What is the best way to go from dual-booting Windows to a single install of Windows 7?

Joe Videtto August 11, 2012
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Hi,

I have an existing Windows XP system, and plan to install an SSD running Windows 7 64 bit.

I’d like to add the new SSD, and then install Windows 7 64 bit onto the SSD, making a dual boot Windows XP, Windows 7 system.

After I either reinstall or migrate all my apps from the Windows XP to the Windows 7 64 bit, can I then decommission the Windows XP version, and have the computer go back to a single boot, no-action required system. How do I go about this part of the operation ?

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  1. FIDELIS
    August 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Hello, easiest way would be to format the partition where XP is and once XP is formatted you can use the bootrec command in windows 7 to fix the MBR and boot if needed. Here is more info on the bootrec command:

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

    Keep in mind that once the SSD is installed and XP is deleted, you will need to change the boot order in BIOS, so that it starts from your new drive instead of the old one.

  2. Irshaad Abdool
    August 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Use EasyBCD to reconfigure the boot system

  3. Erlis Dhima
    August 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    1. If you want to run side by side the two OS (XP & 7), follow this steps:
    http://lifehacker.com/5126781/how-to-dual-boot-windows-7-with-xp-or-vista
    2. If you want to completely remove windows xp, then follow Vipul Jain steps...
    3. If you want to install windows 7, without deleting anything, upgrade the windows xp apps that you have installed, into windows 7, it's something you can't do..
    You need to re-download them, for windows 7 version...
    4. If you want to install the two OS, side by side, but one day, want to remove the boot option of XP, then, read this posts:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888023
    And some changes for windows vista/7 (check this after reading the above..):
    http://windows7themes.net/how-to-find-boot-ini-in-windows-7.html

    Hope this helps! Please reply, if it worked for you...

  4. GrrGrrr
    August 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I would suggest, do a clean install of Win7 on SSD. Don't go for dual boot

    Once Win7 is installed, go ahead and install all those applications u have in XP.

    Move all ur data to Win7.

    After a week or so, format the XP installation/drive.

  5. echantrea
    August 12, 2012 at 9:38 am

    delete window xp partition and merge with another partition but window 7 system drive.

  6. Ruben Fitch
    August 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate have a Windows XP virtual machine that is available for download from the Microsoft website that you might consider instead of trying to setup a dual boot.

    • Joe Videtto
      August 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Is there an easy way to move my existing XP install and all associated programs/data to the virtual machine without reinstalling one at a time ?

  7. Bruce Epper
    August 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Since they are existing on separate drives, you can use EasyBCD to edit the boot menu. Depending on what the Win7 installer saw, it may have created a hidden system partition on the hard drive containing XP where it put some of its boot files. You can see if this partition exists (generally 100MB) by opening the Disk Management tool. It will not have a drive letter assigned. If this partition does exist on you XP drive, you will need to disconnect it from the system and boot from the Win7 DVD to repair your installation to fix the boot partition issue. At this point, you can reconnect the original drive and delete any contents you no longer need (or reformat the drive).

    • Joe Videtto
      August 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Knowing I want to eventually delete the XP drive, Is there a way to have the Win7 installer make sure it creates it's boot partition on the newly added drive for Win 7 rather than the XP drive ?

      For example, if I detach the existing XP boot drive before installing the new Windows 7 on the new drive, will I be able to boot to the old XP drive when I reconnect it - maybe by changing bios settings or something ?

      • Elijah Swartz
        August 20, 2012 at 1:21 am

        Yes, you can. In the BIOS you will have an option to select the hard drive boot order. If you want to boot to Windows 7, make sure the drive you installed that on is listed first. If you want to boot to XP, boot to that drive first. If you want do give yourself a dual boot menu during startup, you can use the tool Bruce mentioned (EasyBCD) to do that.

        If you delete your XP partition while still having your dual boot set up, just don't boot to XP and you won't have any problems. You can alternatively use the EasyBCD tool to get rid of the dual boot and boot as you would normally with just one bootable partition.

  8. Vipul Jain
    August 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    This is how i do it.
    Insert the Win 7 disc, click on install (not repair), now you'll be presented with all the HDD storage options.
    Click on the drive that has Win XP, click on delete. That partition will be deleted. Now you will see unallocated space, click on it and format it. A new drive will be formed with that amount of free space.
    Win XP is wiped out completely. Just reboot & take out the win 7 disc before it boots, and PC should load your installed Win7 directly.

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