Removing Windows



Over time, I’ve acquired so much ---- on my computer that I decided to start over from a fresh boot. Put in an old drive and changed my main one to slave, deleted, defragged and reformatted, put it back as main and reistalled windows. To my surprise, on boot up, it showed two windows. How can I totally clean my drive removing all windows to start clean? thanks.



Are there actually 2 Windows installs, or does it just say there are?


just do a format of the main drive when you come upon that section of the XP boot up screen…you can do a slow version that takes quite a while…but since xp has been on there…the HD has been formatted “properly” already…just do a quick format of the whole drive…make sure you delete any partitions also


No need to defrag before you format. Just a waste of time.

You didn’t need the extra drive just to format your main drive. At least you don’t if you have a “regular” XP install CD. XP setup should show you your drives (partitions) and ask where to install. On that screen you can delete the partition. Then you can re-create it. This will cause XP setup to format it before installing XP.

Maybe the XP disc you get with some computers sold with XP pre-installed is different, but I guess not. When I got a new Dell at work, the first thing I did is re-install XP so I could delete the single partition on the drive and create two partitions.


Of the two xps listed only one works. There are no partitions on the drive. It’s funny how xp will recognise the whole drive if it is a slave but as a main only that 137gb on initial install. That’s why I always format first.
My concern about reformatting using the working xp is a concern about shared files with the corrupted version.
Don’t have to defrag- great !!

Thanks for all the help.



for xp to recognise above a certian size HDD, you need SP2 installed (i think)


Sounds like what you did is boot to Windows with 2 hard drives installed, both of which has OS installed on them. In that scenario, Windows automatically creates a dual-boot system. When you removed the other drive, the remaining OS still had the dual-boot file on it.

If you go to system properties, advanced, startup and recovery, you will see a drop down listing both OS’s.

I think there are other ways to do this, but the way I know of is to edit your boot.ini file. You have to enable viewing hidden files in folder options.
The file will open in a text editor, and you will see something like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Home" /fastdetect

Except you will see different entries because you have 2 OS listed. You need to remove the non-operating OS entry and the edit the relevant disc/partition references. It’s not hard to figure out what to do. The bogus OS entry will probably be shown as being on “disc1”. “Disc0” is always the 1st, or main disc.

Needless to say, if you screw up, you won’t be able to boot, so be prepared. Save a copy of the original boot.ini on a disc so you can copy it back if you need to.

Doing a repair install will also fix this, but is a bit of an overkill.


personally, when i do a clean install like you did, i go to the HD manufactures site and get their disc tools and write zero’s (low level format) the drive as it gets rid of everything, then install xp back to it with only that drive in the system…


After looking at the boot ini, I wasn’t sure what to delete, so I did the reformat one more time but did it dfferently. The sector size was at max so I did it at half that size, full reformat, then did a quick at every size. This worked and my install of xp was perfect.