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Windows 7: Move Win7 to XP partition

18 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
Move Win7 to XP partition

I have a 6 year old laptop running XP. I installed Win7 on a logical partition, just to see whether it would be OK on this machine. After locating the right drivers, I now have a basic installation with all updates in place, including SP1. I have made several images using Acronis TrueImage. Now I would like to delete XP and put Win7 on the XP (primary, system) partition.
One way to do it:
- restore my image to the XP partition (this would leave the MBR intact, I suppose)
- delete the first BCD entry with EasyBCD
- change the drive letter of the second BCD entry to C:

Or would it be safer to do a new installation of Win7 on the XP partition, restore the image and delete the first Win7 plus the BCD entry?

Thank you for your thoughts!

See screenshots for EasyBCD and EasusPM output.

Attached Thumbnails
Move Win7 to XP partition-easuspm.jpg  
Attached Images
Move Win7 to XP partition-easybcd.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Couldn't you just keep Windows 7 where it is and dump the XP partition?

Then expand the Windows 7 partition to take up the space formerly occupied by the XP partition?

No reinstall. No imaging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Yes, thank you, of course I have considered that. Perhaps for sentimental reasons I like to have my OS on the C: primary partition. And the XP partition is "system", so I think I cannot delete it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 May 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Yes you can delete XP and recover its space for Win7 although you must first convert the Logical partition to Primary so it will mark Active to receive the System boot files.

However apparently you incorrectly installed Win7 from the XP desktop which locked out the C letter so Win7 could not assume C whenever booted as it does when correctly installed from boot.

If you don't mind running Win7 on D, then rightclick on it using free Partition Wizard
bootable CD to Modify>Set partition to primary, click OK. Video help on how to set partition as Primary or Logical.

Rightclick again on Win7 partition to Modify>Set to Active, OK.

Next click on Win 7 Disk # to highlight it then from Disk tab Select Rebuild MBR, Apply all steps.

Reboot, if Win7 doesn't start on its own boot into Win7 DVD or Repair CD to Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 starts on it's own and holds the System Active Boot flags.

You can now boot back into PW CD to rightclick XP to Delete, OK. Then rightclick Win7 partition to Resize, slide left border to left to take up deleted XP space, OK, Apply both steps: Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition Video Help.

Have DVD/CD standing by in case you need to repair after resizing on the boot sector.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Thank you, Greg, for your extensive reply. I tried to convert the logical partition to primary with EasusPM, but it refused to do so because it's a boot partition. If Partition Wizard can do it, it would be a simple solution.
I'll let you know what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


I couldn't have been more clear that you need the PW boot disk, even providing a download link and video.

Easeus and all other partition managers can fail - installed or boot disk - while PW boot disk (not its installed version) has never failed in countless thousands of operations we've helped with here.

You cannot convert to Logical the booted Win7 partition while it's running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Actually, you don't need a boot disk. I just "ordered" the conversion to primary, PW asked for a reboot and applied the change before starting Win7. After that I deleted the BCD entry with EasyBCD, formatted C: and all was well. I can even change the drive letters with PW, if I decide to do so. This really is a very good program, thank you for pointing that out to me, and thank you for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


But you need the boot disk if you want to insure against Failure.

As I said in the second paragraph all installed partition managers except Disk Mgmt can fail with catastrophic data loss. Only PW boot disk will not fail.

So you do need a boot disk unless you don't mind working without a net. You were simply lucky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Move Win7 to XP partition

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