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Windows 7: Removing dual boot setups

06 Nov 2009   #1
TheNoob

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Removing dual boot setups

Hi - thought a new thread for this might be a good idea.

I've already been looking into upgrading from XP to 7 but onto a seperate hard drive (see this thread: Installing Windows 7 Upgrade to secondary hard drive)


I'm starting to think that a temporary dual boot scenario may be a good option. This tutorial is nice and straightforward: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP[3]=Installation%20and%20Setup

However, it doesn't say how to subsequently get out of the dual boot scenario.


Will simply formatting the drive with the unwanted OS on it work?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
06 Nov 2009   #2
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Yes, but then you may need to repair the boot loader. Go ahead and format, and we will work from there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Jonathan:

He doesn't have dual boot and doesn't want it. He wants to avoid ending up with dual boot. Check the first thread he referred to, just below this one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Nov 2009   #4
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

If you have 2 hard drives, unplug the other one while you are installing. Then, to choose which OS to boot into, manually choose which hard drive to boot from the F12 menu. When you want to get rid of one, just format it, because both HDs have their own boot loaders. Does that make any sense?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #5
TheNoob

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Sorry for the confusion, what I'm thinking of is this:
  • Take Windows 7 Pro UPGRADE disc to my computer, which has a 160GB hard drive which has XP (activated) on it, and a new, BLANK 500 GB hard drive
  • Install the upgrade onto the blank drive, but finding some way of allowing Win7 to "recognise" the installation on the 160GB drive
  • TEMPORARILY keep the XP drive as it is in case anything goes wrong with the new install
  • Avoid any workarounds for activation - I'd rather keep it legitimate.

So I'm not necessarily trying to AVOID dual boot. What I'm trying to avoid is
A)Deleting my 160GB drive until I've got Win7 working on the 500GB drive
b)Using any funny workarounds that could cause me problems later re updates etc.

So if i install Win7 UPGRADE DISK onto the blank hdd, with this one PLUGGED IN so that it can recognise the installation, boot up using Win 7, make sure all is well regarding activation, THEN copy over my files from the 160GB and THEN format it - will this cause problems?

If it means I have to "repair the bootloader" - what does that mean and how do I do it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #6
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

An upgrade is what it sounds like: upgrading the OS. To install the "upgrade" on its own HD, you will need to do a clean install. Instructions for that can be found here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #7
TheNoob

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jonathan King View Post
An upgrade is what it sounds like: upgrading the OS. To install the "upgrade" on its own HD, you will need to do a clean install. Instructions for that can be found here.
Thanks Jonathan,

I've already seen those instructions. I will by all means try simply installing the OS on the blank drive without the other one connected, and see if it activates without a fuss. However I'm reluctant to use the dodgy workarounds to avoid activation in case this causes me problems with future updates.

However whether this works or not I'm inevitably going to have a dual boot scanario at some point because I will have to connect both drives at the same time with OS's installed on both at the same time in order to restore my files.



I'm very grateful for everybody's advice, but I feel well out of my depth with this - I'm starting to wonder if just backing everything up on the 500GB and running the upgrade on the 160GB and put up with the marginally slower drive holding my OS will be less of a brainache than trying to get it onto the 500GB.

edit: the reason I want to do this is simply because the 500GB has more cache than the 160gb so will run the OS slightly faster. It's a case of 8MB vs. 16MB. Is this a waste of time+energy for a small performance increase?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #8
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You do not need a dual boot setup to migrate data. If you use the method I recommended earlier, it will work fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Noob:

If you leave the 160 connected, the Windows 7 install disc may put a few files on the 160, even though you choose the 500 as the install destination.

That can be corrected after the fact, but I am unfamiliar with the method as I have never been faced with any Windows files on the wrong drive.

That's why I suggested disconnecting the XP drive.

Worst case scenario: You install Windows 7 to the 500, try Windows 7 for a while, conclude it is a disaster and a laughing stock. You then disconnect the 500, reconnect the 160, and think about your next move.

The workarounds aren't "dodgy". The Thurott registry workaround is in fact what Windows customer service would tell you to do if you had activation issues.

I would encourage you to go with the 500 gig drive for Windows 7. It is likely faster for more reasons than having twice the cache.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #10
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I agree with ignatzatsonic completely. Boot loader problems are some of the easier problems to fix.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Removing dual boot setups




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