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  1. Star Lounger
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    Remove XP from dual boot WIN7 system

    I installed WIN7 on my XP system in dual boot mode. Now I don't need XP and would like to get rid of it, mainly to reduce the size (and processing time) of the WIN 7 system image file.
    There are numerous descriptions of how to do this in various forums, usually involving setting the WIN7 partition to Active then booting from the installation DVD and running various recovery tools. However I am not sure that these methods will work with my particular configuration.
    My disk is partitioned as follows (as shown in the WIN& Disk Management console):

    Partition 0: OEM
    Partition 1: WIN XP (D:, System, Active, Primary
    An extended partition containing three logical partitions:
    WIN 7 (C Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Logical Drive
    TEMP (F Logical Drive
    DATA (G Logical Drive.
    An unused small primary partition.
    There is also another disk that I use for backups(with E: and F: drives).

    The problem is that you can only boot from a primary partition and my WIN 7 installation is in a logical one.

    There seems to be three options:
    1. Live with it, but shrink the XP installation to the minimum possible, e.g. delete the Programs folders. Question - what is the minimum I need to retain?
    2. Find some relatively easy and risk free way of converting the WIN 7 partition to a primary one. Booting up in XP I have Partition Master that has an option for doing just that - but it fails, saying "No empty slot in the MBR table".
    3. Extend the unused primary partition by shrinking the others, then copying the WIN 7 installation to this. I would then somehow have to rename the partition to C: and make it the default boot partition. I don't know if this is possible and if so how to do it.

    Any comments and suggestions are welcomed.

    George

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  3. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Could you go to the Win 7 Disk Manager (Search, type Disk Management, then choose create and format hard disks.), right click on Win 7 and change to Primary. If this works, delete and partitions you wish. You may have to fix the MBR (use EasyBCD for this) Then use a third party partitioning app (I use Partition Wizard) to reclain the unallocated space.

    I believe this should work. Be sure to have a good Image, especially of your Win 7 partition should something go wrong and ensure you have created a Rescue Media for whatever Imaging app you use.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  4. New Lounger
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    Lightbulb

    It seems there are 3 primary partitions (OEM, XP, empty) and one extended with 3 logical (Win7, temp, data).

    The XP partition cannot be deleted before you setup the boot environment to another partition.

    The quickest solution is: (being in Windows 7)
    1. Backup your user data (from XP, Win7, DATA).
    2. Delete the empty primary partition.
    3. Convert the logical Win7 partition to primary.
    3. Make Win7 partition active.
    4. Run "Dual-boot Repair" -> "Automatic Repair" - this will recreate the boot environment to the Win7 partition and change MBR and PBR(partition boot record) to Windows 7 format.
    5. Reboot.

    Later the entry for XP in the BCD can be deleted after deleting the XP partition (or formating it) using Windows 7 Control Panel - Administrative Tools - System Configuration or a BCD editor.

    If something goes wrong you can always run "Startup Repair"(up to three times) from Windows 7 DVD.

    Download "Dual-boot Repair" here: Visual BCD Editor - Windows 7/Vista
    "Dual-boot Repair" uses Windows 7 command line tools bootsect.exe and bcdboot.exe to accomplish the repair actions to the active partition.
    -----------------------------------------
    Please note:
    A normal install of Windows 7 to an empty disk is creating 2 partitions:
    1. System Reserved (holding the boot environment)
    2. Windows 7

    It is best to have the Windows 7 boot environment on the first partition (either on System Reserved or on a normal primary). If the boot environment is not placed on the first partition there are some times problems chain loading other Windows operating systems in a dual-boot scenario.

    Note 2:
    Deleting a partition which is placed before a partition holding an operating system means the boot entry for the operating system has to be adjusted as addressing of partitions is absolute in the BCD.

  5. Star Lounger
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    Many thanks to you both.
    When I tried to switch the WIN 7 partition to primary I got the message "No empty slot in MBR table". So I fired up XP, used Parttition Master to delete the spare primary partition at the end of the drive, then the chage to primary worked ok. I was surprised it was so easy.
    Next I fired up WIN 7 and set the WIN 7 partition to Active and shut down. Started up again from the WIN 7 install DVD and used various repair options (as suggested it needed two starts), which resulted in the WIN 7 becoming the boot partition. Started up from hard disk ok (no option for XP shown) and deleted the XP partition. All now working ok.

    Re your comment #2, boyans - does this mean that I cannot expand the WIN 7 partition to use the space at the beginning of the drive vacated by XP?

    George

  6. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Yes you can recover the unallocated space. You will most likely need to use a 3rd party app such as Partition Wizard (free).
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  7. New Lounger
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    Hi George,

    Re your comment #2, boyans - does this mean that I cannot expand the WIN 7 partition to use the space at the beginning of the drive vacated by XP?

    There are tools which can merge the existing Win7 partition and the old XP partition.
    But it is not an easy task as [xp] is in front of [Win7].

    Maybe it is better first to backup partition Win7. Then format the XP partition. Then restore Win7 to this formated partition. At this point make the new partition active.
    Reboot and run "Startup Repair" again. This will make the new partition boot by default.
    So you will have two identical copies of Win7.

    If the new Win7 copy functions well you can delete the old Win7 partition and easy extend the new Win7 with the freed space from the old partition.

    Success.

  8. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Because the old XP partition was in front of the Win 7 partition you NEED to use a 3rd party partitioning app. It is VERY simple to do. I used Partition Wizard and it took , maybe, 10 minutes, and most of that was figuring out how to do it. The Win 7 Disk Manager works well for unallocated space behind the Win 7 partition, but will not work on unallocated space in front of the Win 7 partition. Once you delete the XP partition (after changing the Win 7 partition to active) the space will show up as unallocated space.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  9. Star Lounger
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    Thank you Both again. I've learn't quite a lot about disk organisation from this little exercise.

