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Windows 7: How to remove Windows XP gently from PC

25 Jan 2010   #11
madtownidiot

 

You can accomplish a very quick removal of XP (or Vista) by formatting the XP HDD (or partition) using any of the common live disk managers which boot from cd or flash drive (gParted, acronis, etc) then using your windows 7 install media to repair the MBR.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2010   #12
solbjerg

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by madtownidiot View Post
You can accomplish a very quick removal of XP (or Vista) by formatting the XP HDD (or partition) using any of the common live disk managers which boot from cd or flash drive (gParted, acronis, etc) then using your windows 7 install media to repair the MBR.
Thanks to you, too. Most of the MBR problems with Vista and Win7 are almost new to me and really perplex me, as I am "brought up" in the good old DOS tradition (which still worked in Win XP).

My problems are not easier by the fact, that my Win7 OS is installed on HD 1 (and not HD 0). Must change the order of hard disks according to the advice from gregrocker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #13
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solbjerg View Post
My problems are not easier by the fact, that my Win7 OS is installed on HD 1 (and not HD 0). Must change the order of hard disks according to the advice from gregrocker.
Maybe not. You reported back that your Win7 drive is already set as first HD to boot in BIOS boot order (after DVD?). That was the point in switching the cable or checking the BIOS boot order to assure Win7 is first HD to boot.

Having a data drive in DISK0 position is okay as long as it doesn't become marked active, because a Windows installer will see it as first active drive and place the MBR there. We see this all the time here.

In your case, you had XP on DISK0 which kept the MBR when Win7 was installed as per normal. Now with the removal of XP, the System MBR needs to be returned to Win7.

This is accomplished by using the DISKPART commands given to mark XP inactive, then running Startup Repair from the booted Win7 DVD to rewrite the MBR to Win7.

You can then confirm in Disk Mgmt. that System has changed to Win7 and, as long as it is first HD in BIOS boot order, it will boot normally and the old XP drive is no longer System or Active and can be repartioned and formatted as desired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2010   #14
solbjerg

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solbjerg View Post
My problems are not easier by the fact, that my Win7 OS is installed on HD 1 (and not HD 0). Must change the order of hard disks according to the advice from gregrocker.
Maybe not. You reported back that your Win7 drive is already set as first HD to boot in BIOS boot order (after DVD?). That was the point in switching the cable or checking the BIOS boot order to assure Win7 is first HD to boot.

Having a data drive in DISK0 position is okay as long as it doesn't become marked active, because a Windows installer will see it as first active drive and place the MBR there. We see this all the time here.

In your case, you had XP on DISK0 which kept the MBR when Win7 was installed as per normal. Now with the removal of XP, the System MBR needs to be returned to Win7.

This is accomplished by using the DISKPART commands given to mark XP inactive, then running Startup Repair from the booted Win7 DVD to rewrite the MBR to Win7.

You can then confirm in Disk Mgmt. that System has changed to Win7 and, as long as it is first HD in BIOS boot order, it will boot normally and the old XP drive is no longer System or Active and can be repartioned and formatted as desired.
Hi gregrocker.

I thank you for your good advice and educational information. All is okay now and I have learned a great deal about MBR and where it is located (and have studied a bit more on my own on the subject).

I intend, though, to change the order of hard disks some day, as I have learned that the bios/cpu's first choice would be to look for a MBR in the first physical harddisk unless I mark the disk0 as inactive. BIOS search order is now: floppy, DVD, HD1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #15
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Hi Kirtsten-

I think it is a good idea to have data drives in a lower position just for the reasons you give.

So when you are ready to recover the MBR to;Win7, use the steps given earlier to mark the data drive inactive, make sure the Win7 drive is marked active (as it is now) and set first to boot, then boot the Win7 DVD Repair console to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times to write the MBR onto Win7.

Startup Repair
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #16
solbjerg

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Hi gregrocker.

Once again, thank you. (Strange thing that one must run repair three separate times, before new values are written to the MBR. I have learned it the hard way... and by you, of course.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #17
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Startup Repair is automated in Win7 to attempt to repair and then rewrite the MBR after running its myriad tests and fixes.

If there are multiple issues or the MBR doesn't repair after first attempts it may require running up to 3 separate times, because Startup Repair assumes the last fix given will work until you return because a restart proved it didn't.

As long as the Win7 partition is intact and marked Active, it never fails.
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 How to remove Windows XP gently from PC




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