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Windows 7: Dual-boot 2 HDD with existing Windows XP and Windows 7

09 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
Dual-boot 2 HDD with existing Windows XP and Windows 7

Hi everyone,

I've read the guide on dual boot but it looks like my scenario is a bit different and wanted to check if I understand what I need to do.

I have Windows XP and Windows 7 already installed on separate HDD. Reading the guide, this is what I understand I need to do (please correct me if I'm wrong):

1) Set Windows 7 HDD as the primary HDD
2) Install EasyBCD on Windows 7
3) Use 'Add New Entry' in EasyBCD for Windows XP drive with "Auto Detect Correct Drive" option checked
4) Reboot

Is it this simple? I don't want to do it and corrupt MBR or something similar that I won't be able to boot into either OS without having to boot from the installation disk.

Any help is appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Your saying you already have both systems installed on the 2 seperate drives ?
You could choose which OS to boot to through the BIOS. I take it you installed XP then unplugged a hard drive, plugged in the other then installed 7 ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jan 2012   #4

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP

Whatever system you installed later has taken over the boot process (unless you installed the second OS while the other disk was unplugged then you can boot to each one using one-time boot device selection key (F11)).

If you installed Win 7 later it should have created a dual-boot - nothing more to do.

If XP installed later then it has taken over the boot process. Consider Visual BCD Editor - Windows 7/Vista which comes with automatic "Dual-boot Repair" tool.

As theog already posted - can you give details - disk map, where is XP, where is W7 so you could receive detailed help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64

Thanks for the reply everyone.

@AddRAM: That's correct. The original HDD is installed with Windows XP. The 2nd HDD is from a different workstation that I moved to the current box. BIOS is an option however the end-user will not be technical enough to make BIOS changes (or at least I don't trust them to make these changes themselves) Selecting the OS on boot appears to be the best solution

@theog: Sorry, I don't have the specs at the moment. I just need to know if with EasyBCD, I can simply "Add New Entry" if I set the Windows 7 HDD as the primary HDD (since WinXP boot.ini did not work for me).

@boyans: I installed the OSes independently on their own chassis. I'm moving the Windows 7 HDD into the Windows XP chassis and set it as the primary HDD. When I boot the system, it's the Wiindows 7 boot manager that loads.

I don't have access to the workstation at the moment but I will try to post more information as mentioned by theog when I get a chance. If there's a way to do it without EasyBCD I'd appreciate it as well (to retain the Windows 7 default boot manager intact).

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64

Resolved. Here's what I ended up doing:
- Connected Windows 7 HDD and set as primary HDD
- Connected Windows XP HDD as secondary HDD
- Booted up workstation and it loaded Windows 7
- Followed steps 8 - 12 of How to Setup a Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

I gathered the workstation info using CPUZ but since dual-boot is working now I will just update the profile with my Win7/Ubuntu workstation at home when I get a chance.

Thank you again for all your advise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual-boot 2 HDD with existing Windows XP and Windows 7

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