How to delete vista, keep W7?

royn

New Member
#1
I did a clean install of W7 to a different disk than Vista. Ended up with a dual boot system, which I didnt want. Want to delete the vista partition (~40GB) to reclaim the space. Have read many web pages and tried several different things, from bcdedit to diskpart, none of which have worked.

W7 is the C: drive. Marked as boot, page file, active, crash dump, primary partition.
Vista is D: marked as System, Active, Primary partition.

Because vista is marked as system, cannot delete it. Among the various things I tried was bcdedit to move all the boot files to W7, reboot into the W7 recovery console, diskpart to remove D. But PC wouldnt boot and had to repair with W7 boot disk, which restored vista.

Will easybcd let me delete vista? Any help greatly appreciated.

thanks
 
#2
Hi Royn.
Get [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread].
Run it.
Use Diagnostic Center | Change Boot Drive to move the boot files to W7's partition.
 
#3
Hello - new member here. I'm jumping onto this thread because my situation is almost identical royn's - except mine is "before" while royn's is "after".

Planning to install a second hd in Vista Home Premium laptop. Then install Win 7 on the new hd, transfer documents over to second hd then format first hd getting rid of Vista forever.

But having experienced issues dual-booting Linux/XP I'm thinking (of course) it couldn't possibly be that simple.

So rather then needing to go back and rectify the situation with:

Get EasyBCD 2.0 Beta.
Run it.
Use Diagnostic Center | Change Boot Drive to move the boot files to W7's partition.
is there a way to install Win 7 on a brand new second hard drive, transfer all user stuff during the installation and at the same time format the first hd getting rid of Vista?

Or maybe just pull the first hd out and boot off the Win 7 install disc (changing bios boot priority) and install Win 7 onto the new hd?

Then stick the original hd back in, transfer all user docs, videos etc and format it with Win 7?

I've been running mainly Linux for the past couple years and haven't really used Vista very much (mostly just the media center) so I'm a little rusty on operating fine points. I doubt such a simple solution will work but it doesn't hurt to ask first and possibly save a lot of time and frustration later.

BTW - after d/ling EasyBCD 1.7.2 I kicked in $10 so you're up to $175 now. Open Source has to be supported if we want to keep it alive.:smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Hi Sub, welcome to NST.
If you just upgrade Vista to W7, you'll keep all your installed apps and data on the original HDD, and you can just use the new blank one for data.
If you want W7 on the new one (because it's faster e.g.) you can use "Windows Easy Transfer" to move all your settings from Vista, but you'll need to reinstall apps, and copy data.
Just make sure the Vista disk is removed before you install W7 on the new one. That will prevent W7 putting its boot files with Vista. (pre-format the HDD yourself. Don't let the W7 install do it unless you want to use bitlocker. It will create a separate "invisible" boot partition if left to its own devices)
 
#5
Hi Sub.
Best way to solve your problem is:

  • Reboot, and enter BIOS setup.
  • Put soon-to-be-W7 HDD first in boot sequence in BIOS.
  • Put CD drive above W7 hd.
  • Insert W7 DVD.
  • Save the changes, and eixit the BIOS.
  • Press a key to boot from the DVD.
  • Install W7 to its HDD (the boot files will go to W7's own HDD as it should).
  • During W7 setup, format the Vista partition on its own HDD, and of course select the partition on the other HDD that you created for W7 as where to install it.
  • When setup is complete, leave the disk in, and let it restart.
  • Don't take the disk out, as this will mess up the installation (its not done).
  • When it says press a key to boot from CD, don't press a key.
  • You will be able to finish the setup, and then take the W7 disk out. W7 should now be successfully installed.
  • Now reboot to test how well the booting works, and it should work perfectly fine, since the boot files of W7 will (or should) have gone to W7's own HDD, instead of Vista's.
EDIT: Or do Terry's method...
Come to think of it, that will probably work the best in your situation.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Warning.
Jake's sequence hasn't preserved your user docs.
The answer to your question
"can I clean install W7, transfer everything and format vista simultaneously ? "
is NO.
(upgrade is sort of what you want - but not to the new HDD)
 
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#7
Right.
Of course I was assuming he had already backed up all of his documents and stuff.
That is of course a must before formatting Vista's partition.
 
