Removing an OS.

#1
Hi guys, my first post here so please be gentle. If my questions are too noobish, could you please post a link to where I can read up on it. Thanks. :smile:

The background.
I have two hard drives, let's call them A and B, both divided in to many partitions.

XP was installed first on disk A followed later by Vista on B with EasyBCD installed in XP. Disk A got damaged :x so I cloned it to Disk C and A got binned.
Afterwards I couldn't get either OS to be recognised during boot so one of the things I tried was to do a fresh install of Vista on C in to unallocated space. Now when I boot I get a choice of all three OSes, my XP, the original Vista and new Vista. I can boot in to either of the Vista, haven't tried XP yet.

If I boot in to the new Vista I then can't then boot in to my original Vista as it can't find winload.exe (I think). I have to do a repair with my Vista dvd to allow me to boot in to my original Vista.

The question.
How do I get to just having two OSes. I no longer need XP and would like to keep two versions of Vista. I assume I can't just wipe the XP partition as that was the first OS installed and it's where EasyBCD is.

What do you think?

Any replies most appreciated.
 
#2
Hi TaintedShirt. Welcome to NST.
Yes, you could easily wipe the drive containing XP, though it would be better to install EasyBCD on one of your Vista drives before. :wink: Provided both of your Vistas' boot files aren't on your XP drive (might want to check first...), you should not lose anything by wiping the XP drive.

Cheers, and let me know if you have more questions.

-Coolname007
 
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#3
Thanks for the reply and the welcome.

Provided both of your Vistas' boot files aren't on your XP drive (might want to check first...), you should not lose anything by wiping the XP drive.
I liked seeing what I want to do being classed as easy. Gives me hope I can do it. :happy: Just that bit above, eh.. how do I confirm where the boot files actually are. I had thought they would be on the XP partition seeing as it as the first OS installed, but maybe not.

thanks again

TS

edit.

Ok just reread the thread "PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING WITH A PROBLEM" and the only partition marked active is my XP. XP has System, Active, Primary Partition. The fresh Vista has just Primary Partition while my original Vista has Boot, Crash Dump, Logical Drive.

Now how come my original Vista is not a primary partition?? Am I opening a can of worms here?
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Look at the flags on each partition in disk management.
boot = this is the system you're running

system = this is where all the boot files are (you can't delete this without remedial action)

active = the "system" partition on this HDD in control (only if you have non-Windows OSs too. An all Windows environment only has one "system" partition so it's always "active" too)

Partitions on other HDDs might also be "active" but not "system". This flag tells the MBR where to look for (or place) the boot files if this HDD is put at the top of the BIOS boot sequence. For HDDs not 1st in the BIOS, it has no real meaning.
 
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#5
Hi Terry60 and thanks for the response.
Yup, only one drive, my XP drive has system, active listed. (don't actually see any flags)

So I won't simply be able to wipe the XP partition. :frowning: The remedial action bit has me worried. :scared: What would this entail? My original vista is on a different hard drive.

Have also been thinking about the original Vista not being a primary partition, this may be causing the problem I have with booting in to it after I boot in to the Fresh Vista.

thanks guys for replying

TS
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
The remedial action is fixing the boot.
There is a guide in the wiki about removing the "system" drive, but yes you're going to have a problem making a logical drive bootable. It's a Windows restriction that, though an OS can be on a logical drive, its boot files have to be on the active primary partition.
You can make your primary partition Vista the one in control, and repair the Vista boot on that OS, then add an entry for the logical Vista into the BCD of the primary.

Sorry "flags" is just my ex-system-programmer jargon. The "system" etc. you see neatly printed in disk management is just a GUI representation of a single bit, set in the Partition Table. Individual bits represent "hidden" "page" "boot" "active" etc. and they're all called "flags" in tech-speak, as in "the volume is flagged as hidden"
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
Do you have any spare space on Vista's disk at all? You just need enough to create a primary partition that could hold the boot files. If you do have at least one primary partition there you could also use Vista's disk management tool to shrink it slightly (probably a few MBs) to create a new primary partition and set it as active. Upon reboot after you've removed XP's drive you'll need to boot from your Vista DVD/recovery disc from this site to recover the bootloader using startup repair. Because you're basically rebuilding it from scratch it may take a few times to fix everything.
 
#8
Sorry guys, about the delay in getting back to you all. Other half needed help NOW. :scared:

So, I have the acronis pack, or more correctly the wife picked it up. I know one of the options within them is the ability to set a drive to active, so I tried it but it wouldn't work. Then thought I could clone my original Vista and 'paste' it to a new partition and change it to active. Acronis threw up an error saying I had a "mft bitmap error". :huh:

A quick google mentioned doing a chkdsk /r. Did it, waited, waited, waited and waited. Eventually it finished. Boot back to Vista and Acronis has let me set the Original Vista to active. Confirmed in disk management. :grinning:

So Disk A has the primary XP and Fresh Vista with XP being the active partition.
And Disk B now has a primary Original Vista (the one I want to keep).
Both drives have space on them over 100gig on each.

