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Windows 7: Removing Vista Boot Completely


29 Aug 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Removing Vista Boot Completely

Hello Guys,

I am new to the forums and I have tried searching for this but I can't find a clear way to do this. I have multiple hard drives (not partitions) on my system. My new RAID-0 SSD has the Windows 7 install on it while my old WD Raptor has my vista boot on it. I have been trying to find a way to remove the old Vista drive as I want to reformat it and turn it into a developers drive (for my various PHP projects).

Is there any way to remove this drive so it doesn't effect the Windows 7 drive? I tried removing the drive and rebooting but it fails to boot. I can't reformat it regularly as Windows tells me it is a System Partition. I believe that since my system relies on the Vista disk to boot that this causes an issue right? Well how do I fix this issue if you don't mind me asking? Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Aug 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Welcome to the Se7enforums! jljr222 and the world of dual/multibooting across multiple hard drives!

When first installing 7 on your system there you simply didn't allow for any changes by seeing 7 installed separately as a stand alone OS with the option of seeing Vista added into the 7 BCD store. Instead you performed a custom install to a second drive which unfortunately will need another clean install with the Vista host first removed.

When setting things up here for an array following a second install of 7 on the next available drive I unplugged the C host and D storage drive to see the next two turned into an array following the previous triple boot of the 64bit RC on the host and second and 32bit RC on the actual 4th drive creating the BCD entries for all three. Later once the array was made up the host had been unplugged leaving the same entry pointing to the array.

The array itself was a stand alone later removed for a split of the array to see another clean install of the 64bit there and a 3rd but with all drives plugged in. To preserve the 3rd installation booting without the host drive? A repair type upgrade install might work while a nice new clean stand alone installation would be the best option. That just happens to be your similar circumstance for the present 7 installation you have there where a repair might work while your best move would be following the same line of thinking once the Vista host is temporarily out of the equation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2009   #3

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jljr222 View Post
My new RAID-0 SSD has the Windows 7 install on it while my old WD Raptor has my vista boot on it. *snip* I tried removing the drive and rebooting but it fails to boot.
Hi jljr;

I have worked with RAID some, never actually set one up to boot, so I won't try to describe how to make a raid bootable. That said, the Vista and 7 bootmgr was/is located in the bootsector code of the WD Raptor MBR. If you do not want to use that bootmgr (you can still use the hard drive space and just allow the bootmgr to manage booting) then you are going to have to put the bootsector code in the MBR of your raid.

Option one would be to shrink your raid by 100MB and use the 7 DVD to install its 100MB bootmanager and allow it to edit the bootsector as in a normal 7 install.

Option two is to forget the 100MB partition and just make the RAID bootable and update the RAID bootsector code with the bootmgr for Vista and 7.

The computer I am presently using originally had 32 bit 7 in the first partition, and 64 bit 7 in the second. I deleted the 32 bit 7 and the boot partition and now have no 100MB boot partition. (When the retail arrives, I intend to install it with the boot partition if that is what the retail does) I am NOT recommending ANYONE do this, I am just saying it is possible to boot to 7 without the boot partition.

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Creating a bootable RAID involved more effort than I wanted to invest, but it can be done. EXPERIMENT AT YOUR OWN RISK. There is a tutorial here that will explain how to use bootsect.exe to add the Vista, 7 bootmgr to the hard drive's MBR, if that is what you choose to do.

Cheers!

Robert


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Making an array is not any big problem since you use the first of the two matched drives as the host boot device there. If you don't already have a lot invested in the present installation the best move would simply be performing another clean install of 7 without the Vista plugged in and setting Drive 1 as the default in the bios setup.

Once you have the Vista drive unplugged you can use ports #1 + #2 of the secondary actually 3+4 for the array but making sure the Vista drive is replugged into Port #5 if you have more then 4 ports in the event Windows is reinstalled or repaired for some reason later like the 7 retail installation you will want so the installer again sees Drive #3 first of the array as the first drive.

The upgrade repair install is the option if you already have everything tied into the present 7 installation since that will preserve most everything while seeing the new mbr entries and boot files placed on the array's host drive.

Later if you decide to break the array up in order to use each separately you would need to reformat the first host boot drive without the second present. Otherwise that will still see the second drive as part of the no longer present array making it unusable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Removing Vista Boot Completely




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