Removing a boot option from a multi-boot PC

User built his own PC and installed Windows 7 32 bit.

Only after that did they realized the RAM limitations... so decided to install Windows 7 64 bit.

User now wants to remove the 32 bit install option... and reclaim the space it is using..., but checking MS website, it appears that you cannot remove the version installed earlier as that is where the startup files are - and removing that partition will make the machine inoperable.

I know we can use the 64 bit install disk to reformat the entire machine and install 64 from scratch - which would provide the cleanest environment, but the user wants to avoid that due to all the programs he has installed.

Is there any way to remove the 32 bit version and have the machine be bootable?

Suggestions welcome.
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NinjaStyle82Systems AdministratorCommented:
Just backup important files and reinstall. There is no good way to do this.

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It depends how the system was installed and what hardware you have. If for example the system uses a conventional BIOS, then the default setup of Windows 7creates a small 100MB reserved partition that is used for booting. The rest of the disk is then normally used for the OS. If a 2nd OS is installed you would normally shrink the partition with the original OS on it, then install the new OS to the rest of the space. The new OS is then added to the boot menu.

With such a setup it is easy to remove the original OS partition. You just need to keep the 100MB boot partition and you can also remove the boot menu entry for the original OS. You can then create a new partition where the original OS was on and use that for data, or you can use a 3rd party tool to move your current OS partition to the beginning of the disk, then resize it so it uses up the free space. Or you can make an image backup of the OS partition, delete the partition, then restore the backup to use the rest of the disk's space.
i would remove the 32 bit partition(s)
then run a repair from the 64 bit install DVD
that should take care of it

**it's always wise to make a backup - before erasing things!
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Take a screen shot of Windows Disk Management and load it here. You will get guidance on how to achieve what you want.
Tomster2Author Commented:
Thank you for the comments and options.  Need to connect with the user to get a screen shot. Will post back.
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
Tomster2Author Commented:
The user decided to just reformat and reinstall. It was a new machine and we could have played with the alternative methods suggested, but they felt they may as well just start clean.

My apologies for not getting back to the group. I appreciate the suggestions - even though we ended up not using them. There were four people who posted suggestions so I will split the points.

Thanks everyone.
tx for feedback
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Windows 7

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