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Windows 7: get rid of vista, reclaim partition

22 Jul 2011   #1
crodgers

win 7 pro 32
 
 
get rid of vista, reclaim partition

Hi! I have a Gateway PC that came with Vista installed on the C drive. The D drive (same disk different partition) contains the Recovery area from Gateway. I bought Win 7 Pro and installed into a new partition of the same drive (G drive). The rest of the disk was partitioned as a data volume (drive J).

While I was moving from Vista to Win 7, I was using the dual boot feature from the Win 7 install. I have since deleted the Vista option in msconfig under the boot tab. (maybe that was not the first step I should have taken?)

So, now I want to get rid of Vista and maximize the use of the drive. What is the best way to get rid of the extra OS partition without reinstalling Win 7? Can I format C and run a Win 7 repair to recreate the MBR on G?

Is the Recovery volume that was delivered with Vista of any use? should I recover the space or would Win 7 take advantage of it?

Ultimately, I only want Windows 7 on here and the existing data partition on here. Can I combine the dead space(s) once vista is completely removed?

In the end, I want to make room on this disk to install (dual boot) Ubuntu Studio 64 bit. Would it be better to dualboot win 7 and ubuntu from ubuntu's dual boot process? Or Win 7's dual boot process (or is that not possible)?

Thanks!




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get rid of vista, reclaim partition-bcdedit.jpg 
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22 Jul 2011   #2
crodgers

win 7 pro 32
 
 

I went ahead and added the unallocated space to the data volume.

I was reading another tutorial regarding changing the "active" partition from Win vista to Win 7. Looks similar to my setup - vista and 7 on the same drive, two different partitions, the vista partition having system and active attributes. If I right-click the Win 7 partition, I do not have the option to Mark as active. Not that it is greyed out (like when I right -click the vista partition that is already the active volume), but the option is not listed in the right-click menu...


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2011   #3
crodgers

win 7 pro 32
 
 

BTW, I am comfortable with running command line instructions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jul 2011   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello crodgers, welcome to Seven Forums!


Geez mate do you have a mess.


The Windows "System" boot files will not function from the Extended partition / Logical drive that Windows 7 is no.

You are correct about having to (re)create the boot files to another location, also the fact that there can be no more than 4 partitions on a single HDD using the MBR system makes this more difficult.

The easiest way would be, so you don't have to disconnect any HDDs so this will work, is to create a Windows "System Reserved" partition to the first position on the HDD that is Disk 0 and make that the "System Active" partition.

Have a look at Option Three of this first tutorial linked below to see how to shrink the left side of the first partition on Disk 0 to create the unallocated space needed to create the partition, it only needs to be about 200MB to work.
Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD

Once you have unallocated space use Windows disk management to create the partition and mark it Active (do not give it a drive letter) then run the 3 separate startup repairs to (re)create the "System" boot files to the new "System Reserved" then you will be able to easily remove the Vista partition.
Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times


I'm sure you will get all sorts of suggestions here but I think this would be the easiest but you know what's said about opinions; and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2011   #5
crodgers

win 7 pro 32
 
 

OK, so I started reading that Partition Wizard link before you posted and managed to change G to Primary, then set it to active. That got me to missing the mbr. I had PW rebuild mbr, then let the Win 7 CD repair - ended up repairing twice (disconnected other drive cables). It recovered the dual boot of vista and win 7. I removed the Vista boot option in the system config window, boot tab.

So, now I am closer to where I need to be, I believe. looking at my configs, it looks like I have the MBR on G with Win 7.

Now I can format the C partition and expand G to the left, correct?
Is there any need to have J as a primary? Should I change that to a logical?


Attached Thumbnails
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22 Jul 2011   #6
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

crodgers,
Format the C.
Use Partition Wizard to extend the G to the left (disk management doesn't extend to the left).

Leave the J as a primary partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2011   #7
gregrocker

 

You did well. Was Rebuild MBR sufficient or did you also have to run Repair(s)?

It's too bad you didn't originally boot the Win7 installer so it would have claimed C whenever booted as Win7 is designed. Because you ran the installer from Vista it tied up C so Win7 couldn't use it at all even after hasta la vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2011   #8
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Well done, you are doing a good job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2011   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Well done mate, I was very tired last night, hence the long-winded reply.


You could use Partition Wizard to convert J: to an Extended partition, then there could be as many Logical drives within the Extended as there are available drive letters, have look at Method One #2 of this tutorial for some ideas.


Partition / Extended : Logical Drives

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2011   #10
crodgers

win 7 pro 32
 
 

Thanks for all the advice - and a big thanks to the tutorials. That Partition Wizard is pretty simple to use. I figured it was safest to use from a boot CD, so I burned the ISO and booted from it.

I used Partition Wizard to wipe the C drive (fell asleep at the keyboard, dragged my body to bed at 3:00 AM). I shrank the J drive from the left (that took a while for the files to be moved), and then extended the G to the right to make my Win 7 partition 100GB. That Partition Wizard is quite useful!

Now I think I am ready to install UbuntuStudio on the unformatted C partition.

BTW, rewriting the MBR did not fix my boot issue. Not sure if it really did anything. I tried to boot after that and got no boot. I used Win 7 dvd to start repair. Said it found things and repaired. Rebooted, still the same - no boot. Booted from Win 7 dvd again, started repair again, said it recovered things again. Rebooted again and this time it worked! I logged in and checked out a few things, everything seemed OK, rebooted (just to be sure) and everything is normal. So, 2 Start Repairs seemed to do it for me. Still not sure what affect the Partition Wizard's recreate MBR function had, if any.

For those curious in the final disk screen, I have attached it. Thanks again to everyone for the help - this is a smart bunch of folks here!

BTW, the bootloader section for Windows 7 now has the word (recovered) in the description. How can I change that? Or does it really matter?


Attached Thumbnails
get rid of vista, reclaim partition-diskfinal.jpg  
Attached Images
get rid of vista, reclaim partition-bcdeditfinal.jpg 
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