Currently I have Vista and
Windows 7 installed on two separate hard drives. Vista was installed first on drive C:\ and Windows 7 was later automatically installed on drive F:\ in the dual boot mode. Eventually I would want to remove Vista and free up it's hard drive for other
purposes. I believe the easiest way to do this is to reformat the hard drive with Vista on it, but I am concerned about what might happen if I do that. Will the master boot record (MBR) created with Vista be destroyed and render the system unbootable? And,
without Vista, will Windows 7 then take on the drive designation of C:\, the former Vista drive?
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Its not the MBR thats the problem but the physical location of the BCD store (that hidden partition).
If the BCD store is located on the Vista drive, then when you disconnect the data cable from that drive (the Windows 7 drive should be the only drive connected) and then power up the computer, Windows 7 will fail to boot. However if by chance the BCD store
is on the Windows 7 drive you should be able to boot to Windows.
If Vista was installed first and then you installed Windows 7 the BCD store is all but certain to be on the Vista drive and disconnecting that drive's data cable will result as previously mentiond, in Windows 7 failing to boot. This is when you should follow
the "How to repair and reboot to Windows 7" instructions I posted. (With only the Windows 7 drive connected)
After you are able to get Wndows 7 to boot the next thing you should do is disconnect the data cable from the Windows 7 drive and reconnect the cable to the Vista drive. Then use Partition Wizzard's "Bootable CD' (See the end of this post) to delete all
the partitions on the Vista drive so the entire drive space is shown as "Unallocated".
Once you have removed the partition(s) you can safely connect the Windows 7 drive's data cable (both drives should now be connected).
After booting to Windows 7, open 'Disk Management' and partition / format what was the Vista drive.