So if I only want to keep the Original Vista on Disk B do I just follow the wiki?
A question I have about the wiki is it mentions when in Windows run EasyBCD (step 1). Does it matter which windows? I have it installed in XP but can just run the program from Vista or should I install it in Vista too or boot to XP? Was I clear?

Anyways thanks again guys for your help.

TS
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
If drive B has a primary partition, set it to active. If not redo the restore of the orginal Vista. Acrnois TI allows you during the restore to convert the logical to primary. Remove drive A and boot from your Vista DVD/recovery disc. Do startup repair (might need to be done 2-3 times) to get drive B booting on its own.
 
#10
Seeing as it's that weekend, I'll have to wait till Monday to try it out. Or else it won't be only my hard drive that's broken :wink:


how do I get rid of that thumbs down button?? Always appears when I go to post. Never mind I sorted it. :smile:
 
#11
how do I get rid of that thumbs down button?? Always appears when I go to post. Never mind I sorted it. :smile:
Select a different Post Icon under the post section of the screen when you make a new post. Obviously, when you post, the radio button must be currently in the thumbs down button. :wink:

Cheers,

-Coolname007

EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed your last comment...
 
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#13
still no joy

hi,
Original Vista on drive B, I had already made primary. According to Computer Management window Original Vista is Boot, Active, Crash Dump, Primary.

So I tried disconnecting drive A and booting from drive B. Didn't work. Tried using the Vista DVD and selecting start up repair. My original vista is listed but start up repair didn't appear to do anything. Tried over 10 times. :frowning:

So I thought to try the dos prompt. Ran thru various commands that I'm unsure what they even do.
I tried, bootrec /fixmbr. No boot to Vista.
I tried, bootrec /fixboot. No boot to Vista.
I tried, bootrec /rebuildbcd. No Vista OS found!!
I tried, bootrec /scanOS. No Vista OS found!!

Tried to use the bootsect /nt60 c: Apparently bootsect couldn't be found.

Got desperate and tried something I had found a while ago.
bcdedit /export c:\BCD_Backup
c:
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /rebuildbcd

None of it worked.
Am I missing something?

Any other advice please?

Again thanks for all help so far.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
If you got EasyBCD on the machine navigate to \Program Files\Neosmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin\ using cd /d and than you should be able to use bootsect. A startup repair will be needed to get back a working entry. If it doesn't find your installation, you'll need to create a new Vista entry following the steps in the wiki found here.
 
#15
If you got EasyBCD on the machine navigate to \Program Files\Neosmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin\ using cd /d and than you should be able to use bootsect.
Or just open up EasyBCD, and navigate to "Useful Utilities", and then "Power Console", and you can use bootsect that way. :grinning:

-Coolname007
 
#17
eh, EasyBCD is only installed in my XP on the other drive. Should I install it in to the Vista I want to keep, original Vista. I will be doing this any way later on but wasn't sure if I could have it installed in two different OS's at the same time.
 
#18
cool, that would be ideal, but taintedshirts trying to get into Windows...
Oh right...:lol:
Now that would be a problem now, wouldn't it!
But he may have EasyBCD installed on XP, which he can still get to, I think...:wink:

-Coolname007

Addendum:

eh, EasyBCD is only installed in my XP on the other drive. Should I install it in to the Vista I want to keep, original Vista. I will be doing this any way later on but wasn't sure if I could have it installed in two different OS's at the same time.
No, just use it from XP for now, and it should be fine, as long as you can access your Vistas' partitions from XP. Sorry I haven't really had the time to read this whole thread in detail, but you can just run the following commands in EasyBCD's Power Console:

bootsect (which opens up the bootsect application)
bootsect /help (which lists all of the available commands you can use, complete with explanations of what they do)

Cheers,

-Coolname007
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#19
Yes you can have it installed in more than one OS. EasyBCD is the easy configurator for Windows BCD, thats all. Its not like HnS where you must run it in a paticular matter. The only thing that matters is that EasyBCD can access your Vista partiton or wherever the bcd store is being kept so that any changes you make are actually saved where it matters (which might actually be XP's partition if you installed Vista last).
 
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#20
Yes you can have it installed in more than one OS. EasyBCD is the easy configurator for Windows BCD, thats all. Its not like HnS where you must run it in a paticular matter. The only thing that matters is that EasyBCD can access your Windows 7 partiton or wherever the bcd store is being kept so that any changes you make are actually saved where it matters (which might actually be XP's partition if you installed W7 last).
uhh...I don't believe he has Win 7, Justin. :wink: I think he has just Vista and XP, and the one in question here is Vista, not Win 7. But yes, he could install it in the other Vista if he wanted to (edited last post), but I was just saying he could simply use bootsect from XP for now, since EasyBCD is already installed there, and then later, if he wants to, he could always install EasyBCD on other OSes.

Cheers,

-Coolname007