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Windows 7: Dual Boot WinXP-Win7 Fail

17 Jul 2018   #1

Win 7 Home Premium; 64 bit v6.1.7601 Pack 1 Build 7601
Dual Boot WinXP-Win7 Fail

A bit of history first... Before including Win7 as an OS, I had two WinXP OS installations on separate partitions on my standalone [single] HD. One OS was my day-to-day 'system'. The other was an audio/visual setup. Data files were on another 'single' HD and a Raid10. I did not use a boot manager to switch between the two XP operating systems opting instead for quick/dirty edit of Partition Table followed by reboot [hide/unhide, mark active etc]. Worked fine for me...

Thought it would be easy enough to replace my 'day-to-day' XP OS with Win 7 and hold on to my WinXP AV system which has some legacy XP video editing software I need/use. I was expecting to be able to 'switch' between OS's as before, keeping the two unaware of each other and preventing program 'path' issues. After some hiccups got the Win7 OS in the proper place on the HD [I re-formatted the XP partition from the Win7 install disk] and successfully got it to boot. All was done while my XP AV partition was 'hidden'.

Based on my build notes [this was all done quite a while ago], when booting up the computer the Windows boot manager was displayed. Legacy OS was shown as an option. If I continued the boot into Win7 I could see that my XP OS partition was now unhidden and given a drive letter of 'D'. This caused a reshuffle of all the other drive labels which I had to undo. Gave up and hid the XP partition and modified the Windows Boot Manager to only include the Win7 entries and now it boots straight into Windows.

If I hide the Win7 partition, making the WinXP partition visible and active followed by reboot I get a BSOD after the WinXP splash screen. Using Acronis DiskDirector I can view the contents of the WinXP partition just fine and I do note there is a 'leftover' Boot folder on the root directory with BCD and BCD.log in the folder.

I'd like to get this working so that I can switch between the two Operating systems and not have both partitions visible at the same time. The few troubleshooting things I've tried have resulted in STOP errors when trying to boot from the XP partition [Following the splash screen -- C0000021A; 0x00000407] or booting from XP install CD/DVD ['Starting Windows...' -- 0x0000007B; 0xF78D663C]. I might have things really messed up now [MBR?]. If I had to I guess I could live with Win7 and WinXP on different physical hard drives, but I think what I'm trying to do should be in the realm of the possible.

Appreciate any help/information

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2018   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

Welcome to the Forum.

If I understood well you want to:
- Have Win 7 in one partition and Win XP in another partition.
- Hide the partition (no drive letter) of the other OS. If win7 in use, hide win XP. If If win XP in use, hide win XP.
- Have Data disk and Data RAID10 available on Win 7 and Win XP.

Your OS disk must be Legacy as Win XP isn't compatible with UEFI - GPT.
On a Legacy-MBR, you choose a disk to boot from, BIOS takes the boot sequence to MBR on the disk (fist track on disk) that takes boot sequence to a Boot Loader on a partition (normally C: or System Partition on OEM (Dell, HP, etc)) and this partition is flagged as Active.
So you have to decide witch OS will have the master boot record (with option to boot Win 7 or Win XP). My suggestion is to make Win 7 the master.
Under Win 7 install and run Easy BCD Software Library - NeoSmart Technologies (just hit download).
With Easy BCD make another entry to boot Win XP.

Once you're running Win 7, open disk management (C:\Windows\System32\diskmgmt.msc) and take out the letter of the drive of win XP. Do the same under Win XP (take out the letter of the drive of win 7)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2018   #3

Win 7 Home Premium; 64 bit v6.1.7601 Pack 1 Build 7601

Thanks for the help....

Just so you've got as much info as possible, here's present boot configuration but I don't think there's much interesting there


Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-us
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {3fdace41-d888-11e4-9c09-00247efc8627}
resumeobject {3fdace40-d888-11e4-9c09-00247efc8627}
displayorder {3fdace41-d888-11e4-9c09-00247efc8627}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {3fdace41-d888-11e4-9c09-00247efc8627}
device partition=C:
path \windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-us
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \windows
resumeobject {3fdace40-d888-11e4-9c09-00247efc8627}
nx OptIn
detecthal Yes


Couple of questions before I get started...

What should be the 'beginning' state when running EasyBCD from the Win7 OS? Should the WinXP partition be visible with a drive letter assigned, visible without a drive letter, or hidden? Sounds like it should be first option with a drive letter...

