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Gavin5511 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi Guys,

just installed windows 2003 on one of my servers.

the operating system has been installed on drive G: and formatted to NTFS.

on drive C:. there exists and old installation of windows 2000.

How do i get rid of the windows 2000 installation, and change Drive G: to drive C: so the machine boots up with windows 2003 on drive C:

Thanks, Gavin
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Juan OcasioContinuous Process Improvement Lead

Since you just installed 2003, why don't you just reformat the machine and install a fresh copy of 2003?  If you need the data off of the 2000 install, you could save it to the network and then add it back once the install is complete.  That way you can create your partitions correctly without having to worry about ill-effects later.  That's not to say the link jdietrich provided will misguide you, however if you can do it right the Windows way, you probably should as you may not get support later on if you mess something up in the registry.



how do i format partitions that contain operating systems then? i didn't think you could format primary partitions


oh yeh, i forgot to mention, that one of the disks is bigger than the other, thats why i want to swap them over!
why not just pull out the smaller one then, temporarily while installing 2003?

You can indeed format system partitions. You just can't do it from within the O/S itself AFAIK (it doesn't like to self-destruct or something, probably). You just boot with your install media for the new O/S ande choose to install on the drive of your choice and then run the format. You WILL need to take care of any data you need before this, of course.

The oldtime drive letter nomenclature is a throwback to DOS and BIOS detection upon cabling up and powering up drives; the first one in is C.  If you then partition C and do whatever, say up to F, then add a new hard drive, generally, between Windows and BIOS your new drive is now D.

Changing that is at the lowest level of hardware configuration, and is still a chronological dependency in Windows, DOS, and most BIOS.

You didn't say which drive is bigger; the main Operating System one you desire or the old one you want to move.  There should be no need to change the letters anyway, since you can boot off of the old smaller one [my assumption that the old one was the smaller] and switch immediately by boot.ini to the larger G drive as the Operating System drive.

Read this:


It may need some updates, but gives the general idea.


right, i've reinstalled windows 2003 on the 17 gig partition on it's own, and it works perfect
then i added another non-os hard drive and that added fine,
then i added the original hard disk with windows 2000 on it, and it tried to dual boot.

i want to format this windows 2000 hard drive, but i don't know how as it essentially still is a primary partition, and has various boot files etc.

please help.

Thanks, Gavin

ooooo, trying to re-format first partition is very tricky!

There is a list of files that you need, from boot.ini to various bootsector.dos files and autoexec.net, and ntdetect.com, and others.

Generally, if you have a copy of every file in the root directory, not including the folders [directories], somewhere, you can usually copy them back to the first partition after a re-format, but you will need a floppy drive with all of the required files for a boot from floppy.  Once the first partition has been re-formatted, to make it boot, you will have to set the boot bit in the hard disk boot sector.  NT Resource Kit gives a complete explanation of where this bit is.

If you mean you got a menu when you reinstalled the hard disk with Windows 2000 on it, that just means the boot.ini has extra boot options for what it thinks is another Operating System; you need only to delete that entry.

You can find out what files are required, but if I were you, I'd make a boot disk floppy and make sure it works first.  The required files will also have to be on the boot floppy.

You should force the system to boot into 2003, and then format the 2000 hard drive - that shouldn't be a problem. Or, temporarily hook up the 2000 hard drive, alone by itself, to the system, boot from a CD that has a wipe utility (like the ultimate boot CD) and wipe the drive clean. Then re-connect the sytem as it was. The 2000 HD is now clean, the dual-boot situation is gone  and it can be partitioned and formatted at will.

Generally, formatting a bootable hard drive is not a problem, but you'll probably have to boot from another media to do it. And it'll be empty afterwards, so back up anything you need!

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