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Video: Remove Windows XP from a dual-boot configuration with Windows 7

Bill Detwiler explains how to remove Windows XP from a dual-boot system that runs both Windows XP and Windows 7.

In the last episode of TR Dojo, I went over the steps to create a dual-boot system with Windows 7 and Windows XP. The benefit of this set-up was to allow a risk-free transition to the new OS, particularly for those who skipped Vista.

But once you're committed to Windows 7 and want to get rid of XP altogether, how do you migrate away from the dual-boot configuration? During this week's episode of TR Dojo, I'll tell you how.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or read Greg Shultz's article, "Migrate to Windows 7 from an XP dual-boot configuration," on which this episode is based.

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

44 comments
mrrman
mrrman

I want to get rid of the Win XP partion on my HD and just use Win 7. The instuctions above are not for IE8, how would I go about this uninstall with IE8 installed. Thanks

TheRicker54
TheRicker54

Has anyone tried the WinXP/Win7 dual-boot with a RAID-1 configuration? I am preparing to migrate to Win7 on my Dell desktop system and most of the discussions I've read pertain to doing the "clean" Win7 install. I came across this discussion today and thinking this could be a better way.

alanduq
alanduq

Drive letters changed during steps given (delete c: partition)may result in data loss if recovery from image option is chosen. All 5 drive letters were changed in my set up. Again no information on deviation. And no replies about problems in this forum.

alanduq
alanduq

Can not move boot folders and file due to already existing ones in the location specified. Again no mention of alternatives.

alanduq
alanduq

Makes too many assumptions with no way around for deviations. Can not make partition active if not primary.

fernaj13
fernaj13

Hi, I followed your instructions to get rid of the Win XP allocated in drive (C:) , but, it all was going smooth up to the point where i had to make partition 2 "Active" i get the error message "Virtual Disk Service Error: The specified partition type is not valid for this operation" I'm stuck and don't know what to do, can i get some suggestions please?

billfitz62
billfitz62

Followed directions, now windows 7 is the active boot partition, but I can not remove xp as it is still listed as the system partition. Please advise

xadious2
xadious2

Excellent tutorial. I shall finally remove XP using this very easy to follow tutorial. Thanks.

timothy_patnode
timothy_patnode

OK I Have an update that so far is not fun nor is it funny. I then rebooted to the Windows 7 Operating system to make sure all was back to semi-normal from my original installation. All was good there (even though I could still not boot into Windows XP) I then rebooted the machine off the XP installation CD and reinstalled XP on the C Drive Partition 1. Afterward of course my dual boot option was gone as Easy BCD was installed on the Windows XP side so that is now gone, so the machine only boots into Windows XP. I then thought do I really need Easy BCD when my original intent is to blow out the XP OS and the only reason I reinstalled XP was to get the Boot Folder and the botmgr.exe files so I could copy them to the Windows 7 Partition. Well after the installation of Windows XP I did a search of the XP partiton, and there still is no Boot Folder, nor is there a bootmgr.exe file. So I copied the boot folder and the bootmgr.exe file from my XP Partition on my laptop to the XP Partition on the troubled laptop and then copied the Boot Folder and the bootmgr.exe to the rot of the windows 7 partition. then I attempted to go through the video again. And I got the same issue. I followed the instructions to the letter. I booted off the Windows 7 DVD, and from the Diskpart prompt and selected Disk 0. I then typed select partition 1 I then typed detail partition 1 and in fact that is the Windows XP Partition I then typed Delete Partition and this worked (so I thought) then I typed Select Partition 2 and then I typed Active then I get the same error Virtual Disk error So at this point I exited from the Diskpart as I was in no mood to reload the image (even though I thought I would as I had supposedly just deleted the XP Partition) I rebooted the machine and low and behold Windows XP comes backup. Does any one have any ideas on this? By the way I can still see all the files on the Windows 7 Partition, I just do not get a dual boot meny anymore. So I attempted to reinstall Easy BCD on the XP side (since that is the only operating system I can currently boot up into) and I get the following error "setup failed to load the windows runtime library msvcr71.dll this may be bacuase the is a fresh Windows XP Installation. I am currently running Windows Update on the XP Side to see if this will fix this issue. If anyone has any other ideas pleas let me know. Thank you

