Possible to Delete OS from Drive w/o Format?

I have created a dual-boot situation only because I had to and now I want to delete the system and boot files from one disk but keep about 200gigs of data on it. The way this came about was that I couldn't get into my computer to go online and troubleshoot problems with my SSD drive and so I put Windows on one of my storage drives, but now I don't want it there since I got the SSD working. I would much prefer not to format the drive but I can if I must.

Can I just go into the drive and delete all of the system folders and leave the two that have my data (music, movies, pictures)?

Any help is appreciated!

Win 7 Ultimate x64
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about possible delete drive format
  1. If you installed W7 with the other drive connected and Windows created a dual boot, then you may have systems files on your second drive preventing you from formatting it. I also doubt if Windows will allow you to delete the OS on that drive if there are system files on there that it's using to boot with.
    If you havn't got too much installed on it yet, it may be easier and quicker to reinstall W7 with the second drive disconnected. You can then safely delete the old OS on it leaving your data files.
    The other option would be to repair the boot files on the ssd after first disconnecting the second drive. This can be a bit fiddly.
    If you want to go this route then have a read of this article on repairing the bootloader.
  2. Hi, thanks for getting back. I printed the guide you linked in case anything goes wrong, but I'm a little unclear, so I'll clarify my question:

    Assuming Windows does allow me to delete the system files on the second drive, will that be enough, or rather, is that the same thing as a format? My goal is to use that drive for a disc image of my SSD and so I want to make sure it's completely erased and doesn't get anything mixed up with the new image.

    What I found interesting about that article was that it seems like Windows should try to do that by itself through the repair menu, I wonder why it doesn't. In any case, thanks, it's always good to learn Windows commands.
  3. What happened, I think, is that there was still a boot menu, because I both deleted and formatted the drive (it allowed me to) and the menu kept coming up. I followed this article and fixed it:
  4. Best answer
    Glad you got it sorted out.
    Getting rid of the boot menu is easy, it's when you have the bootloader files on the second drive that people start to have problems, which a lot do when they don't take care when they install with a previous os present.
    I had no way of knowing if you were in that boat.
  5. Best answer selected by nativeson8803.
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