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Windows 7: XP stays as Drive E: in Dual Boot With Windows 7

12 Nov 2009   #11
wallyinnc

Windows 7 x64 finally!
 
 

Tks Peregrine for the feedback. Makes sense. In reality, I think that if you had just done a repair on Win7 as the last aaction, you proably would have the same result.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Nov 2009   #12
ZeshanA

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Thanks to all for your help. I think I understand what is going on now.

@ wallyinnc: no 100 MB partition since I did an inplace upgrade from Vista.

It turns out that it's the order that the OS's get installed that causes this behaviour. If Win7 is installed first followed by WinXP, XP doesn't really know what to do with the Win7 partition and just calls it the C: drive and then calls itself the E: drive (in my case). And it forever remains E: drive.

If WinXP is installed first it becomes the C: drive. Then when installing Win7 it recognizes the XP partition and does know how to deal with it. So once this installation is done either OS becomes C: when it is loaded at boot.

I guess the only downside to the former (Win7 first) is that any programs that have C: hard coded into their programming wouldn't do well with the OS on E:

Since this is a test box I wiped it clean and reinstalled XP first and then Win7 and everything works just fine. Each is now C: when it is loaded.

Thanks again for all the replies. Much appreciated.
Great to hear! I love it when problems are solved! <<<< (Weird innit)

Please click on the exclamation mark at the top right of the original post and request that this thread be marked as solved

Thanks,
ZeshanA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #13
goyta

Windows 8.1 Pro Update 1 x64
 
 

Actually, XP assigns drive letter C: to the active partition on the HDD at the moment of setup. (If you have two or more internal HDDs, each one with an active partition, XP will follow the SATA or PATA interface order on the motherboard, first following the sequence of their active partitions, then the non-active ones starting from the first HDD.) You don't have to necessarily install XP into the active partition, but if you don't, the system drive won't be C: - it will be some other letter depending on your configuration.

If you install XP to the active partition, its system partition will be C: when you are on XP, and some other letter when you are on Windows 7, when the reverse will happen.

My advice is to use a disk utility such as Paragon Hard Disk Manager or Acronis Disk Manager to mark the partition where you want to install XP as active. Then install it, then revert the Windows 7 partition to active and finally boot with Windows 7's DVD to repair the boot record (which XP will have messed up, since it doesn't recognize Windows 7). This way, the system drive will always be C: when you are in the respective system.

In theory, having a different letter from C: in the system drive makes no difference. In practice, however, too many programs are badly coded, and hard coded to "C:\Program Files" or "C:\Windows" instead of using the %ProgramFiles% or %windir% system variables, for example, as good programming practices recommend. And some of them won't even ask about the install folder and will only use their defaults. This causes a lot of hassle, in my case also because many of them are culturally biased and will ignore the "C:\Arquivos de Programas" programs folder or "C:\Usuários" ("C:\Users") of Brazilian Portuguese Windows. This is why I always prefer to use English versions of Windows (I have seen device drivers that go crazy with non-English versions of Windows, too).

But even better than that is virtualizing XP. I have found that I still need XP for too few things to be worth keeping a separate partition just for it. A XP virtual machine under free VMware Player is doing wonders here, with excellent performance in both guest and host systems even in my 4-year-old machine with a single-core processor and 2 GB RAM (with 768 MB allocated to XP's VM when it's running) - see specs below.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2009   #14
gregrocker

 

Brilliant. Thanks, Goyta.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2009   #15
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Don't worry about it. Here is how my drives are lettered:
-capture.png
Drive D is actually my boot drive (the first OS installed), but the active OS is always C whichever OS I boot into.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2009   #16
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dwarf View Post
Don't worry about it. Here is how my drives are lettered:
Attachment 39427
Drive D is actually my boot drive (the first OS installed), but the active OS is always C whichever OS I boot into.
Are you able to run both 64 bit and 32 bit on that machine with same license? Just askin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2009   #17
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Yes and no.

For Vista, no. My original copy of Vista was Home Premium 32-bit so, when I got the Ultimate edition I decided to use the key that came with that for the 64-bit disk (Ultimate) and the other key for the 32-bit disk (Home Premium) since they already had SP1 preintegrated (my original Vista didn't).

With Windows 7, then yes. I obtained these as a Microsoft Partner and they are both activated legitimately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2009   #18
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dwarf View Post

With Windows 7, then yes. I obtained these as a Microsoft Partner and they are both activated legitimately.
So both 32 and 64 bit are running on the same key? I had heard this is possible on the same machine.

Of course it breaks the EULA for only one copy of 7 to each key. But MS can't see it apparently on the same MAC/hardware config.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 XP stays as Drive E: in Dual Boot With Windows 7




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