Long-time subscriber Gordon Shaw wrote from the U.K. to ask about using a Windows XP hard drive that was installed on his new system:
Re Dave Drake’s post in your latest Newsletter regarding his old XP hard drive I have a similar situation. I had a Desktop PC built for me last year the details as follows:
8 GB RAM
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Two Hard Drives, one new with Windows 7 & one which was in my old PC with XP
Windows 7 Hard Drive
Seagate SATA-III 6.0 Gb/sec
931GB capacity (1TB)
Partition 0, Partition ID: Disk #0, Partition #0, Size 100 MB
Partition 1, Partition ID: Disk #0, Partition #1, Disk Letter C, File system NTFS, Size 516 GB, Used Space: 68 GB
Partition 2, Partition ID: Disk #0, Partition #2, Disk Letter B, File system NTFS, Size 415 GB, Used Space: 75 GB
XP Hard Drive
Seagate SATA-I 1.5 Gb/sec
Partition 0, Partition ID: Disk #1, Partition #0, Disc Letter E, File system NTFS, Size 146 GB, Used Space: 35.4 GB
Partition 1, Partition ID: Disk #1, Partition #1, Disk Letter F, File system NTFS, Size 86 GB, Used Space: 50 GB
All above information from Piriform Speccy programme
When I open "My Computer" I have 4 Hard Drives
Data (B:) 339GB free of 415GB
Local Disk (C:) 448GB free of 516GB
Local Disk (E:) 111GB free of 146GB
Local Disk (F:) 35.7GB free of 86.3GB
I presume the Partition 0 in the Speccy data for the Windows 7 Hard Drive refers to a recovery partition in Windows 7
[The article is continued below...]
As XP is not supported after April I would like to remove the Windows, Documents & Settings and other programme files (Local Disk (E:)) on the XP Hard Drive and reformat it to one Partition having the capacity of 232 GB. This would leave me with just one partition with the old files from Disk (F:). Can I just go ahead and combine the two partitions into one after removing the files on Disk (E:) or would I have to make alterations to the BIOS as it seems that when I open the files in “My Documents” on Disk (F:) they are represented as folder images the same as in Windows 7 not like the old folders in XP.
Sorry for the long winded explanation but I thought I would give you as much information as possible as I’m not happy to go into altering the BIOS.
Regarding his Partition 0 on the Windows 7 hard drive, that’s really not a recovery partition. Windows 7 creates a special 100 MB partition that is used by the operating system itself.
I wrote back to Gordon to suggest a way that he could find out if removing the XP drive would work. It may not be as simple as removing the drive. A lot depends on whether the XP drive was in the machine when Windows 7 was installed.
I’ve seen Windows 7, if installed on a new drive, link to and use older Windows files on an XP drive that still connected at the same time that Win7 was installed.
When I removed the XP drive, the Windows 7 computer wouldn’t run. I did a clean install of Windows 7 without the XP drive installed. Then, to access the drive, I added it to the sysstem after the WIndows 7 installation was complete.
This means that, if he reformats the XP drive, his Windows 7 drive may not boot. If the XP drive died, he could have a similar problem
I suggested that he try by disconnecting the XP drive temporarily and making sure you he boot and run Windows 7 successfully.
If he can’t, he might be able to do a Windows 7 "Repair" if he has the OS DVD. Since he had the PC built for him, he probably has a Windows 7 Operating System DVD (not the same thing as a Recovery DVD).