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Windows 7: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

11 Feb 2011   #1130
Andy Taylor

Xp pro

Sorry if this has been covered but I have spent 2 days reading and I can still not see my specific situation.

I have an XP system that is installed on my E drive.

C and D used to have windows on them but they became corrupted so thats why I was up to E drive.


I now want to install window 7 but dual boot with my old XP while I spend some weeks getting the new windows 7 populated with my programs and passwords for websites etc etc

I can see that I can shrink one of the existing partitons and then install windows 7 but should I be doing this on the old C drive or the old E drive.

Thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #1131
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Andy, and welcome to Seven Forums.

If you do not have anything that you want to keep on the C drive since they are corrupted, then you might as well use it to install Windows 7 to if there's enough room on it. It'll save you the trouble of having to create another partition.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #1132
Andy Taylor

Xp pro

Ah that was the bit I did not really understand.

I do have files on there I wish to keep but the windows folder (or the OS in it is corrupt) .

I "think" I understand that installing windows 7 to a partition will trash any files in that partition hence I will actually need to shrink one of my drives.

The main thing I did not know was is it better to use the c drive and shrink that or the e drive with the working XP on it!

I "think" what I am saying is I "think" some of the boot files are located on the C drive even though I have windows on the E drive.

You can tell I do a lot of thinking (I also question myself a lot) lol

PS thanks for the welcome
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #1133
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

LOL, no problem Andy. We'll be happy to help you through this.

Are you able to access the fiiles on the C drive while you have XP started? If so, you could backup anything that you didn't want to lose to be safe.

Could you post back a screenshot of your Disk Management in XP showing all of your drive's layout. This will help us better understand your setup and allow us to give better recommendations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #1134

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1 OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VoLtrex31 View Post
Why NTFS? XP works better on FAT32 cause NTFS was unstable (used to be)..
I etc are flash memory vs disk drive.. not relevant..
FAT32 is decent - the limit for FAT32 is only 32GB.
System Restore will NOT WORK with FAT32.

There are advantages and dis advantages for both file systems.

Although, FAT32 is extremely handy on USB Flash Drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #1135
Andy Taylor

Xp pro

Should be attached now mate cheers.

I can access the files on that partition but I have a terrabyte disc and the files are large and hard to back up easy.

Attached Images
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #1136
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise


Your E drive with XP on it is your boot drive, so that's good.

Here's an option for you.

You could do a custom install on C with Windows 7. It's like a clean install, but the current installation on C will be placed into a C:\Windows.old folder during the new installation. Afterwards you can copy whet you want from within the C:\Windows.old folder back into the new installation, then delete the C:\Windows.old folder when finished to regain the HDD space.

If for some reason XP is not available to select from at boot and only Windows 7 is, then you could use EasyBCD to add XP to the MBR as in this tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #1137
Andy Taylor

Xp pro

That sounds good BUT...I have been and purcahsed another terrabyte hard disc and was wondering how I could add that so I could install Windows 7 onto that and if it all went belly up at some stage (or that disc just died) I would have an xp install on a separate disc.

The bonus being I could then back up my really important files on BOTH discs and if either goes bang have immediate access.

Am I correct in my thinking.

My main problem is I dont really understand the way Sata drives hierarchy work. With IDE I stood a chance but they are now both SATA drives I have at my disposal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #1138
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise


That would also be a great option. Especially for your backups.

With IDE, you had to manually select the master/slave jumper.

With SATA, you no longer have to worry it. SATA is truly plug and play.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2011   #1139

Windows 7 Enteprise x64 SP1

Thanks for the tutorial, great job.

BUT... Using method two, I can never actually finish the XP set up.

You know when the XP setup copies a bunch of files to the target drive and reboots (then the system should boot off the XP partition to complete the set up) ?

Well, I get the "Error loading OS" message. I fix it with the tip in the yellow section, Windows 7 boots again but the XP installation was never completed.

All I have in the partition is this WINXP folder and that's it.

Win7 is on a SATA SSD drive and the target drive for XP is IDE.

EasyBCD does not recognize a Windows XP installation there, quite expectably since the installation is not complete.

So, what am I doing wrong ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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