Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a dualboot system with 2 editions of Win Vista, a 64x version (which I'm currently using) and a 32bit edition which I don't use anymore.

I wondered if I just formatted the partition with the 32bit edition on it, will my bootloader not get messed up and therefore my pc not boot anymore?

What is the best way to delete that OS so I can make some space on my HD?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

It depends on which partition the bootloader is stored on. Of course, the first part of the bootloader is stored in the MBR, which is not part of any partition, but the rest of it is just a regular executable on some partition. The program in the MBR just reads that executable into memory and runs it. Now, since you have two Windows installations, it's probably the case that each of them has a bootloader, but only one of the two actually gets used. If it's the one on the 64-bit Windows partition that is getting used, you should be able to format the 32-bit Windows partition without a problem. But if the bootloader on the 32-bit Windows partition is being used, you should probably switch that. To do so, I think you could put in your Windows installation disc (the 64-bit one) and there should be a Startup Repair option, or something like that, which you can use. Alternatively you could just format the 32-bit Windows partition, and if the system doesn't boot up afterwards, just stick in the 64-bit installation disc and use that Startup Repair - it should identify the problem and fix it.

By the way, formatting the partition won't remove the 32-bit Windows entry from the bootloader menu. Obviously that entry won't work any more, since if you selected it you'd be trying to boot from an empty partition, so you'd probably want to remove it. amphetamachine's answer describes how to do that.

share|improve this answer

You would need to edit the bootloader's configuration (I think it's called boot.ini for the Windows boot loader) to not include the line describing the 32-bit install. Then, it would be removed from the boot menu upon startup.

share|improve this answer
    
it seems my bootloader sits on the 32bit vista partition... can I change that? –  Tony The Lion Jul 4 '10 at 20:44
    
boot.ini is not used from Vista onwards. bcdedit.exe is used from the commandline to change the bootloader settings in Windows Vista and Windows 7. –  Om Nom Nom Jul 5 '10 at 4:31

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.