Reclaim Disk for 2nd Boot Option


I have installed Windows 7 after Windows Vista. Dual-booting fine. However, my Windows 7 install is running out of space. I would like to delete the Vista partition and only boot to Win7 going forward.

Naturally, the Vista partition is the current Active, System partition. If I mark my Win7 partition as Active, will the system boot or be hosed?

Does EasyBCD make this any easier? or ensure success?
Hi dachaps,

Nope. Moving isnt as simple as that, as your boot files are on your Vista partition. In W7, enable viewing of hidden files/folders and protected operating system files in the view tab in folder options. Copy over the bootmgr file and boot folder from your Vista partition to the root of W7s. Now go ahead and make W7s partition active. Delete Vista's partition in disk management and extend W7s partition with the free space. Re-install the Vista bootloader to the mbr and remove Vista's entry using EasyBCD.

If you reboot to find that it isn't working, boot from your Windows 7 DVD and preform startup repair.
Thanks, Justin. Oddly I cannot copy the BCD file from the boot folder. Complains about being open in System. Ever seen that? Appreciate the help.
If you got EasyBCD open than that might be the problem. You need to copy over the boot folder itself, not just whats in it. Close EasyBCD first or if you havent done anything in regard to extending/shrinking yet, restarting should unlock it.
Thanks, I used BCDEdit to just export the settings to a new BCD file in the destination folder. For those who come across this thread, the CMD console has to be opened with elevated privileges for this to work.
Thats fine I suppose. It needs to be called bcd though just like it was on Vista's partition and needs to be in a folder called "boot"
One last question regarding your last sentence Re-install the Vista bootloader to the mbr and remove Vista's entry using EasyBCD.

Why is reinstalling the bootloader to MBR necessary? I am getting an error upon loading EasyBCD 1.7.2 that states it detected the BCD and MBR are not running the latest version of Vista, or don't yet exist. If I click no to accept the correction of these issue, EasyBCD shuts down. Now that the machine is booting and the Win7 partition is active and system, I am dubious about taking these steps.
Well you'd want to remove Vista's entry since you're getting rid of it. The re-write to the mbr will hopefully update bootmgr's entry in the bcd store so that it knows where it and its settings are actually located once Vista's partition is wiped out.
I also have the Vista Version Error

I've followed the instructions above to remove my old Win XP Partition from my dual-boot W2k8/XP laptop.

Now Disk manager recognises the W2K8 partition as the System one and all boots fine, however Easy BCD gives me the following error on Startup:

"Valid BCD Registry Not Detected

Easy BCD has detected that your BCD boot data and MBR are either not from the latest version of Windows Vista, or don't yet exist.

If you'd like EasyBCD to correct these issues, press OK. This will modify the MBR and requires that you have Windows Vista installed on this machine. You can cancel at any time. Press 'No' to exit EasyBCD now."

It's telling the truth since I don't have Vista installed - I have W2K8.

I want to choose YES so that I can remove the WinXP boot entry and finally tidy up the partition, but I'm concerned that doing so may mess up the MBR and break the system - NOT GOOD!

I need to completely remove WinXP as I want to use TrueCrypt to encrypt the whole HDD and it doesn't allow this with dual-boots....

Has anyone seen this before and/or know what will happen if I go ahead?


You can safely remove the XP entry. It should than just boot W2K8 right away without giving you a menu.

@dachops: sorry, I see what you meant. The thing is, if you do startup repair from Windows 7's DVD, this error will go away, and you should be able to use EasyBCD without worry and continue to use Windows 7.
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Hi Tim, glad everythings ok now. Hopefully the beta like CG says addresses many of the issues in your thread.