How do I delete a OS?

By Havok ยท 7 replies
Jun 11, 2009
  1. Hey everyone,
    I have two windows OS's on a computer (XP and Home). How would I delete one so I can free up more space?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I think it depends which one you want to get rid of. If you want to keep your original its pretty easy, just edit your boot.ini (easiest to do this by right clicking my computer, properties, advanced, startup and recovery and ensuring your original OS is the default, then just uncheck the box to display list of OS). Then just format the partition of the 2nd OS.

    If you want to get rid of the one you installed first it is a little more complicated and since its been years since I ran XP I'm not going to try to help because I might tell you wrong inadvertently.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    XP and home does not make sense - do you mean XP pro and home ? and if so, as sngx syas, which is which and where ?
  4. Havok

    Havok TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Sorry 'bout that, mistake on my part. Yes I did mean Windows Professional and Windows Xp Home edition. I have installed Pro first and Home later on due to a previous hard drive swap (hence me adding Home). Being stoooopid, I tried to just recover the OS in the different computer and thats how I ended up with a dead operating system. Any ways Im not sure which is on which partition as I forgot how to identify which is where. Any ways thats my story.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    That's easy - click on 'run' and type msconfig in the box. press enter. On the system configuration window that pops up, click the BOOT.INI tab. The third line of that tells you the default OS which starts. It might say


    Then under [operating systems]
    comes a list of all the OS's known about at boot time. The lines tell you which partition each is installed upon. In my case, referring to the default line, it says
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    You will have a second line, with a different partition number and (probably) different description.

    Now the partition numbers start from ONE, so that is the first physical partition on the drive. Partiton(2) will be the second and so on. In many cases, the first physical partiton will be a hidden OEM 'restore' partition, and the actual OS partition will be the second, or partition(2). Just to confuse the issue, drives are numbered from zero, and logical and primary partitions are numbered differently, but I'm only warning you in case your situation is not as straightforward as it should be.

    You will now be able to tell which OS is where, and by looking here, remove the one you don't want. Finally, you could format the unused partition and use it for OS imaging and backup.

    As you see from my own example, it matters not one jot which partition the OS is actually on, there is no need to even dream of moving it to another partition. The main difficulty you could conceivably have is if the OS you want to keep refers to itself as being on drive D: Lets us know if that is the case, and if you desperately want to do anything about it, the simple answer is you cannot. see here
  6. Havok

    Havok TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Hey, Thanks for all of the help-I went through all the steps you gave and everything worked out and exceeded with flying colors! Thanks for help again, I appreciate it lots~
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    glad it worked, but all that ugly mess inside the boot.ini that you had to deal with was taken care of 'behind the scenes' in the instructions I gave. Glad you didn't make any mistakes, but making mistakes by manually editing the boot.ini is always a possibility, just unchecking boxes and letting the OS deal with the actual details of the boot.ini is easier and less risky :D
  8. Havok

    Havok TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    True too true..stuff could have taken a nasty turn but I had good instructions to go by. Good space on the computer now :D

    Thanks again for all the help and instructions, they rocked!

    P.S I like your avatar :grinthumb
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