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This question pertains to an Acer AOD255 netbook (N450, 2GB DDR2, 250GB) with Windows 7 Starter as the original OS.

I'm looking to switch over completely to Windows XP. I attempted to do a dual boot by shrinking the Windows 7 partition by 100 GB in GParted Live, then installing Windows XP in the remaining space. I used EasyBCD to restore the Windows 7 boot record and add a boot entry to allow a boot into Windows XP. Unfortunately, it didn't work out properly and I get a BSOD if I try to boot into XP.

Since I got the netbook, there has always been a 13 GB recovery partition, the 100 MB system reserved partition and the Windows 7 partition. If I want XP only, I'm guessing I should delete the system reserved and Windows 7 partitions, then install XP in the remaining space. Still, would the recovery partition become useless or would it somehow reconnect with XP?

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2 Answers 2

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Don't know about Acer, but for HP and Lenovo, you could/should make recovery CDs or DVDs that allow you to restore/rebuild the recovery partition to a blank harddisk. You had to use a supplied Windows application program to burn the discs. There was a scheme in place that allowed only one set of recovery discs to be burned (even after a full restore of the recovery partition and then the Windows partition).

Once you have the capability to restore the recovery partition, then you are free to use the entire HD for another OS. I used a spare harddisk to test the recovery DVD.

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I believe in that case of most recovery partitions they are "tied" to the bios/firmware as apposed to the OS.

Leaving it there and installing XP onto the remaining space should mean that you can still opt to use the recovery partition on boot by pressing whatever the appropriate key is (F10?), should you feel the need to go back to Win 7 Starter.

An alternative to leaving the partition there and hoping you can still use it in the future is use it now to return to factory default and use an application like Drive Snapshot to make a copy of the HDD as it stand, then remove the system reserved and Win7 partitions and install XP (with or without leaving the recovery partition in place.)

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