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I did the trick of installing XP first and then Vista so I can have XP and Vista running alongside each other. However now I don't need XP and would like to remove the partition and reclaim the space. Is there a simple way of removing this partition and giving the space to my Vista partition?

I have tried deleting the partition in Disk Manager but it wont let me.

Any suggestions?

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migrated from serverfault.com Nov 5 '09 at 16:59

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3 Answers 3

Download the gparted live cd, burn it to a CD, boot from it, and use that to delete the XP partition. Then you can also use it to resize the Vista partition. This is a Linux Live CD that will boot up and let you change the partition scheme.

Note that if you've got the XP partition in the beginning of the harddrive, which is likely considering you installed XP first, resizing the Vista partition to take up the remaining space will take a while because it will move all the contents of the partition left by however big the XP partition was. Also, NTLDR, the Windows bootloader, will be unable to find the Vista partition and you'll need to use a Vista install DVD to repair it.

You could also use something like Partition Magic to do it in Windows but that costs money and gparted is just as easy to use. As far as I know you would still have to reboot to do the repartitioning anyway, and NTLDR would still lose your boot partition information because it's kind of stupid like that.

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+1 for a nice detailed explanation. There really should be a simpler, less involved way of doing it than the method you described... alas I am unaware of any. –  Redandwhite Nov 4 '09 at 0:19

Yes, isn't Windows silly and useless? Open source can often rescue the poor thing.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/

Gparted is a partition editor. It works similar to the commercial product Partition Magic. There is a live CD you can download and boot from to manage partition issues.

Be careful that if you are removing the first partition, the second one probably will not boot anymore. You'll need to boot the Vista DVD in recovery mode and redo the MBR. This used to be done in a DOS type of environment in XP recovery, using the commands FIXMBR and FIXBOOT. It has changed a bit starting with vista:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

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Echo the FIXBOOT advice; your XP partition is probably active and "system" which means it has the boot files. A safe route may be to just delete all the directories off of the XP partition (not reformat nor delete boot files) and use it as data. –  echobeach2 Nov 4 '09 at 13:25

partition magic is a great product to use when you need to partitions hard drive Create, resize, copy partitions, Run multiple operating systems etc..

The positive is that partition magic is a very user friendly product and it is easy to learn and use. It also has a support available if you need some special supprt/help.

The negative part is that the program is't totaly free. A single licens cost arount $70, personally i don't think this is alot of money for a product like partition magic. I bought a licens some years ago and have had alot of help by partition magic with my computers trough the years.

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