in data loss or
a corrupted system environment.
To remove partitions, use the partitioning utility
parted. Start parted, where
/dev/hda is the device on which to remove the
Using the print command, view the current partition
table to determine the minor number of the partition to remove:
The print command also displays the partition's
type (such as linux-swap, ext2, ext3, and so on). Knowing the type of the
partition helps you in determining whether to remove the
Remove the partition with the command rm. For
example, to remove the partition with minor number 3:
The changes start taking place as soon as
you press [Enter], so review the command before committing to it.
After removing the partition, use the print command
to confirm that it is removed from the partition table.
Once you have removed the Linux partitions and made all of the changes
you need to make, type quit to quit
After quitting parted, type exit
at the boot prompt to exit rescue mode and reboot your system, instead of
continuing with the installation. The system should reboot automatically. If
it does not, you can reboot your computer using