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delete primary partion w/o reformat

by stewievader / November 7, 2012 10:45 AM PST

a while back i had a copy of windows xp that was damaged,but still running. i had several important files on there that i needed,so i made a duel boot system and put a fresh copy of xp on another partition.

now that i have all the files i wanted, i need to delete the old copy of xp safely. however the old copy of xp is on the system partition, and just outright deleting it would cause obvious problems.

so how would i remove the old copy of xp on the system partition,and just use the working copy on the other partition without reformatting everything

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Clarification Request
by ramusson / November 7, 2012 4:31 PM PST

Do you get choice of two "winxp" when booting?

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by stewievader

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by ramusson / November 8, 2012 2:13 PM PST

As far as I know, the boot partition of winxp requires only 7 files in the root

autoexec.bat, boot.ini, config.sys, io.sys, msdos.sys, and ntldr

There can be 2 more - pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys (pagefile can be put on another partition and
hiberfil may not be there if hibernation option is not selected.

All other files NEED NOT be in the boot partition.

If your original boot drive was C:, and you have installed another XP in E:, everything in C: drive except for these files and your xp should run fine from E: drive.

Please check your boot.ini file and it should contain locations of both the windows locations; like

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


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by ramusson / November 8, 2012 2:15 PM PST
In reply to: Delete

please modify the line 6 as

If your original boot drive was C:, and you have installed another XP in E:, you can delete everything in C: drive except for these files and your xp should run fine from E: drive.

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@ rammuson
by stewievader / November 11, 2012 7:10 AM PST
In reply to: Delete

sorry for not replying,my isp was having issues apperently

yes i get two choices of win xp at startup

as for the boot ini file it looks very similer to what you posted
(differences are underlined)

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

so everything else can be deleted other than the listed files? and can those files be moved to the 'newer' partition so i can delete the old one entirely?

as an edit to the first post; my system partition is also the primary partition,not sure if theres a difference. while the other partition(the one with the working os) is labeled as boot/logical.

sorry for my noobyness, i havent had much experience with dual boot systems before

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So far good.
by ramusson / November 11, 2012 2:43 PM PST
In reply to: @ rammuson

OK, so far so good.

To your query

" so everything else can be deleted other than the listed files? and can those files be moved to the 'newer' partition so i can delete the old one entirely? "

the answer is no.

System boot can initiate only from Primary Partitions, and in your case, the Second Win XP files are on a Logical Partition in an Extended Partition. As I mentioned earlier, those 7 CRITICAL files WILL have to be where they are - The Primary Partition.

Just be sure that all the Documents and other user Data is backed up before you delete the rest.

Let's have a feedback.


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by stewievader / November 12, 2012 11:39 AM PST
In reply to: So far good.

seems im stuck with 2 partitions then

thanks for helping me free up a lot of space though Silly

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Not really ...
by ramusson / November 12, 2012 3:04 PM PST
In reply to: re

After cleaning the C: drive of the unnecessary files, you can copy the Windows directory from the D: drive to the C: drive. But this copying may not (?) be successful under windows environment. And this method can be opted for later.

If you have installed a second Win XP on another drive just to recover your documents, ( you would have lost all the add-on programs in this process ) AND you have succeeded in doing so, it will be simpler to do a fresh install of Win XP on the C: drive, doing a format of C: drive during the installation. You will need to install all the add-on progs again.

Please clarify this query and we can decide the next step.


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forums need an edit button
by stewievader / November 13, 2012 11:31 AM PST
In reply to: Not really ...

where is an edit button when needed lol...

but yeah when i needed to get the documents of the system,i also needed a new operating system. so at the time i was hoping to solve two problems with one action and use the new os once i got the files and deleted the old one.

however when i did that i didnt know that this would end up happening

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by ramusson / November 14, 2012 1:37 PM PST

From what I infer, your original XP crashed, you did a second install and recovered your documents.

What you need to do now is do a fresh install of XP on the C: drive, re install all your add on programs and go ahead.


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I'd like to see this one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 7, 2012 1:45 PM PST

I've subscribed to watch for a little magic.

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Re: obvious problem
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 7, 2012 4:34 PM PST

Why would it give obvious problems if it isn't used?


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