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Windows 7: Removing Old Distributions

23 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 RTM
Removing Old Distributions

I currently dual boot XP and 7. They are located on two separate hard drives, each partitioned.

Windows XP is on disc 0, and 7 on disc 1.

Disc 0: D 48gb partition (main partition for XP), 4.88gb free space, F 225gb (Data partition - want to keep)

Disc 1: C (7 main partition), G (data partition)

I would like to extend the F partition on disc 0 to take up the full drive - that is, delete D (xp primary partition) and combine all the free space with the Data partition.

Can this not be done using Win 7 disk management? I cannot format, delete, etc on drive D (XP partition). I'm not sure what I need to do in order to be able to delete that partition. D has described as (system, active, primary partition) and C (7 partition) is described as (boot, page file, active, crash dump, primary partition). The data partitions are both just logical drives.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

I assume that XP was installed first and was visible to Windows 7 when that was installed.

What looks like is happening is the the Boot files for both operating systems are on the XP partition and Windows 7 will not remove it's own system files.

There are various methods to move the files onto the correct drive Check the tutorials section for options - the easiest IMO is to disconnect the XP drive and boot the machine from the install DVD for Windows 7 an perform a start-up repair. next go into the BIOS and set the Windows 7 drive as the boot drive - when you boot the system with the both drives connected you should then be able to format the XP drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 RTM

Yes - XP was installed first.

I will look into what you said and try it. However, if that is the case, why does Disk 1:C (7 partition) say "boot" in the list of items, whereas Disk 0 (XP) does not? Does this refer to something else other than those boot records?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

The tag "Boot" will apply to the windows 7 drive when windows 7 is running - the tag to look for in this context is "active"

The active drive is the one with the boot files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

There is a similar thread active here ....

Need help with partitions/format!

You may find that the information provided there may help you to understand the process more fully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

Just to confirm that everything is as I am assuming it is - could you post a screen shot of your disk management screen showing as much of the drive layout details as possible
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2009   #7

Windows 7 RTM

Thanks for the responses. Your original solution fixed the problem. I unplugged the extra hard drive and booted with Windows 7 dvd. I had to do that process three times I think (took a long time since it had to reload each time) to finally get it to fix the boot issues - I guess it had to do several things and only did one at a time unfortunately.

After that, I plugged the other drive back in and was able to work with the partitions on it. Unfortunately I could not figure out how to combine "unallocated space", "free space", and the data partition into one large data partition. I could not delete the "free space" to have it join with unallocated, etc. I ended up just copying all files from data partition to the OTHER drive (it has plenty of room), deleted everything on the extra drive, and created one single partition.

It was a bit of a work around to get the result I wanted, and there were several steps involved, but in the end it worked and I was able to do it with the windows 7 disk management and did not have to rely on other software (although perhaps it might have been easier).

So it seems that if users have XP pre-installed and install Windows 7 to dual boot, even if windows 7 is on a new drive, it places the boot records on the original XP drive. To me, it seems like it would make more sense to put them on the drive with Windows 7, since chances are high that the user is upgrading and simply keeping XP until they no longer feel the need for it. Oh well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

Good here you're up and Running

It is often a case that the startup repair will take more than one pass - as Microsoft err on the side of caution, and try to keep the possibility of data loss to a minimum

Your technique for combining the free space on the first drive is actually a manual variant of what a 3rd party program would do . Basically you set a number of steps, (join A +B move to position C Etc.), which then is actioned, normally outside of windows.

I Understand you point with the choice of location for boot files - The ideal situation for a multi boot would be to keep the boot files on a small partition of their own which means that a fault on one OS will not effect the other. This is actually the setup that Windows 7 will choose if installed fresh onto an empty unformatted drive, building a small 100MB boot partition
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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