timothy_patnode
timothy_patnode

Well Here is the story so far,, my boss deleted god only knows what from his XP partition, and I thought that I had obtained the files that I needs in order to follow along with the video. All I could find though today on the XP Partition was the bootmgr.exe.mui files. So I copied those files (bootmgr.exe.mui) from the XP Partition to the Windows 7 Partition. Then I followed along with the transcript and the video. Spent about 3 hours making a system image of the hard drive to a TB USB drive 1st (I was not about to follow these procedures without an Image). So I got to the part in the video where I selected partition 1 and then double checked to make sure that this was in fact the XP partiton by typing detail partion 1 and it was in fact the XP Partition. The I typed Delete Partition 1. Deleted without errors then I selected partition 2 and then typed in Active and recived the following error "virtual disk error" so now came the time to panic I was hoping that maybe this was a bogus error, so I typed in Exit and used the command bootrec /fixmbr and that returned with no errors. I thought I was doing well, then I typed in bootrec/fixboot and I recieved an error (not sure what this one was I forgot becuase now I am in panic mode). So I typed in exit and then tried a restart, and nothing except a non system disk error which none of likes to see. So I am now performing a restore from the system image which will take awhile. My thought is after I complete the system image restore, I thought I would reboot with the Windows XP CD and reformat the XP partiton, and then reinstall Windows XP in this partition and then try this procedure over again. Do you think this might work? Thanks

boobyg
boobyg

mssin a minor step: need to switch to D:/windows/system32 before writing boot sector to Win 7

mwchub
mwchub

When I went the DiskPart to Activate the Win7 Partition it told me invalid type. The Dual boot itself works fine. Just can't make the Win 7 active.

Dave Howard
Dave Howard

Good info Bill, thanx, and the flash player worked just fine for me, no problems at all.

harryxebec
harryxebec

If I was stupid enough to install that third party crapware called Flash, I would watch the video but, unlike Bill Detwiler, I ain't that stupid.

sweetcheers1234
sweetcheers1234

Everything seem to be clear explained but the only one problem is when you buy new computer in UK you don't get Windows 7 butable system CD, and i am not going to buy extra system while i have it on my computer that i have paid already. Is there other way to remove it without spending extra ?100 on it?

daredevilsmith
daredevilsmith

I have a Windows Vista and Windows 7 Dual boot machine. Can the operation shown be used to remove Vista?

melias
melias

Bill, Thanks for the information! I am going to upgrade my XP/Vista system to XP/Windows 7. Then I will use this post to remove XP. This should help quite a bit. BTW, I had no problems viewing this video, using IE 7 and Flash 10. Oh yes, if you are distracted by the way he stresses certain letters, please read the transcript instead. It is probably difficult enough to do this without having to change the way he enunciates! ;)

TonyHugel
TonyHugel

Sounds easy enough, but when you are done is the drive still D:? I had problems when I had XP on a drive other than C: and then tried to clone the drive to another physical drive (original drive started making noise). Everything installed on the original drive uses D: as the drive and then when you clone to another physical drive that drive became C: which really made it difficult to get all the software to work correctly with out uninstalling it and reinstalling it. Mostly the big problem I had was that the log on dialog did not even show up (my guess was it also was still looking for D: that no longer exists). Has anyone else see this happen?

michael.haggerty
michael.haggerty

Why would you want to dual boot Windows 7 with XP when you can run an XP virtural machine from inside Windows 7?

nezarian
nezarian

Bill, I do value most of the information you provide, but I have a comment on the extra stresses you make on certain letters while talking. This is really distracting. (Please don't take this personally)

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

I have seen it on the Internet.You get the Internet and networking with no wires.Somebody is there though spiking the AC with computer file virus.A file that has been spiked has an exclamation point at the beginning of it's name.This file appears to be a copy of a CPU file altered with a virus.I see the FCC there also.

anirugu
anirugu

who mad developed this video player. domain name is already disturb and video player is too dificult for anyone

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

In the above TR Dojo post, I explain how to remove Windows XP from a dual-boot system that runs both Windows XP and Windows 7. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=1306 Yet, creating a dual-boot system and then removing one of the operating systems isn't a path most end users are likely to take. End users are more likely to move straight from Windows Vista to Windows 7, backup their data and do a clean Windows 7 install, or just buy a new computer. What will most of your users do? Take the poll in the above post, and let me know.

fernaj13
fernaj13

i realized that partition 2 were windows 7 was installed is a "logical" type partition. therefore, i cannot "activate" it using DISKPART.. so, my question now is, how do i change from a "logical " into a "primary" partition?

texhead
texhead

On restoring my system, all my other partitions have been reduced to a System Volume Information folder and an $AVG folder. Why would the restore touch my F'n other partitions? I tried UndeleteOnClick from 2BrightSparks but it shows no files to undelete. Please please help...

