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Windows 7: Losing Vista, Dual boot W7 and Linux on seperate drives. Help Sought.

18 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Losing Vista, Dual boot W7 and Linux on seperate drives. Help Sought.

Hi all. Up until recently I have been triple booting W7x64, Vistax64 and Linux Mintx64.
Windows 7 and Linux Mint are on one 1TB drive, with Mint occupying 2 partitions that come to about 50GB.
On the other 1TB drive is Vista and a couple of storage/backup partitions.

Up until recently I was able to choose any of the three at startup via GRUB. A recent re-install of W7 has knocked out GRUB so I can no longer access Linux Mint.
This is not particularly a problem as I mainly use W7 and Linux Mint was there as a safety precaution.
Now I am thinking that it is time to get rid of Vista as all I do is update it now and then.

What I'd like would be to preserve my current W7 install as my main OS and have that remain where it is. Wipe the Linux install on that disk
On my other 1TB drive I'd like to do a fresh install of Linux Mint and get rid of Vista.

So I would like a dual boot with W7 and Linux mint on two seperate drives.
The remainder of the Linux drive could be partitioned for storage and backup.
Would anybody be so kind as to list the processes I need to carry out to achieve this.
I've looked through tutorials and there doesn't seem to be one that covers my particular situation.
As I say GRUB has now disappeared so I have the Windows boot presenting me with W7 and Vista in that order at startup.

I attach a pic of disk management, as you can see Disk 0 is the Vista install plus two storage partitions. Disk 1 is a 500GB storage disk and Disk 2 has the Windows 7 install plus two Linux partititions (49GB and 2GB)

Thanks in advance for any help forthcoming, John:)

Attached Thumbnails
Losing Vista, Dual boot W7 and Linux on seperate drives. Help Sought.-disk-management1.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #2


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for your input Madtowniniot but this seems to be about recovering GRUB.
I wish to erase both my Vista install and my Linux install and then do a fresh Linux install on the disk that previously held Vista.
I'm assuming I will get a fresh GRUB when I do the Linux install.
It's the deletion of Vista and Linux, the repartioning and the consequent repositioning of W7 and a dual boot off seperate disks that concerns me.

Thanks again, John:)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Sep 2010   #4


I would:
go into msconfig and delete vista from the boot tab, then:

Attachment 98648

boot into linux mint live..
Attachment 98646

and from there
move everything off of disk 0,2 (the last partition of the disk vista is installed to)
start up gparted
Attachment 98647Attachment 98653
erase all partitions on disk 0 and create an ntfs partition with unformatted free space at the beginning of the drive (100 GB should be enough but that's your call)
erase the partitions on disk 2 that contained your prior install of linux
expand windows 7 partition to fill the entire disk 2
Install linux to disk 0 using the "use the largest contiguous free space" option
don't worry if it says "this computer has no operating systems on it".. grub will find your windows install
it actually took longer to come up with a way to explain this than it would have taken to just do it.. good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks very much for that madtownidiot. I really appreciate your time and effort:)
Unfortunately I grew impatient to start before you posted so I went ahead and after several frustrating hours, I'm finally back on my original 7 install.
I used Barefoot Kid's tutorial:: Partition : Recover Space Used by an Older OS : Partition : Recover Space Used by an Older OS
With the Partition Wizard live cd I wiped the drive with the Vista install on it.
However when I tried to boot it would not boot into anything. I tried numerous tools on the Partition Wizard CD but could not get into my W7 install. I was told that this partition did not contain a boot.ini file.
I tried to install Linux Mint but that would not start either. It just wouldn't boot from the cd.
Eventually I did a fresh install of W7 on my newly wiped disk that had had the Vista install on it.
Once that had installed I used EasyBCD to change the MBR so that my original W7 install would boot.
I'm in that now and am currently downloading another ISO of Linux Mint as I can't really understand why that refused to boot and install.
So I now have two W7 installs. One that was my original with all programs on it etc and a very new and bare install on the disk I intend to put Linux Mint on.
What I'm wondering now is whether I can go back in with the Partition Wizard cd and delete the new W7 install. I'm not sure whether my old install now has a boot ini. file.
I imagine it didn't have one because this was originally a machine with Vista on it but will EasyBCD made it bootable?
Thanks again for your efforts, wish I'd waited, it would have saved me a lot of time and stress.
Any thoughts on whether I can get rid of the new W7 install?

Cheers, John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #6


check your disk manager.. the drive that has your boot manager will be labeled as such
if it hasn't been moved you can delete the new install from msconfig the same way you would have to deleted the vista entry (make sure to boot to your old install) and proceed the way I suggested in my last post

otherwise you've gone beyond my abilities with repairing windows installs.. My threshold is if it's going to take longer to fix than to start over, I just start over
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello JW.

The first thing to do is to mark the Windows 7 that you want to keep as "Active" and do 3 separate startup repairs with a system restart between each repair to Windows 7 to create a set of boot files to that partition, then you can delete/remove the other partitions; have a look at this tutorial at the link below to get some info.

Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

TBH, I'd do a partition specific wipe of the partitions that you want to delete BEFORE you delete them; have a look at Option Three in this tutorial.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD

Be sure to post back with any questions you may have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Looks like it. Mine certainly says Healthy( Boot, Page File, etc. Whereas the new install W7 just says Healthy(System/Active,Primary Partition)

I'll give it a try:) Thanks again. EasyBCD must have restored the Boot file (hopefully)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Hi BFK. It looks like it's ok so I was just going to go back in with Partition Wizard, delete the new W7 install and then try to install Linux on that drive. Hang on and I'll post a snip of Disk manager
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Hi. This my current Boot Management situation.:)

Attached Thumbnails
Losing Vista, Dual boot W7 and Linux on seperate drives. Help Sought.-dm19.9.10.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Losing Vista, Dual boot W7 and Linux on seperate drives. Help Sought.

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