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Windows 7: Need HELP w/ Dual Boot XP Pro32 & Win7 Ultimate -VHD or Partition


18 Aug 2011   #1

XP Pro 32bit (sp3) & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 
Need HELP w/ Dual Boot XP Pro32 & Win7 Ultimate -VHD or Partition

Just got the Win 7 Ultimate Full Retail 32/64 software & I'm not sure which method is best for now & future...Virtual Hard Drive or add another Partiton to one of my (2) hard drives?

I need to migrate slowly to Win 7 to get used to the interface & do 64bit software installs after using XP for so long. Time to get full use of my DualCore machine!

XP Pro 32 currently installed.

HD #1 (160gb)
C:92gb (54gb free) = Windows, Hardware & Drivers
D:62gb (47gb free) = Installed Programs
HD #2 (250gb)
E:47gb (14gb free) = Backups, Downloads
F:47gb (35gb free) = Program Files
G:139gb (81gb free) = Music, Videos, Movies & DVD Creation
RAM = only 4gb for now

So, I have read enough of the tutorials here know enough to "F" something up, but want to try & start on the right foot.

Questions:
1) Install VHD, add a partition to an existing HD, add a new HD or add external HD for Win 7?
2) Size & location of VHD or partition
3) Best toutorial for the above?
4) Any other recommendations?

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Aug 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello bjack56, welcome to Seven Forums!


As you have 2 separate HDDs have a look through this information below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

However you do it, be sure to put Windows 7 on a Primary partition and not an Extended/ Logical drive, Windows cannot boot natively from an Extended partition.

information   Information

The easiest way to do away with boot issues between separate Operating Systems (OS) is to use the BIOS one time boot menu to select which OS to boot at system startup, each motherboard has an individual hot-key to tap during system start-up to access this menu.

If you have 2 separate Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and have one OS installed to one HDD and you want to install another OS to the second HDD, disconnect the HDD with the first OS installed on it and leave only the HDD you want to install the second OS to connected.
Install the second OS to the connected HDD and when complete and the system is booting good, power down and reconnect the first HDD with the first OS on it.

This way the OSs will boot independently of each other and there will be no boot conflicts between the 2 separate OSs to have to sort later.





Then set the BIOS to boot the HDD / OS you want as default and if you want to start the other (new) OS you use the BIOS one-time boot menu to select that HDD / OS to start when the PC is started.
  • Asus - F8
  • HP/Compaq - Esc
  • Sony - F2
  • Acer – F12
  • Packard Bell
  • Gateway - F10
  • eMachnes - F10
  • Gigabyte – F12
  • Toshiba - F12
  • Dell - F12
  • IBM/Lenovo - the blue Thinkvantage button
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #3

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjack56 View Post

Questions:
1) Install VHD, add a partition to an existing HD, add a new HD or add external HD for Win 7?
2) Size & location of VHD or partition
3) Best toutorial for the above?
4) Any other recommendations?
You have pretty much answered your own question...

Go with option 1) ...add a new HD.

As drives are inexpensive and you listed that as an option, go for it. Then:

  • Unplug current hard drives (from the drives themselves or the mobo).
  • Install and plug in new hard drive.
  • Start computer, insert Windows 7 DVD and boot to it.
  • Install Windows 7 to the new drive.
  • Shut down/turn off computer.
  • Reconnect original HD(s).
  • Start computer, go to BIOS and set the desired DEFAULT hard drive boot order.

To change boot order, enter the "one time" boot select during startup - keystroke will depend on your mobo/BIOS (mine is F12). Select the desired drive and go for it.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 Aug 2011   #4

XP Pro 32bit (sp3) & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

My C: (System) & E: are shown as Primary Partitions in Computer Mgmt.

So, do not used this tutorial? Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

Looks like adding an HD would be best for future?

What about the other questions...NO to VHD?

Edit: Sent at same time as GEWB

GEWB...does the connection order matter, like cable select vs DIP? Can I just connect 3rd HD anywhere on my system, like last with letter H-Z, & boot to 1st HD C: or 3rd HD H:+?

