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Removing one of two copies of XP

by henry higgins / February 2, 2009 6:22 AM PST


I have a new build PC with 3 SATA drives. I initially installed Vista 64 on the largest drive, XP on a smaller one, and used the third just for data files. I made a mess of the dual boot set up initially by installing XP second, but eventually got that sorted.

Then I decided that Vista was not for me so I tried to reformat and install XP on the larger drive. I now know that was the wrong way to do it because that failed and I couldn't get rid of the dual booting into the, by then, non existent Vista. Thanks to advice from these forums, I have now sorted that too and successfully installed a new version of XP on the larger disk.

So now I have 2 XP installations, one old, one new, with dual booting. I want to remove the old one and eliminate the dual booting, but given the problems I have had so far I am very wary about just blundering in and erasing the contents of the old disk, then reformatting it.

Any advice on a trouble free way of doing this would be much appreciated,



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Have a look at the boot.ini at your c:-drive.
by Kees Bakker / February 2, 2009 6:59 AM PST
Collapse -
Still Struggling
by henry higgins / February 2, 2009 6:23 PM PST

Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry to be so dim, but I'm really working at the edge of my understanding here. I've followed the link, but am still unsure how to proceed.

The version of XP that I want to remove is on the C drive. When I boot up at the moment I get offered two versions of XP, with the one on the D drive preselected. If I do nothing, the D drive version is launched. I can't see a boot ini file on the D drive.

In the Disk Manager, Drive C is described as "System" and Drive D is described as "Boot"

This is a copy of the boot.ini file from the C drive (the one containing the old version of XP that I want to remove)

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

I'm hoping it is clearer to you than it is to me which line should be deleted.

If, with some advice, I do delete the right line and resave the amended file on the C drive, will that somehow change the D drive into a system disk and leave me free to wipe the C drive?

Thanks for your help


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Re: multiboot
by Kees Bakker / February 2, 2009 6:39 PM PST
In reply to: Still Struggling

The partition with rdisk(1) is the default (that's being chosen after 30 seconds if you don't type anything yourself).

- If that's the one you want to keep, delete the other one.
- If you want to keep the other one, delete the line with rdisk(1) and edit the line with 'default' to contain rdisk(0).

For your reference, this is my current boot.ini on a single boot system:

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


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Nearly there
by henry higgins / February 2, 2009 11:33 PM PST
In reply to: Re: multiboot

Thanks, that's got rid of the dual booting. At startup it now runs straight through and boots off the D drive, which has the copy of XP that I want to keep.

I now want to delete the old copy of XP from what is currently called the C drive, but I am wary of doing that because Disk Manager shows the C drive as being my System disk (it shows D as my boot disk)

I would also like to rename my current D drive as my C drive, but to do that I would first have to rename my current C drive and Disk Manager wont let me do that because it says you can't rename a system disk.

Any ideas?

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Time for the nuclear option?
by henry higgins / February 3, 2009 2:38 AM PST
In reply to: Re: multiboot

I'm beginning to think I have painted myself in to a corner here.

Perhaps I need to start afresh by :-

-wiping out as much of the C drive as I can, so that it won't function as a system disk (or disconnect it if I can't wipe enough)

- boot off the installation disk, run a full format and install a clean copy of XP on the disk that I want to keep (which would presumably then become both C drive and system disk)

Unless anybody can think of a less drastic approach

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