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Windows 7: Windows 7 on separate HDD

27 Oct 2009   #11
Microsoft MVP


I recommend you install directly to the drive without having a dual boot which will be complicated to get out of later. Here is a way to do a clean install booting from the Win7 installer without having to have any previous OS on it:

After the install you can plug your XP back in and visit it by changing the boot order in the BIOS, or just access/transfer its files through explorer.

Today we had a dozen guys here wanting to bail out of their XP already, each one with multiple complications. It is not an easy job, especially being walked through it over the internet.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #12

Windows XP

Thanks for the link. That gives me a few options to try. I'll unplug the XP drive and see how it goes.

Like many people I was simply going to partition the drive and install. But when I searched for the solution of how to eventually remove XP and merge the partitions back together again it seemed like a lot of twist and turns assuming it worked at all. The first step in many of those solutions was to cross your fingers!

I should receive the Windows 7 CD this weekend. I'll log back in and let you (and others) know it went.

Thanks for the help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #13

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit


I was referring to that oddball 100 MB or 200 MB that the Windows 7 install can at times put on your hard drive. It's normally placed at the beginning of the drive, before the C partition. I didn't want it to be installed.

Although I can't personally confirm it, my research led me to believe that the oddball partition is placed on your hard drive ONLY if you are installing Windows 7 to a drive that will otherwise have only one partition on it (C) OR if your drive has some unallocated unpartitioned space on it at the time you begin the Windows 7 install.

Its unclear to me whether or not you can easily remove the oddball partition if it is installed. I saw differing opinions on that and didn't want to take the chance of it hanging around.

Like you, if the oddball were on my drive, I would be antsy about deleting it (assuming I could). So, I just chose never to have it in the first place. The only reason to delete it would be to reclaim the space that it occupied or because you just didn't like looking at it in Disk Management. Since the oddball is placed at the beginning of the drive, you would likely have to use third party tools to reclaim the space--the less I get involved with third party tools, the better.

I'd guess one easy way around the issue would be to make a C partition of say 100 GB during the install and then immediately make a D partition of ALL the remaining unallocated space. Put Windows 7 on C, and then easily delete D after you have Windows 7 installed. The point of the D partition would be simply to prevent the oddball from being installed. When you delete D after the install, you can easily expand C to grab all the space formerly occupied by D.

It may be that the oddball is NOT installed by the Home Premium edition under any circumstances--but I can't confirm that either.

For the record, I dropped into Diskpart with a SHIFT F10 early in the Windows 7 install and did my partitioning there to avoid any possibility of ending up with the oddball.

But it isn't a big deal--that oddball partition takes up very little space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Oct 2009   #15

Windows XP

Well ignatzatsonic this link from gregrocker seems to confirm what you were thinking, that this 100mb file is not loaded in the Home edition.

"The 100MB system reserved partition is only available for Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Business and Windows 7 Enterprise editions."

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 on separate HDD

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