Removing XP from triple boot and rearranging partitions

Paul Stenning

New Member
I have a triple boot arrangement with Vista, XP and Ubuntu Linux all in the Windows Boot Loader.

XP was installed first, then Vista, then Linux.

The partition layout as shown by Vista Disk Management is attached and the boot loader settings from EasyBCD are below.

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                 {e908c0b1-8025-11dc-81a5-899e6b15c626}
displayorder            {e908c0b1-8025-11dc-81a5-899e6b15c626}
toolsdisplayorder       {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout                 10

Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {e908c0b1-8025-11dc-81a5-899e6b15c626}
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            {e908c0b2-8025-11dc-81a5-899e6b15c626}
nx                      OptIn

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

Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier              {36c197b8-50ee-11dd-ab03-001641a287cf}
device                  partition=D:
path                    \NST\NeoGrub.mbr
description             Ubuntu Linux
I want to remove Windows XP from the system and, if possible, move the Vista partition up into the space and make the FAT32 Documents partition bigger (it is FAT32 so Linux can also access it). I am not bothered if I have to lose the Linux installation and partitions as I haven't done much with it yet and can easily reinstall that. I am also not bothered if I lose the FAT32 partition and have to recreate that as everything is backed up elsewhere.

So really the only thing I need to keep is the Vista partition, ideally moved up to the beginning of the drive.

I have PowerQuest Partition Magic 8.01 (which pre-dates Vista) and Acronis TrueImage Home 10. I also have a USB hard drive that is large enough to take a TrueImage backup of the whole drive.

My concern is whether deleting the XP partition will cause the partition identifiers to change, breaking the boot manager options. Can I just delete XP from the boot manager using EasyBCD then delete its partition either from within Vista or with Partition Magic? I note that the delete option is greyed in Vista though.

Another option if the above method could break things... Could I delete XP from the boot loader, reformat that partition and use it for documents? If so, would the Shrink Volume and Extend Volume options in Windows Disk Management allow me to make that partition bigger, moving the Vista one up, if I delete the FAT32 one? Or would I be better using the old Partition Magic from XP to move and resize things before deleting XP?

Hopefully that's clear enough! :smile:



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With the way your system is setup and what you want to do, you will have many issues along the way. You XP Drive is the Active system Drive. Which means that is where the PC Boots from for Windows. So by removing that you will not be able to boot into Windows.

Along with that moving the Vista partition up will cause errors as well. First the partition number for the BCD will not be the same so you will have to fix the boot. Depeding on how you move the Vista information you might also corrupt the system as well.

Deleting XP will cause you issues when it comes to Partition identifiers and such. Which is what you mention. It will happen. This task is not impossible. But it will be very difficult and in the end might cause for Vista to have to be reinstalled.

So the decision is up to you on what you want to do.

Hi Paul, welcome to NST.
From your screenshot, I can see that the XP partition is active, i.e. that's where your Vista bootmgr and BCD reside, as well as the XP boot files.
If you delete the XP partition, you will lose the ability to boot Vista (and anything else chained through it), so you're going to have to plan and execute a restructuring very carefully.
Do you have another PC available that you could use to restructure that disk, or a bootable Partition Magic ?
Since you installed Vista to a pre-existing system, you shouldn't have the alignment problems which can occur if you use an older partition manager to clone or move a Vista-created partition, but you're going to have to think carefully about it before you step in and do something you haven't anticipated and prepared for.