Remove windows 7 from dual boot with XP

#1
new here, so firstly, hi to all.
need help please guys, so will try to describe what i want to do.
had XP installed already. partitioned HDD and installed win7 (retail, not OEM) on new partition. now want to remove win7 to install on new machine. my intentions are:
change 1st boot option to XP from Win7 with win7 manager
boot into XP (system)
Format Win7 partition
dont know how to ensure machine will still boot into XP. dont even know if i have to install EasyBCD or run from disk. dont know which options to chose from disk or installed EasyBCD. dont know how to remove the win7 boot option on startup
basically, you have a complete dope on your hands as far as this is concerned, who needs some really idiot-proof instructions to follow.
anyone able to help please?

many TIA
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Check (from W7, it has a full set of flags) that XP is marked "system" "active" in Disk Management (W7 will be "boot").
This should be the case if you installed W7 after XP.
If so, when you are ready to remove W7, Use EasyBCD > BCD Deployment > Install XP bootloader > Write MBR.
After that XP will be the only OS that boots (reverting to NTLDR / boot.ini instead of bootmgr / BCD)
You can then format the W7 partition and reinstall it on a new PC.
When W7 is dead, you can delete the \boot folder and the bootmgr file from XP. They won't be used once NTLDR is back in control of the boot process.
 
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#3
many tnx for info, Terry60. maybe being thick. do i boot into XP before i do anything? do i actually install EasyBCD (into the XP install?) or boot from the disk? this is new to me, sorry.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
You can run EasyBCD in either system. Once you install the XP bootloader, W7 will never boot again. Rebooting the PC will go straight to XP with no boot options. (W7 will still be there, intact until you format it. You just won't get an option to boot it)
 
#6
You can run EasyBCD in either system. Once you install the XP bootloader, W7 will never boot again. Rebooting the PC will go straight to XP with no boot options. (W7 will still be there, intact until you format it. You just won't get an option to boot it)
Have tried this from both sides and when I reboot windows boot manager comes up and both xp and win 7 are listed. Am I doing something wrong? Is there something else to do beside click to install the win xp bootloader?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
#9
Yes and I get a dialog box with a warning about what I am about to do. Click Ok and restart.
Since I posted I tried a few things. In easy bcd I deleted the Win 7 entry and rebooted. Still have windows boot manager but without the Win 7 listed. Disconnected the drive with win 7 and started up windows boot manger still there. I then tried hiding the "boot" directory and restarted got to an error screen that the system can't find the boot folder.
I am missing something somewhere along the line just don't know what.
Thanks
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Do you have an AV product which prevents modification of the MBR ?
If you installed W7 with XP already present, then W7 will have put its boot files on the XP drive, so removing the W7 HDD won't change anything.
Are you trying to rewrite the W7 HDD's MBR ?
The W7 boot files and MBR are on the XP HDD (that's the default action of the MS install in these circumstances), so it's that HDD which needs the XP MBR and boot sector put back.
 
#11
No AV interrupting the process. I am trying to write the MBR with the WIN 7 drive disconnected so I can only be writing to the correct drive.
Should I try the XP recovery console and run FixMBR?
Also would there be any harm just leaving the win 7 boot manager? Only thing I can think of would be one of MS's updates doing something, but that seems pretty far reach.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
No harm in leaving the Vista/7 boot manager in charge.
Just make XP default and set timeout to 0 (or delete the W7 entry) and you'll never know it's there.
(lots of people do that deliberately on XP-only systems, if they have Vista/7 they can copy it from.)
What message (if any) did EasyBCD give when you did "Install XP loader" "Write MBR" ?
 
#13
Thanks for the info, that's a relief I can move on. I've learned more about boot records and MBR's than I thought I would ever need to know.
Here's the message when I click to install the XP MBR

---------------------------
Warning!
---------------------------
This is an advanced option that should only be use if you're absolutely sure you wish to uninstall the Windows Vista/7 Bootloader!This feature will only boot into Windows XP if the proper boot files are already in place!Are you sure you wish to continue?
---------------------------
Yes No
---------------------------



Thanks Again for your assistance.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#14
But nothing after you reply "Yes" ?