How to remove Windows 7 From Dual Boot with Windows 8 on Single Drive - with a Twist?

DanL

New Member
#1
How do you safely remove Windows 7 Pro (32-bit) from a dual boot with Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)? I'm quite happy with Windows 8 Pro (since I've got Start8 to give me the Start button, menus, and booting directly into the desktop). There's a twist involved, though, because EasyBCD changed the Boot Manager from Windows 8 to Windows 7 as explained below under "Here is the Problem." Please forgive the length of this post, but I wanted to include what I hope is all relevant information.

The scenario:
Both are on the same hard drive (an SSD). Only the operating systems and applications are on this drive. My data is safely kept on a physically separate "D" drive (a conventional hard drive).
Windows 7 was on the SSD "C" drive initially. I added Windows 8 on a new partition and am ready to completely abandon Windows 7.
I have not been able to find information on how to safely remove the Windows 7 partition.

The advice I've come upon online suggests:
(1) Reformat the Windows 7 partition or delete the Windows 7 partition.
(2) Expand the Windows 8 partition to occupy the entire drive.
(3) Remove the Windows 7 choice from by going into System Configuration (via Administrative Tools) - then select the "Boot" tab and delete the Windows 7 choice.

But since Windows 7 was the original operating system, isn't there some concern about losing the Master Boot Record that Windows 7 had established on the drive?

To address this, I've seen advice to:
1. Install and run EasyBCD in Windows 8
2. Open the BCD Backup/Repair, and set C: as the default boot drive
3. Delete the Windows 7 partition and expand the Windows 8 partition to include the whole physical drive (using your partitioning program of choice)

Here is the problem:
After I installed EasyBCD (and didn't knowingly make any changes), my computer seems to now use the Windows 7 bootloader and I get the Windows 7 text-based interface rather than the graphic-based interface of Windows 8 (where the choice of Windows 8 or Windows 7 is made). Windows 8 is still my default OS. But from the information that EasyBCD shows me in "View Settings" (detailed Debug Mode), the Boot Manager is now the one on Drive "O" which is Windows 7. How do I change the Boot Manager back to using Windows 8 ("C" partition) -- which I presume is necessary for me to remove the Windows 7 ("O" partition) partition (and later expand the Windows 8 partition to the entire SSD drive). Please note that physically on the SSD drive, the O partition (Windows 7) is first.

Here's exactly what EasyBCD shows:
Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=O:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
integrityservices Enable
default {bf069147-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
resumeobject {bf069146-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
displayorder {bf069147-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
{bf069141-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 4
displaybootmenu Yes

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {bf069147-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 8
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {bf069148-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
integrityservices Enable
recoveryenabled Yes
allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {bf069146-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
nx OptIn
pae Default
bootmenupolicy Standard
sos No
debug No
useplatformclock Yes
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {bf069141-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
device partition=O:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {bf069142-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=O:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {bf069140-ea42-11df-ae4d-e2e0b5f76ab9}
nx OptIn
pae Default
(I can't get the rest of it visible)
So I'm a bit perplexed and hope that the good experts here could steer me in the right direction with a step-by-step.
How do I change the Boot Manager to the "C" (Windows 8) partition form the "O" (Windows 7) partition -- which I assume I need to do before I delete the "O" parition?

Thanks for your insights and guidance.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
When you installed W8, it put its boot files in the "active" partition, in common with all versions of Windows since XP.
This is the way MS designed things to make dual-booting automatic.
In your case, W7 the pre-existing OS was active, so W8 took over control and replaced the W7 boot files with its own in the W7 partition. You should be able to verify this by checking the size of bootmgr (326k = Vista, 375k = W7, 389k = W8)
You can copy the boot files onto W8 like this
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
 
#3
Registered to say my kudos as to DanL (for bringing this issue up) as to Terry (for giving an excellent reply with solution). I was in the same situation as DanL and following what Terry has suggested allowed me to get rid of my Win7 installation without any problems. Thanks, guys!
 

DanL

New Member
#4
Terry, thanks for your guidance. I had one problem that prevented Easy BCD from working -- I had installed Windows 8 on a logical partition rather than a primary partition. Easy BCD was unable to change my boot drive. So I improvised and it works. I had to find a way to convert the Windows 8 partition to a primary partition. It was a long and winding road (to coin a phrase) that I took with a clone of my SSD drive first. It worked and I'd like to share the steps here for anybody else who may have installed Windows 8 on a logical rather than primary partition.

(1) Make a clone of the subject hard drive with the dual boots of Windows. In the computer's BIOS, set the clone drive to be the boot drive
(2) Boot using the cloned drive
(3) On the cloned drive, use the free EaseUS Partition Master (or equivalent) to convert my Win8 (C) from a logical to primary partition
(4) Reset BIOS to boot from your original dual boot hard drive (in my case a solid state drive or SSD)
(5) Boot into Windows 8 and use Easy BCD to change the boot partition. Select BCD Backup/Repair. Pick "Change boot drive" and change it to the Windows 8 "C" drive.
Reboot the computer. The Windows 8 partition is now the primary and active partition.
(6) In Easy BCD, go to "Edit Boot Menu" and remove Windows 7.
(7) Go into Windows Control Panel, select "System," "Advanced System Settings," and "Startup and Recovery Settings." Uncheck "Time to display list of operating sytems." Make sure that Windows 8 is the default operating system.
(8) Reboot
(9) Using EaseUS Partition Master (or equivalent), delete the Windows 7 partition, and "Resize/Move" the Windows 8 partition to cover the entire hard drive.
(10) After running EaseUS Partition Master, you'll have just the one Windows 8 partition.

That's it. So thanks again for your guidance. I just had to do some tweaking to solve my thorny problem of the logical drive.