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I installed Windows 7 side-by-side with my old Windows Vista OEM install. Now, as it's been over a month, I'd like to delete the original Vista installation from within Windows 7, to reclaim some space (as you'll see from the attached screenshot, space is very limited).

What is the "clean" way of deleting Vista? I know I can just reformat the drive but I want to remove the entry from the boot menu too.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

First, backup everything just in case.

  • In Windows 7, delete the Vista partition with any partition management program you prefer
  • Boot from your Windows 7 DVD and select repair, or press F8 for boot options and select repair:

    alt text

  • Run these commands if you used the Advanced Boot Options method:

    bootrec /fixmbr bootrec /fixboot

If you chose the first method, you can use the graphical repair.

The MBR should now be controlled by Windows 7 and Vista is no longer needed.

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There are two options:

By far the easiest way is simply to delete the partition completely if there is nothing on there that you want.

Next, extend the 7 partition to use all the free space from disk manager and set it as active.

Now, Windows will probably fail to boot - Insert the Windows 7 disk and on the first screen choose "Repair your computer" it will probably find the fault automatically, but if not, click Startup repair. This will rebuild the boot sector, boot menu and everything else.

When you next reboot, everything will work.

Number 2 is the safest way.

Delete almost everything on the drive apart from system files such as the boot directory.

Look in Advanced System Settings (Control Panel > System, or Windows Flag+Pause/Break)and make sure that the page file is being stored on the d drive and not the c drive (As this will take up a lot of space - unless you want it to be seporate).

Next, go in to Computer Management > Disk Management and shrink your C Drive to the smallest possible size and extend the D Drive to take up the rest of the space.

Next go to run (Windows Flag+R) and type msconfig Go to the Boot tab and simply delete the extra option.

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Option 1 seems a little scary. I'd rather not have to mess with recovery options just to recoup some disk space. I'll try the second one a little later on, thanks –  Redandwhite Dec 2 '09 at 0:12
I cannot format the drive after all :( at least from the Disk Management snap-in. It tells me "cannot format a system drive". any tips? –  Redandwhite Dec 3 '09 at 19:02
Sorry... If going for option 1 or 2, first set the other drive as active by right clicking and then choosing set active. This aside, neither should require a format - Number one requires you just delete the partition and number 2 just needs you to delete everything that isn't system related (e.g. boot folder) –  William Hilsum Dec 3 '09 at 19:10

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