How do I remove linux from my computer safely without losing my windows data

I was stupid, I let one of my friends quote fix end quote my computer. Well he fixed it. Also for some random reason he added linux (a very old version if I’m not mistaken). He’s gone now, so I cann’t chew him out, or get him to remove it. Here’s the problem:

I have a windows 98 computer SE with a 10-13 GB HD. All I use it for is as a glorifed typewriter. Linux is taking up 1/2 of the HD, so now I’m dangerously low on memory. I need to remove linux (or make it’s partition become one with the windows partition) safely, easily (I’m not very technologically skilled), by using only free or very cheap, and widely availible software (I live in a little town so I would not be able to find it if it were not common). (I have dial up if that is a consideration). Please please please help me get rid of this plague on my computer, I don’t want linux.

BTW I don’t have the system restore disk that came with my computer many years ago, so I cannot simply format the hard drive and re install windows. I need to remove linux in such a way that I do not need to re install windows.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Memory is not hard drive space. Memory, RAM, is the stuff programs are loaded into and run from. If your computer is giving you a low memory warning, it has nothing to do with Linux, since you’re not running it, and it shouldn’t be using any memory.

There is no “very old version” of Linux that takes up 5GB, if I’m not mistaken. They have rather full featured Linux distributions that run off of CD: about 650MB.

In any event, the Linux partition should still be visible in Windows… reformat it.

[ol]
[li]I meant memory as anything that is used to record something. [/li][li]I don’t know how large the linux is, but the partition it is on is about 5GB[/li][li]I cann’t see the partition, therefore I cannot reformat it. On my computer all I see is my C:\ drive which is half the size that it should be[/li][/ol]

Windows 98 won’t be able to see the partition, unlike later versions. You need to use a boot floppy - you can make one with the tools here. Boot from the floppy, run fdisk (ie type ‘fdisk’), delete the Linux partition, then create a new logical drive in the free space.

At least I think that’s what you need to do.
No, wait, you’ll need to sort out the boot loader to go straight into Windows…hmmmm, beyond my knowledge of 98

(Alternative thought - why not abandon 98 and stick with Linux? If all you need is internet and word processing, it shouldn’t make much difference which you use)

I like using office XP, that’s why I need the HD space that linux is taking up, I don’t want to find and download the equilvalent word processor, then have my files spread accross two OS’s

Fair enough. FWIW, www.openoffice.org is the closest Linux has to Office, although it has its weaknesses. It does also run on Windows, though, and can cope fine with MS file formats.

The best way to do this is the remove the Linux partitions and expand an existing paritition (like C:) to take its space. (There should be 2-3 Linux partitions. While the swap space can be kept in a MSDOS partition, it’s almost always in one of its own.) There are several partition manipulation programs out there. (Note: FDISK can kill a partition and make new ones, but it can’t merge the space.)

Commercially, Partition Magic is quite well known for being well known.

For free software, I like Partition Resizer best.

Read, understand, and follow all directions. Esp. about booting from a floppy and making a backup first.

Using any such software, requires doing a backup first. There is no such things as a flawless program at this level. Mistakes are to be expected and dealt with ahead of time. “Oops, I should have backed it up.” is not a good thing to end up saying.

Is there any need to extend the existing Windows partition onto the Linux space, and risk losing everything, rather than merging the Linux partitions and creating a new Windows partition?