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Windows 7: Dual boot mystery

17 Feb 2011   #1

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7
Dual boot mystery

This is driving me crazy. I had a dual boot set up with windows 7 and windows xp. During the superbowl of all times I got a pop up window that my hard drive was about to die, Save your files and replace the drive. On reboot my bios said the same. Went and bought a new drive (500 GIG), partitioned it 75% for 7 and 25 for xp.Installed windows 7 with out a hitch. But this time I installed the 64 bit version
Now the XP install on the new the set up screen I don't "see" my windows 7 installation....only the free space called C . OK so I installed it there ...but on the first reboot it started the whole install process again and somehow it destroyed my windows 7 installation.
Can windows 7 64 bit live on the same drive with XP 32 bit? Shouldn't I see the windows 7 partition on the xp install screen? When I set up the old drive it was easy....leading me to believe the 64 bit is a problem. Any thoughts???

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #2


It would be best to install XP first then Win7 so that Win7 can correctly configure the Dual Boot as it does when installed last. Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

Use the XP CD to delete all existing partitions, create and full format the partition for itself. After install, boot the Win7 installer to create its partition in Unallocated Space you leave for it.

Win7 should auto-configure the Dual Boot. If not, install EasyBCD 2.0 in WIn7 to easily Add XP, accept offered boot files, Save, restart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #3
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Warewasher.

If you really wanted to do it the best way and get some experience out of the process; first after you have copied out or made back-ups of the data you need to save to external media, boot the Windows 7 installation DVD to do a complete wipe (secure erase) of the entire Hard Disk Drive using Step One of this tutorial at the link below, when the clean all finishes, type exit 2 times to close the command window, remove the Windows 7 DVD and add the XP CD and restart the PC.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

DISKPART : At PC Startup

Now do the XP installation as usual creating a single partition to install XP to so it will use the C: drive letter for itself being the first partition on the HDD, if it's not the first partition it will take the next available drive letter and that may cause issues with installed programs/apps.

Then use the info in this tutorial at this link below to "Move/Resize" the XP partition to create a space to clean install Windows 7 to so it will be the first partition on the HDD and as it will be the last OS installed it will auto-configure the Windows managed dual boot and there will be nothing else to do except enjoy Windows.

Clean Install Windows 7 : Ahead of XP

Be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Feb 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


If using Win XP CD.

Dual boot mystery-capture.png

Dual boot mystery-capture2.png
Type in command line

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2011   #5

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7

Thanks everyone.
If installing XP first is the best way then I guess I have must have done it that way on my original hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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