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Windows 7: Disk Manager

04 Aug 2014   #1
bigoleben

win 7 32 bit
 
 
Disk Manager

I have win XP and I understand it has disk manager built into it. How do I find it? I have 250gb hd and want to partition it and try and download win 7 on the partition and see if I can learn to use 7 without deleting xp. Can this be done?
Thanks
Ben


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Aug 2014   #2
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigoleben View Post
I have win XP and I understand it has disk manager built into it. How do I find it? I have 250gb hd and want to partition it and try and download win 7 on the partition and see if I can learn to use 7 without deleting xp. Can this be done?
You can install Win7 onto a system that currently has WinXP as its primary bootable OS, no problem... as long as there is free space somewhere on the one or more hard drives you have to put Win7.

The Win7 installer will change the Boot Manager currently in your C-partition from WinXP's Boot Manager to Win7's Boot Manager, and will create a new boot menu that includes both WinXP and Win7 for you to choose from. You'll be able to set either to be your default after installation, but initially the installer will set Win7 to be your new primary default (i.e. where the cursor is sitting by default and which will boot automatically in 10-30 seconds if you don't arrow-down to the other WinXP choice).

So all you need to do is create say 100GB of free space (you really can probably get by with as little as 50GB for Win7, but for a real Win7 partition something larger is required, especially depending on where your "data" lives). With your current 250GB drive probably all used as C for WinXP, hopefully you'll have at least 100GB of free space, and you can carve out say 60GB for use as a new Win7 bootable partition.

Your best and easiest and simplest way to shrink C and create D is to use Partition Wizard (which is free) to do your partitioning, both under WinXP and Win7 and beyond. It has an installed version that runs under the OS, and a standalone boot CD version (burned from ISO that you download) for safe and complete ability to do anything on any partition including C (i.e. for the running WinXP or Win7).

Under Win7, disk management is launched by running DISKMGMT.MSC from Start -> RUN. I don't still have a usable WinXP left for me to confirm with, but I think it was the same program name. DISKMGMT.MSC does the same types of things as Partition Wizard, but with nothing as user-friendly and with the sophisticated and function-rich GUI as with Partition Wizard. Try Partition Wizard... you'll love it.

Now, when you run the Win7 installer (from USB or DVD), it will ask you where to install it. You'll point to the newly available but currently still unallocated free space you just fabricated. It will put Win7 there and do the Boot Manager maintenance work in your current WinXP C partition that I described earlier. That C partition is currently marked as "ACTIVE", so the BIOS goes there to begin the boot process (currently finding the WinXP Boot Manager, but it will be the Win7 Boot Manager plus new boot menu for WinXP and Win7), and it will remain "ACTIVE". In this type of post-WinXP second OS install for Win7 there is no "system reserved" 100MB partition created (and marked ACTIVE) by the Win7 installer. It knows Win7 is going in as a second bootable OS where WinXP already exists.

And of course, the WinXP partition will continue to be C... to WinXP. The second Win7 partition will probably be D (or maybe higher, say the letter after your CD/DVD drive). And when you boot to Win7, that partition will be seen as C... to Win7. And the WinXP partition will be D (or again, maybe higher). You can use DISKMGMT.MSC to change the drive letters to meet your tastes and be cross-OS consistent for D and higher and to minimize confusion, but the bootable OS partition will always be C as seen by itself.
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