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Windows 7: Dual Booting but Want to Replace XP with Windows 7

22 Feb 2009   #1

Vista 64-Bit Ultimate & Seven 64-Bit Ultimate
Dual Booting but Want to Replace XP with Windows 7


I have been dual booting XP Pro 32-bit and Vista Ultimate 64-bit for some time now but haven't really found a good way to delete XP Pro (my first installed os) leaving my Vista os able to boot up normally. I have scoured the forums and was about to delete a lot of files from the XP partition but leaving the loader files and root files alone. This would enable me to free up a lot of drive space. Currently the 2 os's reside on a RAID setup one partition for XP and another for Vista.

OK so I have found the Windows 7 forums and thinks that it would be good idea to replace XP with Windows 7 but the upgrade options for the Beta do not allow upgrade to Windows 7 from XP.

If I upgraded XP to Vista 32-bit what would happen to my boot files etc etc and could I then further upgrade to Windows 7 leaving that and Vista 64-bit dual booting together?

Or is this a complicated way to do things?

What I really want to do is delete XP Pro - I am rather fond of Vista now and seems very stable. But I do not want to be faced with boot problems after deleting.

I currently have installed on both os's, Acronis's OS Selector and BCD Edit.

I really need a very accurate method rather than a theoretical answer - someone who has done this successfully please. I have spent too long wading through forums looking for a way of successfully deleting XP and receiving maybe this will work or maybe that type of answers.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2009   #2

Windows 7 RC 7100 32bit/64bit

Hello Rozel and welcome to the Sevenforums.

Deleting an XP installation while already having a vista one, is very simple.

You probably are already using Vista's BCD boot loader to boot your PC with the 2 OSes.

So, you should be able to simple delete the XP folders on the XP partition and you're done.

You won't have any problems with Vista booting, and even if you do, the "startup repair" option does the trick from the Vista's Boot DVD.

If you fullfil the following criteria:

a) 2 partitions, one having XP , one having Vista
b) Booting with Vista's Boot Loader (BCD)

then you just delete the XP partition or folders completely, and you're done.

After doing so, you might want to delete the boot entry also, so you don't see a non-existing OS selection at startup. To do so, log on to Vista and open Command Prompt with administrative rights and type:

bcdedit /delete {ntldr} /f

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2009   #3

Vista 64-Bit Ultimate & Seven 64-Bit Ultimate

Right - thanks for responding so quickly limneos - very much appreciated.

This method has been told to me several times but has always been refuted by others saying on no account must you delete the Windows Folder on C:/ (XP Pro) or the boot.ini files and those others related to it or else the Vista OS will not boot. I have once tried the repair option using the Vista DVD which steadfastly refused to work.

Even your reply is saying "You won't have any problems with Vista booting, and even if you do............." which seems to suggest you have not tried this because you are not sure lol!

I simply cannot afford to screw up my Vista OS and part of me, having read the Install Notes for Windows 7, says do not install Windows 7 on your main PC. But would love to have the option to try, after of course releasing some of C:/'s space to D:/ (Vista partition).

The quoted partitions are of course when in Vista - they are reversed when in XP.

So before proceeding one way or the other, I need to know definitively, without any hesitation or doubts and preferably from someone who has successfully done it.

Thanks again for your interest in this and look forward to hearing some more


edit - yes I am booting using both Acronis and BCD
further edit lol - remember XP was installed first - Vista followed some time later
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Feb 2009   #4

Vista 64-Bit Ultimate & Seven 64-Bit Ultimate

These are the options I have been given so far before coming to this forum: -

Options: 1. Delete all folders/files in C except for folder Boot, and as a
safety measure Boot.ini, Boot.bak and Bootsect.bak. Shrink C and add
unallocated space to D.
2. Use BCDEdit (As a command line tool) or a third party program such as
VistaPro to modify Vista to boot directly from D.
3. Reformat and reinstall Vista

And even the first one differes from what I have been told before and stated in my second post above lololol

This matter must be a common one for all those people holding on to their XP os's yet trying Vista. Reformatting is just not an option for me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2009   #5

Windows 7 RC 7100 32bit/64bit

Rozel, I understand your fear about screwing up Vista but there is nothing related to your Vista installation concerning XP installation. They are completely different installs and they boot differently.

Now , if you want me to assure you or guarantee to you, YES, I can guarantee with no hesitation that if you delete your C:\WINDOWS and C:\PROGRAM FILES and your C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS folders (those three are the basic folders your XP installation uses) you will still be able to boot VISTA. This is guaranteed without "if" or "what if".

