Windows® XP Multiple copies on the same disk

How do you get rid of one Windows® XP copy, when you have got two copies on the same disk?

Windows® XP is one of the most popular operating systems from Microsoft®, for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, and media centers. Released in 2001, it is the successor to both Windows® 2000 and Windows® Me. In 2006, it was succeeded by Windows Vista®. However, there might be certain times when the user ends up installing two copies of the operating system on the same disk.

Discussed below are details on how to handle this situation:

  • When do you end up with two copies of Windows® XP?

  • How do you find out if you have two copies?

  • How to resolve this issue?

When do you end up with two copies of Windows® XP?

Double copies of Windows® XP on the same disk of your system might be out of two reasons primarily. Often, the inexperienced user ends up making a common mistake and installs a second copy of the operating system in the system, over and above an already installed copy of Windows® XP. Or, the original installation gets taken down by viruses or malware or you set up your computer for a dual-boot system.

How do you find out if you have two copies?

In order to remove your extra copy of Windows® XP from the disk, first, you need to determine whether you have one and where it is stored. You need to find out if your second copy of Windows® XP is just left over from an over-written installation, or if it is, in fact, a complete second copy of Windows®. You can do this by finding out if there are two ‘Windows®’ folders on two different drives on your computer. This folder contains all the important Windows® files. The second folder will be the one located on the drive that does not contain your current Windows® XP's My Documents folder.

How to resolve this issue?

Once you have located and understood if you have a second copy of Windows® XP, you need to restart the system and run the version of Windows® XP that you wish to keep in your computer. Now, delete the ‘Windows®’ folder for the version you want to get rid off. Next, right-click on ‘My Computer’ and select the ‘Properties’ option. From the dialog box that pops up select the ‘Advanced’ tab, and then locate the ‘Startup and Recovery’ section and choose the ‘Settings’ button. Now, click the ‘Edit’ button, which will open up a Notepad program. Locate the line that reads "operating systems" and just beneath this line you will find lines that tell your computer to offer the choice to boot to one of the Windows® XP operating systems on your computer. Delete the one you want to get rid off and save the "Boot.ini" file. Finally, restart your computer to complete the process.

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