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Windows 7: Dual boot with XP, partition issues

06 Sep 2010   #1

What do you think?
Dual boot with XP, partition issues

Hi, I'm trying to do a dual boot with Win 7 and XP. The issue is, I have Win 7 installed first. My partition table looks like this:

Win 7
Win 7 Page file
Win XP
Win XP Page File

I used Acronis Disk Director DOS to make the partitions, the Win 7 and XP ones are primary (Win 7 one active), the others are logical. I reformatted the Win XP partition in Acronis and set it as active then proceeded to install XP. For some reason XP decides to install the boot files on the Windows 7 drive instead of the Active one which it is being installed to every time (i.e. it installs the files to E: but points it's installation to C: so it never boots), and as it also screws up the Win 7 boot loader, I end up not being able to boot into either OS.

Now today I tried to format the partition from Windows 7 thinking maybe Acronis doesn't properly set it as a Primary partition or what not, and guess what it did - it completely nuked everything after the Win 7 swap file. That's right, it literally destroyed 5 partitions with several hundred GB of data on them, leaving "Unnallocated space". You can imagine the look on my face.

Anyway - thanks to Active Partition Recovery program I was able to get my data back intact, but this is the last time I handle even the simplest tasks to Disk Management in Windows (I've actually had Win 7 wipe out pre-formatted partitions during installation as well, what's the matter, can't it handle more than 4 partitions? )

So in what way can I set up a dual boot with 7 and XP without having to delete both OS's and install XP first?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello quantum112.

If you are going to have XP installed first to the first partition then XP HAS to remain as "System, Active" for the install or you will have the issues you are having.

There is another very reliable partition manager (free BTW) have a look at these 2 tutorials at the links below.

Be sure to keep us informed.

Dual Boot : Create Partitions Using PWBD

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2010   #3

What do you think?

Sorry if I worded that wrong - I meant without having to install XP first. I know it works that way, but it requires me to reinstall 7 afterwards (I plan to do this anyway but just for future's sake I'd like to know a method).

Anyway I'll try the program you linked tommorow, it's late here now. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Sep 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

My pleasure mate, be sure to post back with an update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2010   #5

What do you think?

Didn't have an empty CD around to test Partition Wizard out, but I found a copy of Hiren's boot CD around and used Paragon Partition Manager to make the partitions again. Apparently, Acronis didn't create the extended partition that holds the logical ones properly so they got deleted. I managed to make a 872 GB extended partition that houses Games, Programs, Storage, and the Win 7 and XP ones are primary.

Works fine now. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Glad to see you sorted the issue and thanks for the update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual boot with XP, partition issues

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