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Windows 7: Planning a Dual boot XP 32-bit Win 7 64-bit

19 Apr 2011   #1

Win XP 32-bit
 
 
Planning a Dual boot XP 32-bit Win 7 64-bit

My present computer can take 8 GB of RAM and I would like to take advantage of that with Win 7 64-bit. Presently I'm running XP 32-bit with 4GB of RAM.
I did some research and found that some of my hardware (particularly my scanner that I need often) won't work under 64-bit - or it will after some "fiddling".
My computer hardware does not qualify for virtualization, so running Win 7 in XP mode is not an option.

Therefore I would like to create a dual boot with XP 32-bit and Win 64-bit. That would give me time to get Win 7 64-bit running smoothly with all hardware that I need while at the same time I can do all my tasks under XP.
Presently Win XP is on my C:\ drive; for Win 64-bit I'd use my internal D:\drive (SATA - 250 GB).

Question 1: It is my understanding that each OS would have its own drivers. Correct?
Question 2: I am aware that Win XP 32-bit can use only 4 GB of RAM. What happens if I install 8 GB RAM - will XP 32-bit crash or anything? Or will it just ignore the additional 4 GB RAM?

Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello eku72, welcome to Seven Forums!



Before you get too far along, have a look at this tutorial at the link below for a good method to dual boot XP and Windows 7 when XP is installed first; that will get Windows 7 on the first partition on the Hard Disk Drive and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


Clean Install Windows 7 : Ahead of XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #3

Win XP 32-bit
 
 

Thanks, Bare Foot Kid.
The thought how to I get rid of XP at a later point in time, had docurred to me. Your post solves that problem.
But how about the 8 GB RAM question? What does XP 32-bit do when 8GB are installed? Just ignore the additional 4 GB and run happily with only 4 GB as before?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


19 Apr 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello again, my pleasure and I'm glad I could help; using that method you don't have to be in any hurry to change anything and the bonus of having Windows 7 on the first, fastest position of the Hard Disk Drive.

If you have already created D: you may want to reabsorb it back into C: so the left side of C: can be resized to create the Windows 7 partition.


It will "be ignored" by XP, no problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes, Xp and Windows 7 will have separate drivers. Windows 7 installer is driver-complete, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates when you enable hardware auto-updating: Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware

Any drivers then missing in Device Manager can be found on the Dell Support Downloads webpage for your model. Driver Install - Device Manager - Windows 7 Forums

You can likely install more RAM than 4gb but XP 32 bit will only recognize 4 gb.

If you have separate HD's, it's best to unplug the XP HD during install of Windows 7, then after install plug it back in, set preferred OS HD as first to boot in BIOS setup, trigger the other HD to boot using one-time BIOS Boot menu key which on Dell is F12.

This keeps the HD's indepedent to come and go as you please. Allowing Windows 7 to configure a Dual Boot interlocks it to XP so that Windows 7 must be repaired to remove XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #6

Windows
 
 

You can install a ramdisk in xp to make use of the last 4 GB. This has almost become a trend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #7

Win XP 32-bit
 
 

Thanks for all the good advice.
Lots to think about.
Just for clarification: My D drive is a physical HD, not a partition on C-drive.

I'll be back with more questions, soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional- 64
 
 

I agree with Gregrocker...best way to dual install is to unplug one OS while installing another OS on a separate drive. Let Bios control which OS to use. I can't believe it took me so long to realize it. It makes maintaining each system so easy.

I have a Windows 7 Pro - 64 and Windows XP 32 dual install with 8 GIG memory and there is no problem. In my XP configuration it shows 3.5 Gig installed.

I have an HP computer and had no problem obtaining drivers through their website. To switch Operating Systems I just hit esc during first screen which goes to screen where I can choose the drive that has XP to boot. If I don't hit esc it automatically goes into Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

I'm currently running a Windows 7 Ultimate & Windows XP Professional Dual-Boot on the same hard drive, both 32-bit, no problems. Follow the instructions posted in the link below to set up the dual boot correctly, I followed them to get my dual-boot working.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PwnFrnzy View Post
I'm currently running a Windows 7 Ultimate & Windows XP Professional Dual-Boot on the same hard drive, both 32-bit, no problems. Follow the instructions posted in the link below to set up the dual boot correctly, I followed them to get my dual-boot working.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
He has separate HD's so there's no reason to interlock his HD's with a Windows-managed Dual Boot. He can boot via BIOS so HD's remain independent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Planning a Dual boot XP 32-bit Win 7 64-bit





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