    George

  10. New Lounger
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    removing dual boot xp/win 7

    I was almost clear on what to do, but now I am not so sure.

    I have a dual boot setup also but my c: is xp pro, and my d: is running win 7 ultimate both partitions are active, c: is primary. but now my documents, and users folder for my win 7 drive show up on my c: drive, did I set this up wrong from the beginning, and how do I get rid of my xp pro partition

  11. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Greyghost7414, Welcome to the Lounge as a poster. New perspectives are always welcomed.

    I would move the data folders (including My Documents, Pics, Music, really anything you wish to keep) back into the proper areas of the Win 7 OS. After moving all this data then you should be able to do all the above listed steps. Realize that the Libraries in the Win 7 OS do not contain the actual folder the data should be moved to, they only contain pointers to the data. The actual folders reside in C:, Users, "user name". Here you will see all the folders your data should be moved into. Once you have accomplished this, create an Image of both partitions (from the Win 7 partition) then go for it. You will need a 3rd party partitioning app to accomplish the reclaiming of all the unallocated space in front of the Win 7 partition. This partition should become the C Drive automatically once you delete the others and reclaim the space.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  12. Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You can't do it that way Ted. He has Windows 7 on the d drive and Windows 7 will not let you change the default Windows drive letter without messing with the registry. If you do change it, any programs that were installed on the D drive would probably no longer work because of registry entries pointing to d:. The only way to get windows 7 to the c drive is to back up the data on the c drive, do a new clean install of windows 7 on the c drive. This should create a Windows.old file with all your XP data and windows files and a Windows 7 on the C drive. Before starting the Windows 7 install, You will need to delete the existing Windows 7 partition or you will wind up with two insatllations of win 7 in a dual boot. This whole procedure is fraught with the opportunity to lose data, so be sure you have everything you want to keep backed up.

  13. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Hmmm, On the PC I am writing this from I had a dual boot, Vista on C and Win 7 on D. I ensured all my data was on the Win 7 drive, then used a 3rd party app to delete the Vista (C Drive). I had to fix my MBR on the Win 7 Drive (which had assumed the C Drive nomenclature automatically). I then used the same 3rd party partitioning app to extend my Win 7 partition to reclaim the unallocated space in front of my Win 7 partition. (this was the unallocated space that was created when I deleted the Vista partition). The laptop I'm presently using was originally purchased with Vista. I acquired a copy of Win 7 Ultimate and created a second partition and installed Win 7. After using Win 7 for a while, I decided to elliminate Vista altogether and this was the method I used. Perhaps it is not the approved method, but it did work for me.

    I have also used the custom install method of installing Win 7 directly into the old OS partition you mentioned on several other PCs and then used the windows.old folder to recover all the data. Both methods have worked for me. In this case since Win 7 is already set up and working properly I thought the method first outlined would be easiest to accomplish the OPs objective and conserve the already installed Win 7. It worked for me, I figured it would work again.

    I do still recommend creating an Image of both partitions (along with the boot media for whatever Imaging app is used) prior to attempting any changes of this sort.

    By the way I am not saying to change the default Windows drive letter. In my case when I delete the OS that had resided on the C Drive (in my case Vista) the remaining Win 7 OS (on what had been the D Drive) automatically reverted to C Drive when I rebooted. Windows does indeed assigned the active Windows OS as the C Drive. Since after the deletion of my old OS (Vista) the space was listed as unallocated, the Win 7 Partition was the only valid windows installation and assumed C Drive. I do not believe this could have been accomplished using the Windows Partitioning tool so I did use a 3rd party app. I installed the 3rd party app in my Win 7 partition and used it from there to delete Vista. I guess I am not familiar enough with the inner workings of Windows to explain why it worked, but it worked.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-09-05 at 14:35.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  14. 4 Star Lounger
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    The way I handle these situations is to simply make or take the Windows 7 image of the established install and safely store it along with any extraneous data there may be, format the drive or pertinent partitions and put the image back in the desired position on the drive, then unlike XP which just works, one will probably need to run the startup repair procedures already mentioned.

  15. Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Ted, when you eliminate the logical D drive that windows was originally on and change it to the c drive using the method you explained above, anything in the registry that had referred to he d drive prior to the change remains. Most of the Windows registry entries are relative to the drive Windows resides on and will successfully withstand the change. a lot of commercial software will put absolute references to the drive it was installed on. (In this case D. I suspect in your case, you didn't install any software prior to the partition merge. If I did do this procedure, I would do a search of the registry via regedit for any occurances of D:. I remember doing a similar procedure several years ago and found several D: entries in the registry. Was able to fix them all and seemed to run OK but it would not be my recommended procedure.

    Jerry

  16. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I did not elliminate the D Drive and changed it to C. I deleted the C Drive using a 3rd party partitioning app installed on the D Drive. When I rebooted, I had to fix the MBR which I did. When I booted back into Windows, Win 7 was on the C Drive. In addition, the space that had originally contained the deleted OS was listed as unallocated. I then used the same 3rd party partitioning app to extend the C Drive to include the entire HD.

    To summarize:

    C Drive (Vista), D Drive (Win 7) both active logical drives. Used Partition Wizard from within Win 7 to delete Vista on C Drive. (as we know partitioning takes place during a reboot when neither OS is active.)

    Win 7 is shown now as C Drive. (had to fix MBR)

    Rebooted into Windows: Win 7 on C Drive with all apps working properly.

    Used Partition Wizard again to extend C Drive to include entire HD.

    Worked great after this. Perhaps this is not an approved method for doing this, I do not know about that. All I know is it worked fine, and took almost no time to accomplish.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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