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Windows 7: Removing dual boot Vista and 7

29 Apr 2010   #1
allwhoseek

Windows 7 Pro, Vista, & Ubuntu (what is that ... a tri-boot?) :)
 
 
Removing dual boot Vista and 7

Okay, so i have spent the past two days researching how to fix my particular problem and can't get a (consistent, good) answer. I am on a HP Pavilion laptop dv6000, which came with Vista (32 bit). I have since added Linux/Ubuntu on a different partition on the same disk (as a primary). Lastly i added Windows 7 Pro ... so i have a tri-boot i guess you could say. For some reason, the 7 was added as/on a logical drive. However it happened, i've decided to stick with 7 and remove Vista (I'm also considering removing Ubuntu as well, but issues with removing grub and dealing with the boot record etc have changed my mind on that). Problem is, i when i try to format the Vista part, i get the "Windows was unable to complete the part" message.

From what i've read in my googling, i'm assuming my MBR and bootsect and all that good stuff is on the Vista part. I'm also assuming my Grub and linux boot files are on the Vista part too. So, first i guess i need to convert the 7 partition from a logical drive to an active primary, which despite what people recommend, Paragon cannot do (option is greyed out). Then i need to somehow move the MBR over to 7? I'm googled out and frustrated, any suggestions? I've attached a screenshot of my disk manager ...

[IMG]file:///C:/Users/ALLWHO%7E1/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]




Attached Thumbnails
Removing dual boot Vista and 7-disk-manager-screenshot.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2010   #2
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Instead of messing with all of this, I recommend you create a system image of your seven system and reformat your entire hard drive. Once you've done that you can format it the way you like and then place the image back onto the appropriate partition.

Granted you may still have to move the MBR and such but it'll allow you to keep all of your files and wipe everything out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #3
allwhoseek

Windows 7 Pro, Vista, & Ubuntu (what is that ... a tri-boot?) :)
 
 

i would like to avoid reformatting the 7 part, i've finally got it set up the way i like and there are some apps i'm not sure i could re-install. With an image, that does not keep all my data, apps, and settings the same, or does it? If it would be the same, then that might be a logical option. As for the moving the MBR, what is the best method for that? In my ideal situation, i would like to completely remove/delete Vista and Ubuntu (while leaving 7 intact), and then format their old partitions into some unallocated space that i could expand 7 into. All Vistas bags are packed (backed up) but he seems to be refusing to leave
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2010   #4
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

Use free Partition Wizard bootable CD which is the best partition manager for Win7, and has never failed in hundreds of operations we've helped with here.

Back up your files and a Win7 system image externally. Use Macrium Reflect if you want to exclude Vista system drive from image.

Boot PW, allow files to load, select 1 for screen res, rightclick Vista partition, select Wipe Partition, choose deepest clean to get out the GRUB corruption which will continue to cripple Win7 if not deep cleaned off HD, OK.

Next rightclick Win7 partition>Modify>Convert to Primary, OK. Now apply previous steps so they don't bunch up.

Boot back into PW as before, rightclick Win7>Modify>Set to Active, OK

Now rightclick Win7 partition>Resize>drag left grey border to the left over all of Vista deleted space, OK, again Apply steps.

if possible, I would boot back into PW to now rightclick Ubuntu and Wipe Partition to get deepest possible clean as it may interfere if any GRUB is on that partition, OK, Apply all steps.

Win7 will not now boot until MBR is recovered into it. To accomplish this boot Win7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD, click through to Recovery Tools list to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots to write MBR to Win7. This should work if Win7 has been converted to Primary allowing it to be marked Active.

Keep in mind that the only sure method to repair Win7 MBR is to deep clean the HD of all GRUB which we are trying to accomplish in pieces here. If it won't work, then your best bet is to deep clean the HD then attempt to reimage Win7 to HD, convert to Primary, mark Active and run Startup Repair from DVD/CD to write MBR to 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #5
allwhoseek

Windows 7 Pro, Vista, & Ubuntu (what is that ... a tri-boot?) :)
 
 

thank you for the detailed advice! As for the 7 image, is that necessary to the steps, or just as an added precaution in case things go bad. I have backed up all the data from the Vista part (which is where i kept most of my data, just pointed to it from 7). I have Acronis if i do need to do the 7 image, tho i haven't used it yet will it do the same thing as Macrium?

