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Windows 7: Can I safely remove existing partitions before installing Windows 7

11 Jun 2011   #1

windows 7 32 bit
Can I safely remove existing partitions before installing Windows 7

I was going through the instructions on TweakHound for a clean install of Windows 7.
1 - Boot up from the Windows 7 installation disc.
2 - Choose Repair your computer.
3 - In the System Recovery Options screen, choose Use recovery tools... and click Next.
4 - Open the Command Prompt.
5 - Type diskpart and hit Enter.
6 - Type list disk . Find the disk you wish to install Windows 7 on. If you only have one disk then it will show as disk 0. If you have multiple disks find the drive you wish to install 7 on.
7 - Type select disk 0 (or use the number of the disk you wish to install Windows 7 on)(note - that is a zero)
8 - Type list partition. There shouldn't be any.
9 - Type create partition primary.
10- Type select partition 1.
11- Type active.
12- Type format quick.
13- When finished reboot and begin your installation.

I got to step 8 and when I did a "list partition" there are 4 partitions on my machine.
Partition 1 - OEM 47MB
Partition 2 - Primary 51GB
Partition 3 - Primary 17GB
Partition 4 - Primary 4753MB

Where do I go from here? Do I use the current configuration? Delete partitions (if I do that how do I do that?) Which partitions to keep?

Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Hi Paula and welcome to SF!
I see that there is an OEM partition. You cannot use the recovery disk to reinstall.
For an OEM reinstallation, please read Warning box here. But if you purchased a full license package you can delete all partitions. Read how to below.
Install - Clean Install Windows 7
Hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Paula, I would recommend you post a picture of your Disk Management so that we can see what you are dealing with. And what is the origin of your Installation disk?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jun 2011   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello pms1228, welcome to Seven Forums!

If you want to do a complete wipe of the Hard Disk Drive / Solid State Drive and then start the installation process again, have a look at Step One of the Optimize tutorial below; after you have copied out or made back-ups of the data you need to save to external media, then boot the Windows 7 installation media to do the wipe secure erase to the HDD / SSD and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

DISKPART : At PC Startup
  • If you do not want to create the new Windows 7 "System Reserved" partition use the outline in Step Two #2 to create, format and mark Active a single 100GB partition to do the installation to.
  • If you do want to create the "System Reserved" partition use the outline in Step Two #3 to create, format and mark Active the System Reserved partition and then create and format the 100GB partition to do the installation to.
Either way, running the clean all then creating and formatting the partition(s) using diskpart will get you the best possible space to do a clean install of Windows 7 to; you can always extend the Windows partition to include the remaining unallocated space on the HDD / SSD or create additional Primary partitions or an Extended partition after the installation completes if you choose.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I safely remove existing partitions before installing Windows 7

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