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Windows 7: Dual Boot for XP + W7 clarification

20 Dec 2010   #1

32bit Windows 7 Ultimate
Dual Boot for XP + W7 clarification

Hello all, yet another newcomer and somewhat of a real novice to what seems a marvellous site.
Usually a man in a shop does everything for me but thought l'd bite the bullet, as it costs me a fortune each visit, and have a go myself with of course some help from yourselves.
Suffice to say, before l update my profile with my specs, my machine will run W7.
At the moment l have two 500gb hard drives.
One drive is partitioned so that there is a C partition of 50gb and a D partition of 450gb.
The second drive F remains at 500gb.
I currently run XPHome SP3 in the C partition, however l'd like to try out W7 just to see what its all about.
Have read the tutorial about dual booting which is really good and seems to be what l need, but it's just some of the terminology that l'd like clarification on.
The partition examples show as 0 and 1 so l assume that this is the equivalent of my C and D?
Also, when one installs an OS say, XP, everything is written to the C drive.
If l install W7 and specify install to the D drive, is this what it will do? This is what l can't get my head around. (l still keep thinking in terms of just the C drive!).
What happens if l download something for W7. Sometimes, as per XP, you don't get an option and it'll download to the C drive whereas you would want this to go to the D drive.
Sorry, l know it's easy for a lot of you but l'm just that bit over cautious as l don't want to corrupt XP on my C drive at the moment.
Hope all the above makes sense, and sorry for rambling on.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello willythecat, welcome to Seven Forums!

Have a look at the info below for some ideas on the best way to dual boot.

information   Information

The easiest way to do away with boot issues between separate Operating Systems (OS) is to use the BIOS one time boot menu to select which OS to boot at system startup, each motherboard has an individual hot-key to tap during system start-up to access this menu.

If you have 2 separate Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and have one OS installed to one HDD and you want to install another OS to the second HDD, disconnect the HDD with the first OS installed on it and leave only the HDD you want to install the second OS to connected.

Just be sure not to change where the original HDD SATA cable was connected, it has to be re-connected to the exact same port to avoid boot issues.

Install the second OS to the connected HDD and when complete and the system is booting good, power down and reconnect the first HDD with the first OS on it.

This way the OSs will boot independently of each other and there will be no boot conflicts between the 2 separate OSs to have to sort later.

Then set the BIOS to boot the HDD / OS you want as default and if you want to start the other (new) OS you use the BIOS one-time boot menu to select that HDD / OS to start when the PC is started.
  • Asus - F8
  • HP/Compaq - Esc
  • Sony - F2
  • Acer F12
  • Gateway - F10
  • eMachnes - F10
  • Toshiba - F12
  • Dell - F12
  • IBM/Lenovo - the blue Thinkvantage button
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

1. Best advice I can give you is NOT to go into double boot. Instead, make 2 independent installations - keeps you out of a lot of trouble down the line. And it is a lot easier. All you do is disconnect (e.g. unplug the power cable) the drive on which you currently have XP so that only the empty drive is left. Then you run a standard Win7 installation on the remaining drive. I assume you are buying a Win7 installation disk (get an OEM version for $100 - it is the cheapest).

Then, if you are done. Boot Win7 - just for checking. Then reattach your XP disk (always take all the power off the box when you open it). Now you can switch between XP and /7 by changing the boot order in the BIOS. Just look at the very first splash screen after power-on - it tells you which key to tap (e.g. ESC on a HP or a function key on other makes). Then maneuver to the drive from which you want to boot with the up/down keys (you have no cursor in the BIOS) and hit Enter. If you do not change the boot order in the BIOS, it will boot from the default disk. But that you can change in the Boot Setup (which is another key to tap at the very first screen - it should say on the screen which key it is). If you have questions, come back.

2. If you download something, it will only go to the system in which you operate. XP programs would not work in /7 anyhow - and vice versa. You always need a version designed for the OS.

Hmm, just saw that BFK says the same, at least we are consistent. And it even gives you the BIOS keys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Dec 2010   #4

32bit Windows 7 Ultimate

Thank you both for the quick responses, now that's what l call service!
Shame about the "dual" booting as that would involve the lesser fiddling around, but l can see where you are both going on this.
I've got one sata cable to drive C and D and one sata cable to drive F so can't really disconnect any of them as l think you are suggesting.
However, l have an old 35gb hdd and my mobo has an ide socket! So l suppose l can connect it up to this after disconnecting my sata drives and changing the boot sequence in the bios to the "ide" hdd?
Blimmin' heck, l'm now starting to to talk the lingo!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I've got one sata cable to drive C and D and one sata cable to drive F so can't really disconnect any of them as l think you are suggesting
C and D are no drives, they are just partitions - probably on your drive 0. But F is your second drive (drive 1). That is where you want to install Win7 whilst disconnecting the drive with C and D.
Look it up in Disk Management whether I am right.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2010   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello again.

Before you make any specific changes will you please post a snip/screen-shot of the entire disk management drive map with a full description as to which drive/partition is which, so we can see what you have going on.

In the Windows start menu right click computer and click manage, in the left pane of the "Computer Management" window that opens click disk management and post a snip of that.

How to Upload and Post a Screenshot and File in Seven Forums

Here's another way to do this if you want a Windows managed dual boot, have a good look through this tutorial at the link below while you post the snip for us to look at.

Clean Install Windows 7 : Ahead of XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot for XP + W7 clarification

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