Uninstalling/deleting Windows?

Viper007Bond

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I want to install Vista and try it out to make sure all my hardware and software will work with it as I'm considering switching to it from XP. I don't want to replace my current XP install, at least not yet (i.e. I wanna dual boot).

However, I don't have an empty drive or partition I can use. So, if I install to one of my drives that has existing non-Windows data on it (it's just a file dump currently), can I later uninstall or delete Vista without removing the other data on the drive when I'm done testing?

Or what about partitioning the drive temporarily without loosing the data on the drive and then removing the partition later? Is that possible / safe?

I guess I could just move the data off the drive to one of my other drives. I'm sure I have room for 80GB on my other HDs...
 

Blayde

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If you want to just try it out to see for issues, can VMware not do the same thing?

A quick format generally wipes (recreating a fresh) Directory Entry Table
and does not over write any data. The effect of a quick format is similar to
ripping out the chapter (or index) pages from a book but the book itself is
fine. This makes the data remaining on the disk difficult (but not
impossible) to use. As soon as you start something new on the disk e.g.
install Vista or saving any new data, the action will over write whatever
was on the disk.

You'd rather back up and install fresh. (from what i read you don't have to format, but you'd rather)
 

Viper007Bond

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jensked

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Can't you make a new (empty) partition on an existing drive and install it there?

IIRC, Vista makes a dual boot automatically (vista & previous version of windows).
 

Viper007Bond

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Can't you make a new (empty) partition on an existing drive and install it there?

Can I? I thought I couldn't do that without making the existing fullsize "partition" smaller which would mean I had to delete it and remake it.

I'm already in the process of moving the 70GB I had on my 750GB drive to a different drive though, so problem solved. :)
 

jensked

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Can I? I thought I couldn't do that without making the existing fullsize "partition" smaller which would mean I had to delete it and remake it.

IIRC it's possible to make a second partition on a "used" harddisk without destroying the data. I've done it on a server here at work, quite risky business, but it went without a glitch.

GParted is available as a liveCD and is a handy tool for every computer user.

A hard disk is usually subdivided into one or more partitions. These partitions are normally not re-sizable (making one larger and the adjacent one smaller) The purpose of GParted is to allow the individual to take a hard disk and change the partition organization therein, while preserving the partition contents.
 

prizrak

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Viper,

Check out Partition Magic, best on the fly partitioning software I have ever seen. Gparted I've had issues with.
 

jensked

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^ What? No it's just the other way round.

PM gives issues when dealing with more complex situations. And it's paid vs free (although that might not be an issue ;P)

Don't believe that guy. Believe me. Believe me, i tells ya!
 

Hidden_Hunter

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Viper,

Check out Partition Magic, best on the fly partitioning software I have ever seen. Gparted I've had issues with.

DON'T USE PARTITION MAGIC WITH VISTA FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

unless of course you like your partition table being destroyed, if so go right ahead and use partition magic
 

Viper007Bond

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Yeah, I figured as much -- risky business.

Anyway, I spent the past couple hours playing around with Vista 64bit and I think I'm gonna make the switch (wipe C: and install Vista there) in a couple days once my sister is done stealing my computer while I sleep (her current Maya project doesn't like her slow CPU).
 

gtrietsc

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I have been running Vista Ultimate 64 bit for a few months now. No problems with games or anything. Its been better than I expected.
 

chaos386

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I've used GParted to shrink/move/resize partitions loads of times, and have never had any problems with lost data or borked partitions. It can even shrink fragmented NTFS partitions.

All you'll need to do is shrink a partition on one of your drives, install Vista (having it create a partition from the empty, unformatted space), and if you want to remove it, just delete the partition and resize the old partition to fill the whole disk again.
 

MadCow809

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All 6 of my drives have stuff on them.

I guess I'll just clean off one of my drives, install to it, and then format it when I'm done.

Make a new partition and then install Vista as dual boot.

Otherwise it's kind of tricky to get rid of Vista completely without a clean format.
 

prizrak

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^ What? No it's just the other way round.

PM gives issues when dealing with more complex situations. And it's paid vs free (although that might not be an issue ;P)

Don't believe that guy. Believe me. Believe me, i tells ya!

Weird I had the absolute opposite result for some reason.... :dunno:
DON'T USE PARTITION MAGIC WITH VISTA FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Well he wouldn't be using it IN Vista but yeah I never used it in Vista, in fact I haven't had Windows on my own machines for like 5 years :)
 
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argatoga

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I guess it doesn't matter now, but you could have installed Vista on your data drive and just deleted it (Window's folders, swap file) from XP when you were done with it.
 
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