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Windows 7: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

How to Setup a Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
Published by Brink
28 Apr 2009
Published by

How to Setup a Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP


information   Information
This will show you how to install Windows 7 and XP to dual boot with when you already have either Windows 7 or XP installed first.
Note   Note
With a dual boot installaton, you will have two operating systems (OS) installed. When you start the computer, you will have the choice to choose which OS you would like to start up to. This method is the easiest way of doing a dual boot with these two operating systems.
Tip   Tip
When dual booting with another OS (ex: Vista or XP), you may not always have that OS partition show up in Computer with a driver letter in Windows 7. If this happens, then you will just need to add a drive letter to the OS (ex: Vista or XP) partition in Windows 7 Disk Management for it to show up in Computer with a driver letter.
warning   Warning
To stop XP from deleting your Windows 7 System Restore Points everytime XP is started, then see System Restore Points - Stop XP Dual Boot Delete to hide Windows 7 from XP.

Windows 7 Minimum Hardware Requirements


NOTE: For more information on this, see: Windows 7 system requirements
  • 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
  • 1 GB RAM for 32-bit Windows 7 OR 2 GB RAM for 64-bit Windows 7
  • 16 GB available disk space 32-bit Windows 7 OR 20 GB for 64-bit Windows 7
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (in order to enable Aero theme)
  • DVD-R/W Drive
  • Internet or phone access to activate Windows 7.
Windows XP Minimum Hardware Requirements

NOTE: For more information on this, see: System requirements for Windows XP operating systems
  • PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required;* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
  • 1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space.*
  • Super VGA (800 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

EXAMPLE: Windows Boot Manager
NOTE: This is the boot screen where you select what operating system that you would like to start. By default, you have 30 seconds to choose another operating system before the default operating system will start automatically.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-example.jpg



OPTION ONE
When XP is Installed First

NOTE: If you have a RAID setup, you will need to have the Windows 7 RAID drivers on a USB flash drive available to select and load while installing Windows 7.
1. Do step 2 or 3 below for where you wanted to install Windows 7 at.

2. To Create a New Partition from the XP Hard Disk Drive
A) With your Windows 7 installation disc boot into the Command Prompt from the System Recovery Options screen.
NOTE: Make sure that the CD/DVD drive is selected first in the boot order in the BIOS.

B) In the command prompt, select and shrink the XP volume by how many MB (1024 MB = 1 GB) you want to have for this Windows 7 partition. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You would do steps 2 to 9 in METHOD TWO at that link. Windows 7 will need a minimum of 16 GB (16384 MB).
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-xp-w7_1.jpg
C) Click on the X at the top right corner to close the command prompt. (See screenshot above)

D) Click on the X at the top right corner to close System Recovery Options. (See screenshot below)
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-xp-w7_2.jpg
E) Go to step 4.
3. To Use a Separate Hard Disk Drive than the XP Drive
A) Boot from your Windows 7 installation disc.
NOTE: Make sure that the CD/DVD drive is selected first in the boot order in the BIOS.
4. Click on the Install now button. (See screenshot below)
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-xp-w7_3.jpg
5. When you get to this point, select the partition (step 2) or hard drive to install Windows 7 on. (See screenshot below)
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-xp-w7_4.jpg
6. Finish installing Windows 7.
NOTE: You would start at step 9 in that link to finish installing Windows 7.

7. When finished, restart the computer to have the option to boot from XP (Earlier Verision of Windows) or Windows 7. (See screenshot below)

Note   Note
If you are only booting into Windows 7 and do not have XP listed in the Windows Boot Manager, then you can install only EasyBCD (step 8 Option Two below) to add XP (or Windows 7) while started in Windows 7 the same way to the boot list.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-example.jpg



OPTION TWO
When Windows 7 is Installed First




warning   Warning
1. To Create a New Partition from the Windows 7 Hard Disk Drive
NOTE: If you want to install XP on a separate internal hard drive instead, then skip this step and go to step 2.
A) In Windows 7, select and shrink the Windows 7 volume in Disk Management by how many MB (1024 MB = 1 GB) you want to have for this XP partition. (See screenshots below)
NOTE: You would do all of Method One at that link.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-w7-xp-1.jpg

Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-w7-xp-2.jpg

Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-w7-xp-3.jpg
2. Insert your XP installation disc, then restart the computer and press any key to boot from it when prompted. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Make sure that the CD/DVD drive is selected first in the boot order in the BIOS.
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3. From XP Setup, Press Enter. (See screenshot below)



warning   Warning
Name:  W7-XP-4.jpg
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4. Press F8. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: On some multimedia keyboards, you may need to press the F-Lock or Function key before pressing F8.
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5. Select the partition (step 1) or hard drive that you want to install XP on using the arrow keys and press Enter.
Name:  W7-XP-6.jpg
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6. Finish installing XP.



