Remove XP from XP/Vista dual boot

#1
I hate to be one of those people who creates a thread that is pretty much a duplicate of other threads but I want to make sure that I get this done right so I don't completely hose up my machine. Here's my setup. I have a laptop that came with one hard drive preinstalled with Windows XP and I repartitioned and loaded Vista into a second partition for a dual boot. From what I can tell XP is loaded in the first partition, a data (non-OS) partion is the second, Vista is loaded in the third partition, and a system recovery partition is the fourth partition.

I want to remove XP and its partition and keep the data and system recovery partition, and keep vista as my primary OS. The whole thing that brought this is on is that I want to then load Ubuntu as a secondary OS. I gathered some information from EasyBCD and a list of the hidden (and presumably the boot) files from the XP partion that I believe need to be moved to the Vista partition. Any help that could be provided would be VERY much appreciated.

Code:
Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier              {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device                  partition=D:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default                 {d5caeb61-260a-11dc-b424-8b0f9aabd2d8}
resumeobject            {d5caeb62-260a-11dc-b424-8b0f9aabd2d8}
displayorder            {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
                        {d5caeb61-260a-11dc-b424-8b0f9aabd2d8}
toolsdisplayorder       {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout                 30
customactions           0x10000ba000001
                        0x54000001
custom:54000001         {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae0-0007e994107d}

Windows Legacy OS Loader
------------------------
identifier              {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
device                  partition=D:
path                    \ntldr
description             Earlier Version of Windows

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {d5caeb61-260a-11dc-b424-8b0f9aabd2d8}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Microsoft Windows Vista
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {d5caeb62-260a-11dc-b424-8b0f9aabd2d8}
nx                      OptIn
Here is a screen shot of my disk manager in Vista:



Hidden Files contained on "D:" drive when booted in Vista (D: drive contains WindowsXP OS)
Code:
07/29/2007  10:12 AM    <DIR>          Boot
06/29/2007  01:34 AM               355 Boot.BAK
10/11/2007  08:51 AM               355 boot.ini
11/02/2006  04:53 AM           438,840 bootmgr
10/19/2007  09:55 PM     2,137,444,352 hiberfil.sys
04/30/2006  02:13 AM                 0 IO.SYS
04/30/2006  02:13 AM                 0 MSDOS.SYS
08/04/2004  07:00 AM            47,564 NTDETECT.COM
08/04/2004  07:00 AM           250,032 NTLDR
10/19/2007  09:55 PM     2,145,386,496 pagefile.sys
01/08/2007  08:36 PM    <DIR>          preboot
01/23/2007  05:50 PM    <DIR>          RECYCLER
04/26/2007  11:30 AM    <DIR>          System Volume Information
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi zpeterson, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

You should be good to boot into a partition editor (Like Acronis or GParted) and delete the XP partition, then boot from the Vista DVD and use the startup repair feature to get your system working again.

Good luck.
 
#3
I'm in a similar situation. Can the XP partition be deleted when it's listed as "system"? I didn't think that was possible. If it is possible, will deleting it and running Vista repair modify the drive lettering? I don't think so, but I'll ask just to be sure. My info is below. I have an Acronis True Image "drive image" backup of my Vista C: drive. I'd like to remove XP and have Vista on the C: drive as a nice clean system,boot,active. I'd like to keep E: and F: as is. I then plan on installing another drive for Ubuntu. Any advice for that :smile:

Randy

Code:
Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier              {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device                  partition=D:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default                 {f9e266aa-e99b-11dc-9d66-bc56ef9955b9}
resumeobject            {f9e266ab-e99b-11dc-9d66-bc56ef9955b9}
displayorder            {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
                        {f9e266aa-e99b-11dc-9d66-bc56ef9955b9}
toolsdisplayorder       {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout                 30

Windows Legacy OS Loader
------------------------
identifier              {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
device                  partition=D:
path                    \ntldr
description             Earlier Version of Windows

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {f9e266aa-e99b-11dc-9d66-bc56ef9955b9}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Microsoft Windows Vista
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {f9e266ab-e99b-11dc-9d66-bc56ef9955b9}
nx                      OptIn
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If you format the XP partition with a bootable 3rd party manager. (Vista won't allow you to self-destruct its "system" partition), set the Vista partition "active", then boot your Vista DVD and run "startup repair" several times (probably 3). You should end up with a working bootable Vista, and a blank space you can format as a new partition from within Vista.
You can't use "expand" from Disk Management to absorb that space however, as it won't allow expansion to a lower block address, only higher.
If you use your cloned C:\ image, you should be able to format both partitions, restore the clone to the whole disk and then do the startup repair sequence.
Make sure that your cloning software is fully Vista compatible though. Old 3rd party cloning tools might leave you with an unusable restored OS.
 