Hey I only mess with this stuff every 3-4 years
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #5

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjack56 View Post
My CSystem) & E: are shown as Primary Partitions in Computer Mgmt.

So, do not used this tutorial? Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

Looks like adding an HD would be best for future?

What about the other questions...NO to VHD?
In your original post you stated:

"So, I have read enough of the tutorials here know enough to "F" something up, but want to try & start on the right foot."

And you listed adding a new hard drive in your first option - you have pretty much answered your own questions and concerns. Follow the steps I gave and you will not mess up your current drives/programs/files while installing Windows 7.

(Oh, one thing - don't register your Windows 7 during installation, do it after you complete the install and reconnect the other drives.)

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

If you want to slowly move all your personal data to Windows 7 from XP, continuing to use Windows 7 and remove XP, the 2 separate HDD method has the fewer related issues in the long-run.

A VHD won't work if the above is the grand scheme of things though for information sake, have a look through this tutorial linked below.


Create a Windows 7 VHD at Boot to Start with from Boot

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #7

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjack56 View Post

GEWB...does the connection order matter, like cable select vs DIP? Can I just connect 3rd HD anywhere on my system, like last with letter H-Z, & boot to 1st HD C: or 3rd HD H:+?
Your mobo has six SATA connections - use a SATA hard drive. The mobo BIOS doesn't know drive letters (C:, D:, etc.) only physical device designations base on the SATA channel it is plugged into on the mobo.

When you UNPLUG all current hard drives, plug in the new drive and install Windows, Windows 7 will assign "C:\" to the first active partition and it will STAY that way whenever you boot into Windows 7. However, when you boot into XP it will see the Windows 7 "drive" and partitions as different drive letters.

SUGGESTION:
Name the partions (partition label) something easy to recognize under any OS. Mine are names like:
  • C-XP-home
  • C-XP-work
  • C-Windows 7
  • C-2008r2

You get the idea.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #8

XP Pro 32bit (sp3) & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Points taken guy's...will add a HD & use your directions.

Dumb question but...
1) Can you recommend a HD?
2) As you can see, I prefer to separate all my stuff on different drives. What happens to all my new Windows 7 Hardware Installs, Program Installs & File Pointers if I get a new computer? Should I just put ALL Windows 7 programs, files, etc...on the 3rd HD w/ the OS or can I just put them on existing HD #1 & 2 directories so I don't have to change all my "locations" or re-install w/ new computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #9

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjack56 View Post
Points taken guy's...will add a HD & use your directions.

Dumb question but...
1) Can you recommend a HD?
2) As you can see, I prefer to separate all my stuff on different drives. What happens to all my new Windows 7 Hardware Installs, Program Installs & File Pointers if I get a new computer? Should I just put ALL Windows 7 programs, files, etc...on the 3rd HD w/ the OS or can I just put them on existing HD #1 & 2 directories so I don't have to change all my "locations" or re-install w/ new computer?
Motto
MISS and KISS

(Make It Stupid Simple and Keep It Stupid Simple)

You can partition your new drive and use it as you wish but I recommend the new drive (regardless of partions) be used for Windows 7 work - you CAN swap/use compatable files between XP and Win7regardless of the location, just keep your installed PROGRAMS separate.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #10

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Here is a screen shot sampling of one of my computers Windows Explorer - it has four hard drives, each is dual boot yielding seven different operating systems (I have two XP installations). This Explorer screen shot shows the WINDOWS partitions only (Windows doesn't "see" the Linux partitions).

Need HELP w/ Dual Boot XP Pro32 & Win7 Ultimate -VHD or Partition-drives-gewb.gif

You can see I'm currently booted into C-Windows 7 ("C:\" and there are other "C:" drive labels for the other Windows version boot options. I use several partitions for mass storage of files that I share between Windows versions.

Here is a screen shot of Disk Manager.

Need HELP w/ Dual Boot XP Pro32 & Win7 Ultimate -VHD or Partition-diskmngr-gewb.gif

I hope it gives you some ideas.

Regards,
GEWB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need HELP w/ Dual Boot XP Pro32 & Win7 Ultimate -VHD or Partition




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