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How to remove a second installation of a Windows operating system from a partition

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Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

INTRODUCTION
This article describes how to remove a second installation of a Microsoft Windows operating system from a partition that is on your hard disk drive.
MORE INFORMATION
When you have determined that a second Windows folder exists on the same partition as your "working" Windows folder, follow these steps to remove the folder from the partition and to remove the startup selection when you start your computer.

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  1. Start the Windows operating system that you want to keep.
  2. To determine the Windows folder that you want to keep, click Start, click Run, type %windir%, and then click OK. Remember the folder that is opened. For example, the folder may be C:\Windows.

    Note This is your "working" Windows folder. Do not delete or remove this folder from the partition.
  3. In Windows Explorer, find the Windows folder that you want to remove.

    Important Make sure that this folder is not the folder that you identified as your "working" Windows folder in step 2.
  4. Right-click the Windows folder that you want to remove, and then click Delete.
  5. Click Yes to confirm the deletion of the folder.
  6. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  7. On the Advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings. The Startup and Recovery dialog box appears.
  8. Under System startup, click Edit to modify the Boot.ini file.

    The Boot.ini file opens in Notepad and looks similar to the following:
    [boot loader]timeout=30default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS[operating systems]multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetectmulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Home" /fastdetect
  9. On the File menu in Notepad, click Save As, and then save a backup copy of the Boot.ini file that is named Boot.old.
  10. On the File menu, click Exit to close the backup copy of the Boot.ini file.
  11. In the Startup and Recovery dialog box, under System startup, click Edit to reopen the Boot.ini file.
  12. In the [boot loader] section of the Boot.ini file, identify and then delete the line of text for the Windows operating system that you want to remove. For example, if the Windows folder that you removed in step 4 was for the Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition operating system, remove the following line of text from the Boot.ini file:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Home" /fastdetect
  13. On the File menu, click Save to save your changes to the Boot.ini file.
  14. On the File menu, click Exit to close the Boot.ini file.
  15. Click OK to close the Startup and Recovery dialog box.
  16. Restart your computer.
windows2003 win2003 windowsxp winxp windows2000 win2000 windowsnt winnt winnt4.0
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Article ID: 888023 - Last Review: 09/23/2011 22:29:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • kbhowto KB888023
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