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Windows 7: Existing Windows 7 - Adding XP on VHD (external?) to make "dual boot".

12 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Existing Windows 7 - Adding XP on VHD (external?) to make "dual boot".

Hi guys,

Here's the scenario.

A while ago I was using Windows XP Pro on my laptop. I was then forced to switch completely to Windows 7, but because I had so many application and configurations done on the XP, I created a VHD from it (using this) before replacing it. Now, I want to know if its possible to set that VHD beside my current OS as dual boot.

I searched and found solutions, but those are either to add a new VHD (Windows 8 mostly) to the dual boot, or loading VHD in virtual machines.

Also, if it is possible, can I copy the VHD on my external HDD and load it every time from there?

The whole idea is because my laptop is not so powerful and it wouldn't handle VMs very well. Because of the same reason, XP Mode is not an option.

Normal dual boot also is not preferred for two reasons:
1. I want my configurations which are already set on the VHD,

2. My laptop's HDD is only 150GB which does not have too much capacity left already. I can spare like 20-30GBs for XP, but I really cannot deal with the dual booting mess now!
I will rarely use the XP for specific tasks, so VHD would be much easier if I will have the option.

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #2

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP

Maybe I am wrong but I think there is no standard way of booting natively XP from VHD.

You can copy all files from VHD to a partition on external HDD.

Then maybe PLOP boot manager will allow you to boot from external HDD.
Download and install PLOP in Windows 7 - it will appear as a second boot entry.

On boot when PLOP is selected and started then you can choose which device/partition to boot from (very useful for booting from USB, can also boot disk partitions - read help/manual given on PLOP site)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

I never heard of that. Could be very useful. It's weekend so I can only test it on Monday (it's at work!). Thanks.

About booting from VHD, I found a few tutorials like this one, but as I mentioned, they are about starting from a new one, without existing operating systems on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Existing Windows 7 - Adding XP on VHD (external?) to make "dual boot".

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