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I did a clean install of Windows 7 on my D drive in October. I only use/boot from this drive. Windows XP is still installed on my C drive. Windows 7 has always worked perfectly.

Can I safely remove XP from my C drive and put it to better use?

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You've asked a fair number of questions on this site. Can you go back through those questions and "accept" the answers you found most useful? It's a good way to recognize/reward those who have helped you.… – Robert Cartaino Feb 7 '10 at 2:46
@Robert C. Cartaino, @Greg Rains: ya, Robert has a point. Superusers are more inclined to answer questions when they see that you appreciate and vote on them. :) – studiohack Mar 17 '10 at 2:53
Useless trivia: Microsoft develops Windows on machines without C-drive (the system drive is D) You can look into Vista’s install.wim to confirm this. – kinokijuf Nov 26 '11 at 16:56
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, it should be safe to format your C-drive to put it to better use. That is, Windows 7 does not have any dependencies on your Windows XP installation.

But, warning... make sure that you don't have any accidental data stored to your C-Drive. Windows applications should know that your main drive is the D-Drive (because that's where Windows is installed) but there's that occasional application that "hard codes" the C-drive into its path.

The best way to check that you haven't inadvertently stored some data on the C-drive is to disable (or unplug) the C-drive and do a quick sanity check that none of your data is inaccessible. Open your applications and make sure the configuration (and data) is still there. If everything checks out as normal, you should be good to go.

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I've been burned by this a couple times, thinking I copied everything and finding later I lost something when I wiped it. – BBlake Feb 7 '10 at 2:34
I would have advised the original author to swap the drives and install Windows 7 on the C-Drive from the get-go. – Robert Cartaino Feb 7 '10 at 2:41
I installed windows XP on Q: once, with no C: even accessible in windows. I was surprised that pretty much everything worked. The only thing I remember having trouble with is that the flash plugin installer would not run without a C:. – davr Feb 7 '10 at 6:02
Yes. It is becoming increasing rare for a programmer to make the mistake of hard-coding the assumption of a C-Drive. – Robert Cartaino Feb 7 '10 at 16:57

Yes you should be able to remove the old Windows XP directories which should all be under Windows.old.

The Microsoft migration guide has a "Post-install clean-up (optional)" section on "step 5":

During Windows 7 installation, if you don’t format the partition, files that were used in Windows XP are stored in the Windows.old folder. The type of files in this folder depends on your computer.

After you’ve used Windows 7 for a while, for example one or two weeks, and you’re confident that your files and settings are back to where you want them to be, you can safely reclaim disk space and use Disk Cleanup to delete the Windows.old folder.

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It's not impossible that your C drive is still the boot partition (the boot manager is on it, which then loads windows 7 for you). To find out, unplug your C drive and try to start your computer. If windows 7 starts, you're OK on that part.

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