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Windows 7: Problem with old installations


30 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Problem with old installations

Hi, I hope this is a simple fix.

I initially installed windows 7 64-bit onto a brand new hard disk (in a brand new built PC). I did so using the windows 7 DVD, and created two partitions, one for the OS and one for data. The installation was successful with no problems. Windows showed C: drive for the OS and D: for data.

For various reasons after a few days I then needed to remove Windows 7 and install windows XP. So I booted with the XP disk and the setup showed me 3 partitions in total including the windows 7 "system" partition. In the XP setup I deleted that partition, and the main OS partition. I left the data partition alone. I created one new partition in the space and installed XP onto that. The installation was succesful, I had C: and D: drives in windows.

Again for various reasons I now wish to return to Windows 7 (permamently!). So I booted with the Win 7 disk and the setup showed two partitions. I selected to format the C: partition (the one with XP on). I then selected to install Windows 7 on that partition.

Upon completion of the install it is clear that a legacy of either XP or the earlier Windows 7 is causing a few issues. Firstly on boot up the boot manager screen appears asking if I would like to boot to "windows 7" or "earlier version of windows". I select Windows 7, and then once in windows, only disk C: is shown in explorer. If I go into disk manager, I can see the other partition and I can enable it but in the list of available drive letters, D: is NOT available. I have to select E:. Finally, I have a USB card reader, which previously showed as 4 removable drives; this is now NOT shown in explorer.

To remedy this I have already tried one further re-install of Win 7 with a complete delete / create / format of the OS partition but still I get the same results. If anyone can advise of a way to completely delete ALL legacy installs from my hard disk I would be very grateful.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Oct 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello James123, welcome to Seven Forums!



Before we make any specific recommendations will you please post a snip/screen-shot of the entire disk management drive map with a full description as to which drive/partition is which, so we can see what you have going on as there may be a fairly simple way to resolve the situation.

In the Windows start menu right click computer and click manage, in the left pane of the "Computer Management" window that opens click disk management and post a snip of that.

How to Upload and Post a Screenshot and File in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for your help. The snip shows the data partition after I manually enabled it and gave it letter E:. Initially it was shown healthy but not "active" without any letter. Drive C: has windows 7 installed on it. I just realised also that the "system reserved" 300MB partition has disappeared from this view also. Something surely wrong with that?

I should say also that I have tried using the Win 7 DVD "repair" option prior to installing and it said I had a windows install on D: which I believe is why I am not being offered D: as a drive letter. I don't care if I have to wipe the whole drive I just want to get back to a clean install.

Problem with old installations-capture.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Oct 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

OK here's how to proceed, you will have to mark the C: as active and do the 3 separate startup repairs with the restarts to create the boot files back to the OS partition.

Have a good look through this tutorial at the link below to see how to go about it and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks so much for your help, think I have it fixed now. Ran the startup repair twice, first one was scary it said the boot manager was missing when it tried to restart but second time was OK. Getting bootup straight to windows now and card reader has come back. Had to re-assign drive letters, D: was set to DVD ROM drive and E: to data partition, so I reversed those and looks all good now. Only slight concern is that I do not see the "system reserved" partition in drive manager - I think it was shown in my first installation. Do you think this is an issue? Also I assume I should keep the C: partition marked as "active"? Thanks again.

Problem with old installations-capture2.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Good to see you got it running and thanks for the update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

So as regards the system reserved partition I think I have lost that, reading up on it I am guessing it is only created when you install into "unallocated space". On my last install I selected an already formatted partition so the reserved partition was not created. I can live with that and use the DVD if required. For future, if I ever need to re-install again I guess the best way would be to just point to the OS partition and say I want to install windows 7 to that, without recourse to manual deletion / re-formating?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello again.



For the next install have a thorough look at Step Two #3 in this tutorial at the link below, the whole tutorial is a very useful resource to create the best possible space to install Windows to.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks a lot this is very useful information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

My pleasure mate, this stuff is what I enjoy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Problem with old installations




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