How To Uninstall Windows 7 And Return The Partition To Vista

If you have previously dualboot your Windows 7 and Vista and now you wanted to remove it, either because you don’t like it or you are running out of hard disk space, here is the way to do it:

Remove the Windows 7 boot entry

Previously when you install Windows 7, it modifies the bootloader and makes it the default OS to boot up. If you are going to uninstall Windows 7, you will have to remove the entry from the bootloader so that you don’t have any conflicts when booting up later.

Download and install EasyBCD.

Run EasyBCD. On the left pane, click on the Add/Remove Entries.

On the right pane, highlight the Windows 7 entry and click Delete.

easybcd remove win7 entry

Close EasyBCD.

Download GParted iso file and burn the image to a CD.

Boot up your computer with the Gparted live CD. On the main screen, you should see your Windows Vista and Windows 7 partitions.

There are two ways that you can deal with your Windows 7 partition:

1) reformat it and use it as an additional partition to your Vista partition

2) remove the partition and return the extra space back to the Vista partition

Reformat Windows 7 partition

Highlight and right click on the Windows 7 partition. Select Format to -> ntfs.

format-as-ntfs

Click Apply.

Remove Win 7 partition and return it to Vista partition

Highlight the Windows 7 partition and click the Delete button.

delete-win7-partiion

Next, highlight the Windows Vista partition and click Resize/Move. Increase the New Size to the maximum. Make sure that the Free Space Preceding and Free Space Following is zero.

vista-new-size

Click Apply.

Once all the operations are completed, exit GParted and restart your computer. You should now boot into your Vista. Depending on the option you choose, you will have either a new blank partition that you can use to store data or a bigger Vista partition.

That’s it. Enjoy!

40 comments

  1. Nice that you have to use Linux to save your PC from the grasps of yet another Redmond blunder.

  2. great tips

    my tips:

    1. don’t install windows7 at all (wait for beta to pass, anyway.. the “beta” will never finish, service packs will come over and over again)
    2. install 7 on vmware

  3. great tips. i have a question to install window xp after removing window 7. i have window 7 and vista. can i install xp to the petition which window 7 will get removed?

  4. Actually, you don’t need Linux to deal with partitions in Vista. Run diskmgmt.msc and you do any partition editing you need from there – delete the Windows 7 partition, extend the Vista volume to include the empty partition. You don’t even have to reboot. It’s actually easier and faster than using GParted because you can skip a few steps.

  5. Thank You for introducing me to EasyBCD !!!

    I use EASEUS Partition Master 3.5 myself…

    My computer is back to normal :)

  6. Can you tell me how to reformat the hard drive of a computer that has windows 7 beta installed? Thanks.

    • Pop in your Windows 7 or Vista installer DVD. At the installation page, select “Format hard drive”.

      If not, download gparted Live CD and boot it up. You will be able to reformat your hard drive from there

  7. i have installed windows 7, so the window period has experied, all i get is a blank screen in the desktop and i need to install windows vista to take off windows 7 but on the installation process it needs to be load drives i dont know what to do, please help

  8. Wait for the Final release i have it and its great you certainly wont want to go back to vista or even XP for that matter. It is truely a master piece.

    • I do agree with you. Windows 7 is much better than Vista and XP. You don’t wanna go back to the previous version once you have used it.

  9. well, i used windows 7 beta for like one night it’s not bad, but whatever you do don’t install it until beta passes because i can’t even run my vista now…

  10. so i can do this if i downloaded windows 7 ultimate and since it replaced my windows vista it will delete right?

    • It will upgrade your current version of Vista to Windows 7, so your Vista partition is not really ‘deleted

  11. hey, i installed this last nite, should i leave it on or go back down to windows vista? is it worth leaving on?

    • Personally, I feel that Windows 7 is much superior than Vista. I don’t see the need to go back to Vista unless you are facing some driver issues, or your license is expiring soon.

  12. i tried to install win 7 on second partion. after first restart a problem occured…and nothing worked after (repair,reinstall). now i have 12.8 Gb with that bullshit. i cannot format entire partition because i have many docs and personal files ~90 Gb. at startup boot menu had gone. how can i delete them? are NTFS protected files…..i tried to use disk shredder…but doesn’t work “access is denied”

    • @fly: Can you boot into the first partition? If yes, boot into the first partition and backup all the files in the second partition. Format the second partition and try everything again.

