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Windows 7: How do I remove Win 7 from a two hard drive dual boot with XP

13 Nov 2012   #1
OG 24seven

XP & 7 Dual Boot 32bit
How do I remove Win 7 from a two hard drive dual boot with XP

I have a dual boot system with an OS on two separate hard drives. XP came originally on the computer and thanks to this forum I was able to install Win 7 on a second HD and run a problem free dual boot for a while now.

The problem now is that my second hard drive with Win 7 is starting to fail and I need to replace it. I’ve tried searching all through this forum and other sites but can’t find the steps to do this right. Everywhere I’ve looked it has been, “Removing XP from a two hard drive dual boot” or “Removing 7 from a partitioned dual boot.” I’m hoping I can get the help I need from here.

I want to remove 7 from my dual boot so that the XP hard drive is the only one the computer recognizes and is booting up from (The same way the computer worked before I created my dual boot). I then plan to install a new second hard drive and follow the original steps to recreate my dual boot setup.

I appreciate any help I can get.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, click New, draw a box around full drive map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition. We will make sure XP is bootable on its own or show you how to make it so, so that you can unplug Win7 HD confidently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2012   #3
OG 24seven

XP & 7 Dual Boot 32bit

Thanks for the fast reply. I followed your steps and I think I captured what you needed.

I just have XP on one drive and 7 on the other. The main OS I use on this computer is XP and all of my personal data/documents is stored on the external.

Attached Thumbnails
How do I remove Win 7 from a two hard drive dual boot with XP-capture.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Nov 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


The System Active flags on XP tell us that it has everything it needs to boot on its own, so you can unplug the Win7 HD no problem.

If after unplugging Win7 HD a Dual Boot menu persists, enter msconfig>Boot to delete the ghost boot listing.

When you install the new HD and Win7, I suggest you unplug the XP HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Have a look at this - maybe it helps: Dual Boot - Delete a OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2012   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Hello OG 24seven Welcome to the SevenForums!

Since you are planning to be running 7 again on a new replacement drive unplugging the XP host drive as gregrocker advised to see 7 installed as a stand alone install on the new drive will prevent the 7 BCD store and boot files from being placed on the XP drive. If you originally had the XP drive plugged in during the initial 7 install you will want XP set as the default OS during the interim where the 7 drive is not present.

If that's the case simply having XP set as the default OS during the drive swap will prevent not being able to boot into XP if the 7 boot loader is in use there. Once the stand alone install is on the new drive the boot entry for 7 on the XP host should still see the fresh 7 install start up. If you had originally installed each version as a stand alone however without any 7 boot information on the first XP drive you can opt to see EasyBCD add an XP boot entry into the new 7 install's BCD store as well as still see XP set as the default OS having the new drive set as the first boot device.

Another thing that will help you out significantly is already having all of your personal files backed up on a 3rd external making the process of replacing drives and 7 an easy task.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #7
OG 24seven

XP & 7 Dual Boot 32bit

Finally got some free time to continue trying to fix my problem. I followed Gregrocker's steps but the computer would not boot into XP. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with my MBR edit in Win 7 with EasyBCD after the initial dual boot setup. After more trial and error with no positive results I did some more research and decided to just clone both of my hard drives. I ran checkdisk on both of the drives to verify no bad sectors then cloned the drives using Paragon Recovery. Very easy software allowed me to recover the images on two new hard drives and worked like a charm! Thanks for the member advice and glad to be a member of the forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I remove Win 7 from a two hard drive dual boot with XP

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