#8
If you just upgrade Vista to W7
There was a long argument on Tech Republic not long ago about Vista -> 7 upgrade vs clean install and most of the consensus went for clean install. I think voodoo must be involved because those guys are all pro techies and how they can have such radically conficting experiences with the same two OSes on high quality equipment is beyond my feeble comprehension.


If you want W7 on the new one (because it's faster e.g.)
Yes bigger and faster.

reinstall apps, and copy data.
Not that many apps to start with and I imagine some will need to be reinstalled anyway with the Win 7 versions.

pre-format the HDD yourself
I suppose I can do this with Vista before pulling that HDD out -- although I have a year old copy of SytemRescueCD here which can format to any file type including NTFS as I recall. Will Vista leave a "secret" partition too while formatting a second HDD?

EDIT: Or do Terry's method...
Come to think of it, that will probably work the best in your situation.
No that protocol was very interesting. I'm jealous of guys that can just knock off a rundown like that while probably watching Hulu on another monitor. If I run into a jam with Terry's method I can always transfer like 350 gigs of stuff to a spare HDD and try your way.

The answer to your question
"can I clean install W7, transfer everything and format vista simultaneously ? "
is NO.
Well that clears that up - maybe by Win 10. Can't do that with Linux either although you can reinstall the root partition but that's only the same release of the same distro.

I have both Win 7 Professional OEM ($139 - yeah baby!) and the new HDD coming from NewEgg Monday so I'll report back how it went next week.

Speaking of NewEgg check out the Black Friday geekpr0n- but it's only good until Midnight PST. http://www.newegg.com/

Thanks for the help - I'm putting this forum on my Opera speed dial page for frequent visits. :wink:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
In the past I've used both aproaches.
Clean Install ME over 95 (because I upgraded the hardware without realizing 95 couldn't support it)
Upgrade ME to XP (because I had about 90 apps installed )
Clean Install Vista ( On brand new hardware, dual booted with a fresh install of XP)
Clean Install W7 (triple boot with previous 2).

My advice from personal experience would be
copy every byte of personal data to backup storage (in your case, just disconnecting the old HDD will effectively do this)
format the new HDD yourself with your existing Vista, create (and label) partitions for their intended function ( Vista doesn't create secret partitions, neither does W7 if you tell it what to do. The "problem" with W7 is if you just present the W7 setup with a blank space and allow it to make up its own mind what to do with it)
Clean Install W7 to the new HDD alone in the PC.
Reconnect the Vista HDD, making sure W7 is first in the BIOS boot sequence.
Copy all user data from the old HDD to its allocated place on the new. (This also achieves 100% defrag of your data sets)
When you've customized W7, installed your apps and verified that all your data is safe and correct
Format the old HDD, allocate a backup partition on it
Copy all of your data again into the backup space
Set up a regular backup routine for all user data (you can always reinstall W7, you can never retake your photographs)
 
#10
I have just gone through setting up a triple boot system and I know how to delete the vista system Royn.

Enter Win7 and start disk management (control panel/administration tools/ computer management) Right click your Vista drive and choose delete volume and it's done. Then simply format and you are ready to go.

To repair the boot in Win 7: boot from your Win 7 install disk and use the repair option, or use a boot backup copy which you can make in EasyBCD then modify your boot as you see fit. And your done.
 
#11
Hi Royn.
Get [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread].
Run it.
Use Diagnostic Center | Change Boot Drive to move the boot files to W7's partition.
Thank you for your help. I did that and it did not resolve my problem.

Paritions are still marked as below, the same as before running easybcd.

W7 is the C: drive. Marked as boot, page file, active, crash dump, primary partition.
Vista is D: marked as System, Active, Primary partition.

Vista is still marked system, so I still cannot delete it.

Anything else I can try?

thanks
 
#12
Royn,
So I take it Coolname007's first suggestion didn't work?
I did see that he said "partition" but you said you have 2 seperate drives. Same as me, and we both have the proper boot drive already.
I did download the new EasyBSD2 Beta, but before I do anything rash perhaps I should wait for your answer.
Thanks,
Igneous

Addendum:

I see I was editing my previous post when you answered. I just wanted to add that last week I remember I saw something I found on a Google search that may have helped but I didn't copy the URL or print it (smacked myself in the forehead just now)! It was something about disconnecting one of the HD SATA connectors and then booting the Win 7 install disk and going into "Repair". I'm trying to look for the article now. Another thing that's a little unique with our set-up is that whatever OS we boot up, THAT ONE comes up as C: and the other is D: and then it's reversed when the other OS is chosen. Which, of course, was handy in a lot of ways.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
Igneous, welcome to NST.
You're not even "a little" unique.
Disk letters are not physical. They're just entries in the registry of the running system.
It follows that there's no reason why one system should agree with another about what letter is associated with a particular device (apart from the fact that they tend to detect devices in a particular sequence and allocate the next available letter unless you have expressly set letters yourself)
An independent install will always default the OS to C: internally, so your situation is in fact the norm, not exceptional.

