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I installed Windows 7 on my D: drive but still have my old Windows XP on the C: drive.

Is there any way of removing Windows XP from that drive? I really need that space freeing up.

In short, how can I make Windows 7 my primary version of Windows now?

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Just use a USB Installation method, and if you want to wipe the XP drive just format it? – Sandeep Bansal Nov 7 '11 at 9:35
If i had 4GB USB I would do it that way, and no you can't just format the Windows XP drive because Win7 will get corrupted (win7 installed after winxp) – Dzoki Nov 7 '11 at 9:36
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I haven't tested this (never had the need to!), but I'm pretty sure this should work:

(Do these steps from Windows 7.)

  1. Copy the following files/folders from C:\ to D:\:

    • ntldr
    • bootmgr
    • Boot


    1. You can't copy Boot unless you unload BCD from the registry first. Run this in the command prompt before you copy those files:

      Reg Unload HKLM\BCD00000000
    2. You will need to go to Folder Options and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" before copying the files, so that you can see them first.

  2. Get the program named bootsect (I don't remember exactly, but I think I got it from the Windows AIK... but you can find it on plenty of other places on the web; just search) and run:

    bootsect /nt60 D:
  3. Now that everything is ready, make D: the active partition: open Disk Management (Start->Run->diskmgmt.msc) and right-click D: and set it as Active.

  4. Reboot. If it boots fine (which it should), then all is well. If not, then boot from the Windows 7 DVD and Repair.

  5. Open Disk Management again, right-click C: from the list (NOT from the diagram!! It has bugs in XP that cause it to delete the wrong partition, and I wouldn't trust the diagram in Windows 7 either!) and click Delete*.


*I strongly recommend that that you immediately create another partition with the drive letter C: in the newly freed space. Otherwise, your drive letters will likely switch around at some point in time, and Windows will suddenly act very strangely when booting.

You're done!

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Best so far, thanks. That would do the trick. – Dzoki Nov 10 '11 at 20:42
Note: It is not a good idea to copy files by hand from an XP disk to Windows 7. It is much safer to let the Windows 7 installation DVD do the boot repair, to be sure that this is done correctly. That is why Microsoft added this feature : to avoid users messing up its files. My answer contains a link to such a procedure, but I preferred counseling using repair. – harrymc Nov 15 '11 at 8:04

If you'd like to completely wipe out XP and C: drive, just do this:

  1. Boot up with your Windows 7 DVD
  2. When it comes to the first dialog, hit Shift + F10 to open up a command prompt
  3. Go ahead and format c: now

Congratulations, you've just removed every trace of XP. Unfortunately at this point, your computer is no longer bootable because you've just clobbered your system partition. The good news is that you're already in the Windows 7 setup screen now, so just tell it to repair your system and it will recreate everything it needs to boot.

If you'd like to do it manually from the command prompt instead, you can do it like this:


Theoretically, that should fix your boot records. However, when I tried this once, it said it couldn't find any Windows installations to configure. Don't fret -- just reboot with the Windows 7 DVD once again and try a system repair.

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After doing this, you lose the windows 7 startup logo and the special font. It will look like vista booting, and the text part looks like dos – Canadian Luke Nov 10 '11 at 3:43
Odd, I don't remember that happening to me when I tried it. If you're seeing a stream of drivers getting loaded during boot, you can fix it by deselecting "OS boot information" through the "Boot" tab in msconfig. – Ragesh Nov 10 '11 at 7:30
@Luke That's because "C:\Windows\System32\en-US(or your locale)\bootres.dll.mui" is missing. Find that file and you got your bootscreen back. – ZippyV Nov 10 '11 at 14:47
@zippyv Oh ok. Did not know that... – Canadian Luke Nov 10 '11 at 15:59

You can install Windows 7 on any NTFS Drive, preferably primary partition. You simply leave the XP drive during installation. Later if you want to configure dual boot, the utilities like EasyBCD(third party) or default Windows 7 utility BCDEdit. Sandeep has mentioned, use USB boot if possible.

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Okay so i have installed Win7 on D partition. On C there is still windows XP. Can you explain the procedure of removing/formatting C partition without making Win7 Corrupted? – Dzoki Nov 7 '11 at 10:26
Just delete the windows xp installation directory. You really should have simply installed it on the C directory, when ask if you wanted to delete the current installation of windows, clicked "yes" – Ramhound Nov 7 '11 at 15:23
I don't think that will work properly. I was reading online something about Boot folder and file bootmgr. Didn't find anything usefull. I just need to remove XP and make Win7 default now. – Dzoki Nov 7 '11 at 16:54

If C: and D: are both different hard disks, this is simple. Just take out C:, put D: in its place, boot from the Windows 7 installation dvd, and repair the boot. You can now install the old C: in place of D: and reformat it.

For more info as regarding fixing the boot, see How to Manually Repair Windows 7 Boot Loader Problems.

If C: and D: are both partitions on the same hard disk, this is a bit more complicated. What I would do in this case is use a partitioning tool such as Paragon Partition Manager Free Edition to delete the XP partition, move the Windows 7 partition to the top of the disk (as much as possible), enlarge it to include the empty space now at the end of the disk, then use the Windows 7 installation dvd to make this partition bootable.

You could also find a more manual approach in this blog article.

I would suggest before starting out to use the Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition (or another utility) to take a backup image of the whole disk, just in case.

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My preferred method is reinstall new Windows 7 on top of C drive. Format D drive. Very simple. You will however run into dual boot screen issue - at boot, it will ask you if you want to boot from old version of windows, even though it's not there.

Found a solution for that.

To remove dual boot message, open administrator command prompt, enter:

C:\Windows\system32>**bcdedit /delete {ntldr} /f**

Just took it to the simplest form. I reformat about 2-3 times a year.

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I hope you are joking. Removing two OSes, and then re-installing one of them is a bit extreme... – soandos Dec 2 '11 at 5:47

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