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Windows 7: XP Dual Boot Question Please

10 Mar 2011   #1
Andy 01

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
XP Dual Boot Question Please

I know this is not a W7 question, but I thought you may be able to help.
My old system runs XP, and Windows 2000 in dual boot.
For reasons that are far too long to go into now, I would like a fresh install of XP on a third disc, and be able to have the option to boot into that also.
But, I can’t seem to work out the boot.ini.

I have already installed XP to the third disc, installed as a stand alone disc.
Now, (and its an old system), my hardware is configured as follows:

Primary IDE
Master = Original XP hard drive
Slave = DVD drive

Secondary IDE
Master = Windows 2000 hard drive
Slave = Fresh install of XP on another hard drive.

So, that’s 3 drives in total.
My current Boot.ini reads :

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(0)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Second Load" /fastdetect
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

The original XP disc, and the Windows 2000 disc still boot OK, but I can not get the third disc to boot the new XP install.

Is the boot.ini correct ??


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Windows XP Home Edition x86 & Windows XP Home Edition x86 will not Dual Boot.

Windows XP Pro Edition x86 & Windows XP Pro Edition x86 will not Dual Boot.

Windows XP Home Edition x86 & Windows XP Pro Edition x86 will Dual Boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


You may be able to get it to Multi-Boot by using the BIOS Boot Menu rather than editing the bcd.

To do this, you would take note which HD is set to boot first currently, then unplug all HD's and install XP to it's target HD set to boot first in BIOS setup, after CD drive.

After install, plug back in the other HD's and set the BIOS Boot order as it was before. Now when you want to boot the new install press the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key which every computer has to trigger the correct HD:
Asus - F8
HP/Compaq - Esc
Sony - F2
Acer - F12
Gateway - F10
eMachnes - F10
Toshiba - F12
Dell - F12
IBM/Lenovo - the blue Thinkvantage button

If you will post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings, we can help you better to do this. Tell us what is on each partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Given the system in your specs...just virtualize all the OSes you still need access to. Dual boots are a thing of the past!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2011   #5
Andy 01

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Thank you to all as always for the input.

I do run virtual box on my W7 rig, but I have some projects on the go that I would like to keep on a separate machine. It just keeps things tidy at my end.

Well its sorted thanks. When I posted last night it was late after a long day and I could not see the wood for the trees so to speak.

I followed knowledge base article KB291980 in the end.
Using the recovery console, and the bootcfg /add command I was able to assign all three operating systems into the boot menu, and all three work fine.
Just to add, that's two load of XP Home, and one of 2K.

Now a happy bunny, and onto the next project of building a media pc to go into the living room for my music, film and picture library's.

Thanks again for your help.
Top forum this place !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


Glad you got it sorted. Your HD's are now all interlocked until you remove the multi-boot.

For doing this, and in the future for config'ing Windows-managed Dual Boot, use EasyBCD 2.02 for an automated method.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2011   #7

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Windows XP Home Edition x86 & Windows XP Home Edition x86 will not Dual Boot.

Windows XP Pro Edition x86 & Windows XP Pro Edition x86 will not Dual Boot.

Windows XP Home Edition x86 & Windows XP Pro Edition x86 will Dual Boot.
hi there
best solution for this is to use vmware player (Free) and run XP as a Virtual Machine.
You can allocate as little as 512MB to your XP virtual machine.
The XP machine should run most of your legacy applications WITHOUT problem -- it's better than dual booting and you can shut down the vm when you've finished running your application(s).

I don't have any problem even running vmware on a Netbook.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 XP Dual Boot Question Please

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