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Ask HTG: Removing Windows 8, Understanding Linux File Permissions, and Disabling Scan and Fix Popups in Windows

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You have questions and we have answers; once a week we round up a handful of reader questions and share the answers with everyone. This week we’re looking at removing Windows 8 from a dual installation, understanding Linux file permissions, and disabling the Scan and Fix popup in Windows.

How Can I Remove Windows 8?

Dear How-To Geek,

I took Windows 8 for a spin. It was fun ‘n all but now I’m ready to nuke it and get ride of the boot loader so I can just boot straight into Windows 7 again. The problem? I have no idea how to fix the boot loader. What do I do? I have Windows 7 and Windows 8 installed on two separate drives.

Sincerely,

Windows 7 4 Ever

Dear Windows 7,

Getting rid of Windows 8 is straight forward in your case: when you’re in Windows 7 just format the drive you used for Windows 8. As for the repairing the boot loader to get rid of Windows 8, we’ll refer you to our guide on using EasyBCD to edit your boot menu here. If you have no other operating systems (earlier version of Windows, Linux, etc.) that you wish to boot into, you could also do a repair of the Master Boot Record with your Windows 7 disk to get back to that straight-into-Windows boot—read about that here.

What’s the Deal with Linux File Permissions?

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Dear How-To Geek,

New Linux user here! I’ve gotten a few file permission errors and I’m curious what that’s all about? So far it hasn’t crippled my use of Linux in anyway but I like knowing as much as I can about the computer I’m using. What’s the deal? Do you guys have a crash course in file permission or a web site I can look at?

Sincerely,

Linux Newb

Dear Linux Newb,

You’re certainly not the first person to begin their adventures with a *nix-based system like OS X or Linux and wonder exactly what the heck all these file permissions are about. To help clear up the confusion we have an explainer guide that covers everything from basic file permissions to operating as a super user.

How Can I Stop that Annoying Scan and Fix Popup?

Dear How-To Geek,

Every freaking time I plug in my Kindle, iPad, or phone, Windows freaks out and wants to “scan and fix” the device. What the heck? I don’t need it to fix anything. How can I disable this popup? I don’t want anything to pop up. No scan and fix, no auto play, I just want to plug in my stuff in peace!

Sincerely,

Popup Raging

Dear Popup Raging,

Although the popup, in theory, is meant to alert you that there is a problem with the drive’s file system or that it was unmounted properly, the warning is largely useless because of the frequency with which we unplug devices (like our phones) without properly unmounting them. Ideally we would unmount our drives properly every time, but realistically most people just unplug their phone and go. To banish the annoying popup warning forever, check out this guide here.


Have a pressing tech question? Shoot us an email at ask@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer it!

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/12/12

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