I am a little confused by this step "Next rightclick Windows 7 partition>Modify>Convert to Primary, OK. Now apply previous steps so they don't bunch up." What am i repeating or applying? Also, should i wipe the Ubuntu partition before i convert the 7 partition to primary/active?

Is this the Free Partition Wizard you are referring to ... BEST FREE Partition Manager Software for Windows supports all 32-bit & 64 bit Windows No-server OS.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #6
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Paragon does it fine for me

Removing dual boot Vista and 7-makeprimary-2010-04-29_221058-small-.jpg


Removing dual boot Vista and 7-make-primary-2-2010-04-29_221207-small-.jpg

I don't think that function is in the free version - if that's what you are using.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

There is another way - d/l the free Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download it, s very small and fast.

Install it on 7 - run of the LINUX based boot cd - boot it up make sure it sees all your drives.

Boot back into 7. Open an elevated command prompt, type:

bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

then press enter.

close cmd prompt.

Make an image of the 7 partition - store it on the Linux partition - just noticed you don't have space on the Linux partition - store it on an external drive..

Boot the macrium cd you just made and restore the image to the first partition ( it will overwrite the Vista partition completely). Before it starts the restore - , dot Active- makes it Primary, dot Replace with standard XP mbr.

That's it.

EDIT: Added a couple of screenies to next post
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by allwhoseek View Post
thank you for the detailed advice! As for the 7 image, is that necessary to the steps, or just as an added precaution in case things go bad. I have backed up all the data from the Vista part (which is where i kept most of my data, just pointed to it from 7). I have Acronis if i do need to do the 7 image, tho i haven't used it yet will it do the same thing as Macrium?

I am a little confused by this step "Next rightclick Windows 7 partition>Modify>Convert to Primary, OK. Now apply previous steps so they don't bunch up." What am i repeating or applying? Also, should i wipe the Ubuntu partition before i convert the 7 partition to primary/active?

Is this the Free Partition Wizard you are referring to ... BEST FREE Partition Manager Software for Windows supports all 32-bit & 64 bit Windows No-server OS.

Thanks again!
It's just the Partition Wizard CD allows you to cue up each of the operations before applying them, so if you have a number of operations to apply it is best to split them in two groups. That's all.

having the backup image is your choice as a way to start over if necessary. SIW2 gives you an alternative using Macrium boot CD that might be easier to accomplish what you want by reimaging, which apparently will convert to Primary at the same time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #9
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

I don't know if Acronis will do it - the handy thing about macrium is it will do it all during the restore.

If you dot Active that automatically restores as a primary.

You get the option to restore the mbr it backed up while making the image - if you want to keep using the Linux partition , it's probably easier to dot that option rather than the standard XP mbr replacement.

Removing dual boot Vista and 7-macrest-1-2010-04-30_004428.jpg

Removing dual boot Vista and 7-macrest-2-2010-04-30_004517.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #10
allwhoseek

Windows 7 Pro, Vista, & Ubuntu (what is that ... a tri-boot?) :)
 
 

thanks guys, i think i'm gonna use @gregrockers approach, it seems like it's within my knowledge range

as a side note, i just had an idea but not sure if it's feasible ... my laptop is 64 bit capable, yet i have 32 bit OS's installed. If i were to wipe the Vista (and Ubuntu?) i wonder if i could install the WIndows 7 Pro 64 bit OS i have but haven't decided what to do with yet? Is it possible to dual boot a 7 Pro 32bit and a 7 Pro 64bit at the same time? I just wanted to see if switching to a 64 bit OS will be that big a change (granted, I'll get to use all 4 GB of my RAM so that's a plus) ... and how much of an issue it will be with any of my apps and/or drivers. Just a thought ... Thanks again
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 Removing dual boot Vista and 7




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