  13. First thanks for th relevant information here written! I am running Vista Home Edition on a SATA drive 500GB. I added a 750Gb HD SATA drive and I booted from a Windows 7 DVD (Ultimate) and installed also Windows 7 and now I have a Dual Boot system, which functions well.
    The problem is that when I remove the 500 GB HD, the system will not boot.
    In my opinion I could boot from the 750 Gb drive. My question is, is it possible to boot (Windows 7) from the only mounted the 750 GB drive. In other words is it possible to remove the original Boot drive (500 GB) and make the 750 Gb Disk bootable? Thanks for your answer.

    • @ixlion: Is your Vista installed in the 500GB or 750GB hard disk. If it is on the 500GB hard disk, you won’t be able to boot from the 750GB hard disk.

  14. I’m running Vista Home Edition. Now I added a new SATA 750GB HD and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. Now I have a good working Dual Boot system. But when I remove the original SATA HD (from which I was booting Vista), I cann’t Boot anymore. Is it possible to change things so I can boot without the original drive attached to the Computer?

  15. If I installed windows 7, and don’t want it, can I just recover my computer to original condition, to uninstall it?

    Laura

  16. This was extremely useful information for me in reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows 7 Home Premium on my MacBook in place of the RC version I had installed. I shut down my MacBook and restarted in while holding the Option key, popped in my Windows 7 install DVD, chose the Windows 7 DVD, and chose to format and install over the previous partition. It worked well, with only one glitch – the Windows bootloader still showed the bootloader entry from the previous Windows 7 RC version, so I had two “Windows 7” bootloader entries – very confusing. The EasyBCD software that you mentioned helped me take care of that :D

    Thanks for the great information!

  17. Thanks I needed this because I loss my sound after installing windows 7 wasted 6hours searching……

  18. i would like to know that how to remove vista after installing windows 7…does that formats all my data too…do i need to create any back up??does other drives other than c get effected by this??thanks in advance…….:)

  19. @ankit: Yes, the only way to remove Vista is to format the partition and all your data in that partition will be gone. Before you proceed, you will need to backup your data first.

  20. I just what I thought was a clean install of Win7. I directed the install to my C drive instead of the D drive protected area. When the install finished on my 500 gd drive I only had 145 gbs of free space.I assumed that it was reformatted , now I’m backing up files to the same location,will I have access to files when my back is done. or should reformat the drive and start over

  21. I need serious help. I accidentally installed Windows7 Professional on both the C and the D drives of my laptop. I need to uninstall Windows 7 from the D drive since it is taking up all the space and i have no idea how to do it.
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thank you

    • @Vpaul: The article has already stated how to reformat your Windows 7 partition using GParted. You just have to be careful which partition you format.

  22. Hi All,
    I have installed Windows 7 Ultimate (free) on my laptop over Windows Vista home premium. I dont have partitions and I dont have Windows 7/Vista CD/DVDs. I want to uninstall Windows 7 and go back to Windows Vista, where I installed somany softwares like Photshop, Ner burner…etc. Could you please advice me what to do. Thanks for your help in advance

  23. I presume that you perform an upgrade rather than doing a dual boot. In that case, you won't be able to get back to Vista. The only way is to reformat the hard disk and re-install Vista again. Just curious, why would you want to go back to Vista from Win 7?

  24. what do i do if i installed windows 7 to my computer and lost videos uploaded from a camera , is there anyway to get the priceless videos back? please help!!

  25. Hey my friend is having alot of trouble with windows 7. He just downloaded a torrent from the piratebay(which was really stupid) and when he finished dling the torrent he used daemon tools(I think thats what he used to create a virtual cd instead of burning one) but then when his computer restarted to windows 7 he lost everything. Is there anyway that he can restore back to when he had vista. All of his programs are gone. Its like its been restored back to its factory date but as windows 7.

  26. I recently did a win 7 upgrade from vista ultimate, I chose to install win7 on a new partition so now I have a dual boot either vista or win 7. I would like to migrate win 7 to a new hard drive and leave vista alone, is this possible to do without screwing up either or both os's? Thanks in advance

  27. First he shouldn't have used daemon tools for that I wont work. Second if he re-partition the hard drive its gone. Next time dual boot so you wont loose anything if you make a mistake. Either way he got what he deserved for using pirated software, illegal and not worth it.

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