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Can I delete initial install of XP..?..(dual boot)

By fiddler
Jan 20, 2006
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  1. I have a dual boot system, (both XP pro).
    The first, original, install is suffering from bloat, and is beginning to play up.
    Can I delete that partition, and then move my other XP into it's place, or will that give me grief?
    Or, can I delete it, and then do a clean install in its place? What's the better option?
    Also,I read somewhere, that if you have two instances of XP on the same hd, it will all run slower as a consequence, true or false?
    Thnx.... :)
  2. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 405

    Hi Fiddler
    You Can Delete the Installation on the first Partition By Deleting the Windows, Program files, Docs & settings, System Volume Information and any other NON System Files or Folders. You Can do this from booting to your second Install. The Files that you must Leave on the first partition (System Partition) are Boot.ini, Config.sys NTLDR, NTDECT.COM, bootmgr, bootsect.dat, MSDOS.sys, IO.sys, Cmldr, (In General you need to Keep all the faded out files on that drive if you have "show system and hidden files" enabled from folder options)

    You Can have more than one instance of an OS on the same drive but you should have them on seperate partitions or you will have problems, if you have them on seperate Drives IE.. C: and D: then it will work fine.

    After you have deleted the first Install you can reinstall to that drive again and both installs will work fine will work fine.

    I Run Four Different Windows installs on mine on different partitions on the same hdd and it works fine.
  3. fiddler

    fiddler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thnx for your help pcaceit, I'll have to study that hard,lol........So, what would happen, if I just formatted that first partition, and reinstalled a fresh copy of XP in it's place ?..............wouldn't it pickup the second copy.....or what?.................just interested...... :giddy:
  4. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 405

    Dual boot

    Hi again, just skip to last para if this is too much info.


    If you just formatted the first install and reinstalled, then only the new install will show up on your boot menu, your second install would still be there unchanged BUT, you would have to edit your boot ini file on the new iinstall to point to the second install and it would be accessible again, the boot ini file uses what is called an ARC Path, This is the way the boot manager will recognise where the operating systems are located on each hard drive.

    Sorry to go into so much detail. but i will show you how it works here.
    from my computer double click on your C: Drive then from the tools menu on the top; select: Tools> Folder options> View> uncheck the "hide protected operating system files" and check "show hidden files and folders" and apply at the bottom. close tha window, and when you look at contents of drive c: you will see the file file called boot.ini or just boot, there is also a boot.bak file which is the backup.

    the contents of the file will look something like this:(you should only have three entries though, put word wrap on in notepad to see entries more clearly.)


    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /tutag=bu4j60 /kernel=tukernel.exe
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows Longhorn" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT /USENEWLOADER
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTOUT
    c:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /CMDCONS



    timeout is the countdown you see at bootime to select your operating system.
    rdisk(0)partition(1) means to boot the operation system on first partition on the first harddrive (usually C:)

    rdisk(1)partition(4) means to boot the operating system on the four'th partition on the second harddrive

    So if you just format the first install you will loose the second entry pointing to your second install.

    Alternatively! if your boot menu was ok then just copy the boot inifile on to your second install example: drag and drop it onto your drive D:, then when you format and reinstall just copy it back to your drive C: (easy as that)
    if you get error when coppying it back to your drive c: then you need to right click the one on drive C: select properties and uncheck the read only button.

    and hey presto when you reboot your operating system options are back.
  5. fiddler

    fiddler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thnx vey much for that, and for taking the time to explain, I appreciate that.
    All to often, when given instructions, we are told..'don't do that'......or...'make sure you do this'....and I always ask my self, ....'Why,....what would happen if I didn't do that.....or if I did this..??'
    I'm Just naturally inquisitive ,I guess, but it's nice to know, these 'What if's?'
    Thanks again pcaceit, very helpful. :D :D :approve: :grinthumb
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