Royn, if you're saying that the change boot function didn't work, can you confirm so by outlining the steps you took (which system you ran it on, which letter you pointed it at, what it said and did)

Igneous, bearing in mind the 1st para, run EasyBCD 2.0 latest build on the system you want to contain the boot files, select diagnostics / change boot drive and point it to C: (the BCD doesn't use letters, but EasyBCD translates the UIDs to letters as seen by the system it's running on for your convenience), then make sure that the BIOS uses the drive you've set up with the boot files, as first in the boot sequence.

You can always get the Installation disk to place boot files on your HDD by running "repair my computer" "startup repair" three times with only the target HDD connected, and then place that disk first in the boot sequence.
You'll need to add a BCD entry to the new BCD for the other system after you've booted the one with the new BCD. (the "change boot drive " function of EasyBCD will copy all the entries in the old BCD too, so you won't need to add any entries)
 
#14
Royn, if you're saying that the change boot function didn't work, can you confirm so by outlining the steps you took (which system you ran it on, which letter you pointed it at, what it said and did)
Terry,

I downloaded v2 build 76. While booted into W7, ran easybcd. Clicked on diagnostics, checked change boot drive and then rescue my system. At the "correct boot drive" prompt it was already showing C so I clicked ok. Rebooted after it ran. Nothing changed. THe pop up said "EasyBCD has successfully made drive C:\ the new boot partition. If this partition is on your first book disk you odnt need to tak any further action. If its not you should...change the bios..."

Disk 3. Windows 7 C: boot, page file, active, crash dump, primary partition.
Disk 1 Vista D: system, active, primary partition.

Before easybcd I had copied bootmgr and the boot folder and manually used bcdedit to transfer the one file that doesnt automaticially copy. Then I rebooted using the W7 disk, repair console and tried using diskpart to delete the vista partition. PC wouldnt boot after that, and had to repair using the W7 disk, which restored vista.

How can I make C: and W7 show up as "system?" I've spent hours researching how to fix this. Would have been simpler just to reinstall W7 into the vista partition, but then I'd have to get back on the phone with various software companies to let me install yet another copy of their software.
 
#15
Did you change the BIOS boot sequence to put W7's HDD first?
If not, then yeah, it'll still be booting from Vista's partition...
 
#16
Did you change the BIOS boot sequence to put W7's HDD first?
If not, then yeah, it'll still be booting from Vista's partition...
*bangs head on desk*

That fixed it. Can't believe I forgot to do that. Had a mental block and was thinking that was only for usb, cd, floppy etc order.

Thank you so much. Happily made a contribution to thank you for your patience.
 
#17
You're welcome. :smile:
 
#18
Coolname007 you definately earned your moniker. Not only did you straighten out some warped thoughts I had but you also solved not only Royn's problem but mine as well, which was exactly the same problem.
Thanks a bunch....and also to the others in this string to show that this forum is top notch!
 
#19
Win 7 install success

Hi Terry60
Reporting back in -- with a freshly installed Win 7 Pro!

Everything went fine per your instructions with one hitch - there were 2 unformatable partitions on the original Vista HDD. One was around 15 Gbs, probably the original recovery partition which remained even after I had burned DVDs and formatted the HDD then reinstalled Vista. The second partition was smaller - about 4 Gb as I recall and I have no idea what it was doing there but neither could be formatted with the Windows GUI utility . It would not recognize them and gave some kind of ambiguous error message like "select an actual volume first".

So I had been poking around and found this cool command prompt hack:

Hack to Remove 100 MB System Reserved Partition When Installing Windows 7 My Digital Life

and just changed the values a bit and presto was finally able to clear the whole HDD and send Vista off to OS Hades where it belongs. I then backed everything up and will continue using it for backups and media files.

Thanks again :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#20
Glad everything worked out OK.