Removing 32bit Vista from Dual Booting 32bit and 64bit Vista


Hi, I am new to the site and fairly new to EasyBCD although have been using for about a year.

My predicament is as follows. Well its more of a niggling thing than a problem...

Since December 2006 I have been running Vista 32bit Ultimate (now with SP1). (Dont know why people knock it so much. I prefer it to XP). Recently I decided to take the plunge and go all out with Vista 64bit Ultimate SP1.

Installed it with no problems at all. Vista actually installed in 15 minutes.

Now I have a completely working, non problematic Dual Boot system going on. Did this to smooth the transition and make sure everything worked with it completely fine.

Been using 64bit now for few weeks and only thing which does not work is my webcam which I can live without.

Now I want to get rid of my 32bit install to free up the 30GB it is using.

Have been trying to find some information on doing this and I cant find anything which is exactly to my needs. Most of it involves XP and Vista Dual Boots.

I know I need to do something with my BCD otherwise I am going to screw up my boot. But I am not sure what. My setup is below.

Disk 0 Basic 74.53GB (IDE Seagate Barracuda)

Partition 1:
Windows Vista 32bit Ultimate SP1 (Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)) (Boot folder is on this drive)

Partition 2: Windows Vista 64bit Ultimate SP1 (Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition))

Disk 1 Basic 149.05GB (SATA Hitachi HDS)

Partition 1: My Documents

Disk 2 Dynamic 149.05GB
(SATA Seagate Barracuda)

Partition 1: Downloads

Partition 2: Program Files
I installed Vista 64bit from boot as it does not boot from a 32bit OS.

As they are on the same HDD I asume there is only one BCD. I am not entirely sure how it works.

The EasyBCD readout is this:

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 5 seconds.
Default OS: Microsoft Windows Vista x64

Entry #1

Name:  Microsoft Windows Vista x64
BCD ID:  {current}
Drive:  C:\
Bootloader Path:  \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory:  \Windows

Entry #2

Name:  Microsoft Windows Vista x32
BCD ID:  {ce5dc538-0be7-11dc-8e70-e80516669c84}
Drive:  D:\
Bootloader Path:  \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory:  \Windows

All this has been taken while booted in the 64bit Vista

So what do I need to do to remove the 32bit OS and leave me with a SIngle Booting 64bit OS?

I think I have provided all the information needed? Just let me know if you need anything else to help me :smile: thanks in advance

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Hi FreeLanceX, welcome to the forums.

Getting rid of an OS is as simple as deleting its partition/re-formatting it. You can do this in disk management, just make sure you get anything off the partition that you want to keep or it'll be lost. You have two options here:

a) Keep the old partition for other uses but re-format it so the old OS is gone.
b) Delete the partition and then extend Vista 64-Bits partition so that it takes all of the space that used to be used for Vista 32-bit's partition.

Now if for some reason disk management doesn't allow you to do this (it's really protective of system partitions), no worries. You can also do everything disk management can from Vista's disc. Just boot from it as if you are re-installing Windows long enough to get to the partitioning screen. Then cancel the installation after you have made the desired changes.

Then all you are left to do is use EasyBCD to remove Vista 32-bit's entry so that you only have one entry. When there is only one entry, you should also no longer get a boot menu. This should boot Vista 64-bit straight-away.
Hey kairozamorro thanks for the reply.

Are you sure when I format my 32bit partition my 64bit partition will still boot?

The boot folder in on my 32bit partition as is the bootmgr.


Good point... forgot about that :frowning:

But anyway, a startup repair should be able to fix that from Vista's DVD. Make the 64-Bit partition active before you do the repair. Our wiki as advanced steps you might need to go through if the simple repair doesn't do it.
Ah I thought so. Glad I mentioned it. lol.

So basically I need to format the partition (nothing on there I want. I keep all my stuff on seperate drives for this reason), mark my other partition as active, then boot to my DVD and perform the repair?

That should hopefully allow me to boot to Vista once again?

Pity there is not a way to transfer my configs over :frowning: (or is there? lol)
That should work if you want to keep the seperate partition. (Personally I'd just extend Vista's partition since it can be a hog).

It dpends on the applications you need to save settings for. Some of them do, some of them don't. For applications like Outlook for e-mail it is as simple as copying the files from your outlook folder where outlook tells you your data file is and placing them back in the correct location before opening outlook again. It doesn't save everything, but most of your settings and e-mail are preserved.
Thats what I was going to do anyway (extend my partition)

Do you recommend doing this before or after the DVD Repair? or does it really matter?

And with my settings, I keep them on a separate drive too. So I have just linked to all them on my 64bit OS which I am using now. I find it so much easier that way when having to do things like this. Most of my stuff like my game saves etc I have tracked down and they were on the separate drive anyway.

Thanks for your help on this. I was actually quite nervous about pushing the button. lol.
Doesn't matter really. Mentioned making the Vista 64-bit partition active. You'll want to do that if you're doing the repair before extending Vista's partition, though doing everything before would just leave you with the one partition for Vista 64-bit anway. I'd do the partitioning stuff before the repair so that the disk structure is already the way you want it in the end and you can just conecentrate on getting the 64-bit install fixed.
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With my personal files and settings, they are all fine. My document drive is set on a different drive in the registry so all my folders point to the ones Ive created myself.

So when I reinstall my games etc, the programs auto detect all my preferences and settings anyway as they see them in the default directory. :smile:

It is very useful having 2 OS's using 1 Program Files directory and 1 My Docs directory. Saves so much hassle :smile:

Right so ill be trying this out tomorrow after work then.

Format 32bit, mark 64bit as active, extend 64bit to fill drive, boot to DVD, select repair to reassign bootmgr and BCD etc, boot back into 64bit, reconfigure using EasyBCD.

Sounds good.

Hopefully will go smooth sailing!

Thanks so much for the confirmations!

Didn't want to go ahead with it all without knowing how to fix what I have broken lol.

Thanks again kairozamorro!

You're welcome and best of luck to you. If all goes well you won't even need to delete a 32bit entry using EasyBCD...

I might want to suggest though that you print out the article I linked to if this is the only computer you're communicating from in case you do need to manually rebuild everything. You can never be too prepared.
It is ok, I have about 350 PCs at work I can use as I am the systems Administrator/ICT Technician. Plus I am on a home network so I can always use my backup PC upstairs to access the article if need be :smile:

Ill post tomorrow on the outcome! :tongueout: