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Deleting Win XP partition in a dual boot system - MBR

Gielkev

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Hello, i have an old PC which I built around ten years ago, with a raid 0 setup (2x500GB) that I would like to replace with a new Crucial MX500 ssd but before i get to that I would like to do some cleaning.
The raid 0 setup has three primary partitions, the first one(D) has the original Win XP on it, the second one (C) has Win7 on it (installed later), and then (E) which is just data. (The drive letters were reassigned so that C was Win7)
I would like to delete the first partition and just leave the volumes with Win7 and the data partition.
I suppose that the MBR is stored in the same XP volume that I need to delete, so my question is: how can I doelete that volume and still have Win7 loading at startup?
 

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Welcome to TPU!
Hello, i have an old PC which I built around ten years ago, with a raid 0 setup (2x500GB) that I would like to replace with a new Crucial MX500 ssd but before i get to that I would like to do some cleaning.
The raid 0 setup has three primary partitions, the first one(D) has the original Win XP on it, the second one (C) has Win7 on it (installed later), and then (E) which is just data. (The drive letters were reassigned so that C was Win7)
I would like to delete the first partition and just leave the volumes with Win7 and the data partition.
I suppose that the MBR is stored in the same XP volume that I need to delete, so my question is: how can I doelete that volume and still have Win7 loading at startup?
While what you suggest is possible, it's a major PITN. It would be better to simply delete both of the first two partitions and then create one larger partition and reinstall Windows 7 on it.
 

Gielkev

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Welcome to TPU!

While what you suggest is possible, it's a major PITN. It would be better to simply delete both of the first two partitions and then create one larger partition and reinstall Windows 7 on it.
Thanks, would it be at all possible to clone the win7 partition only on the new SSD and have it so that it also boots?
 
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Gielkev, since you're talking about migrating to new drive rather than cleaning up per se, that's a best case scenario since there's no harm at all in trying a clone and seeing if it works before doing a reinstallation. But you also have to ask yourself how un/annoying a reinstallation would be. lexluthermiester is right, unlike yesteryear that's often the most convenient route.

If you want to try the clone to new drive route: Connect the new ssd to your system, boot using a linux live cd, and use dd or the like to clone the Win7 partition to the new drive*, disconnect the old drive, and then try booting from the new ssd.

Some additional thoughts:
- really make sure you know what drive and partition is what (e.g. via fdisk -l ) before running a command like dd, as you don't want to write data to the wrong drive and wipe out your data
- after the clone and disconnecting the old drive and booting from the new drive, you may need to mark that partition as a boot partition (using something like cfdisk in a linux live cd)
- after the clone and disconnecting the old drive and booting from the new drive, you may also need to do stuff like /fixmbr in the WinOS realm or some such. (It's been a decade since I've run a WinOS-only setup in a home environment. You could just go ahead and install GRUB from a linux live cd on an extra, small partition on the new ssd. That's what I'd probably do.)

I know there's not a lot of specific technical detail here, but hopefully it gives you some ideas from which to build an approach of attack.

P.s. It's weird to me that the second partition is the C: drive. That could cause further complications e.g. for secondary installs of WinXP (two installs of WinXP, with selectable partition hiding via grub), iirc when cloning them around, an install on the second partition wouldn't want to work if cloned to the first partition or at least not readily.


Edit: Some dd info
 
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Disconnect the old HDD's, connect SSD, install Windows. If you keep the old boot HDD's connected while you're installing Windows there's a chance that the new installation on the SSD will become dependant of the old disks, ie. if you disconnect the HDD's later the SSD won't boot.

That's the only way to go if you want to be sure to get a good result. A fresh install is preferred here, for many reasons.
 

Gielkev

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OK, thank you guys for helping.
Let's put away the cloning/moving idea as it seems too painful to carry on, let me ask you another question then:
the PC has several games installed on it by my son, if I do a fresh install of Win7 would there be a simple way to backup that data or would he need to re-download everything :)?
 
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Some games can be copied (so you don't need to download them again), others can't.
 
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I make a backup of everything, including games to a spare HD, then restore that backup on the new drive.

That way you don't lose anything, and you have the original drive to copy things off of that you missed.
 
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Thanks, would it be at all possible to clone the win7 partition only on the new SSD and have it so that it also boots?
It sure is. AOMEI has a great partition utility which can do this and it's easy. Just takes several hours, as it's a bit of a long process. If you'd like, I can walk you through it step by step.
 
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If you remove the win XP partition, it probably won't boot.
You can try:
1) clone your RAID array to the new SSD
2) remove the RAID array
3) boot from a windows install DVD or an USB stick and use the repair/recovery mode to fix the MBR and/or bootloader by following a guide like this:
 

Regeneration

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Boot to Windows XP, go to the control panel > view > Check boxes for "show hidden files, folders, and drives" and "Hide protected operation system files".

Navigate to the Windows XP partition in my computer and check if there "boot" or "recovery" folders, if exist, move them to the Windows 7 partition.

Option 1
Get Paragon Hard Disk Manager


Delete the Windows XP partition and use Paragon boot disk repair.

Option 2
Get Windows 7 installation media

Delete Windows XP partition from Windows 7

Boot to the installation media > repair > launch command prompt > use these commands to rebuild BCD, boot setor and MBR.
 

Gielkev

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Thank you all for helping, I did not see some of your suggestions until after I had already started a clean install on the new SSD
but I will still attempt to perform the operation on the old raid system for educational puroposes :) and let you know how it goes.
 

Gielkev

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OK, so just to let you know guys, I finally managed to delete the XP volume and extend the Win7 partition to the beginning of the disk. As some of you said it has been a pain in the neck to do and took me two hours and a lot of swearing. It works now but it's been (for me, just my own experience) a lot of trial and errors. To start with I decided to use Paragon tools and backup the Win7 partition on an external media. that went well, although the tool forced me to backup the XP partition as well, since it is where the MBR was. After that I tried to use the same tools to delete XP, move partitions, etc. and rebuild MBR. This wouldnt work, and BSOD on restart. So I took out the old trustworthy bootable gparted disk, deleted the XP partition and extended the Win7 one all the way to the right where XP was. That worked well. Obviously after that the PC would not boot into windows, so I used the installation disk to try repair Win7 but that did not work. I had to use command line to give a few commands like bootrec /fixmbr fixboot rebuildbcr cant remember the order exactly... then fixboot command would not work so I had to use the command line to set the partition as active then finally the installation repair program managed to see the win7 volume and repair it, and it booted into windows7. took me two hours and a few blue screens. i did it in the end but it was not something I'd want to do again. Thanks again for your help and suggestions.
 
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Gielkev, I'm glad it all worked out. Not much changes in this realm of technology, so your experience, a successful one at that, will likely still be relevant in years to come and way less painful now that you know your way around.

so I had to use the command line to set the partition as active then finally the installation repair program managed to see the win7 volume and repair it
Yeah, that's what I was referring to in my post re cfdisk. Maybe gparted can do it too next time you're using that tool?
 

Gielkev

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Gielkev, I'm glad it all worked out. Not much changes in this realm of technology, so your experience, a successful one at that, will likely still be relevant in years to come and way less painful now that you know your way around.


Yeah, that's what I was referring to in my post re cfdisk. Maybe gparted can do it too next time you're using that tool?

Well, I must admit it worked out for most part but not totally. The system is still usable and stable but the process somehow corrupted the system files so now when I start the pc it fails, restarts trying to repair itself, fails to repair itself and then it finally starts. Other than that it works well, until I'll format everything.
 
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Type msconfig in search bar and hit the boot tab. there should only be one windows operating system showing.
 

Gielkev

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Type msconfig in search bar and hit the boot tab. there should only be one windows operating system showing.
I checked and I can actually see two instances of windows 7 in there. One marked as "default" What should I do then? I am not sure where the other one is coming from...
 
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I would think that the default selection is the one that is nonexistent and causing an inconvenience. To make sure, try to select the other one and make it the default boot and restart the system. If no windows recovery pops up and you enter windows, then you should know to delete the right one(the one that used to be default)
 
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Gielkev

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I think some kind of loader was installed at some point, the following commands below appear to have fixed everything now.
Thank you guys, I would have not looked into this again had it not been for your input.

Just in case someone wanted to know the fix applied,
booted with windows 7 disc, went into repair system and then in cmd line:

bootsect.exe /nt60 all
bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /rebuildbcd
 
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