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How to remove Vista dual-boot (two working Vista installs)

By mrtraver ยท 6 replies
Dec 4, 2008
  1. Hello! I viewed similar topics in this forum but did not find any that quite addressed my situation/questions.

    I recently installed Vista Home Premium 32-bit on my 74GB hard drive with a single full partition. A few weeks later when I got my Vista Home Premium 64-bit DVD, I used Vista to shrink my C: volume as much as I could (about 25GB), and created a new partition onto which I installed the 64-bit version. I have since found that all my programs and hardware work fine with the 64-bit version, so now I would like to delete the original partition containing the 32-bit version. My goal is to end up with only Vista 64-bit installed, and preferably have my entire 74GB drive as a single volume again. However, from what I have read, apparently the Vista boot loader is on the partition that I wish to delete (containing the first Vista installation).

    If I just delete the volume with 32-bit while running 64-bit, will I have problems the next time I restart since the boot loader is gone, too?

    Will booting from the 64-bit DVD restore the boot loader to the remaining Vista 64-bit installation?

    Do I even need to worry about the boot loader with only a single OS installed?

    Do I need to take any other steps?

    Any other advice, suggestions, links?

    Thank you very much in advance; this forum has always been most helpful!
  2. gsstyle4

    gsstyle4 TS Rookie

    i would goahead and give it a go and yes your boot loader is on the 32 bit partition , but your 64 bit can't do a repair on the boot loader to fix the 32 bit , i've tried before but i did find a web site that you can download the boot loader , for 64bit / 32bit vista , to fix just that problem when you come across it .. their about 128 mb each i found it at neosmart , they have some really helpfull down loads try going to neosmart.net and run a search
  3. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 375   +80

    OK, thanks for the tip regarding the website! I'm still a little concerned about just jumping in and trying it. I will back up my data first, of course, but I really don't want to have to download and reinstall all my programs if I end up having to format the drive and reinstall Vista!
  4. gsstyle4

    gsstyle4 TS Rookie

    well it's a program i use on my server and my laptop as well it's called EasyBCD it's made just for that running two windows programs on the same harddrive , the problem as you have read is that the second install usually takes over the boot.inf for it's self , but that program can hide the partitions from eachother, so you can lock the boot to your vista 64 bit and reformat the 32bit side with out having to worry , and even if you do lose the boot info, like i said just down load the boot recovery disc , it's only like 128 meg and all it does is just that ! " it acts like it's going to do a reinstall , but you just hit "R" for repair and then it just fixes your boot sector , on the drive your using .. and you can go about your day it was a life saver for me , but that program really is helpfull ,, ..
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    There's no need to download / install anything extra if you can type a couple of command line commands.

    Run command prompt as administrator, then type bcdedit. It lists all the current options in the boot menu.

    You can delete the unnecessary one(s) by typing
    bcdedit /delete {*identifier goes here*}.

    For example, I have this entry from a deleted Vista installation:

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier              {d4a55f49-b843-11dd-b188-ef92f8c7c6d5}
    device                  unknown
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice                unknown
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {d4a55f4a-b843-11dd-b188-ef92f8c7c6d5}
    nx                      OptOut
    I deleted it with bcdedit /delete {d4a55f49-b843-11dd-b188-ef92f8c7c6d5}.

    Note that you can use mouse to copy text in command prompt (right-click, select mark, enter to copy) :p
  6. gsstyle4

    gsstyle4 TS Rookie

    well i had went about it that way because i had totall lost all ability to access my OS on either side , this happened to my laptop , i made the mistake of loading my older XP-SP2 , after i had already had the factory install of Vista on it , of course there was a moment of panic there , because it was my only 32bit Vista i had , i bought my 62bit on dvd.. but you know how it goes when you get a laptop on sale , at places like best buy their OEM ,,
  7. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 375   +80


    Sorry I forgot to follow up on how I fixed this! WARNING: it isn't pretty! I am sure there is a better way to do it.

    First i just deleted the partion with the 32 bit version. I used EasyBCD to set the boot to the 64-bit, or so i thought. When I rebooted, there was no OS found. I inserted the Vista DVD and once it found my drives I let it repair the installation.

    Now I was able to access Vista 64, and it was the only OS on my system, but I still had that large empty partition at the front of my boot drive. I was not able to successfully merge this to expand my drive; my guess is that it had something to do with it's physical location on the drive.

    I used DriveImage XML to clone my drive to the empty partition. I could then use DriveImage to retrieve files from the clone, but I was never able to get that drive to boot. I played around with BCD enough that eventually I could not boot at all, and the Vista repair tool could not fix it either. I finally installed Vista on another partition on a physically separate drive so I could use EasyBCD to restore my original installation (I wish i could find the how-to link that helped me here; I will add it later if I find it again).

    Once that was working, I made a new image and stored it on the 2nd drive. Then, messing around again, i somehow wiped out the boot loader AGAIN.

    I gave up. After making sure I could retreve important stuff from the image, and backing it all up on an external drive, I reformatted the entire primary disk and installed Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64-bit from scratch. Now my OS is on my boot drive, alond with drivers and associated programs, and all my games and media are on the 640GB drive.
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