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Windows 7: Dual boot XP and 7

06 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 32 bit
Dual boot XP and 7

I want to dual boot xp and windows 7 on two different partitions. And I want to have an additional partition for programs and one for user documents. Is it possible for the two os's to have the same shared program files directory.

reason for this is to save space instead of having different installs for each just have them both run off the same directory.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 8 Pro

No its not feasible to install programs on another partition which does not contain your OS or for that matter two OS's to have same shared program files.Whenever you install any software try to install on same partition as your OS to get better performance as some registry entries have to be written for each software you install.

Even if you tried to install software for both OS's on same directory it will lead to files corruption.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2011   #3

Windows 7 ultimate X64

Hi and welcome to SF.
Here is a tutorial on dual booting 7 and XP. Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Apr 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


First check for all the Win XP drivers for your hardware on the manufacturer's web site.
If your Win XP CD, does not support your Sata Controller, you will need to load drivers to uses at F6.
Load Sata Controller drivers with a floppy disk is the best way.

SATA Drivers - Load in Windows XP Setup on Dual Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 32 bit

Both OS's are going to have identical software. Drivers are almost the same as well. If I am only left with one option what would be ideal for the partition size. I am working with a 500GB HDD. And also have one partition for the user documents so I don't have so many duplicates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2011   #6

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

One way you can save space is to disable hibernation for both OSs. Another is to point both pagefiles, system managed, to the same drive - they will overwrite the same pagefile.sys area, without problems.
Put the pagefile on a non-system partition for ease of maintenance.

Drivers are system files. Each OS needs its own copies and backups. 500GB will soon not be enough (it never was)! Consider online storage and backup - you need those duplicates, they will save your sorry a** one day.

As far as the application programs, some will work fine and some will not. Some will work ok for a time, then they will not. You will have to install most of them on both systems to register their dependent files etc.

If one program subsequently updates over the internet, and delivers a Windows 7 optimized version, then that program has 2 forks which are probably not going to be compatible any longer.

Do not mix 32- and 64-bit programs.

Consider a hypervisor system rather than dual booting, ask in the Virtualization section.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 32 bit

the 500gb is only for the os hdd. I have additional drives for important files and such. I have 3 other 1tb hard drives for that. I just want to eliminate the possibility of duplicates.

I think maybe the partition for the documents would just do fine then. I should be able to put all files from the My documents folder of each os to go to the same location. Thats where most of my duplication problems are happening.

I will do the pagefile to the same partition and get rid of hibernation. I don't even use hibernation anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP


Since you have separate HD's consider using the cleanest Dual Boot method which is to install to separate HD's while the other HD"s are unplugged. Once you plug back in the second OS HD after install, set the preferred OS HD as first HD to boot in BIOS setup, then if you want to boot the other OS HD use the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key given on BIOS splash screen or in your mobo Manual.

This keeps your OS HD's indpendent to come and go as you please, whereas a Windows-managed Dual Boot interlocks them and makes one harder to remove later.

You can link your User folders to another partition or HD using this method: User Folders - Change Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

What are your system specs? It should be a crime to load XP on any recent system. If you still need XP for some reason, virtualize it. It's a much simpler setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual boot XP and 7

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