The Current Situation

I have a hard drive that currently is split up like so:

Primary Partition

  • C: 9.77 GB NTFS Healthy (System) with XP Pro (in Polish) installed

Extended Partition

  • D: 39.82 GB NTFS Healthy (Boot) with XP Pro (in English) installed
  • 6.30 GB Free space

When I start my comuter I get a black and white Windows Boot Manager dual boot screen with 2 choices both being Microsoft Windows XP. The first choice is the English version of XP and the second choice is the Polish version of XP.

Images of my Computer Management window and Dual Boot screen

The Mission

What I need to do is get rid of the entire extended partition (D: 39.82 GB & 6.30 free space) and just have the one primary C: drive which I assume will be somewheres around 55 GB big. So in the end I just want XP Pro in English running on my C: drive and no black and white boot screen to show up when starting up my laptop.

The Question

How do I go about successfully completing The Mission with out making my computer a useless pile of silicon, plastic and metal?


So I went ahead and tried to follow Neal's suggestion but hit a wall. I got to a Windows XP Pro install screen that had the 3 following options as well as my drive data:

  • To set up Windows XP on the selected item, press Enter
  • To create a partition in the unpartitioned space, press C
  • To delete the selected partition, press D

57232 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]

C: Partition1 [NTFS] 10001 MB ( 4642 MB free )
Unpartitioned space 6448 MB
D: Partition2 [NTFS] 40774 MB ( 26225 MB free )
Unpartitioned space 8 MB

I figured I would go with the first choice ((To set up Windows XP on the selected item, press Enter)) because I just wanted to set up Windows XP on C: Partition1 (which was preselected) so I pressed Enter which brought me to a screen displaying this message:

You chose to install Windows XP on a partition that contains another operating system. Installing Windows XP on this partition might cause the other operating system to function improperly.

CAUTION: Installing multiple operating systems on a single partition is not recommended.

So this leads me to 2 new questions:

  1. How do I get rid of the Windows XP (Polish language) install on C: Partition 1 so that I can cleanly and safely install Windows XP (English language) on it? Neal, is this what you meant by me possibly having to delete the partition that the Windows XP (Polish language) install was located on?

  2. Since I have the option to delete partitions with the 3rd choice ((To delete the selected partition, press D)), should I do that on this screen or wait until I have Windows XP (English language) safely installed on C: Partition 1?

I have to ask these questions because I have read that it is possibly dangerous to delete hard drive partitions. Just being cautious.


I would be wary of moving an XP install from a logical partition to a primary one, and I would also be wary of having no C: drive - so a new install may be a better idea than moving stuff around.

Back up everything.

Copy all your Polish data (data on the Polish install, I mean) onto your (old) English install.

Install (new) English XP on the Polish partition - just choose this partition in the install process. (You may have to delete the partition and create a new one - it is a while since I installed XP)

Copy your old English data (including Polish stuff) to the new English install.

In disk management, delete the 40GB and 6GB partitions, and the extended partition that contained them; then you can expand the new install into the free space (I'm reasonably sure that disk management lets you do this.)

  • Yeah it sounds proper what you are suggesting. I certainly do not think moving an XP install from one partition to the another sounds right at all probably because when I think of an operating system install I kind of imagine roots going deep into the hardware. The idea of uprooting an OS seems like the wrong move. Of course though, I am a newbie to technical computer matters. – caeious Oct 20 '09 at 16:39
  • Hey Neal, I tried what you suggested but ran into a bit of a wall. I have explained it in a new edit I made to my post called UPDATE which is separated from the original post with a line break located at the bottom of the post. – caeious Oct 20 '09 at 19:57
  • It is a good idea to be cautious! If you are really sure that there is nothing in the Polish partition you need, delete it. You are lucky that your partitions are different sizes - it makes it easier to be sure you are deleting the right thing! – Neal Oct 20 '09 at 20:47
  • Ok cool. Im going to go ahead with the deletion. Thanks again Neal. I will mark yours s the answer when I complete the mission. :) – caeious Oct 21 '09 at 0:29
  • Mission complete! I not only deleted the c: partition but also decided to delete the D: partition during set up since I had nothing of value there. Thanks again Neal. – caeious Oct 21 '09 at 17:45

If you've got an external USB drive or network, you could create an image of your XP Pro English partition, delete all partitions from your primary drive, and then restore the image. You could use something like the free edition Macrium Reflect to do this.

You could also use BootItNG to clear your XP Polish partition and then copy the XP English partition into it, after which you can delete the extended partition and then expand the primary partition into this space.

  • well I have the original Windows XP Pro cd. I would rather just do a clean wipe of all my drives and reinstall from scratch. Is this possible? – caeious Oct 19 '09 at 23:43

Okay, first, backup EVERYTHING! Second, you'll need the following things: Some sort of Partition Manager Live-CD (SystemRescueCD, GParted-LiveCD f.e.), the Windows XP Pro CD.

Step By Step:

  • Defrag your D Partition
  • Boot into the LiveCD
    • Delete the primary Partition
    • Move the second Partition out of the Extended Partition
    • Delete the Extended Partition
    • Resize the (now only one) Partition
    • Set the boot Attribute
  • Reboot and see if Windows comes up, if not
    • Boot with the Windows XP Pro Install CD
    • On the Selection Screen press R to drop to the Repair Console
    • Type fixmbr and hit Enter

You're done. And one more time, back up first! Oh, and maybe you'll need to remove the Windows Boot-Loader...but I've never used that cr...neat piece of Software so I can'T help you on that, sorry.

  • What do you mean when you say "Boot into the LiveCD" ? – caeious Oct 19 '09 at 23:36
  • Insert the LiveCD into your CD-Driver and then just restart your Computer, it should boot directly from the CD. If not, there may be something wrong with the Boot-Order in the BIOS. – Bobby Oct 20 '09 at 6:55
  • I just did not know what a Live CD was. Now I do after Wiki'ing it which I prolly should have done before asking you that question. I shall do this from now on. Thanks. – caeious Oct 20 '09 at 15:48
  • That's no problem at all, we are here to ask and learn. :) – Bobby Oct 20 '09 at 19:02

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