Removal of XP from XP/Vista dual boot

#1
I am running a dual boot computer with XP and Vista Home Premium. XP was installed first and then later Vista was installed. The XP OS is installed on a SATA-1 320GB drive. The Vista OS is installed on a SATA-3 320GB drive.

Now I want to remove the XP installation and just have Vista to boot to and later partition and format the SATA-1 (XP drive) for use as just a slave drive for personal files. So far I have tried several suggestions from the internet to get this accomplished but none have worked so far. I have downloaded EasyBCD ver. 1.7.1 as I have heard it does the job very quickly and easily. The only thng I don't know what to do is how to configure or set the options on the program to eliminate the XP OS.

I'm about to go bonkers trying to get this done. Can anyone assist me in setting up the configuration and setting in East BCD ??Thanks a ton :grinning:

Green Hornet
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Hornet, welcome to the forum.
First thing you need to find out is where your boot disk is. All of the Vista and XP boot files will be on the boot disk, not on their own disks.
If everything is on the Vista disk, you should have no problem. Just use EasyBCD to delete the XP entry and it's gone as an option. Then you can do what you like with its disk space.
If, however, the boot files are on the XP disk, it gets more complicated. You can't format the XP disk without destroying the Vista boot too, so before you start make sure you've got a Vista DVD which you can boot to repair its bootloader. If your system didn't come with one, see the wiki where you can download a Vista recovery ISO and burn it to CD.
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+from+the+DVD
Make sure you've got one or the other before you start.
 
#3
Still need help

Thanks Terry for the reply. Evedently the bootloader is on the XP drive, as I can't format it with the Disk Management in the Control Panel. Since the bootloader is on the XP drive I guess I need to know what steps to take or what setting to use in the EastBCD program. (i.e. Change Settings; Add Remove Entries; Advanced Options; Manage Bootloader etc.) Whith so many choices, I just don't want to set or do something that will screw up what I have going now.

The two entries I have showing now are Early version of windows (that's my XP) and Microsoft Windows Vista. In the Manage Bootloader screen I am not sure what setting to make there either, if that is where I should be.

It just seem so simple, but is like you suggested when you installed XP first on a separate drive and then later installed Vista on another separate drive and go to a dual boot situation. After playing around with everything quite a few times I believe that the bootloader is on the XP drive, based on what I can and cann't do after trying things.

This just CANNOT be that complicated :angry: And I feel that on a scale of 1 to 10 I am at least a 7 or 8 :grinning:

Green Hornet
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
If the boot loader is stored on the XP drive and you want to get rid of that drive you have to make the Vista partition the active system drive. That will make it so that the boot loader will have to be stored there. So after you remove XP and format the drive you will ahve to use the VIsta DVD to recover the boot loader but it will now be stored on the Vista partition.

Now if you want to remove the XP drive and combine it with teh Vista drive and move the Vista install from teh 2nd partition to the 1st partition on the drive. That is a bit mroe complicated.
 
#5
If, Then what ?

Thanks Alex for the reply.
"If the boot loader is stored on the XP drive and you want to get rid of that drive you have to make the Vista partition the active system drive." So In Easy BCD then how do you make this change ???

I understand what you are saying but just saying it without giving the "How To Do That" is another thing. Since I am on a forum that has help for the EasyBCD program, I sure would like to know what exact settings I should make when I get the EastBCD program booted up. If my bootloader is on the XP drive (Keep in mind that XP is installed on a separate drive than the drive that Vista is installed on), what setting do I choose to make the bootloader be on the Vista drive.

Then after that what does one do with the XP drive ?? I apologize to the group if I am asking some simple questions.

Green Hornet
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#6
The change of the system drive to active is not done thru EasyBCD. You do that thru Windows itself. Start>Right click on Computer>Manage>Disk Management.

There you will see your drive setup. Right click on the Vista drive and set that as the active system drive. That will then become the boot drive.

That is when what i said above will come into play.

Now that you say you have XP on a separate drive you can do what you wish with it. Format the drive and use it for storage or install games on it. What ever you wish. If you plan on sticking iwth VIsta it can be used for any purpose you wish.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
Hornet, are you sure that the bootfiles are on the XP system. The fact that you can't format it isn't evidence. Comp mgmt/disk mgmt won't let me format either of my systems because one is the system, and the other is the boot, so both are "greyed" out.
Make sure you've got system and hidden files displayed in folder options, and actually look for where they are. It should be on the drive marked "active" (which might not be the one you're actually on)
The disk mgmt program can be very confusing. Not only does it get the disk numbers wrong if you have mixed IDE/SATA drives, It tells you the system you have booted is "boot" not the system where the boot files are, and the system that it boots from is "active", not the one that you're actually using (currently running on, which by any reasonable use of English is active, but not to MS)
If you can actually see the boot files (the list is in the wiki), you can be sure.
If it's Vista, everything is simple. Just use EasyBCD "add/remove entries" and delete the XP entry. Job done.
If it's XP, do as Mak said and set Vista "active" (ie tell it that's where you want the boot files) and boot the Vista DVD, selecting the repair startup option when it's offered.
Then when you're booting from Vista you can go ahead with the delete entry.
 
