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Windows 7: Installation of Windows 7 on a separate HDD


04 Jul 2009   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Installation of Windows 7 on a separate HDD

Hi,

I have a question regarding installation of Windows 7 on a separate HDD.

Could you tell me if Windows 7 makes changes to the MBR on the XP disk or does it only add an option to it's own MBR to offer the choice to boot the XP disk instead?

The reason I'd like to know is that my current setup is as follows :-
1st HDD - partition 1 = XP swap, partition 2 = Ubuntu OS
2nd HDD - Win XP OS

GRUB is on the 1st HDD which I've configured manually to give me a choice of either booting into Ubuntu or XP (it maps XP to believe it is actually residing on the 1st HDD).
This setup leaves the XP installation completely untouched should I wish to remove the 2nd HDD at any time.

I would like to be able to replace the Ubuntu installation with Windows 7 RC on the same terms and wonder if this is possible by following this tutorial. What I don't want is Windows 7 to interfere with my XP installation in any way.

If possible I'd rather not have to install Windows 7 and Ubuntu on the 1st HDD and reconfigure GRUB to take over installation of all 3 OS unless this is the best/simplest solution!

Any input/suggestions appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2009   #2

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Hi Sope, which HDD is set as the 1st boot device in BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #3

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dinesh View Post
Hi Sope, which HDD is set as the 1st boot device in BIOS?
Hi Dinesh,

1st HDD (Ubuntu OS) is set as 1st boot device in BIOS

GRUB loads from here which allows me to boot XP from the 2nd HDD although when it's up and running, XP sees itself as residing on 1st HDD (Disk0) and Ubuntu on 2nd (Disk1)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2009   #4

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Where do you want to install Windows 7? 1st or 2nd HDD? Also, you said that you already have Ubuntu and you want to replace it with Windows 7(without touching XP installation on the 2nd HDD)? Am i correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #5

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dinesh View Post
Where do you want to install Windows 7? 1st or 2nd HDD?
I want to install Windows 7 on 1st HDD in place of Ubuntu (which is on the 2nd partition of this drive).
GRUB loads from here which allows me to boot XP from the 2nd HDD although when it's up and running, XP sees itself as residing on 1st HDD (Disk0) and Ubuntu on 2nd (Disk1) - I have configured GRUB this way as I believe XP needs to see itself as being installed on 1st boot device in order for it to continue to operated correctly since I've changed the boot order in BIOS.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dinesh View Post
Also, you said that you already have Ubuntu and you want to replace it with Windows 7(without touching XP installation on the 2nd HDD)? Am i correct?
Yes, that's correct.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #6

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

If you remove ubuntu and install win 7 on 1st hdd(replacing ubuntu), windows 7 boot manager can see windows xp. however, after installation of windows 7, if you try to boot to windows xp, you might get one of the following errors:
1: NTLDR is missing or corrupt.
2: Boot.ini missing or corrupt.
3: Disk read error occurred.

But you don't have to worry about it. If you have windows xp disk handy with you. we can boot to xp recovery console and can fix these above mentioned problem(99%).


Hope this helps,
Dinesh.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #7

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dinesh View Post
If you remove ubuntu and install win 7 on 1st hdd(replacing ubuntu), windows 7 boot manager can see windows xp. however, after installation of windows 7, if you try to boot to windows xp, you might get one of the following errors:
1: NTLDR is missing or corrupt.
2: Boot.ini missing or corrupt.
3: Disk read error occurred.
So is this because Windows 7 will have indeed written something to the MBR of my XP disk? Or, is it because WinXP now "sees" that it is installed on 2nd HDD and is getting confused?

The reason I want to avoid making any changes to my XP installation is that I'd like the reassurance that I could simply remove the Windows 7 HDD from the machine and XP would still function normally as in my current setup.

Would an alternative be to first unplug WinXP HDD, then install Windows 7 to 1st boot HDD, reconnect WinXP HDD, and then select the desired OS by changing the boot device order in BIOS.
In this case, would both Windows OS'es leave each others configurations alone when booted up and running?

Or is your idea to use XP recovery console to modify XP settings a more simple and safer option? I assume that if I go with this option and fail to fix XP from recovery console I could rewrite the MBR from a disk image backup and put things back the way they were?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #8

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Quote:
So is this because Windows 7 will have indeed written something to the MBR of my XP disk? Or, is it because WinXP now "sees" that it is installed on 2nd HDD and is getting confused?
Windows 7 has backward compatibility and it should recognize XP.

Quote:
The reason I want to avoid making any changes to my XP installation is that I'd like the reassurance that I could simply remove the Windows 7 HDD from the machine and XP would still function normally as in my current setup.
Xp is less reliable when it comes to damaging boot files. There are chances that you lose xp boot functionality. In this case, using Windows 7, You can still browse to the partition where XP is installed and then go to X:\Windows\System32\msconfig.exe and edit/modify the boot.ini file in order to get it to work. Again, a critical operation.

Quote:
Or is your idea to use XP recovery console to modify XP settings a more simple and safer option? I assume that if I go with this option and fail to fix XP from recovery console I could rewrite the MBR from a disk image backup and put things back the way they were?
Keep recovery console as a last resort. It includes changing the hidden/read/write permission for boot.ini file and then delete it and then reinstall it again. Very very critical. It may or may not work.

So here, the best idea would be to remove the XP HDD and install windows 7 and then according to your usage, keep changing the boot device order accordingly.

Hope i did not confuse you. LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #9

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

I think I may go for the separate HDD installs approach, changing boot device order accordingly, to get a taste of Windows 7 first, and without the risk of messing up my WinXP install!

When I feel a bit more ambitious/confident I may try to get Windows 7 installed along with Linux and use GRUB to take care of the booting. It took me a lot of trial and effort (and research!) to get my current dual boot Ubuntu/XP setup properly and I suspect things could get even more complicated if I throw Windows 7 in there too!

Thanks Dinesh for taking the time to explain things to me, much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2009   #10

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

you are welcome Sope. If ever plan to install ubuntu with windows 7, let windows boot loader handle the things. Or try Wubi - Ubuntu Installer for Windows.
This is what i use to taste Linux. Its very easy and safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Installation of Windows 7 on a separate HDD




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