Now if you still hesitate, I'm afraid I can't do anything more to assure you.
This is the way to do it, you should have done it already, cause WINDOWS XP installation files have NO RELATION with VISTA's installation files. Not to mention that you have your VISTA install on another partition.

I said " and even if you do............." to highlight the small chance of failure which STILL does not delete your VISTA installation! I mentioned that to point out to you that even if you accidentally deleted any boot files required by vista to boot, you can still recover even that, making it a very very simple procedure. (which boot files btw are not located in the XP folders!!!)

In general terms, delete your XP folders. Done. I'm sorry to dissapoint your fears but this is as simple as that.

edit: Wrong, I am very familiar with the process and I have done it dozens of times!

Note: And one piece of advice: If you're doing something for the first time and you're unsure about it , you should be more daring and do it as you should after asking around for professional help and put aside your hesitations . Otherwise you'll just have to ask someone else to do it for you.

Hope I could be of some help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2009   #6

Vista 64-Bit Ultimate & Seven 64-Bit Ultimate

Thanks agian - now I'm feeling a lot more comfortable. You see I have been on quite a few forums and they have told me that because XP was the original OS, Vista's boot loader or whatever, relies upon certain files/folders on XP's drive or partition so that by deleting C;/ you then have no means of booting into Vista afterwards.

So to be clear then: -

If I format C:/ within Vista and then resize the partition, release some of c:/'s space to D:/ then Vista will still boot upon a restart afterwards, allowing me to install Windows 7 on the smaller partition ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2009   #7

Windows 7 RC 7100 32bit/64bit

If you want to install Windows7 , there is another (more safe) way for you

1. Boot from Windows 7 DVD
2. During Installation, select your Windows XP partition , delete it and choose the empty partition to be your installation target. Don't do anything to Vista's partition.
3. Install windows 7 normally.

That's it. Windows 7 will take care of the boot entries and will give you both Vista and Windows 7 to boot from.

Note: Later on, when you enter Windows 7, you will see your Vista partition missing. Don't get scared. It's not missing, its just hidden. When you fiinish the steps above, come back here and I'll give you a small guide to unhide it. In any case, you will be able to boot to both Vista and Windows 7.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2009   #8

Windows 7 Professional RTM (6.1 Build 7600)

While these other posters certainly give enough detailed information, I'd just like to add something.

I've been a dual-booter since the MS-DOS days, using new OS's whenever they were available, and I was pleased with how easy it was to get my current XPsp3 and Win7 setup going, once I disabled Acronis Disk Director's OS selector. The OS selector of that software does NOT work as advertised, and caused me problems when trying to setup my current config. I used to use Partition Magic's PQBoot, and that was the best because it completely hides the other partitions when you are setting up a new OS, but the version I had (8.0) didn't work properly with Vista or greater.

Acronis's OS selector seemed like the perfect solution, but it doesn't work like it should. On the old PMagic program, all you needed was an empty space on your hard drive to setup your new partition, and PMagic had a button that said "Install new OS". Acronis doesn't even have such an option, yet it advertises that you can run 100's of OS's independant of each other. Researching the problem only led to posts of people having a similar issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2009   #9

Vista 64-Bit Ultimate & Seven 64-Bit Ultimate

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by limneos View Post
2. During Installation, select your Windows XP partition , delete it and choose the empty partition to be your installation target. Don't do anything to Vista's partition.
Yes this seems a better way Sorry for the delay in replying, I work nights and was working last night. I have 2 questions regarding this method: -

1. Will step 2. above allow me to resize the partition, before installing?

2. What should I do with my 2 Boot Managers - BCD Edit and Acronis? - do I just leave them there and simply boot from the Windows 7 DVD ?

I like the fact that you are saying Windows 7 will take care of the boot entries.

One last general question regarding Windows 7 - when a new Beta is released can you simply upgrade or must you delete and clean install ?

Thanks all for the time you are spending with me - I am away from tomorrow on business but will take my laptop with me so that I can keep on top of this with a view to undertaking the work this coming week end.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2009   #10

Windows 7 RC 7100 32bit/64bit

Hello again rozel.

1. Yes, at step 2 you have options to delete, resize, create new partition etc.

2. Normally, after Windows 7 installation, only BCD will be your boot manager because Windows 7 will install its own new BCD, which will automatically include your Vista options as well, it finds it by itself.

If other new builds come out, yes you can upgrade, I have always done that between new builds and it worked fine. If a new release though comes out, like an RC1 or the final release, you will probably have to make a full install again.

Hope it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Booting but Want to Replace XP with Windows 7

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