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Windows 7: Reverse dual-boot setup.


16 Mar 2011   #1

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Reverse dual-boot setup.

Good day all.

I would like to reverse the dual-boot capability I set up on my test machine.
The original machine is Windows XP SP3. I loaded Windows 7 Home Premium on partition D.
When the machine now boots, I am given the option of Windows 7 or Older version of Windows which is of course Windows XP. Works great. Now I would like to remove the Win 7 installation and have it boot straight to Windows XP as before. Not exactly sure how to do this.
Don't want to render the machine unbootable or maybe mess up the MBR.
Many thanks gang.
Cheers
JohnnyA


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Mar 2011   #2

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Which drive is your boot drive now? If you originally had XP on C: and loaded Win 7 on D: and put the boot partition there, it could be as simple as just making C: the first boot drive now. If, however, you loaded Win 7 onto D: and put the boot partition on C:, then you can fix it with the following:

1) Disconnect the D: drive
2) boot from the Windows XP cd
3) At the setup screen press R to enter the recovery console for your C: drive
4) At the command prompt type "fixmbr" and hit enter, then type "fixboot" and hit enter
5) Type "exit" and the system will restart, hopefully, into Windows XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #3

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the speedy reply FliGi7. Sorry I forgot to mention that I only have 1 HD with two partitions C: & D: so I cannot unplug drive D: Also want to get rid of all traces of Win 7 files/folders but not sure what to delete.
Thanks again
JohnnyA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Mar 2011   #4

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Once you repair the MBR on the drive with the XP recovery console. You can boot into windows, open My Computer, and format the D: partition. Everything will be gone. Or, you can go to device manager, delete the D: partition with Win 7 and extend the C: partition to fill the whole drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #5

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Can't thank you enough FliGi7. Currently doing a full drive image with Macrium and will perform your fix when it is done. You have been a big help.
Cheers
JohnnyA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Actually, if you have only one hard drive, then you don't need to do anything drastic. Your MBR is not broken, so there is no need to repair it.

Just open msconfig, go to the boot tab, and delete the line with the OS you want to delete. After that reboot and make sure you're booting OK into the OS you want. Once done you can safely get rid of the other OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by unifex View Post
Actually, if you have only one hard drive, then you don't need to do anything drastic. Your MBR is not broken, so there is no need to repair it.

Just open msconfig, go to the boot tab, and delete the line with the OS you want to delete. After that reboot and make sure you're booting OK into the OS you want. Once done you can safely get rid of the other OS.
I've done this before and it hasn't worked for me. Don't ask me why or how, but I just don't recommend it after it happening to me. In theory, it should work, but doing the fixmbr and fixboot seems just as straight forward and leaves little room for error.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

It has certainly worked for me.

Basically, even if you just erase one OS without doing anything else, MBR would not know it. It will still give you an option to boot to two OS. And then of course if you choose the deleted OS, then you get a black screen. Removing the line from msconfig removes this choice, that's all it does.

As an example, I have an old desktop and there still is an option to boot Windows ME, which is long gone. But I never bothered to do anything with the MBR. The other OS, Win2000 does not know about the existence or non-existence of the former.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Actually, even on my main machine, where I have each OS on it's own hard drive, the situation is the same. I had Vista originally and then I added another hard drive with 7. Then something broke down, not sure what, but the machine refused to boot. I plugged each drive individually, ran Start-up Repair, so now each drive can boot on its own.

But then I added a SSD, put another copy of 7 on it. The trick is, the SSD is configured to use AHCI (or RAID on my Dell), while the older HDDs were IDE. So now each time I boot up, I have an option to choose an OS, but half of the OSs won't boot anyway due to the wrong BIOS settings. But, the OS with the right BIOS settings boots just fine, it has no way of knowing about the others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #10

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Always such a good learning experience at the forum. Great advice from you both.
I am grateful for your help.
Cheers
JohnnyA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reverse dual-boot setup.




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