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Windows 7: Understanding Dual Boot

24 Jun 2013   #1

WIN7 Pro 64bit
Understanding Dual Boot

Hello All,

Here's my first post. I have a Dell D830 with XP Pro 32bit and I would like to go all Windows 7 but I have some programs currently installed for which I have no re-installation disk. Therefore I figured that I would partition the HDD and install Windows 7 Pro 64bit on a new partition.

I've never worked with a dual boot and have some questions.

  1. How do the two OS's share software and drivers or don't they?
  2. If not, do I load a second set of drivers in Windows 7
  3. And do I/can I load programs on both OS's to avoid switching back and forth?
  4. Do I/should I do the same for documents?
  5. Should there be a third partition for documents?
Yep, that's a lot of questions.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

ad1) they don't share anything
ad2) drivers should be more or less automatically installed
ad3) certainly - those 2 systems will be completely independent
ad4) documents you can share. Best is to put them into a seperate partition
ad5) see ad4
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #3

7 x64

If you don't have the install discs for those program do you have the license keys for them? If you do you might be able to download the installer from the companies website so they can be reinstalled on the Win 7 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jun 2013   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Hello conmgt,

I agree with whs and edwar.
If you do need to dualboot, this tutorial should help.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #5

WIN7 Pro 64bit

Thanks folks for the speedy reply.

Did I understand correctly (after checking out that link) that when I install the Win7 Pro CD that Win7 will let me partition the HDD?

Will it let me make an extra partition for my documents?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #7

WIN7 Pro 64bit

All I can give is the XP screenshot.
I should be doing the 7 install in a couple of days.
Safe to assume that its the 7 shot that you want?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #8

windows 7 home premium
Multiple boot OS

If I may suggest, label your partitions as to what you are going to use them for.

Its very easy to forget which drive is what if they dont have a name, and you cannot rely on the drive letter as each OS will see itself as C:

You can label them Win 7, Win 8, DATA etc...

So that during installation when it asks you which partition you can easily see where you want to install.

Im on a dual boot Win7 & Win8, and I love the ability to use one to fix glitches in the other.

Also If I crash one Im not offline..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP


You can open XP Disk Mgmt, maximize the window showing the map and all listings, then do a Print Screen. Then open Paint and paste it. Save the File, attach it using the paper clip in reply box> Screenshot with Paint
Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

You'll need to shrink C to make space to install Win7. I'd use Partition Wizard CD to Resize Partition - Video Help.. We'll give you the exact steps once we see it.

If you're happy with its performance in its current state you can preserve your XP partition first by saving externally a backup image of it. Then you'd even have the option of deleting it while still being able to go back without reinstalling. If you have any WD or Seagate HD's they have a free premium Acronis app, or you can use free Macrium to Image your System.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Understanding Dual Boot

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