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Windows 7: XP Freezes on Dual Boot

29 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 and XP Pro
XP Freezes on Dual Boot

XP installed and working fine on the first 100 Gig partition of a 250 Gig Drive.
Installed Windows 7 on a second 100 Gig partition.
Windows 7 boots and runs fine.
Boot menu works fine.
XP boots but freezes after it reaches the desktop.

Deleted the Windows 7 partition.
Boot menu with choice of Windows 7 or XP is still there.
XP starts and runs normal again.

Tried installing Windows 7 on a separate drive.
This added a 2nd instance of Windows 7 on Boot menu.
Windows 7 works fine
Windows XP freezes again after reaching the desktop.

Started XP in safe mode and disabled all startup programs and retried.
Same results, freezes at desktop.

Unplugged the Windows 7 drive.
Boot menu remains the same.
XP starts working normal again.

Evidently something in Windows 7 is interfering with the XP startup procedure.

What am I missing?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks for a great forum!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #2

7600.20510 x86

Plug all your hard drives in.

Run startup repair from the 7 DVD.

Should be good to go. Try 2 even 3 consecutive runs in a row, as this may be necessary, no matter you think it does something or not.
You can try booting to XP or 7 in between tries, no harm.

Startup Repair

You want option 2 of system recovery options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 and XP Pro

Hi torrentg,

Thanks for the advice.

I re-installed Windows 7 on the 2nd partition of my 250G drive.
Windows 7 worked perfectly.
Ran startup repair 3 times as suggested.

Booted to XP
Same results as previously: XP loads to the desktop, taskbar loads with the start button and the clock, then all activity stops. Network icon in the taskbar does not load nor any other of the startup programs. Curser is still responsive with a normal arrow when on the desktop and an hourglass when over the taskbar but no responses to any clicks or keystrokes.

Ran startup repair 3 more times.

Booted to XP with same results of hanging at the desktop with the taskbar loaded.

As noted yesterday I had tried booting XP in safe mode, which is successful, and disabling all startup programs in XP, then rebooting in normal mode. XP still hung at the same spot.

If I delete the Windows 7 partition XP returns to normal.

Apparently Windows 7 startup repair is not repairing files in the XP startup process. I cannot figure out why having Windows 7 installed is affecting the XP startup that far into the process?

Any other thoughts?
Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Oct 2009   #4

7600.20510 x86

"XP loads to the desktop, taskbar loads with the start button"

Going by that, we can definitely assume that there are no boot problems with XP. You're getting to desktop.

"taskbar loads with the start button and the clock, then all activity stops."

XP is loading something into memory it does not like. Maybe corrupt or faulty device drivers. A software it doesn't like. Something along those lines. Check msconfig.exe startup tab to rid it of anything not need to boot with Windows. Proper way is to use Regedit for that and follow the keys from msconfig.

"booting XP in safe mode, which is successful" - confirms my suspicion about something being loaded into XP normal mode that it does not like.

Update all drivers possible, using safe mode + networking if you must.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 and XP Pro

All that makes sense, except...

Evidently the thing that XP does not like is introduced by adding Windows 7 to the mix.

XP has been a stable, trouble free installation, and still is as soon as the 7 drive is unplugged (or the 7 partition deleted).

I am trying to identify a startup program or process that might be causing the problem in XP, but it still does not make sense that all of the startup programs and processes load fine without Windows 7 installed.

Any other theories are welcomed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #6


People are bailing out of XP dual boots as soon as they get into Win7, which is not always easy. Perhaps you might consider settling for using your BIOS Boot Menu shortcut key to choose which you want to boot into at boot-up. Files should still be seen as the unchosen drive will serve as a data drive, so you can migrate your files over to Win7 gradually and then unplug XP some day. That day is coming sooner than we suspected as we have had dozens of cases of guys bailing out of XP already, and each case is complicated and not always successful - especially in a dual boot where they want the 7 moved onto the first XP partition. So, you're ahead of the pack.

I haven't come across a case before of XP-7 dual boot affecting the other O.S.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #7

7600.20510 x86

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

I haven't come across a case before of XP-7 dual boot affecting the other O.S.
+1 agreed with maybe exception of system restore functionality. Thanks for input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #8


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

I haven't come across a case before of XP-7 dual boot affecting the other O.S.
+1 agreed with maybe exception of system restore functionality. Thanks for input.
Yeah, I do remember that now. When did they fix that, around 4800 or RC?

It was real annoying, every time having to check in Advanced Tools which OS had it's SysRestore turned on
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #9

Windows 7 and XP Pro

It seems that Zone Alarm is the culprit of my Windows 7/Windows XP conflict although I cannot understand why.

I spent a long evening and about 100 restarts pursuing the following process:

Note: Previously I had disabled all startup programs including Zone Alarm and did not have any positive results.

I then began by doing a basic diagnostic startup with only basic services - successful.

Continued through the evening adding system.ini, win.ini, and groups of system services until all services were loading successfully with a successful XP startup. Each time I added more services I still got a successful startup. Why did this occur when previously disabling all startup programs but leaving all services enabled was not successful?

Having achieved successful XP startup with all services loaded I began re-enabling my startup programs one at a time until I got to the Zone Alarm client. Noticed that although I had checked to enable Zone Alarm in startup that it did not start and unchecked itself during the restart. Restart was successful with all services and startup programs except Zone Alarm was not loading.

Launched Zone Alarm manually but it did not completely start.

Checked Windows Firewall and discovered that it was enabled. Disabled it. I always have it disabled and did not change it myself. Thought this may be the conflict.

Rebooted and checked Windows Firewall - off. Launched Zone Alarm manually - unsuccessful launch.

Uninstalled Zone Alarm. Restarted XP - successful - everything normal.

Re-installed Zone Alarm. Restarted XP - immediate return to my initial problem - XP loads to the desktop with the taskbar and start button and clock and then freezes.

Restarted in Safe Mode, uninstalled Zone Alarm, restarted XP - successful - everything normal. Checked Windows firewall and it is again enabled by itself.

Restarted booting to Windows 7 - successful.
Restarted again to XP - successful.

I have used Zone Alarm with XP for many years and have had a very positive and trouble free experience.

Perhaps it is time to either:
1. Abandon Zone Alarm.
2. Visit the Zone Alarm forums.

My thanks to everyone who has replied and shared your wisdom.
I have some hardware which will probably not run on Windows 7 so will be required to maintain a copy of XP for some time.

gregrocker - Perhaps I would be just as happy using the bios shortcut key to choose my operating system, that option had not come to my attention before. As you say it would have some advantages, particularly down the road if and when I retire XP.

Does anyone know if it is possible to make an image using either Norton Ghost or the Windows 7 image software (with which I have no experience) and restore that image from the second partition on a dual boot system like mine to the first partition on a clean drive, and result in it being a single Windows 7 system? This question has probably already been addressed somewhere and if so I apologize.

Thanks again for all of your participation and for a great forum!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #10

7600.20510 x86

Long time ZA user here too. I'm beta testing it myself right now with no issue for about a month. Seems great. Unfortunate how it causes problems on your machine.

Yes. All 3rd party antivirus and firewall apps must be completely uninstalled to remove any negative effects they may have or to troubleshoot them. When troubleshooting and these apps are suspected, never just disable. Always uninstall.

Glad you are sorted there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 XP Freezes on Dual Boot

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