#8
Somewhat Different Than suggested

First---
"Start>Right click on Computer>Manage>Disk Management.

There you will see your drive setup. Right click on the Vista drive and set that as the active system drive. That will then become the boot drive."

O.K. , this is what I see when doing the above after I have booted into VISTA:

DISK 0 XP DRIVE SATA-1 (D:smile:
Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)

DISK 1 VISTA DRIVE SATA-3 (C:smile:
Healthy (boot, Page file, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)

Now if I right click on eother of the drives, this is what options I see:

DISK 0---
Open
Explore
Mark Partition Active--(Grayed Out)
Change Drive Letters
Format---(Grayed Out)
Shrink Volume
Extend Volume--(Grayed Out)
Delete Volume--(Grayed Out)
Properties
Help

DISK 1---

(Same Identical options as Disk 0)

So it would appear to me that BOTH the SATA drives are "ACTIVE"
Thanks again to all for your continued help and support.

Green Hornet...
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#9
Hornet my suggest now would be to use GPArted. Since The Windows Manager will not allow you to do it GParted will. Get version 0.3.3.0 and burn it to a disc. It will be a ISO. If you need instruction on how to do that follow the ones we have psoted here:

Burning ISO Images with ImgBurn - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Then just boot with the GParted CD in and it will boot up into the program. From there select the Vista drive. You might not recognize it right away as it is a Linux based app and the hard drives are labeled with sdxy (Where x and y are the drive number and partition number).

After you find the drive you want right click and you should see the option to make it "boot" that will help you out. If you want you should be able to make it the system drive here as well.
 
#10
Rebuilding Boot.ini Wiki

After reading the Rebuild Boot.ini Wiki I thought when I checked my Boot.ini file that I would see both the XP and the Vista operating systems listed. Not so :angry:

Note: Remember I am dual booting Windows XP (installed first) with Vista Home Premium (Installed second, and both OS's are on separate HD's.

This is what I see in my Boot.ini file when checked either in XP OR Vista:

;
;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify windows Vista boot options
;
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi (0) disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft windows XP Home Edition" /FASTDETECT/USEPMTIMER/NOEXECUTE=OPTIN

So what I would like to know is Ihave both XP and Vista on two separate drives and dual booting, why doesn't the DISK-1 (Vista HD) show in the boot.ini file, under [Operating Systems] ????

Green Hornet
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#11
Boot.ini is an XP file, it only gets used when the Vista bootloader hands control to NTLDR if you select XP from the Vista menu. Vista bootloader loads Vista directly without looking at any of the XP files.
 
#12
Thanks Terry and Alex for your help. I guess I have one last question: Based on all the information that I have posted for my computer, is there any way that EastBCD can do what I want to do ? And if so exactly what steps should be taken ? I assume based on that Alex's post, that it won't.

And one last request: If I remove the drive that I have Vista installed on boot to my original Vista DVD OS disk (tell the BIOS to boot from my CDROM drive) and tell it to do a complete "Clean" install, can I later put the old Vista HD back in and then format it ?? Or will it not allow to do another Vista installation over the XP installation ???

GH....
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
You don't say if you've found which system contains NTLDR NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI (from XP) and the BOOT folder and BOOTMGR (from Vista)
If they're on the Vista root, you merely have to select the XP entry in EasyBCD "add/remove entries" and hit the delete button and you've achieved what you wanted.
Of course you can always reinstall Vista as you described in your last paragraph, but there should be no need to use such drastic steps.
If the above mentioned boot files are in the XP root, you can always use any available formatting program to wipe the XP disk. This will temporarily remove the Vista boot, but all you need to do is boot from the Vista DVD and ask it to repair the boot for you.
 
#14
Thanks Terry (again)
"If they're on the Vista root, you merely have to select the XP entry in EasyBCD "add/remove entries" and hit the delete button and you've achieved what you wanted."

While booted into Vista, I did a search for all of the files you mentioned.

NTLDR----------------Resides on the XP drive
NTDETECT.COM------Resides on the XP drive
Boot.ini----------------Resides on the XP drive
BOOT (Folder)--------Resides on the XP drive
BOOTMGR-------------Resides on the XP drive.

So all of the files listed above are on the XP drive which is the "D" drive--DISK-0. So I guess that using Easy BCD program to solve my problem is out of the question, huh ? Any other suggestions ?
I still feel there must be some easy way to eliminate the XP OS and still leave the Vista drive working with all my programs etc.

GH...
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
Yes, Its the second one I mentioned.
What you need is the Vista boot files to be on the Vista partition. (You won't need the 3 XP files)
The Vista DVD startup repair will do that for you if the boot process is broken.
You could just temporarily disconnect the XP drive so that Vista can't see it (or the boot files) and then let the DVD repair the boot on the Vista partition (the only place it's got to go).
Or do what I said before and destroy XP, which will force you into repairing the Vista bootloader (don't worry it's automatic and painless (though you might need to do it twice for some weird MS reason))
Remember EasyBCD is just a GUI for the Vista BCD editor to make it easier for you to manipulate Vista's boot info. It's not a necessary or prerequisite part of the boot process. The Vista DVD will do it all for you and if you're abandoning your dual-boot, you'll never see a Vista menu that you'll need to edit.