texhead
texhead

I have a fairly full system. 2 HDDs partitioned into multiples. 160 GB as one partiton with Win7 installed, 500Gb with 4 partitions, partition 1 being WinXP. I deleted WinXP partition and tried to make Win7 active but it told me it was the wrong type. I tried changing drives around in Bios and physically but no go. Diskpart could not see the Win7 installation so didn't give that partition as an option. Tony

Dzmitry Z
Dzmitry Z

Well said melias. Don't we have more important things to worry about than who stresses what letters and how? "If you don't like it, go to Russia!" - Homer Simpson

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

The steps provided in this video and in last week's video on creating a dual-boot, Windows XP/7 system, are aimed at those migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 who want to make a gradual transition. Once you've moved to Windows 7, I wouldn't recommend dual booting XP unless you have applications that MUST have direct access to the machine's hardware. Otherwise, running an XP VM within Windows 7 is a better solution.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you find our TR Dojo episodes useful. Which letters/phrases do you find distracting when I enunciate them?

boblm
boblm

Just like all the companies who outsourced tech support to India - they have no clue and have never been helpful!

k2harrell
k2harrell

I had no issues with his video or the link to it.

nytek
nytek

I have xp on my first drive and win 7 on my second drive. Will this procedure still work, if I skip the step to delete the xp partition, and just leave it there for now? Thanks in advance.

steve
steve

Didn't work for me. I followed everything step for step, all OK till I tried to set the Windows 7 partition active. It would not allow this, got an error message saying it was not possible. So I reloaded everything back from the System Restore image you so helpfully suggested creating and I'm back where I started. The only thing I can think of is that the drive I have my Win XP and Win 7 partitions on is not the first drive, it's Drive 3, I think. But I'm sure I was on the right partition as I used the 'Detail Partition' command, so I know it was the right one. I'm going to have another try tonight when I get in from work, so any thoughts on where I went wrong?

Tiger-Pa
Tiger-Pa

Bill, Thanks for the video. Real good job. A little sooner with this portion of the migration could have come sooner for me but I Googled my way the the steps and used EasyBCD for the last step. P.S. For all of you that can only speak one language, ease up a little. Maybe we won't have to have a reprint of "The Ugly American".

compuzak
compuzak

Cannot make the windows 7 partition Active. Any help would be appreciated.

steve
steve

This is probably really unhelpful, but did you not follow the full instructions from Bill? Specifically the bit about doing a full system backup first? Oops.

Tiger-Pa
Tiger-Pa

All versions of Windows 7 do not have built-in XP Mode, only Professional and Ultimate.

kristain
kristain

Yes, you can have both the operating systems. If you already have Windows XP then you should create a new partition by clicking "New". Format this partition to the file system type "NTFS" by following the instructions. After formatting the drive, follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the Windows 7 installation process. Set regional settings and an administrative password. After completing the installation process, restart the computer. A menu will appear that lists both Windows 7 and XP. You can choose to boot any one operating system by pressing "Enter".

alanduq
alanduq

Since these questions seem to not get answered by the "pros" here is the solution. Connect the drive as slave on healthy computer and then make it primary active with free version of easus part mgr. then put the drive back and continue the tutorial.

xadious2
xadious2

I know this info will be useless now almost a year on, but just incase anyone else has this problem (or you come across it again) it's an easy fix. All the data is still on the drive but its the partition table that gets damaged hence a new on gets created (or something like that) which acts like 1 large partition. All you have to do is restore the partition table structure. I had the same problem happen to me a while back when i used some software, i think it was GParted, and i wasn't as careful as i should have been - but with me it didn't happen on one drive, it wiped my partitions on 2 separate drives. I managed to use a software called "partition table doctor" which detected all the partition info and restored them and every piece of data returned like nothing had happened. Now i backup my partition data if i modify them using another freeware program HDhacker - not sure how good this is as i've luckily not had to use it, but i imagine it will be a straightforward fix, i shall test the restore function on a spare drive someday. But yeah, playing with partitions can cause very random errors.

texhead
texhead

Hi Steve I did a complete system backup of drives C and D. When I did the restore it did a few weard things. The only partition that seems to be correct is the Win7 partition. the WinXP partition is the correct size but free space went from 10Gb to 109GB on a 146GB partion so most of this partition was not restored. The other 4 partitions have been WIPED clean completely as far as I can see. I need to know if Windows 7 has a different way of undeleteing as UndeleteOnClick did not see any files to undelete. Maybe The restore did a low level reformat and erased all evidence of files on the hard drive.

nytek
nytek

Thanks for your reply, Kristain. I already have a xp, win 7 dual boot setup. All I wanted to know is, following the video, can I skip the step to delete the xp partition, and just leave it on the drive for now? Will everything else the video says still work if I don't delete the xp partition? Thanks