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Windows 7: Unable to delete old partition

24 Jun 2009   #1

Windows 7 RC x64 EN
Unable to delete old partition

To install windows 7 I used unallocated space at the beginning of my hard disk (it was previously used for an installation of Ubuntu Linux which i stopped using). Now I wish to delete the old Vista partition. The delete volume... option in Disk Management was grayed out so I trued using DiskPart. Here is the commands I used.



Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7100
Copyright <C> 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation
On computer: ######

DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> select partition 2

Partition 2 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> delete partition override

Virtual Disk Service error:
Delete is not allowed on the current boot, system, pagefile,
crashdump or hibernation volume.


What did I do wrong? That partition is not in the MBR (I have checked using bcdedit and the GUI under setup and recovery options. The pagefile is on C: (The Vista volume was labeled as D and then I unmounted it). Crashdump is %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP. Not sure what the hibernation volume is but...

Is using GParted Live safe (I know that you generally can't modify NTFS without getting a stop error for the NTFS.sys file). But can you simply DELETE one without the .sys becoming corrupt?

Any input would be great.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jun 2009   #2

XP, Seven, 2008R2

Solve it by making the Windows partition "active" and make sure the boot manager, pagefile, hibernation file, etc. resides on that same partition. Then you can format the old partition all you want.

It's handy to have some extra tools in your arsenal. I often use something like Acronis Disk Director (on a bootable thumb drive) and VistaBootPro. Keep in mind that the Windows 7 DVD itself also has some startup (boot manager) repair tools.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #3

Windows 7 RC x64 EN

OK It's marked as Active but the Old partition still has the "System" Flag. How do I change this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jun 2009   #4

XP, Seven, 2008R2

by moving or installing the boot manager to the Windows 7 partition.

btw if you don't want to use something like EasyBCD or VistaBootPro, apparently you can do it by command line. See Moving Boot manager to Different Drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Hi Broken 32,

Just to expand on sup3rsprt post.

It is not to do with the MBR.

The problem is that the Vista partition is the "System " partition - it contains files needed to boot into 7.

If you want to delete the Vista partition , you can Make the 7 partition the system one like this:

1. Go to folder options and make sure hidden files and Protected operating sytem files are showing.

2. Copy and paste bootmgr and the pale yellow Boot folder from Vista partition to 7 partition. ( You will get a message bcd is in use and can't be copied - skip it and copy the rest)

Unable to delete old partition-bootmgr2009-05-11_182540.jpg
3. Open an elevated command prompt ( type cmd in start search - when it pops up, rt click and run as admin. )

At the prompt >, type:

bcdedit /export C:\Boot\bcd

It will look like this:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7100]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\System32>bcdedit /export C:\Boot\bcd

press enter , close cmd prompt.

4. Go to Disk Management and rt click 7 partition - select Mark as Active.

5. Restart.

7 is now the "System" partition - don't worry about the auxiliary o/s files - they were created on restart.

Hope it helps.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #6

Windows 7 RC x64 EN


Thanks both for the help

All that was needed was to change the "Active" flag over to the Windows 7 Part. Then I ran a recovery, which resulted back in a dual boot, then deleted the Vista partition. Now it works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #7

XP, Seven, 2008R2

Nice job. Glad to help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Interesting, I am going to try that.

I will delete bootmgr and Boot folder from 7 partition and see if startup repair can replace them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Hi Broken,

Thank you for reminding me to try that.

I had looked in the .wim for the 7 WINRE and found it contains bootsect.exe.

This is significant because it is not on the Vista recovery disc - tho. it is on the Vista dvd and bootsect commands can be performed from that in Winre.

I had meant to try the recovery options to see if they would be automated in 7 Winre - but had not got round to it.

I just tried it and indeed they are.

It took two runs - it seems the first creates the Boot folder on the Active partition, and the second creates bootmgr.

It also works on Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I am pretty much in the same boat, but did some dumb things before reading this post. Here is a conversation I had with my tech friend.

i'm getting punished right now, you ever have a dual boot and once your new o/s was good to go you then wanted to get rid (format) of the old os but couldn't. I imagine if both weren't on the same disk i wouldn't be having this problem. found a pretty good page on the subject though
Lude says
ya not sure how that works
Jigady Jenx says
its devasting
pretty sure i just frakked his comp to, i just restarted it and it won't come back online
Lude says
Jigady Jenx says
Jigady Jenx says
8 minutes down
hes gonna be soo pissed lol
Lude says
u have both on logmein?
Jigady Jenx says
yah but that vista is in no shape to actually boot up again
i did a retard move while i was there and just tried to delete everything off it to see if whatever was stopping disk management from formating it would disappear
after i deleted all i could it didn't help but it would still reset fine
apparently dual boot the 2nd o/s uses shiz off the first one to boot, which makes no sense to me.
so when i set vista to unactive that probably stopped it both from booting
Lude says
Jigady Jenx says
Lude says
dual boot is gz
Jigady Jenx says
its kind of like a car and starter, active booting or w/e is the starter once the car/comp is running you can remove the starter/boot and it will still run, but one you turn engine/comp off it won't start up again
kinda neat

Lude says
ur a big neat guyyyyyyyyyy
Jigady Jenx says
Yah I'm assuming next step will be to pop in Windows 7 disk boot off it and repair 7 which will then add the boot stuff needed and i will be able to format the vista partition. I'm sure it won't go that way.

Whats my next move?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unable to delete old partition

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