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Windows 7: Help with removing dual boot and reinstallation

12 Oct 2012   #1
cjohn55

Windows Xp 32bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 
Help with removing dual boot and reinstallation

Hello everyone. I've been reading a few guides on how to do this but I think I might have done something wrong during the installation of Windows 7 Ultimate that is screwing me up, or I'm just very paranoid. A little background on how this started, and I'll highlight important bits (to me at least) in bold for those who hate reading walls of text.

My machine was originally running Windows XP 32bit. I had a old drive that had Vista installed on it and tossed that into the case as well, and eventually got that up and running again without issue (took a while and seems silly, I know). So I had two independent HD (We'll call them Disk X and Disk Y) with two independent operating systems and was chugging along happily. Recently I bought Windows 7 Ultimate and decided it was time to move on from Vista. I opted for a clean install on Drive Y from a usb installer versus doing the upgrade, and (maybe foolishly) formatted the drive just to be certain things would be off to a fresh start. The installer ran into a roadblock concerning missing SATA controller drivers, so I let it be. Kind of figured that problem out later on (I'll get to that in a second) and this is where the point of it all comes in.

Problem

On Drive X which held my XP install, I got the bright idea to setup a dual boot versus having both operating systems independent of each other again. It went through without a hitch to (I assumed) Drive Y so most of the windows files for Win7 Ultimate are on there.

What I want to do now that I know how to work around the previous roadblock is wipe the install of Windows 7 from my computer on Drive X, keep XP unchanged on drive X, and install 7 Ultimate completely on Drive Y.

Also, I do not have the original installation disk for XP since it was put on at a shop. I do still have my usb installer for Windows 7 Ultimate however. All of my important data files are backed up and I do have a image of Drive X that I made with Macrium Reflect.

Question Time!

I've been looking at the steps provided in Dual Boot - Delete a OS and a few more guides I was able to scratch up that seemed relevant but I'm stuck. Disk Management shows Drive Y as being the active partition, with Drive X being system. If I right click on Drive Y and click delete partition, it gives me a warning about all data being lost on it blah blah, but my question is this: Will deleting the partition on Drive Y affect Drive X at all since they are setup in a dual boot?


Drive X[C:] Windows XP Home Premium 32bit Drive Y[F:]= Windows 7 Ult. 32bit


I downloaded EasyBCD 2.2 and tried one of the steps listed in the above mentioned tutorial to cleanup the bootmgr but it said that the operation is valid only on Vista, Win7, or Win8. Question 2: Am I royally screwed?

That leads me to my last question: Is there a better way for me to do this, or should I proceed with what I have?

Solutions?

If anyone out there can help me out with this I would gladly appreciate it. It might just be a case of my paranoia slipping into the equation, but I cant afford to stumble along without being sure that I should be doing what I am.

My apologies for the wall of text.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Oct 2012   #2
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

I use Aomei Partition Master and it has a function to rebuild the MBR, which includes the Windows XP bootloader. If you can get Windows XP to boot on its own, you can then safely delete the Windows 7 partition. You should then be able to re-install Windows 7 on the other drive, but when you do, make sure you don't have the HDD with XP on it hooked up so it doesn't install any sytem files there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #3
cjohn55

Windows Xp 32bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Is it necessary for me to rebuild the XP bootloader before removing the Win7 partition? The reason I ask is because I can boot just fine with the XP HDD first in BIOS, but not the Win7 HDD. That one says the bootmgr is missing, so did it move? Please bear with me if it sounds like I'm just asking the same questions with different words.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Oct 2012   #4
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

If you can boot into Windows XP, then it should be OK to delete the partition with 7 on it. You can easily do it in Windows Disk Management. It sounds like you have Easy BCD installed and if that is the case it should tell you what bootloader entries you have on the disk. If there is still an entry for Windows 7 in the second position I would use Easy BCD to delete it, since you aren't going to run Windows 7 in a dual boot anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #5
cjohn55

Windows Xp 32bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Okay, so I just removed the partition with Win7 and cleaned up the bootloader entries by removing it in EasyBCD and then rebuilt it just in case on the XP HDD. Time to restart and hope for the best!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #6
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

It should work just fine. I have done it a fair number of times myself. Another thing I wanted to add. Once you have Windows 7 installed on your other drive, you can use Easy BCD to add an entry for your Windows XP bootloader behind the Windows 7 bootloader, which will give you the option of which OS to boot when you start up your computer. I have Windows 7 installed on two separate drives myself and like having the option of which one to load at startup, rather than going through BIOS. I guess it is just personal preference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #7
gregrocker

 

You System boot files for X are on the XP partition so deleting Win7 off that drive should not be a problem. I don't know why you wouldn't show Y on the Disk Mgmt screenshot so we can have the whole picture.

If you want to keep the HD's independent Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 to Y with X unplugged, then after install boot XP when needed using the one-time BIOS Boot menu key at boot - F12 on Acer.

If not then keep X plugged in and WIn7 will configure a Windows Dual Boot menu with XP by updating the boot files on XP partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #8
cjohn55

Windows Xp 32bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Well I guess it was a (partial) success! Drive Y is now absolutely blank again and I'm back to my Xp without anything nasty left behind. Thanks for the advice earlier LittleJay. I did mark Drive Y though in that earlier screenshot, it's outlined in blue.

That does lead me to why I said it was only a partial success...Now I can't get Win7 to install on the now blank Drive Y. It gives the common error message about not being able to setup/locate a system partition, and I've tried everything I can think of to get it to work. I tried the steps outlined in Common Installation Problems and Their Solutions but they didn't phase it. So I tried changing my SATA setting from IDE to AHCI just in case that was the issue, but still a no go. Drive X was unplugged the entire time.

There has to be something I'm missing. Could it be the usb installer? Or maybe there's something else in the command prompt I should be doing before the steps in that thread?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #9
cjohn55

Windows Xp 32bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Update:

Complete egg on my face folks. Apparently there was a step I missed in the command prompt after all. I had to run diskpart again and use the clean command to get rid of whatever it was that was preventing the install on the blank HD. Now it went through perfectly!

Thanks so much for all the help, tips, and effort. I really appreciate it. Now time to fiddle around with Win7 like I want to and start transferring files over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #10
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Sorry about that. I meant to mention that if you had problems installing Windows 7 on the other drive that you might need to run the clean command in diskpart. But I'm glad to hear that you got things sorted on your own.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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