#5
Would it be possible to first clone my vista drive to D: then run the system repair? I'm thinking I'd have 2 vistas and I'd just set the first one to boot that is now on dirve D:. I could then swap the drive letters C:<->D: and then delete the old partition. Can this be done?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Yes, cloning to the XP partition would be a good option, leaving your Vista untouched and repairable (boot wise) if the cloned copy experienced insurmountable problems.
Both systems should be accessible through a dual-boot once you've repaired the boot. Each will boot as C:\ and see the other as something else. (remember the disk letter is not a physical label on the disk, just a virtual label which exists only in the mind (the registry) of the booted system).
You could keep both versions, keeping one stripped down (lean and mean) for performance related tasks, and the other cluttered with all your trial software, or you could format and remove the old Vista when you're happy that the replacement is A1.
 
#7
Thank you sir. Your advice worked. I now have two bootable vistas. Now I have another issue. When I boot to the new Vista that is now on the "system" partition, it still says it is drive D:. If I try to change it, vista complains that I can't change the drive letter of a system partition. How can I swap D: and C: drive letters so that the system partition is C: and my old vista is D:?

Randy
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
The drive letters are specific to each OS. You should never attempt to change the system's drive letter.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
If the new system is a clone of the first, they should have the same letter unless Acronis true image edits all the registry entries to make the cloned system different. (I don't have Acronis, but Paragon which leaves the Clone letter the same.)
If the systems both are bootable without problems, then you can't change letters (there will be thousands of registry entries to catch and alter, which is presumably what true image did)
There is a microsoft zap to correct the system letter if it has become mistakenly changed, but that only applies when the system is crippled because of the wrong letter and is virtually non-functional.
Check the Acronis documentation to see if it is resposible. If it did that by design and you don't want it, you'll need to repeat the exercise using a different cloning tool.
Can you post a screenshot of disk management as seen from each of the booted systems so we can compare.
 
Last edited:

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
Acronis doesn't change the letters. Like any other decent backup solution it copies and restores sector by sector.
 
#11
Thank you guys for your patience and advice. I finally got the system working, so I thought I'd post my experience for others. When I couldn't swap letters C:<->D: the idea came into my head that "hey, maybe the system wants to make D: a C: drive, but can't because C: is already in use". I was of the old school OS thought that drive letters are assigned at bootup. So, to rectify this, I changed C: to Y: and rebooted thinking that the OS could now make D: a C: drive (D: was my system, boot, active drive). <Buzzer sound> Try again. That pretty much hosed the system. Since D: and C: were both clones, I believe all the data in the registry on D: still said C: and when I changed C: to Y: everything broke. The system would boot up, say "preparing desktop", then go to a blue screen with no icons. I could get task manager and that was it. I did another restore of my backup to the first partition on the first drive, but got the same result. I then reformatted both partitions on my OS drive and did a restore again. After each restore I'd do a vista disk repair to get the boot info working. No dice, same result. I then deleted all partitions on my drive and made one big one to which I restored. Damn! Same result. Just a big "preparing desktop" and blue screen. After doing some searching on the net, I came across this post:

Vista load error after repartition. - Tech Support Guy Forums

The 14th post down by TeranteK explained it. Unlike older Windows OSs which assign drive letters at bootup, Vista actually stores drive ID information in the registry so if you were to remove a drive then put it back in, it would get the same drive letter. This information is stored in the registry under the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\MountedDevices. Following the advice of the article, at the blue screen I pulled up task manager, selected File->New Task (Run...), and ran regedit. Once inside the registry, I found the MountedDevices key and the two elements \DosDevices\C: and \DosDevices\D: which were the two drives I had vista installed on. I renamed each to swap C: and D: and then rebooted. Ta Da! Everything works fine now. Booted right up with no problems.

I guess the moral is, if you are restoring your vista boot drive to a different partition, be aware of the drive info stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\MountedDevices. You will have to hack this to get the system working again.

Thanks again guys.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
Great, glad its working :smile: Normally it doesn't matter what the letters are, but in certain circumstances as these I guess it comes into play.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
That's the microsoft zap I refered to in my last post.
I didn't give you a link to it because you said both systems were working.
If you'd said that the drive letter had changed and that the system wasn't working, I'd have given you the link and saved you a few hours work.