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Pleasehelp me get rid of Vista!


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#1
dragonlady1970

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Hi everyone,

I have XP (SP3 & all latest updates) & Vista on a PC hard drive partitioned into C: and D: respectively.

Now I know I'm a naughty girl, but I downloaded Vista (pre SP1) to check it out via a torrent & it included Vista Loader v2.1.2. The activation code is now well & truly expired and I just want to format the D: partition & use it to store media on, but it won't let me. I am trying to do it from within XP, as I can't get into Vista anymore (Microsoft detection occurred at the SP1 release).

When I boot up I get the option of Windows Vista (default) or Earlier version of Windows. This was all done so long ago I can't remember what I did so I can properly look up how to undo it.

Any help to recover my precious GIGS of hard drive space would be appreciated, thank you.
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#2
jt1990

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Check out this tutorial on how to downgrade from Vista to XP.
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#3
dragonlady1970

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Sorry but that doesn't help me. My XP works fine on it's partition C. It's Vista on D that I need to get rid of, but I can't just format the partition from within XP (I can no longer access Vista at all) as it won't let me.
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#4
The Skeptic

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You can format the partition by using an external software. Download gparted live 0.4.1-2.iso from here. Burn the iso file to a disk (this is not the usual burning job. Your burning software must be capable of doing this. Most known burning programs can burn iso files, usually term it "burning image" or something similar). This will create a bootable CD.

Boot with the new disk, mark D partition (the one with the Vista) and choose to format it to ntfs. Be careful, please, not to format the wrong partition!
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#5
dragonlady1970

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Thank you I will give that a go.
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#6
dragonlady1970

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Thank you, using that has enabled me to reformat the hard drive (in lightning speed may I add!).

Now I still have that annoying screen asking me to choose which version of Windows I want to boot up to.

I am hoping there is a simple answer to fix this. I have noticed a few .bak files in my C drive and wonder if I can't just delete the new ones & rename the .bak ones. Here is a list of the ones that appear pertinent to my untrained eye:

boot
boot.bak
bootmgr
bootsect.bak
ntdetect
ntldr

It would appear logical to me that that boot would be replaced by boot.bak, but where does bootsect.bak fit in?

I have previously read I can use my XP SP2 disc to access something called a Recovery Console & rebuild the boot file but as I don't have it handy I would like to avoid it if at all possible.

Thanks again for your help so far!
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#7
The Skeptic

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Please try this first: Click Start > Run. In the dialog box type msconfig and press Enter. Click BOOT.INI and then Check all Boot Pathes. Windows will now check your BOOT.INI file and will suggest to remove entries that are not used. Allow windows to run the process.

If this doesn't remove the "choose which version .... " menu we will try another approach, editing the BOOT.INI file manually.
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#8
dragonlady1970

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Hi, it told me that it appears all paths are OK, so we have to do it the long way I guess. This is what boot.ini currently contains if it helps:

;
[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi (0) disk(0) rdisk(0) partition(2)\ Windows
[operating systems]
default=multi (0) disk(0) rdisk(0) partition(2)\ Windows="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN
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#9
The Skeptic

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I am not sure about the BOOT.INI file in your computer. This is the last two lines of your file:

default=multi (0) disk(0) rdisk(0) partition(2)\ Windows="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN

Normally the part I coloured shouldn't show up. I am quite hesitant about deleting it because I am not sure what the consequences are. What I suggest is that you change "timeout=3" to timeout=1 or even timeout=0 (if that's allowed). This will show the undesired menu but will move past it very quickly.
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#10
The Skeptic

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Hi dragonlady1970.

I have just been advised by Metallica, who is a senior staff member, that there is a tool that developed for the purpose of solving boot problems like we see in your computer. It is not free, costing about 10$. You can find it here. For your choice.

The keptic

Edited by The Skeptic, 27 January 2009 - 11:06 AM.

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#11
mizstephens

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Wow, I had no idea you could downgrade from Vista to XP because I know I would have already been there. I'm new and this not the reason I joined but hey you learn new and interesting things everyday!! Thanks so much...I'll be back.
Terri :)
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#12
dragonlady1970

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I tried the link but it says it's broken...

I will try the XP Recovery Console, it will be cheaper in any case cause I'm guessing that's $10USD & I'm in Australia.

Thanks for trying to help me.
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