Tip   Tip
If you get Error loading Operating System after XP restarts:
  • Using your Windows 7 installation disc, boot to the command prompt at startup.
  • Type in these comands below, and press enter after each one.
    • bootrec /FixMbr
    • bootrec /FixBoot
    • bootrec /RebuildBcd
  • Exit the command prompt and restart the computer.
  • At this point, Windows 7 should boot up the same way before trying to install XP.
  • Continue to step 8 below and run EasyBCD from Windows 7 instead.


7. In XP, download and install .Net Framework 2.0 (32-bit) version or .Net Framework 2.0 (64-bit) version first, and EasyBCD (free version) for your 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86) XP.
NOTE: In XP, Net Framework is required to be installed to run EasyBCD. After you click on Register (at bottom of link) for the free EasyBCD, registration is not required to download it.

8. Run EasyBCD (free version).
NOTE: This is required to repair the Windows 7 boot file and add XP to the Windows Boot Manager list.

9. On the left side of EasyBCD, click on the Add New Entry button. (See screenshot below)
A) In the top section under Operating Systems, click on the Windows tab. (See screenshot below)
B) To the right of Type, select Windows NT/2k/XP/2k3 from the drop down menu. (See screenshot below)
WARNING: Be sure to leave the Automatically detect correct drive box checked.

C) To the right of Name, you can leave the default Microsoft Windows XP as the name to be displayed in the Windows Boot Manager, or you can type whatever name you would like to have instead. (See screenshot below)
D) Click on the Add Entry button. (See screenshot below)
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10. On the left side of EasyBCD, click on the BCD Deployment button, select (dot) the Install the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to the MBR option, and click on the Write MBR button. (See screenshot below)
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11. Close EasyBCD.

12. Restart the computer to have the option to boot from Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 7. (See screenshot below)
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-example2.jpg
Tip   Tip
If Windows 7 will not start up when selected, then use your Windows 7 installation DVD to do a Startup Repair.

That's it,
Shawn






Related Tutorials

28 Apr 2009   #1
Nikolay

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 | Windows XP Pro x86 | Windows Vista Ultimate x86
 
 

Great guide. Just wish this was made sooner, the one that I used wasn't as clear as yours.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Nikolay, and thank you.

Yeah, I wish I had it sooner also, but I just now manged to get my hands on a copy of XP to work with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2009   #3
stinkstink

windows 7
 
 

i am currently running windows 7 as the main OS and want to install XP as a dual boot. i've followed all the steps above but after loading the win xp files and trying to boot into xp i get a msg that says "error loading operating system" . any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


03 May 2009   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Stinkstink, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You may have a bad installation of XP. You might see if reinstalling using METHOD TWO may allow it to work afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2009   #5
Kingism

Win 7 7100
 
 

Good Morning everyone, I have installed Win 7 first on my laptop and I installed xp secondly. I rebooted and it only boots to xp. I noticed that Win 7 is on C and XP is on E drive . But when I was on Win 7 ,XP was on drive D . I followed the above tutorial and downloaded BCD and followed it and only got to boot to Win 7 . No options were given to choose an OS at boot up. Im now in XP and cant get back to Win 7. I went ahead and put in my Windows 7 disk and it repaired itself but when I did the tutorial it booted back to XP . Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks ..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2009   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Kingism,

I have updated the tutorial to help with this. In METHOD TWO step 10, check to make sure that you select the drive letter that Windows 7 was installed on. Normally this would be C:

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2009   #7
stinkstink

windows 7
 
 

i reinstalled windows xp again and followed all the steps above. but now when i choose to boot into win xp from the boot manager i get this error message
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.

<Root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

Please reinstall a copy of the above file."

i have reinstalled this file from the winxp cd but still no fix. any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2009   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Stinkstink,

Since you can only boot into Windows 7, do steps 8 on in METHOD TWO to add XP back to the boot file. It sounds like you may have missed step 12 & 13 before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2009   #9
Luciak

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Here's a riddle (at least for me):

I've installed Windows 7 to be the second system with Windows XP using baarod's method with a little modification using tips from this tutorial.

What I've done is described in this baarod's tutorial.

And the riddle:

Everything is working properly but here is what I see when I am on XP:



And here is what I see when I am on Windows 7:



Why is it like this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Comment

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