Query on uninstalling one of two Windows XP

September 11, 2010 at 12:07:51
Specs: Windows XP, Pentium 4 3 GHz/1 GB RAM
Have 2 copies of XP OS on two different logical partitions on the same hard disk. Woud like to keep the new copy of XP OS recently installed and delete the older version.

When I check the root directory of the new OS, I do not see ntldr, boot.ini and other system files which are required for the boot process. I have checked the options to see/display hidden system files and folders but they are still not listed under the new OS partition (Currently G drive).

The old OS lists all these files (Currently C Drive) and this is the partition which I plan to format and delete and keep just the new OS. My only concern is if I do this will my system perhaps not boot up at all as the boot.ini and other system files are not listed and hence will not be found.?? Please advise how to proceed.....

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September 11, 2010 at 13:24:49
The active Primary partition (typically the first on the drive physically - unless you have an OEM (factory) installation system - is where the boot/start-up files for the (all M$) OS will reside...

Reformat or otherwise lose the info there - and those boot-files files especially - and the OS on the other partiton - will not boot...

Why the need to lose the version in c: and retain the one in g: ; and why was there need too install a second version in g: initially?

A few thoughts nonetheless...

You could simply delete everything in c: - other than the boot-files; and use it for storage. A little unusual to have data ahead of the only OS installed; but not unknown...

Another approach (after deleting everything there other than the boot-files) is to shrink c: down significantly using a suitable util; then create another partition in the newly availble space. Or again having shrunk c: - shuffle partition boundaries along the drive so as to absorb the empty space? This latter shuffle routine will preserve partitioning as is, and means that the boot.ini info re' which partition OS is in is remains unchanged... If you insert (create) another partition in the free space then the boot.ini for the OS will no longer be correct...

c: would still have the required boot-files...; but you would have to manually edit the boot.ini to reflect the possible change in partitioning - if you insert another partition in that free space (i.e. change/ammend the value in the boot.ini entry - ARC path/statment - for the OS partition.... Possibly running bootcfg /rebuild would effect the same for correction to the boot.ini for you; but you will need an XP cd with recovery console included - unless already installed on the system as is?.

Otherwise... perhaps having copied data etc... start afresh and re-insall XP to c: - either a total fresh start - or possibly a repair installation

Whichever route you go... first ensure you have copied all files - docs, pics, mp3s etc... to external media - another HD and/or opticals... Ensure those copies are truly accessible before proceeding further thereafter.

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September 12, 2010 at 03:15:28
Hi trvlr,

Thank you for your prompt reply. It came back just as I had expected....

To answer some of your queries:

1) I have been using the system for a very long time and have also had viruses infected, though I have been able to remove them and continue using my system. However, now I felt that I need to format my C: drive as it has taken up too much space and there have been many installations and removals of softwares on the same.

2) I had multiple logical partitions already on my single hardrive and hence thought that I would move all my required data to these drives and then only format C: to optimize the performance of my PC. I also decided that the newly installed OS will be kept totally separate and my installations and other files and folders organized separately on different logical partitions.

3) Hence I went ahead and installed a new copy of Win XP on another partition with the thought that once I check and find that it is stable and I am able to login and access it I will go ahead and format C drive and rearrange the partitions to use up this reclaimed space and start using my new OS.

4) The whole idea was to move over to a new OS with minimum downtime and without the use of another external HDD or media for BackUp as I have none. My understanding was that if I format C: drive the other partitions remain unaffected and hence I can safely have all my data on the other partitions available to access and use from the new OS.

5) I used "EASEUS Partition Master 4.0 Home Edition" to create partitions and do the above process. It has many options and one of them is to set the other OS partition as Active to begin booting up from that particular partition and OS. It also allows you to rename or assign Drive Letters to your partitions. Hence, I thought I could format the old partition (C:) and assign some other letter to it and rename my new OS to C: from G: and felt the transition would be smooth.

Do you think this will work ?? Please advise....

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September 12, 2010 at 06:15:25
mmm - Mot used Easeus at all (other similar utils for a while)... but can recall that they do offer variations on which partition (has to be a "Primary"....) can be made active at any time...

However regarding these utils... will you not still need to have something related to (in this case) Easus boot sequence (its operating files etc.) somewhere in the active Primary? And if by chance they are in the current c: partition... then if you reformat that - they will go?

With the above in mind...

If you have made g: as a Primary - or can convert it to one (I seem to recall is viable with some utils)... - then your suggested path seems viable?

As you have safeguarded data already... you have little to lose by trying?

Worst case is you have to start afresh?

Incidentally I'm tres hazy/unclear as to what happens if one takes an image of one (working OS) partition and copy/transfer/restore it to another one...; e.g clone g: and transfer etc. say to c: or d: . Providing the boot-files are still around/OK somewhere... - not sure it will boot correctly or not; or is there a wee repair routine (fixboot/fixmbr) to do to get it all running OK? Been so long since I played with those utils...

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