Clean Install Windows 7 : Ahead of XP
How to Install Windows 7 to a Partition Ahead of Installed XP
Published by Bare Foot Kid
29 Nov 2010
How to Install Windows 7 to a Partition Ahead of Installed XP
This shows how to create a partition so that Windows 7 can be installed to the first position on the Hard Disk Drive / Solid State Drive ahead of an existing installation of Windows XP so the older Operating System can be removed at a later time.
There must be at least one (1) Primary partition available for creation / use as Windows will not boot independently from an Extended partition / Logical drive.
Partition Wizard is a very reliable tool for your tool kit and it is a free download for home / personal use, it can be found at the link below, download the ISO file to your desktop then burn the image file to a CD as it was designed for use from a CD it will be best to burn it to a CD and not a DVD. , Windows 7 now has native support
for ISO / IMG files.
Be sure to get the PWBD and not the installed version; scroll down to see the download link for the bootable CD ISO file at this link below.
Partition Wizard Free Bootable CD
As with anything that makes changes to the Windows structure there is always the chance for an error to occur, it would be advisable to make reliable backups to the media of your choice of any important data, i.e. pictures, music or documents, that you would not want to lose before you make any changes to your system, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Do not attempt to shrink an existing Windows OS partition to a size smaller than the space it currently, actually takes up on the Hard Disk Drive (HDD), doing so may result in the complete loss of Windows and all of its contents. The actual current size can be viewed by clicking the "Computer" button in the Windows start menu before you start this process.
If you would like to explore the option of creating the new Windows 7 "System Reserved" partition during this process, have a look at this tutorial for an outline of the best wat to go about it.
System Reserved : Create for Dual Boot
Let's get started!
I'm going to use the Partition Wizard bootable disk (PWBD) to shrink / resize the existing Windows partition to create free space to the left of XP so Windows 7 can be installed to that created space.
Step One: Shrink the XP Partition
Insert the PWBD into the Optical Disk Drive and restart the PC so the BIOS can be set for the ODD to be the first boot device when the PWDB starts it does not require any input from you to start, just relax and let it start-up.
click any image to enlarge1) In the Partition Wizard program, right click the OS partition you want to shrink and click Move/Resize, in the dialog box that opens click and hold to drag the left slider to select the size you want to shrink the partition.
2) Then in the left pane Operations Pending column click Apply then Yes for the conformation dialog box.
3) There will be a Pending graph so you can watch the progress, just relax and let it work as it may take quite some time to complete depending on the size and the contents of the partition; when it finishes click OK for the Successful box.
That's it, you're now finished with the Partition Wizard program, remove the PWBD from the ODD, then in the upper left corner at General click exit to close the program and restart Windows XP.
When XP starts-up it will "discover new devices" and will require a system restart that must be done to complete the process, it would even be a good idea to do several restarts and look around to make sure everything is in order before you continue on to the next step of this process.
Step Two: Create the New Partition
1) Now in Run in XP type diskmgmt.msc and click OK to open Windows XP disk management, in the disk management window that opens right click the newly created unallocated space and click "New Partition" then click Next for the first "Wizard" dialog box.
2) This partition has to be created as a Primary partition for this to work, so in the "Select Partition Type" box dot/tick Primary and click Next; then to accept the offered size in the "Select Partition Size" box click Next.
3) Then accept the offered drive letter or select one you like and click Next; then in the "Format" box give the new partition a "Volume Label" (name) you want to use and click Next; you will get one last "Wizard" dialog box, click "Finish" and the partition will then be created and formatted.
It would be a good idea to restart XP a couple times to make sure all is well and in good working order before you continue on with the installation of Windows 7.
Step Three: Install Windows 7
Now insert the Windows 7 installation media into the Optical Disk Drive and restart the PC to set the first boot device as the ODD in the BIOS and install Windows 7 to the created "Windows 7" partition.
1) You will want to do a clean install choosing the "Custom (advanced)" not the "Upgrade" option; when you are presented with this "Where do you want ... " dialog box click to choose the created "Windows 7" partition and click next; do not use the installer to format anything.
2) After the installation of Windows 7 completes you will be finished, Windows 7 will do everything needed to configure the dual boot and nothing else needs done.
If you want to explore removing Windows XP see the final step below.
Final: Remove Windows XP
The Windows XP partition is now the system volume, the partition the boot files needed to start Windows is stored on and that will have to be changed to the Windows 7 partition so XP can be removed.
In the Windows 7 start menu search box type diskmgmt.msc right click the entry and click "Run as Administrator" if you get a User Account Control (UAC) prompt enter your user credentials and click Yes.
1) In Windows 7 disk management right click the Windows 7 partition and click "Mark as Active" then Yes for the Conformation dialog box, the third snip is what you will then have.
2) Now insert the Windows 7 installation media or a created repair disk into the ODD and restart the PC, at the BIOS select the ODD as the first boot device and run the 3 separate startup repairs with a system restart between each repair to create the boot files needed to start Windows to the "Windows 7" partition; information on the entire process can be viewed at these tutorials below.
Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7
If you want to remove XP after Windows 7 has been made the "System" partition, I would suggest using Partition Wizard to do a partition specific wipe (secure erase) to the XP partition, this will leave the partition intact so it can then be recreated and reformatted for future use; have a look at Option Three of this tutorial for an outline of the process.
Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
3) One last step if you need to get back to XP; you will have to use EasyBCD from within Windows 7 to add an entry for XP to the Windows boot (dual boot) menu to get back to XP but that's the easiest part of this process.