Getting rid of XP

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Installation' started by fjgold, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hi Folks, I'm posting this to illustrate how I replaced\removed XP from my system in favor of Win 7.
    First some background.

    I've been using Win 7 since the beta as part of a multiboot setup on my Acer laptop.
    The other MS OS was my old XP install.
    My old XP was located at the physical start of my drive.
    To install Win 7 beta, the subsequent RC and finally the Win 7 Home Premium retail I simply had created
    an appropriately sized NTFS partition at the physical end of my HDD.
    As each release became available I simply performed a clean install to the same partition.
    I also have 4 Linux distros in the space in between the MS OS's.

    I've been using the final release of Win 7 for about 9 months now and have been very happy with it.
    I recently began experiencing minor but annoying issues with Win 7 so I figured it was time for a re-install.
    Since I haven't used XP much since starting my adventure with Win 7 I decided to jettison XP and recover the disk space.
    My plan was to ultimately install Win 7 at the start of the drive in place of XP.

    I knew that the XP install contained the BCD info needed to boot Win 7 so to save time and hair pulling I decided on a
    safer although somewhat round about way to do this.
    Here is what I did.

    I had a spare drive laying around so I partitioned it with 2 NTFS partitions.
    The first partition created was the same size as the original XP\Win 7 partitions (23069 MB).
    I did this so I could clone the new install to my drive later.
    This was because Clonezilla, my prefered imaging program will only restore an image to a partition
    the same size or larger as the cloned partition.

    The 2nd partition, actually the rest of the space, I made NTFS also.
    This partition would be used to install my apps and programs after instaling Win 7 to the first partition.
    This keeps the Win 7 footprint fairly small, around 10 GB, (having a small footprint makes it easier to create clone images later).

    I next installed the spare drive into my laptop and installed Win 7 to that first partition.
    Several Windows updates later I was ready to install any needed drivers (2 actually) and
    install my programs and apps.

    I had previously created a folder on my other NTFS partition to install these programs in.
    I had named the new folder "Program Files", the same as the default folder in C:\.
    I then instructed the various program installers to install to the U:\Program Files folder.

    While I was at it I relocated my C:\user library "special folders" to U:\Program Files.
    These folders included the My Documents, My pictures etc. libraries.
    I would later restore the data to these folders from backup.

    I had a similar arrangement originally but it was a bit haphazard since it evolved over time and had program files from both
    XP and Win 7.

    When everything was setup like I wanted I did a disk clean up and defragged C:\.

    Next, using the Clonezilla Live CD, I created an image of my new Win 7 install saving it to a USB flash drive.

    Now came the "risky" part.

    I reinstalled my old drive and manually copied the data\program files from the new drive's U:\Program Files folder
    to the corresponding folder of my old drive.
    I used a Hard Drive Dock to transfer the files\data.

    Next I booted Clonezilla Live and instructed it to restore the image I had created earlier of my new Win 7 install to the partition
    that contained my old XP install (the first physical partition) thereby replacing XP with my new Win 7 install.

    When Clonezilla was done I restarted my computer and success, I now had a fresh copy of Win 7 at the physical start of my drive.

    The Clonezilla operation removed my original boot menu so that I could only access Win 7.
    I knew this would happen.

    Popping in my SuperGrub CD and performing a GRUB restore fixed that.

    I can now boot Win 7 and all my Linux distros like before.

    The space at the end of the drive taken up by my old Win 7 install I reclaimed by formatting it to ext3 and installing another
    Linux distro.

    Everything works great now and the errors are history.

    The above may sound risky but it really wasn't because I had Clonezilla images of all my original OS's saved just in case.

    If I had messed up my original drive I could have restored everything in a matter of minutes.

    As it turned out everything went fine with no issues except for the expected, but easily fixed boot manager issues.

    In the event I ever need XP again I used Conezilla to restore my last XP image to the C:\partition of the spare drive
    I used to create my new Win 7 install.

    I only need swap drives to access XP.
    I probably will only access it to periodically preform updates.

    I have a Clonezilla image saved of my new Win 7 install to serve as a base image.
    The next time I find I need to reinstall Win 7 (because of "software rot" like now) all I need do is restore this image
    and update it.

    Total time about 5 hours.
    Mike and (deleted member) like this.

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