Every so often, a user at my company will install Linux on his or her machine. After a while, the user decides to convert from Linux to a Windows-based OS. However, installing Windows 2000 or Windows NT on the system can be a problem because the Linux Loader (LILO) writes to the Master Boot Record (MBR), and Windows NTFS has difficulty writing over it. All too often, the new OS will install without any sign of a problem, then when the user reboots the machine, it doesn't boot.

You can work around this problem by buying a new hard disk. As a simpler and cheaper alternative, before you install the new OS, boot the machine from a Windows 95 boot disk, then issue the command

fdisk /mbr

at the command prompt. This command zeros out the system's MBR and lets you install the new OS.