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Windows 7: Cant Delete Old Primary XP Partition after Win 7 Installation

07 May 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
Cant Delete Old Primary XP Partition after Win 7 Installation

Hi Guys. I am having a tough time here. I have an older hp pc that came with Windows XP. Last Year I upgraded it to Windows 7, but to be safe I installed 7 on a newly created partition.

Problem is is now that im satisfied with 7 I want to delete my old xp install, but the partition is still labeled as primary.

It wont let me just delete/format the old partition (using EASEUS Partition software), so i was wondering what steps do i take.
Picture of the problem:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


You can follow this tutorial
Partition : Recover Space Used by an Older OS
but the Windows 7 partition will need to be a Primary Partition, not Logical, as OS's can not boot from a Logical partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2013   #3

Windows 10 Pro x64

And windows will not let you delete an active partition.

As suggested your windows 7 partition has to be made primary and set to active, and the XP partition has to be set to inactive. You will then have to run startup repair to get 7 booting again.

You can do all this with a partition wizard boot cd, and a windows 7 system repair disc, made from backup and restore from the control panel.

Partition Wizard Bootable CD allows user to manage partition directly with partition manager bootable CD.

System Repair Disc - Create

Partition - Mark as Active
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 May 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate

Could i just clone my windows 7 install, & use that to the replace both the old xp & 7 version?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2013   #5

Windows 10 Pro x64

Honestly, I would just reinstall windows and delete the xp partition during the install.

Why don`t you just make the PW boot cd and delete the xp partition and change the W7 partition to primary and active, then run startup repair ?

You could have been done hours ago either way.

1st thing you need to do is make the W7 partition primary. You could easily install Partition Wizard to do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP


Here's the steps to do what you want.

Download free Partition Wizard bootable CD
and burn to CD using Windows Image Burner.

Boot the CD, rightclick Win7 partition to Modify>Set to Primary, click OK.

Then rightclick 7 partition again to Modify>Set to Active, click OK. Apply both steps.

Now boot into Win7 DVD or Repair CD to run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times.

When Win7 boots and holds the System Active flags, you can delete XP partition and resize C to the left to take up the space using Partition Wizard Resize Partition - Video Help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2015   #7

OtherWin 7 Home Premium, 32 bit,

I have a similar problem with both partitions, the D with XP and C with Win 7 but both are marked as Primary. Please see the configuration from this puush link (don't know how to paste in the image). Could you please advise how to delete the XP in D? Thanks. I hope it is a bit easier than the solution above!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2015   #8
Microsoft MVP


First move the Bootmgr - Move to C with EasyBCD - Windows 7 Forums.

After restart confirm that C is now labeled System Active Boot Page File.

You can then delete D in Disk Mgmt: Partition or Volume - Delete and create a new partition(s) in the free space: Partition or Volume - Create New

However this puts C way over on the right (or slow) side of the hard drive whereas with a few other steps you can move it over to the faster left side and then resize it to exactly the size you want - even the whole disk if you prefer that.

To do this download free Partition Wizard CD and burn to CD with Windows Image Burner. Boot PW CD, rightclick on XP partition (if you haven't already) to Delete, click OK.

Next rightclick on Win7 partition, select Resize. Drag the left border all the way to the left against the left border of the hard drive. You can then drag the right border wherever you want it. click OK. See video here: Partition Wizard Resize Partition - Video Help.

Now create a new partition(s) in the space which is left if you want, lettered and labeled as desired: Partition Wizard Create Partition - Video Help. Click OK, Apply all steps.

Sometimes when resizing on the boot sector it requires running Startup Repair so have your Win7 disk or System Repair Disk standing by if it doesn't start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2015   #9

OtherWin 7 Home Premium, 32 bit,

Hello gregrocker -

I have completed my XP partition deletion and managed the resulting partitions ok but....

I have landed up with my first boot loader partition which should be C: with no drive letter at all! just the *

The Change letter option is of course greyed out. How to fix this - it won't boot without a drive letter will it?

I have - Basic MBR 465.76GB| (NTFS) 233.8GB | Unallocated 232GB (Which I can change latter)

Please advise - thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2015   #10

OtherWin 7 Home Premium, 32 bit,

Well I rebooted OK and found the startup still gives me the choice of Win7 or Earlier version of Windows.

But clicking on Computer and in Disk Management it is listed as Local Disk (C:) so that seems OK. I wonder what would happen if I chose the 'Earlier version....' which was the XP. So perhaps in the Partition Wizard the drive letter C is not shown, only ones that can be changed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cant Delete Old Primary XP Partition after Win 7 Installation

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