General discussion

Going from Linux to Vista

My sister bought a used Dell PC from a college; there is a Windows Vista sticker on it. When we turned it on, however, it booted from Linux. My sister is no longer young and only wants basic PC and internet functions. (1) How can I determine if the system is dual booted with Linux and Vista. (2) If it is dual booted, how do I make Vista the default OS. (3) I'll buy Windows 7 if necessary, but what would I need to do before installing it.

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The good news is

That installing Windows is widely discussed. But let me pare it down to the simplest.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Does Dell supply drivers for your Vista 32 bit or 64 bit OS? If not, stop.

2. Installing the Dual Boot is not for the timid I fear and while it's nice you asked, I find that those that ask and didn't research such (the articles are out there) tend to fare poorly or get upset easily.

3. If Dell has the drivers the next step is to look at your Vista DVD. Let's hope it's a RETAIL VERSION because those OEM versions tend to be too much trouble. "WHY?" is noted on the net.

4. Finally you have all the drivers collected and ready to start. The best dual boot installs I've done have me blank the drive with DBAN (a single wipe is good enough) then boot the Windows DVD and install that OS. Then I install the drivers I collected and I'm ready to boot my Linux CD (I do not use the Dell version) and then I follow the notes for that OS (again, these are out there for the reading.) Finally I look at Grub or the bootloader to change which OS is the default.

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Going from Linux to vista

Thanks, Bob....BUT, my sister doesn't need or want Linux. It is already on the computer, however. I thought that perhaps someone at the college where she bought the system may have dual booted Linux and Vista, but I'm not sure. If Vista is not already there, I would prefer to buy Windows 7 Home Premium to install, provided I can either remove Linux or dual boot. From what you said, I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to dual boot and would much rather get rid of Linux and go exclusively with 7.

(A) How can I determine if Vista is already on the system, and
(B) would removing Linux and replacing it with a newly purchased version of Windows 7 take an expert (which I am not)?

Your patience and help are greatly appreciated.

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(A) How can I determine if Vista is already on the system,

(A) How can I determine if Vista is already on the system, and
(B) would removing Linux and replacing it with a newly purchased version of Windows 7 take an expert (which I am not)?

a. If there is no offer to boot Vista, then it's not there.
b. Folk often ask how to remove an OS. The problem is simple, we don't remove the OS but simply wipe the drive then install the next OS. I noted DBAN as one option to wipe the drive clean. There must be some dozen ways to do that.

As to expert installs. Installing Windows is widely documented. The only thing I find folk struggle with are the drivers. But with Dell you take the service tag then head to and use the service tag to see if the drivers are issued for Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit?)


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