Cannot put windows back on PC after Zorin install. HELP!

Hello Everyone
Some weeks ago I installed Zorin Lite on an older Dell PC formerly running windows 10.

The big headache I now have is that I am unable to reinstall windows 10!!!

The steps I am taking:

  1. Download Windows 7 ISO and installing it onto USB (formatted to Fat32) using Multi-Writer.

  2. Booting computer and choosing the boot from USB option in the bios.

When I do this NOTHING happens. It just boots straight back into Zorin OS.

Key points:

  • The Dell computer is around 8 years old and 64 bit. It has run windows 10 before. The computer works OK.

  • I have installed Fedora, Mint, etc. and still cannot reinstall Windows (in case it was something to do with Zorin)

  • I am attempting installing W7 first because Windows 10 will not install unless it detects a Windows OS.

Does anyone please have a solution please?

Many thanks!

Sorry to hear about your problem, Jakeshiraz.
Have you checked the boot order in BIOS? If you have then try to see if disabling Secure Boot (under UEFI, also in BIOS) helps.
You can also try this:

You may also try starting the computer, and start hammering on the F12 key to pull up the One-Time-Boot option. Select your USB media from there.

1 Like

If you installed Zorin with EFI enabled and the BIOS has a Zorin EFI key it could be protecting the system. The simplest solution would be to unplug the power lead from PC, take the cover off and earth yourself by touching the metal cover you have removed or a heating radiator then remove the lithium battery from the motherboard, wait 30 seconds then put the battery back in. This will (should!) reset the BIOS to default. You may want to consider downloading GParted Live, boot off that to delete all your Zorin partitions then create one big NTFS partition ready to take Windows 10. If Windows 10 was activated on last install there is no need to start with a Windows 7 install first as M$ spyware keeps all your hardware ID in its Redmond vault.


Hi Everyone

So pleased for the replies from you all which is much appreciated. I am very sorry for the late update as I did not know anyone replied I thought I would get notifications in my email box!!!

I will give you feedback after implementing the advice.

Have a good weekend!

Here is an update

I cannot find the secure boot option in the BIOS to disable Secure boot as stated by carmar.

The computer is a 64 bit HP Compaq DC7800P.

Where would these settings be found?
Could they be stored under something else in the BIOS?

thank you

Did you see any setting called “UEFI” on any of the BIOS menus or sub-menus? It should be under that.

Anything called Windows Boot Manager?

SIDEBAR – based upon the computer’s age – is it possible the age of the BIOS is causing a problem? As in it may need to be updated before the user can proceed?


Sorry for the headaches you’re going thru. I have no answer, and these links may not help, but I consider Britec a Guru’s Guru. Perhaps there’s something below which may help –

I’m offering these in case there was a step or tip you missed.


Hello All!

Many thanks for the feedback. I must apologise to people for the delay in replying as I do not have notification as a default setting so unaware when replies come in.

The steps I am at:

  1. I have managed to install Windows XP (vintage edition II) from a disk. For some reason a USB won’t take it despite the fact I am booting correctly, the USB is created correctly and the port works. I know this because I have installed Zorin 100,000 times using it.

  2. Windows just sticks on the logo if using USB to install W7. No further progress.

  3. Legacy/UEFI mode cannot be found in the Bios of the computer. Compaq DC7800p.

So stuck. I will try solutions from what has been suggested.

Many thanks!

Watch this space! :grinning:

Just an important mention. There is NO dual boot. I am just wanting to remove Zorin completely and get windows back.

hi everyone

An update on my problem. I have managed to install windows XP on the computer from disk. USB fails.

Updating the bios is of little use as the drivers from HP website fail to install saying:

sp73582.exe is not a valid Win32 application

Attempting to install Windows 7 either gets stuck on the logo at install or stops at windows is expanding files (ad lib)

So, stuck again after 5 months!

Did you try the link I posted in my very first post?
Other links to try after that:

Will try.

Thank you for the help! :grinning:

Hi carmar

Just to recap the problem I have is not removing Ubuntu/Zorin. It is actually replacing it with Windows 10 again.

No matter what I do I cannot upgrade beyond Windows XP.

Thank you

I still recommend you try the three links.
If your problem is related to any residual effect of Zorin, one of those links will clean out any traces. Then you can eliminate your older Zorin install as being a cause.
If your problem is not related to any residual effect of Zorin, then the topic is purely a Windows issue, thus out of scope of this forum.

I would move your question here –

These people know their stuff on this topic.