How to remove multiple operating systems on two (raid) drives



I have noted this problem elsewhere, but my situation is a little different I
think. My PC (AMD Athlon 64 / 3400, 1Gb RAM) runs Win XP (32) Pro (fully up
to date) on a twin 164 Gb disk single partition NTFS system with SATA raid
mirror configuration. This has all worked fine for two years.

I recently had a problem when my PC failed to load Win (after no system/app
changes) with an msconfig corrupted notice. It would also not load in any
safe mode, nor from the original disk – which was probably too basic a
version for what was now on the PC. Eventually I managed to load XP to the
repair stage by using a borrowed disk with SP2 attached, however repair
continually failed. I therefore tried to reinstall over the top, but this
caused innumerable problems as it successfully managed to install a new
version, not fully onto the mirror raid, but onto the C disk alone and into a
new directory called WINDOWS1. It did also install literally 2 or 3 empty
directories and files into another duplicate WINDOWS1 dir on the second drive

This new version did allow me to load in safe mode so that I could then
re-boot via msconfig selective settings. With these settings, I managed to
select and repair the ‘original’ Windows, and then to update it again.
Somewhere during this process, the mirror raid destroyed, so I now have four
Win directories of varying levels of operability on the two disks: one fully
‘operational’ WINDOWS installation and one ‘basic’ WINDOWS1 installation on
disk C, plus one partially updated WINDOWS and a few odd files from WINDOWS1
on disk D. Yet, after several days hard work, I now have the PC running
reasonably well again from what is now the system disk C (still no raid).

However, it all needs re-tuning, so I want to remove the two unnecessary
WINDOWS1 and secondary WINDOWS (D) installations if possible. Disk
Management states that all drives are healthy and active and that C disk is
the system drive. Boot.ini notes the two possible operating systems on C, but
makes no reference at all to any operating systems on D. (Presently I have
timeout set to 0 to ease loading.)

I have read two similar messages dating from 2004/5, but before trying
something else that might cause more problems, I am unsure if the solution is
still correct for 2007. One refers to and the other is answered by
Alex Nichol. I wonder therefore if I can simply try to delete both the
WINDOWS1 directories on each drive – or whether they will simply continue to
replicate themselves. Alternatively, is there another way to remove them? If
I can do that, I can then disk copy to the D drive when re-creating the raid
set. (PS I do also have an external drive that I can make use of, if

Any ideas most welcome, please!

Thanks - Robin

Mark L. Ferguson

After an entry is removed from boot.ini, and the system restarted, any
folders, and mirrors should be removable without any 'in use' errors.


Thanks - yes; I 'grasped the nettle' and everything is now up and running

One additional point: I would like to try to avoid this happening again,
Obviously neither the mirror RAID, nor my external back-up drive can
resurrect it as it is an OS Windows boot problem. I am now running the ERUNT
program that I read about on another thread, but is there anything else you
can suggest I might do to protect the situation?

Thank you again.

Mark L. Ferguson

Certainly, everyone would like to prevent a system from failing to boot,
even in Safe Mode. It's the kind of disaster no one can predict, really. It
all has to do with file corruption. The problem is putting the blame on
something specific. A bad app? A bad updated driver? Some MalWare attack?
Hard disk failure?
This last, disk failure, is addressed most clearly, in my opinion, by the
meaning of R.A.I.D. (Random Array of Inexpensive Disks) Random, in that any
one can be pulled out, and Inexpensive, as in 'replaceable'.

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