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Making dual-boot Win 7 the primary partition

Last response: in Windows 7
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a b $ Windows 7
April 4, 2011 10:44:08 AM

Hi all,

Not sure if this is *entirely* the correct forum, but it does concern Windows 7, so here goes.

Ever since I started testing Windows 7, I've dual-booted it with XP (single HDD partitioned into C and D). It's been 6 months or more since I used XP, so I've now decided that the time is right to ditch it and reclaim the HDD space.

Trouble is, since XP was installed first, the drive views that partition as the primary one. I would prefer to just format the XP partition and enlarge my Windows 7 one, but in relative terms, XP is located "before" 7, thus I cannot grow the 7 partition using unused space from the XP partition. I'm also not sure what will happen if I just format the primary partition.

Any advice on how I can remove XP without affecting my Win7 installation? The main aim here is to have just one partition with Windows 7 on after all is done and dusted.

P.S. I have GParted, so I can manage partitions outside of Windows if needed.

Thanks!

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
April 4, 2011 11:13:06 AM

Tricky one. First thing I would do is to try changing the Active Partition from the XP one to the Windows 7 one. That should tell you whether the Windows 7 Partition is able to boot by itself.

I've never tried this myself, but my guess would be that if you delete the XP Partition and then use GParted to resize the Windows 7 Partition you would then need, at least, to do a Repair Install to get Windows 7 to boot. Another possibility is just to format (or even just delete all the data from) the XP Partition and use it as a data partition.

Whatever you do, I'm sure that I don't need to say - back up any important data! Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 4, 2011 11:24:38 AM

Thanks ijack. Agreed about the repair installation; I've done this before after resizing partitions. I'm not quite sure how to make 7 the primary partition, but I will play around with GParted and see what I come up with.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 4, 2011 12:04:06 PM

It should be fairly obvious in GParted how to mark a partition as active. You could actually do it from within Windows by using Disk Management, but you don't want to do it that way - you need to know how to switch it back if the computer won't boot.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 8, 2011 9:14:46 PM

Herr_Koos said:
Hi all,

Not sure if this is *entirely* the correct forum, but it does concern Windows 7, so here goes.

Ever since I started testing Windows 7, I've dual-booted it with XP (single HDD partitioned into C and D). It's been 6 months or more since I used XP, so I've now decided that the time is right to ditch it and reclaim the HDD space.

Trouble is, since XP was installed first, the drive views that partition as the primary one. I would prefer to just format the XP partition and enlarge my Windows 7 one, but in relative terms, XP is located "before" 7, thus I cannot grow the 7 partition using unused space from the XP partition. I'm also not sure what will happen if I just format the primary partition.

Any advice on how I can remove XP without affecting my Win7 installation? The main aim here is to have just one partition with Windows 7 on after all is done and dusted.

P.S. I have GParted, so I can manage partitions outside of Windows if needed.

Thanks!

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a b $ Windows 7
April 8, 2011 9:28:58 PM

[what i had to do was disconnect my XP hard drive and run the win 7 repair disc to run the start up boot repair because the boot file is in the XP disk. This will put the boot file on the Win 7 disk. I also use Minitool partion wizard home which is a free program and works very well.

Sorry about the first post. I am new at this and I repeated your post.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 13, 2011 7:03:57 AM

My problem is that I only have a single hard drive. XP is seen as the primary partition and 7 as the logical. I want to change 7 to the primary and remove XP completely.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 13, 2011 10:33:11 AM

Awesome guide Diggle, thanks. Isn't this a bit risky though? Are you sure it will work?
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a b $ Windows 7
April 14, 2011 5:06:01 PM

What if you formated and made your c: partition primary and then run the win 7 startup repair. It would seem like win 7 would make your D: become c: with the boot file on the win 7 drive. You would have to make sure that the boot partition on your XP drive is gone also. This is just a thought. good luck.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 15, 2011 6:42:35 AM

Thanks for all the replies, folks. I will probably take the plunge this weekend. Will get back to you.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 18, 2011 7:12:03 AM

I was about to get started when I realised I won't be able to use my current Windows 7 disc to perform a repair install, since I've installed SP1 already. I will download 7 Pro with SP1 included from my Technet account and burn a new disc before proceeding.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 18, 2011 7:13:10 AM

Quote:
Hi, Herr_Koos
Have you solved your problem, I just found an article about dual boot XP and Windows 7, maybe, rely on the 3rd party tool, you can find the directly and safely way.
http://www.extend-partition.com/resource/dual-boot-wind...


Thanks, but I already have a dual-boot going. I want to undo it without losing my Windows 7 partition.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 30, 2011 7:16:20 PM

Best answer selected by Herr_Koos.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 30, 2011 7:23:12 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I couldn't convince the Win 7 partition to become bootable, so I shrunk the XP partition as much as I could. Will wait until my next new build to get rid of XP permanently.
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