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I kept Windows XP installed on my first partition when installing Windows 7. Now I decided I really don't need it any longer, so how can I get rid of it? I can certainly format that partition, but how can I remove the boot entry?

And what would happen if that partition vanished, e.g. by turning it into a Linux one or by using gparted to add the freed space to my Win 7 partition; can Windows 7 cope with such a partition table modification?

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W7 can do it all by itself start - type in computer management - go to disk management and you can format or delete the partition, add space to another partition, anything you'd like. I think the boot record will disappear itself, or just boot W7 disc to repair boot sector. –  Raystafarian Feb 11 '12 at 12:55
    
@Raystafarian Post it as an answer –  ZippyV Feb 11 '12 at 13:16
    
@ZippyV I will if it's successful and he doesn't run into any issues with the bootloader –  Raystafarian Feb 11 '12 at 13:17

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You'll need to manually remove the WinXP entry from the windows 7 boot menu. In older windows, that was done by editing boot.ini. In windows 7 you run bcdedit in a sysadmin terminal. Here's one of many links on how to remove a Win7 boot menu entry: If you added Linux to re-use that partition without removing it, it would still remain on the windows 7 menu (but you would probably have the Linux Grub boot manager instead of windows boot, so it would be 2 step boot to get there).

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do you know whether Win 7 (installed in the second partition) will still boot correctly if I remove the first primary partition or whether the boot loader is actually stored there? –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 11 '12 at 16:48
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If Windows 7 was installed second, its the current boot manager. I believe it uses the first partition. If it gets deleted during this operation, you can use the windows 7 install disc to repair the boot loader without having to reinstall windows 7. You might also consider using the windows 7 backup image feature to copy the 2nd partition to an external drive and make a bootable recovery cd. Then reformat the entire drive, then reload windows from the recovery image to a single partition that covers the full drive space. –  jdh Feb 11 '12 at 21:18
    
thanks, that might do it. But for now, I'll stick to bcdedit /delete and keep the WinXP partition for data –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 11 '12 at 21:52

You should boot with disk and resize your partition. Shouldn't be a problem if you just make your Windows 7 bigger to swallow up that extra partition.

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