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#1 2020-04-19 13:34:38

fresh31739867
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Registered: 2020-04-19
Posts: 4

Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

I would like to completely wipe windows from my machine and install arch linux. I currently have a dual boot with windows and ubuntu.

I have 5 partitions:

/dev/sda1        2048     206847     204800   100M EFI System
/dev/sda2      206848     239615      32768    16M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sda3      239616 1337024511 1336784896 637,4G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda4  1951426560 1953523711    2097152     1G Windows recovery environment
/dev/sda5  1337024512 1951426559  614402048   293G Linux filesystem

I don't know whether I'm going to keep the recovery partition yet, but is it safe to remove the other ones? In particular, what about the EFI partition? Does this depend on the manifacturer of the machine?

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#2 2020-04-19 13:38:16

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
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Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

fresh31739867 wrote:

what about the EFI partition? Does this depend on the manifacturer of the machine?

No, but Ubuntu may use that efi partition.  And there's no reason to remove it anyways, as you'd then just need to create a new efi partition.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#3 2020-04-19 15:07:13

fresh31739867
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Registered: 2020-04-19
Posts: 4

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

What about if I removed Ubuntu as well? Would that be harmful in any way?

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#4 2020-04-19 15:08:42

Trilby
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Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

Removing Ubuntu is never harmful.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#5 2020-04-19 15:18:50

Slithery
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From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 3,841

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

Personally I'd wipe everything and start from scratch. If you try to reuse the existing EFI partition then you may run out of space if installing multiple kernels as it's only 100MB.

Wiki wrote:

To provide adequate space for storing boot loaders and other files required for booting, and to prevent interoperability issues with other operating systems the partition should be at least 260 MiB. For early and/or buggy UEFI implementations the size of at least 512 MiB might be needed.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

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#6 2020-04-19 17:24:59

xerxes_
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Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 263

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

So you may remove all information about partitions from disk with command (with admin rights):

wipefs -a /dev/sda

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#7 2020-04-19 17:28:05

Trilby
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Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

xerxes_ why would that be needed?  If nothing is to be kept, just repartition the disk as usual - there's absolutely nothing special.

If it was important to keep the windows recovery partition, then it'd be a fair question whether the windows EFI would be needed in order to use the recovery partition.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#8 2020-04-21 18:05:43

fresh31739867
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Registered: 2020-04-19
Posts: 4

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

Trilby wrote:

If it was important to keep the windows recovery partition, then it'd be a fair question whether the windows EFI would be needed in order to use the recovery partition.

In that case, would it make sense to have two different EFI partitions, one for the windows recovery and one for the arch linux installation?

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#9 2020-04-21 18:08:51

Slithery
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From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 3,841

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

No. The UEFI spec only supports one EFI partition per device.

Do you need to keep the recovery partition? If you ever want to reinstall Windows then you can just download the iso from Microsoft.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#10 2020-04-21 18:17:11

fresh31739867
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Registered: 2020-04-19
Posts: 4

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

Wouldn't I have to pay for it? How do I keep the license? Please don't get me wrong, I hate windows and I can't wait to burn it to the ground but I'm afraid I'm going to need to it for my university, which regrettably uses closed-source proprietary and expensive software.

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#11 2020-04-21 18:24:43

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 23,479
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Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

All you need is the license key which you should have (e.g., on a sticker on the computer) or could get from somewhere within the system ... don't ask me where, I don't know windows.

You could also create a recovery usb / flash drive from windows.

Last edited by Trilby (2020-04-21 18:37:04)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#12 2020-04-21 18:30:31

WorMzy
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From: Scotland
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Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

We can't help with your Windows licensing questions -- you'll need to ask on a Windows support forum for that information.


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#13 2020-04-21 18:35:32

Slithery
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From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 3,841

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

You don't need to know your key for a Windows 10 installation, it's stored on the motherboard.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#14 2020-04-22 14:35:59

qinohe
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2012-06-20
Posts: 1,032

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

It depends, did you buy a retail key or did it come with the pc you bought (OEM). If the answer is OEM, you can check this, go to 'settings/update/activation', if you see something like 'digital ID' then it's bound to your Microsoft account and in this case you can do with that computer what you like, wipe it all and later reinstall windows10 because it's bound to that pc and your account. If it's the retail, you would mostly know that you bought the license and so payed for it and would have an interchangeable key, not bound to that pc and if that's the case you need to find out what that key is, but for most consumer pc's this is highly unlikely...

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#15 2020-04-28 16:15:36

wpkzz
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Registered: 2020-01-10
Posts: 31

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

I tell you my experience. I bought on 2012 this supper nice Asus Laptop that I am currently using, very good machine. I thought that I may need some proprietary things so I saved a little Windows 7 partition and used the rest for GNU/Linux. After like two years I NEVER used the Windows partition, so i got rid of it in a new GNU/Linux reinstall. Recovery Partitions, EFI, everything. The only thing that i respect from reinstall to reinstall is my GNU/Linux /home/ partition. I recommend highly that you keep it separate. It saves you quite a lot of time of doing backups.
I mean, do make backups... but you don't need to restore your files with the new install if you don't screw it up.
I work on a Farmacobiology Research Center in México. The people there LOVE propietary software. Well, they are more like conditioned to use it. Also there I never had to use a Windows Machine. The few times that I had to rely on some proprietary software that runs only on Windows I have managed to do it on VirtualBox or Wine without problems.


Moyocoyani, Tloque Nahuaque.

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#16 2020-05-06 20:41:53

MikeD
Member
Registered: 2020-05-06
Posts: 3

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

I would suggest that you create a full hard drive image of the original Windows installation, in case you ever want to get back. See for example the section 'dd make disk image' at https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/unix-linu … -commands/ for instructions on how to do that.

In my opinion, it is better than installing W10 using the official 'Make a USB flash disk' utility. I did that on my father's laptop and it was an absolute nightmare as there were at least three different bugs in the MS installer that I had to google and circumvent. Took me two full days to get it working. And, by the way, on that particular machine, the Windows license key seemed to be stored in the UEFI firmware (not to be confused with the EFI partition).

Last edited by MikeD (2020-05-06 20:45:36)

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#17 2020-05-10 10:54:28

aliceinwondaland
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From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2020-05-09
Posts: 3

Re: Completely wiping windows 10 before installing Arch

Whenever I installed Linux on top of Windows 10 EFI partition I always ran into problems. Legacy boot however runs fine.

as @MikeD suggested, creating an image of Windows installation including EFI partition would be good.


“If you want to know who rules over you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.” ― George Orwell. My favorite Minecraft Mods.

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