Win7 RC and XP Pro Dual Boot... want to remove XP


Hi All, I'll explain current situation, and what i want to do, hopefully someone can suggest the appropriate course of action.

I had XP Pro on machine with one HDD and one partition (C:smile:. I had then a few months ago installed the Win7 RC on a new partition and it seemed to change the name of the partition drive letters so that now Win7 is on C: and XP is now on D: Anyway, both have worked just fine ever since.

Just recently I got tired of having the XP partition since i don't seem to use it anymore, so i'd like to get rid of XP partition all together. In Win7 disk management i cannot simply delete the XP partition the options are greyed out. Under 'status' the XP partition says: Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) and the Win7 says: Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition). I'm thinking the reason i can't delete the XP partition is because it's a system partition... is that correct?

Anyway so i loaded up EasyBCD and thought i'd have a peek at the settings. here is what it says in the overview window (keep in mind D: is my XP and C: is win7):


There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds.
Boot Drive: D:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows XP Pro
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe


to me it looks like win7 is using the D: partition for something... "Boot Drive: D:\" ... but in win7 disk mgmt it says that C: is the boot partition.... so confused.

anyway my thoughts are just to blow away the XP partition using a partition editor boot disk, then deal with the fallout, but i'm a little scared that Win7 won't boot....

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?
Hi B, welcome to NST.
In MS-speak "system" is "where all the boot files are" and "boot" is "the system that you're running at the moment".
When you Installed W7, it detected the pre-existing XP OS with "system" status, so it added the W7 boot files into that partition with XP's.
That's how it's designed to work and how Windows achieves backward compatibilty and automatic dual-booting.
The fact that the OSs have different disk letter assignments is also perfectly normal. There's no physical attachment of a letter to a device, only an entry in each Windows system's registry, so as independent systems there's absolutely no reason why there should be agreement between them unless you manually set them (or contrive to make it so during the install).
Windows won't allow you to change the letter assignment of anything with a "boot" "system" or "page" flag on it though.
To get rid of XP you need to format the partition or delete all the contents, set the W7 partition as "active", then boot the W7 DVD and run "repair your computer" "startup repair" 3 times.
This will rebuild all of the W7 boot files on the W7 partition and make it "system".
The easiest way to get round the Windows restrictions that will prevent you from touching the restricted access files, is not to use Windows.
Get a live Linux distro, burn it to CD, boot it in "don't change the PC" mode (it runs directly from the CD), and use it to delete the contents of the XP partition.
It's a handy CD to have in the IT toolbox anyway, as you can also use it to rescue user data from an unbootable damaged system before resorting to a reinstall.
Hi Terry,

Thanks for the quick reply. I did this and voila Win7 partition booted right up after the third startup repair. However, when i login, it loads a temp profile with not even explorer running, had to start that manually, and then it's no aero, and a lot of things don't even work. I double-click on My Computer and get explorer.exe "No Such Interface supported".

also on the desktop in the corner by the windows 7 build watermark, there's another line that showed up "This copy of Windows is not genuine"

this is a valid copy of windows 7 got it directly from M$.

anyway, any thoughts? also happened to notice that windows thinks the drive letter is "D:" ... .not sure if that's what's going on....

please help!
my computer is now messed up!

I have found a solution and I am back up and running.... yikes.... Since i blew away my XP partition i thought, well i might as well expand my windows 7 partition. BAD IDEA apparently. Anyway, after much googling, a collegue of mine found this helpful link. Basically we had to remote edit the registry from another PC and change the drive letters... it's all described here:

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Thanks for the help, i never would have known to run the startup repair 3 times though...