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Removing XP disk from XP/Windows 7 Dual Boot

September 30, 2010 at 14:07:39
Specs: Windows 7
I'm hoping someone here can help me with a vexing problem. Back about a year ago, I added a second disk to my Gateway P4 (which became drive D) and I installed Windows 7 on it). Initially beta, but now I'm running Win7 pro exclusively and I never boot into XP any more. Anyways, I tried to just remove the drive, but it seems at least part of the boot files were originally installed on the C Drive (Windows XP) which I no longer need.
Can someone please point me to a site where I can find a step by step on how to transfer or reconstruct all the boot files I need on the Windows 7 Disk, which I want to now be the primary C drive. I plan to removing the XP disk (currently C), but I can't do that (nor even do a backup of ONLY Drive D, the Windows 7 disk) because apparently the installer installed part of my boot files on drive C (XP). Any help in figuring out how to fix this would be great appreciated.
Please note that I have looked at numerous removal videos and procedures, but they all involve a disk that was previously partitioned for dual boot, and they are a single disk system. This is not the case here, I want to completely remove the original C drive and leaving the machine as a single disk system (or I'll format and reuse the disk for data storage later), but until I fix the boot files to run Windows 7 by itself, I can't do that.
Thanks in advance,

See More: Removing XP disk from XP/Windows 7 Dual Boot

September 30, 2010 at 20:33:37
Read the link below. Perform the operation after disconnecting the WinXP drive. Then after the repair is complete you can reconnect the second drive and use as desired.

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October 1, 2010 at 05:18:22
Thanks OtheHill, that looks like what I need to repair or built the MBR or BCD on the Windows 7 disk, It's apparently missing since it wasn't the primary when I built the Win7 disk. I haven't tried it yet but I'll let you know how it worked when I do. I'd like to have a good backup first, but Windows recognized the C: drive as part of the Windows 7 build, and won't let me just back up D: (Windows 7). Very aggravating since you can't override these settings. I'll have to find another backup method first.

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October 1, 2010 at 06:37:32
If WinXP is the OS that originally came on the computer you should create a restore set for the computer before removing the drive and changing the MBR.

Newer Gateway computers have a hidden partition that can be accessed to create a full restore set. At some time down the road you may want to dispose of the computer. A computer with an OS and possibly a office suite is more useful than one without those items.

I suggest that you consider getting a full back up/imaging program. Newer versions of Acronis are very flexible in what can be done. Including incremental back up. Look at the links below and compare the available version features to see if any of them interest you.

There are also other brands and solutions available. Many External USB drives come with software preloaded for automatic back ups.

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October 1, 2010 at 10:59:34
Otherhill - Thanks again for followup. Some thought...

Restore point done yesterday. Should be good to go on that. Done in Win7, but I rarely if ever go into XP so really don't think I need one there.

This Gateway P4 is 4 years old now. Wouldn't exactly fall in to the "newer" category. Sometime soon, I'm going to build a replacement with new motherboard, case, components using i5 or i7 processor and get back up to date. Can't spend the $$ right now.

Surprised that Acronis has come down that much in price. I thought it was two to three times that. I might get that one. Using DriveImage XML for now since it was free and seemed to do what I wanted. I really want something that I could just use as a second mirror boot drive in the event of primary failure, but I'm going to wait and do that when I'm on the new platform.


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October 1, 2010 at 13:02:45
All I was suggesting is to make the restore disks, if you don't have them, before you take the WinXP disk off line. You then use the restore set when you are ready to sell the computer. No one wants to buy an older computer if it doesn't have a version of Windows on it.

The imaging issue is unrelated to that. Glad to see you actually are concerned about backups though. Most users aren't. Then when things fail they come here begging for help.

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October 1, 2010 at 18:59:56
I dawned on me that you may think I am suggesting you use imaging software to make a restore set.

Gateway computers come from the factory with a hidden partition that you can use to restore the computer directly to factory condition, or burn a set of disks that can be used to accomplish the same thing should your hidden partition no longer be available. Like if the hard drive fails, or you wipe the entire drive, including the hidden partition.

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October 1, 2010 at 23:19:28
win 7 has its own imaging software, that works with the win 7 repair, cd.
open start/all progs/maintenance/backup and restore you see create image.

once your system perfect and just how you like it, create a system image on an external disk preferably, set it to run a files backup each week, and you will always be able re-image your drive by dropping in the repair/recovery cd and choose dont need a third party software at any expense..

i hate computers!
but cant help myself....

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October 2, 2010 at 04:57:49

As with most features MS includes in their OS package I don't believe the built in backup feature is a flexible as some third party software. I run Windows 7 so I really should try it myself.

Good to mention it though, as it is an alternative.

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October 2, 2010 at 05:48:02
Gotcha. I thought you were referring to system restore points. I still have the original build disks for the Gateway, so I could just do a new install, but chances are good I'll scrap this for parts and chuck the rest. 4 yr old computers aren't exactly hotly sought after as you know....

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October 2, 2010 at 06:51:42
Actually, I think there is a market for them, if they have Windows running on them.

There are shops that advertise on TV by me that sell used, refurbished units all the time.

Even if you just donate it to the local library or senior center. The computer is good for surfing the net or basic word processing.

Of course, you are free to do what you want with it. I was just pointing out that it would have little value without Windows running on it.

As far a parts go, unless you help others with their computers you probably won't use the parts.

OEM cases are not the best for upgrades. The only useful hardware might be the hard drive and RAM.

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October 2, 2010 at 07:56:55
Ferderkin: chances are good I'll scrap this for parts and chuck the rest. 4 yr old computers aren't exactly hotly sought after as you know....
My suggestion
There's also Linux variants, but I can't think of a distro off the top of my head.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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October 3, 2010 at 04:23:53
Actually I do have a small side business of repair and consultation, so the parts come in handy.
Razor2.3: Good idea. Ubuntu might be fun to load up and play around with if I get a chance before I put her down. Thanks.

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