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A Beginner's Guide to Uninstalling Windows 7

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/7/2009

Windows 7 bugging you? We've got the complete guide on removing it from your PC once and for all.

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    Windows 7, G-Parted

    So, you’ve gone and installed Windows 7 on your PC only to find that it isn’t your cup of tea – what do you do next?

    So you want to wipe your computer of any Windows-based influence…

    If you’re having a bad experience with Windows 7 or any other OS for that matter, it’ll probably be best to take the most radical action when uninstalling Windows 7. The simplest way to do this is to do a complete format and wipe of your HDD. I’ll walk you through the steps:

    1. BACKUP YOUR DATA! I write this in bold because we can’t do a bigger font. If there’s one thing to emphasize here, is that formatting and repartitioning your HDD will destroy anything that was on there – this being said, you should backup all the important documents you have along with any music, movies, files, or emails that you’ll also need.

    2. Write down all the programs you currently have installed – you can always leave stuff out, but it’s important to have a list of the programs you absolutely cannot live without.

    Now for the actual formatting and repartitioning of your hard drive (remember to follow these steps EXACTLY, or you might mess up a serious part of your PC):

    1. Download Ubuntu’s LiveCD

    2. Burn the associated disk to a CD – shouldn’t take you too long at 40X burn speeds

    3. Once you have the CD, pop it into your computer and quit out of every other open program

    4. As the CD starts running, you’ll have options to either install Ubuntu (not what you want) or to use it as a Live CD – go ahead and click to use it as a LiveCD

    5. Restart your PC and have it boot into the LiveCD, you’ll notice the interface in Ubuntu is slightly less clunky, and a bit different, but don’t worry – we’ll walk you through it

    6. The interface at the top says “Applications” then “Places” then “System” – go ahead and click on “System”

    7. From the drop down menu, hover over “Administration” (sometimes you may have to click on the menu to get it to respond)

    8. From there, click on “Partition Editor”, you should get a screen much like the one in the screenshots below

    9. Don’t be daunted by all the information – let’s just analyze what is going on with your partitions. You should see a primary partition (the largest one) and perhaps a secondary or non-partitioned space. The easiest thing to do now is to click on all the partitions and click on “Delete” or actually hit the “Del” key on your keyboard

    10. Once all your partitions are deleted, you can go ahead and create as many as you want – if you want to dual-boot, I recommend you go ahead and create two new partitions. If you only want one system running, just take all the non-partitioned space and create one partition

    11. To do this, right-click on the only partition on screen and select “New”

    12. It will ask you how much space you want on there, and you should select the maximum size for a full partition – most importantly, format the partition into NTFS, not FAT32, as Vista and Windows 7 are both NTFS compatible

    13. Once you have the partition re-made and formatted, you’re ready to install whatever OS you want

    14. If you enjoyed your foray into Ubuntu, just use the CD already inside your drive to install it, the process is extremely simple.

    And there you have it – because Windows 7 has no fool-proof “uninstaller”, the best bet you have at this point is following the above steps. Mainly because using a “deltree” method will delete Windows, but leave a lot of junk behind, this above method is a better option. If you still haven’t installed Windows 7, I recommend you follow the above steps, but rather than deleting anything, just create a new partition from which you can dual-boot.