Steps to delete dual boot XP/W7 so both will boot separately

Hello all,
A few years ago when I upgraded to W7 from XP I setup a dual boot so I could slowly migrate to the new system. It's been a while since I've needed to boot XP and would like to remove the drive from the computer but keep in tact in case I need to boot it later. Both were retail versions. I think XP is a Pro 32bit Upgrade disk and W7 is a Full Pro 64bit.

The first thing I tried in preparation was removing the XP drive which results in W7 not booting. And that's where I stopped until I learn more. I can't actually remember the order in which I installed the dual boot but W7 has BCD installed on it which leaves me to believe I did a clean install of W7, loaded BCD and then introduced the old XP drive to the system. Both OS's are on separate SSD's. XP is using the motherboard SATAII while the newer W7 SSD is connected via an SATAIII card.

What is the proper process that will allow me to remove the dual boot and be able to boot either drive alone? Thanks


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Post a Disk Management screenshot showing all the partition flags and we'll see what you need to do.
hard drives 01.jpg

Drive X is XP and C is Win7. Both boot perfectly normal using dual boot with W7 as the default. The capture is from within W7.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
You've omitted the graphic section so I can't see where "System Reserved" is located. That contains the boot files.

Disk Management flags have the following meanings

"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
In that case W7 should boot perfectly normally whether or not the XP SSD is present.
What happens ?
Win7 fails to boot after BIOS, no OS found etc. I went into the BIOS to make sure that disk was in the boot disk hierarchy and it was. As I stated before, that disk is actually on a PCIe SATA card. I have to look for the docs to make sure that controller allows booting (I don't know why it wouldn't, the BIOS does see the that drive). It does boot Win7 fine from there as long as XP is on the other disk on the MB controller. I bought the PCIe card to get SATAIII for the SSD. The MB only supports SATAII for XP SSD and data drives.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
afaik It should boot OK from the PCI-e card, so some playing with the BIOS might be in order.
If you intend to leave the XP drive in the PC for occasional direct booting, then it doesn't actually matter whether you can get the SATA 3 SSD to boot directly.
All you need to do is remove the XP entry from W7's BCD and W7 will boot without displaying a menu.
You can always add it again in the future if you wish.
It does matter that the card is bootable because that controls the W7 drive that I want to boot independently from the faster controller. I just didn't know if there was a boot file on the XP drive that needs to be seen for the W7 drive to boot. Otherwise, I'll try checking the BIOS settings again to see if the drive order shifts when I disconnect the XP drive.