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Windows 7: Trying to create dual boot with Windows 7 and XP

29 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Trying to create dual boot with Windows 7 and XP

I've been attempting to install Windows XP on a PC from ACER which has Windows 7 pre-installed. Problem is that I'm trying to install it but haven't got any spare partitions on HDD, although Disk Management in Win 7 says I've only got 3 partitions, whereas when I go to install WinXP, the setup screen is saying I've used up all available partitions (4). WinXP setup says I've got a partition which is only 1MB in size, but this doesn't show up in Disk Management in Win 7. I can't delete the 1MB partition because its a dynamic partition and doing so, WinXP setup is telling me if I delete that one 1MB partition, I will lose all the data on the other 3 partitions which contain the System Re-install files (on Partition2 totalling 14GB), the current install of Win 7 and other programs/data (on Partition4 which has a capacity of 266GB) and the System Recovery partition of 100MB which I understand is needed to ensure Win 7 works property. When going to install WinXP, it is telling me that I've got 265GB of unallocated space, but in Disk Management, that shows up as Drive D. I was originally thinking I could put WinXP on Drive D.

Anybody got any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #2

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Can you give us a screen shot of your disk management ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hopefully this works.....

Attached Thumbnails
Trying to create dual boot with Windows 7 and XP-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TomBradbury View Post

Anybody got any ideas?
I would start by downloading and installing Partition Wizard (free)
Magic Server Partition Manager Software - Resize partition for Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2000. so as to be able to partition your partition 4 with the large amount of space. I would create an additional partition large enough to accomodate your XP OS.

Since I use Grub to boot from (obtained by installing Ubuntu 9.04 on yet another partition), I use the Windows MBR only for Win 7. I believe I have read where to dual boot on the Windows MBR, the XP OS should be installed on your C Drive. This thread may help you.
Dual boot XP with windows 7 already installed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #5
Carl Lawrence

Dual-boot: Windows 7 HP 32-bit SP1 & Windows XP Pro 32-bit SP2.

Yes Windows XP can only be installed on Drive C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1

I'm not sure of your needs regarding XP, but there is VMware Player. I'm running server 2003 in it and it works great.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP


You have a Dynamic Disk which will not support XP until it is converted to Basic. This is a destructive process which requires moving the data off of the drive then converting to Basic using this process: Change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk: Storage Services; Local File Systems

Before doing anything else, you should make your Acer Recovery disks first so you have a path back to factory condition.

If you wish to install XP and don't want to move your data off and convert the disk to install XP and reinstall Win7 (in that order) then I would either run XP virtually within Win7 or attach a second HD to install XP.

If you choose to install XP to a second HD, I would unplug the Win7 HD during install, then when XP is installed boot via the BIOS boot order or one-time BIOS boot menu key. This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please. A Windows-managed Dual Boot configured by EasyBCD 2.0 interlocks the HD's and makes it harder to remove one.

For example, after installing XP I would plug back in the Win7 HD, set it as first HD to boot in BIOS (after optical drive), then if I want to boot XP I would tap the F2 (on Acer) key repeatedly at bootup to bring up the BIOS Boot Menu to choose the XP HD to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I think if your going to install XP in a dual boot, it has to be installed first, But with Windows 7 why do you even need XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Well, part of your problem is that 3 of your partitions are dynamic that you first have to reconvert to Basic partitions ( Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk ). No idea how that could have happened because there is one Basic and 3 Dynamics (which could have been Primaries at one time). But a maximum of 4 primaries is allowed - after that they turn dynamic if you try a 5th primary.
You or somebody else must have been playing around with partition allocations - any ideas what could have happened?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP


I have never seen a Primary partition on a Dynamic Disk so there is something very strange. I seriously doubt the manufacturer set it up that way.

If you did mess with the partitioning to convert Basic to Dynamic then it might have preserved the Recovery partition as Primary so that you could run it to save yourself. You can move your data off and try.

You can also try deleting the empty D partition during booted XP install to see if it will create another Primary NTFS partition there to XP's liking, which is highly unlikely however no more unusual than what you have now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Trying to create dual boot with Windows 7 and XP

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