How To Uninstall Botched Win7 Install on XP machine?


Active Member
I have an old XP machine.

An Acer Aspire.

I put Win7 Ultimate on it but it hasn't taken. Always gives me an error message and asks for the install disk again - which was a USB stick - but when i provide it nothing changes.

So I need to get it off and start again.

I have 3 physical disks divided into 4 virtual disks.

Disk manager describes them like this:

Disk 0: 20G Fat32 System. That's C drive
Disk 1: 75G NTFS Active That's D drive
Disk 2: 98G NTFS Active That's E drive
135G NTFS Boot That's G drive.

WinXP is installed on the G: boot drive.

I had 20G free on the D drive and I just let Win7 find it and install itself there.

All the advice I find on the web says delete the partition of the Win7 OS you want to remove. Well I don't want to delete that partition because it has gigabytes of data already existing before Win7 installed itself there.

So how do I go about it?

Is it simply a matter of deleting the Windows Folder and editing the boot manager text file?

There was another old XP OS on that drive used before I installed this one on G: and win7 has renamed it windows.old. That's fine. There's also a folder that seems to have been made at the time of this win7 install. That should go too?

There's also a Program Files folder that doesn't seem to have been made by Win7, because of folder dates. I don't know about it. Is it part of that ancient XP install or is it part of the new Win7 install?

Either way it can go. I don't need that ancient install, it is just rubbish now.

What should I do?


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Hi and welcome to the forum :up:

I'll be trying to give you a helping hand today. The first thing we need from you is some hardware information about your computer. Please post Make/Model of computer. Is it a desktop PC or a laptop/tablet? If it's a desktop PC, is it an OEM (Dell, HP, Acer, Gateway, Toshiba, etc.) or a self-built rig or custom-built rig? If so, we need all the hardware specs including Make/Model of Motherboard, GPU card, and PSU including wattage. An easy way to get us this information if you don't have it handy is to go to and download the FREE SPECCY diagnostic. Post the resulting output text file from SPECCY back here to this thread so we can analyze your hardware.

Next, if you have an XP computer, it's seriously out of date and you should consider retiring it as the hardware is ancient; 10-15 years old now.

That being said, you have some other misconceptions about doing upgrades and windows configurations.

#1: you never ever run any version of Windows from any other logical drive other than the C: drive. Doing so causing major problems between the Windows OS kernel, BIOS of your Motherboard and the hard drives in your system. :noway:

#2: never, ever run an upgrade on a windows computer with a bunch of hard drives all connected to the Motherboard; whether they are connected via SATA, eSATA, USB, firewire, or whatever. :noway: You should only upgrade your Windows on ONE HARD DRIVE, which should be physical hard drive 0; also known as the C: bootdrive. All other secondary drives, internal and external should be disconnected from the XP machine until AFTER the Win7 or whichever version of Windows you are attempting to upgrade to completes successfully! This also means that no usb, or serial/parallel printers, webcams, scanners, trackballs, etc. should be plugged in and connected to that computer during your Windows OS upgrade either! :noway:

Those 2 items alone can and probably have caused major problems with that XP computer working normally. :(

You have several other items to consider; the list is really lengthy. The one that really sticks out for us here at the forum is that people often try to run really old computer hardware such as you have well beyond it's designed life. :headache: This can be done by experts, and we do this sort of thing all the time; though less and less as many of us professional techs who do this for a living have made the decision to drop all repairs and support for clients with XP hardware; especially since Microsoft dropped support for XP back on Apr. 14th 2014: 2 years ago! :shocked: This being said you will need to test your hardware; specifically the RAM memory sticks and the Hard Drive. Hard Drives are only designed to last 3 years in desktop PCs and 2 years in laptops. If you've never replaced that C: drive hard drive since that computer was purchased and you are the original and only owner--it's extremely unlikely to be working, and if tested and it fails, it should be replaced!:waah:

I'll give you a link to get you to the hardware testing, and a host of other solutions we commonly find work on older computers such as yours when trying to run a modern version of Windows, such as Win7 or newer. Here's that link:
Cursor cannot reach top of Quick Launch area

Post back your hardware specs, and we'll advise you further.

Best of luck, :encouragement:


Active Member

thanks for the help.

I said it is an Acer Aspire, so I guess you don't need a full speccy listing.

It has an Intel D945GTP board with a P4 at 3G and 4G Ram. I can tell you that much myself.

It is very interesting what you say about running windows always from C: and disconnecting all other drives/peripherals when doing an upgrade. Very interesting.

The point here though is what's done is done and the question is how to undo the last bit: the install of win7?

I am thinking if I delete win7's Windows dir and edit the boot manager file I'll be okay. What do you think?


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Sure thing! :) Glad to try and help.

I understand what you're saying. You can try deleting the W7 dir and edit the boot manager, but I doubt that will fix it especially since your hardware is so old and is HIGHLY LIKELY to have one or more failures.:down: That's why I gave you the link in Post #2 above: Cursor cannot reach top of Quick Launch area.

The issue is that if you take a shortcut and bypass the hardware testing we are suggesting, your software repairs or workarounds will NEVER WORK! :noway: THAT'S BECAUSE NO SOFTWARE ON THE PLANET CAN FIX BROKEN HARDWARE!! :ohno:

If your upgraded XP machine is having problems running W7 or hasn't Activated the legit license for the upgrade (did you check to see if your W7 is Activated?) If not, post back and I'll send you a link on how to check that), then you didn't do the W7 correctly or you have failed hardware, or you have bad W7 install source media or possibly some combination of all of those. :waah:

Did you ever replace the Hard Drive in that XP machine since you've owned it?:question: That's a big clue to me that's the reason your W7 upgrade is not working properly. Without testing the hard drive, I can tell you it's most likely failed or at the least failing and would contribute to multiple symptoms of that computer not working correctly; such as failure to Activate your W7 license or W7 update failing to pull in new updates on a weekly and monthly basis.:headache:

Cheers! :shades:

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