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Windows 7: Need Windows 7 Partition Removal Advice

01 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Need Windows 7 Partition Removal Advice

Hello All,

This is a somewhat lenghty story, but I'll try to include only the necessary facts.

My Desktop PC has been setup for quite some time as an XP/Windows 7 dual boot to support Windows 7 evaluation. This has worked fine and never been an issue. The PC has 3 hard drives: (1) Single partition 40gb running WinXP Pro. (2) 500gb with two partitions; an 80gb for Windows 7 Pro and 420gb+/- for User Data. (3) 250gb single partition for User data, media, etc.

Since I've decided that I'm not going back to WinXP, my desire was to image copy the Windows7 volume (Disk2-Part1) over the WinXP volume (Disk1-Part1) so I can get back to a single boot Windows 7 config on a dedicated drive and return the 80gb Windows 7 volume back to the user data pool from the 500gb disk.

Since I use Acronis True Image Home 2010, I used this to take a Windows 7 boot volume image and then restored it over the WinXP boot volume. This appeared to work fine and when I went to reboot I thought I would find the same boot menu prompt, only to find the "NTLDR is missing" error. Obviously I boned up the WinXP setup and confused the bootmgr. I then used the Windows 7 setup disk to repair the system using bootrec.exe from the DOS command prompt by doing a /fixmbr and /fixboot.

This worked and I once again had a dual-boot with both Windows7 setups available; and both were able to boot fine. Since I still wanted to rid my system of the original Windows 7 installation and get back the 80gb partition it consumed, I slowly started working on this.

This is a good time to mention that; the Windows 7 I want to keep is drive E: and the Windows 7 I want to trash is drive C: This is not desirable, but the original Windows 7 installation called the old WinXP drive E: and this persisted even after the Windows 7 image restore.

I used EasyBCD to edit the bootloader setup and removed the unwanted Windows 7 setup from the menu, this was fine and I rebooted to test. All OK. Then after the reboot where I am now running Windows 7 from the E: drive, I proceeded to use Disk Management to change the old Windows 7 C: drive to X: - my next step after another reboot would be to delete this partition. After a reboot attempt, I then ended up with the "This copy of Windows is not genuine" hosed up system error. After reading posts, I decided to get regedit fired up and renamed the X: drive back to C: by renaming the appropriate entry in "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices "

That worked and now I'm back where I was: Single boot Windows 7 from E: drive and and old Windows 7 setup on C: basically functioning as a user data drive. The bootmgr files appear to be on the E: drive, not C:.

QUESTION1 - How can I get this old C: removed properly and not hose up my system as above when I try to? With this I guess I would have to live with my boot device being E: ?

QUESTION2 - Is there a supported and proper way to get my Windows 7 E: volume renamed to C: just for a return to normalcy and all that, assuming I'm successful with Question1 above? I'm guessing not without a reinstall, but just hopeful.

Thanks for your patience guys !!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

You need to copy boot files from C: drive to your E: drive, remove all HD's, set E: HD to first boot.
Than do a startup repair.

Startup Repair
Note: You may need to do startup repair 3 to 4 times.

Name:  Capture3.PNG
Views: 2
Size:  80.3 KB

Set E: active.
Partition - Mark as Active


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

The highlited files: Boot folder and bootmgr are already on the E: drive and do not currently exist at all on the C: drive. This was mentioned in the original post. All hidden and system files are displayed. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

Just attaching the current disk layout from Disk Manager:


Attached Thumbnails
Need Windows 7 Partition Removal Advice-disks.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Looks correct. Just delete old Windows 7 partition in Disk Mgmt, then either create a New data partition in its space, or use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to Resize F: into the deleted Windows 7 space.

Windows 7 will do what it wants with the drive letter, but likely will stay E: which is not an issue at all.

When finished you might run chkdsk /r on all HD's from booted Windows 7 DVD Repair console Command Line. If probs exist, also test your HD's using maker's full diagnostics/repair CD scan: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 I do this at every reinstall anyway.

In the future, the modern procedure with Windows 7 is to mark the target OS active, then boot the Windows 7 DVD repair console to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots. Windows 7 Startup Repair automates all the former bootrec, bootsect commands and dozens of other tests.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need Windows 7 Partition Removal Advice





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