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10 Aug 2009   #
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Hi madhatter,

On my system (see my specs), I installed Vista 32-bit first, followed by the 64-bit version. I then installed W7 32-bit and finally 64-bit. The main boot partition is that on which you installed your first OS on, in my case Vista 32-bit.

Unless you are deleting the first OS installed, you should have no problems in deleting any of the others. If you delete the first OS, you might need to perform a repair install on the remaining OSes. The first OS that you repair will then contain the main boot partition.

Here is my layout as an example. As you can see, I am currently running W7 64-bit (the partition that is currently C). The main boot partition, where the boot manager resides, is D because that is Vista 32-bit and it is the first OS that I installed on my system. If I choose to run a different OS, the running OS will always be C and the boot manager will be on the partition containing Vista 32-bit even though the drive letters dynamically change between OSes.

Code:
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7229]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit
Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=D:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {globalsettings}
default                 {current}
resumeobject            {427d3eb0-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
displayorder            {current}
                        {427d3ead-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
                        {04e874fd-4cc5-11de-a4b6-9306ff4e7520}
                        {0db4c38a-4bf4-11de-8a82-d3a442d052a3}
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
timeout                 10
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {current}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows 7 RC 7229 64-bit
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence        {427d3eb2-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
recoveryenabled         Yes
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {427d3eb0-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
nx                      OptIn
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {427d3ead-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
device                  partition=F:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows 7 RC 7229 32-bit
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence        {427d3eae-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
recoveryenabled         Yes
osdevice                partition=F:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {427d3eac-4d34-11de-af38-d2fd5eee9bdb}
nx                      OptIn
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {04e874fd-4cc5-11de-a4b6-9306ff4e7520}
device                  partition=E:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 64-bit
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
osdevice                partition=E:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {04e874fe-4cc5-11de-a4b6-9306ff4e7520}
nx                      OptIn
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {0db4c38a-4bf4-11de-8a82-d3a442d052a3}
device                  partition=D:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 32-bit
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
osdevice                partition=D:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {0db4c38b-4bf4-11de-8a82-d3a442d052a3}
nx                      OptIn
C:\Windows\system32>
If you wish to change any of these settings, have a look here BCDEDIT - How to Use
My System SpecsSystem Spec