How to Manually Remove Windows NT or Windows 2000

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Article ID: 103049 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q103049
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to remove Windows NT or Windows 2000 from your computer.

MORE INFORMATION

Before you begin, make sure you know where Windows NT or Windows 2000 is installed, how much of it you want to remove, and how your hard disk is partitioned and formatted. Then, use the information in one of the following sections in this article:
  • Removing Windows NT or Windows 2000 from the Boot Sequence
  • Removing a Primary NTFS Partition
  • Removing Windows NT or Windows 2000 Files
NOTE: If the hard disk contains a partition that uses the NTFS file system, remove this partition in Windows NT or Windows 2000 before removing Windows NT or Windows 2000 from the boot sequence.

Removing Windows NT or Windows 2000 from the Boot Sequence

There are two ways to remove the Windows NT or Windows 2000 boot sector from your computer:
  • If you want to return to your original MS-DOS configuration, boot MS-DOS and type sys c:. This command replaces the Windows NT or Windows 2000 boot sector with the MS-DOS boot sector, and enables your computer to boot MS-DOS. The following files are left in the root folder and can be deleted after you perform the sys c: operation:
    Pagefile.sys
    Boot.ini
    Ntldr
    Ntdetect.com
    Ntbootdd.sys
    NOTE: The Ntbootdd.sys file is installed only if you have a SCSI Host Adapter installed in Windows NT or Windows 2000.

    You can also start your computer with a Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 bootable floppy disk and use the sys c: command if you want to return to your original Windows 95 or Windows 98 configuration.

  • If you want to leave Ntldr on the disk, you can boot MS-DOS without being prompted by changing the startup operating system and time-out value. To do so, start the System tool in Control Panel, click the Startup/Shutdown tab, click MS-DOS in the Startup box, and then type 0 in the Show List For n Seconds box.
NOTE: If the primary partition was converted to NTFS, the only way to return to starting MS-DOS automatically is to reformat the drive and reinstall MS-DOS. See the next section if this is the case.

Removing a Primary NTFS Partition

In general, attempts to modify the primary, bootable NTFS partition do not succeed for the following reasons:
  • MS-DOS versions 5.0 and 6.0 do not recognize an NTFS partition. The MS-DOS Fdisk program reports an NTFS partition as an OS/2 high-performance file system (HPFS) partition.
  • You cannot modify or delete an NTFS primary partition within the partition.
To delete or modify a primary NTFS partition, use any of the following methods:
  • Boot MS-DOS version 6.0 from a floppy disk and press RETURN to continue installing MS-DOS 6. When you are prompted to do so, choose Remove Files.
  • Initiate Windows NT Setup from floppy disks or a CD-ROM. When you are prompted to do so, press P to remove the partition.
  • Use the Delpart tool (Delpart.exe) to delete the NTFS partition. The Delpart tool is included with the Microsoft Windows NT 3.1 Resource Kit only. It is not included in the Windows NT 3.5, 3.51 or 4.0 Resource Kits.
  • Boot OS/2 version 1.x from a floppy disk and run its Fdisk program. To remove the partition, specify the /D option.

Removing Windows NT or Windows 2000 Files

You can remove the following folders to remove Windows NT or Windows 2000 files and free disk space.

Windows NT 3.51 and Earlier

Users
Win32app
Winnt
NOTE: The Winnt folder name may vary. Windows NT or Windows 2000 may be installed in the same folder as Windows 3.1. If this is the case, you should delete only the System32 folder in the Windows folder.

Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000

Users
Winnt
NOTE: The Winnt folder name may vary. Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows 95 all use the following folders. Delete them only if you are not running or do not intend to keep the Windows 95 installation:
Program Files
Recycled

Properties

Article ID: 103049 - Last Review: February 20, 2007 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
Keywords: 
kbsetup kbfaq KB103049

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