When using EasBCD to create a 'New Entry' for XP should I let it 'Automatically detect correct drive' or specify the drive letter?

Also, having removed the drive letters it sounds like I no longer will be needing edits of the Partition Table to hide/unhide the OS partitions as they are effectively hidden from each other because of the drive letter 'edits'. Never thought about doing it that way. Any impacts you know of from doing it that way??

Appreciate the help
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jul 2018   #4

Windows 7 HP 64

I used EasyBCD many years ago when my MB was Legacy-MBR.
Now my computer is UEFI-GPT and the boot process is completely different. In other words, I don't remember how to use it.
I would start EasyBCD with Win XP partition with a letter. Remove the letter after everything is running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2018   #5

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1

The only way to have 2 OSs on the same hard drive is to have them both on the bootloader. If you want them completely separate they have to be on separate hard drives. That's because there can only be one bootloader per drive. Really there shouldn't be an issue running both OSs on the same drive and being able to see one another. I did that for years with Vista and XP.

If you really want to have both OSs separate on different drives it would be easiest to reinstall them and when you do so disconnect the power from the other hard drives. So when you install XP remove the power from the 7 drive and your other drives. When you install 7 remove the power from the XP drive and your other drives. Only have power to the hard drive that you are installing an OS on at that time. If you don't do that only one bootloader will be installed and that will be for the second OS installed. If XP is installed when you install 7 it will replace XP's bootloader with it's own and both will be on it. If you install XP on a system with 7 on it XP will replace the 7 bootloader and 7 won't be available. By only having one hard drive connected at the time of install each hard drive will have separate booloaders and will be completely autonomous.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2018   #6

Win 7 Home Premium; 64 bit v6.1.7601 Pack 1 Build 7601

Thanks for the other option wrt separate disks. I saw that described elsewhere and still may be where I end up... If I continue with having both on same hard drive [separate partitions] and visible to each other how are the paths handled? My XP partition which already has programs installed expects to see 'C' with the same true for my existing Win7 programs. Or am I thinking of a 'problem' that really is not an issue as I haven't tried running the respective XP programs with Win7 'visible'.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2018   #7

Windows 7 HP 64

Disk letters are assign to a partition by the OS. Normally the booted partition is C:
So you can take the partition letter from the OS you're not using, just to avoid making changes on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2018   #8

Win 7 Home Premium; 64 bit v6.1.7601 Pack 1 Build 7601

Quick Update... In tinkering around with EasyBCD came to find out my XP boot.ini file in my AV partition was pointing to the wrong partition. After fixing that was able to get my XP OS to boot beyond the 'Splash' screen BSOD and access the XP partition/files. Did not complete fully for some 'yet to be determined' reason and I still can't boot from my XP install disk which has me stumped. Anyway, lets mark this 'Solved'. I'll start another thread if it's warranted. Thanks to you both
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2018   #9

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1

The bootloader was changed starting with Vista. When you installed 7 the bootloader would have been updated and the XP bootloader is no longer used. Therefore the XP boot.ini file is no longer in use unless you restored the XP bootloader. If you did then you can't boot into 7 since the XP bootloader can't recognize 7. To get both operational you need to restore the 7 bootloader. Then you will be able to access either from the OS prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2018   #10

Win 7 Home Premium; 64 bit v6.1.7601 Pack 1 Build 7601

Postscript.... I now have a system with both XP and Win7 working. Each are on their own partition on same physical hard drive. As noted, my boot.ini file in the XP partition was pointing to incorrect partition [not sure how that happened].

Here's what I ended up doing...

1. Using EasyBCD removed references and options for XP/Legacy

2. From Win7 used Acronis software to remove/replace my WinXP partition with one I had saved prior to install of Win 7. In process made the WinXP partition visible and gave it a drive letter

3. Still in Win 7 inspected and updated boot.ini file in the WinXP partition to reflect current partition configuration and location of the XP OS

4. From Win7 used a partition table editor to 'Hide' Win 7 partition and make WinXP partition visible and 'Active' [boot]

5. Soft reboot of system

6. Got a complete reboot into my XP OS and it appears to be fine. 'C' has all my XP system files and programs other drive letters are as they should be...

7. While still in XP used partition table editor to 'reverse' the setup making the Win7 partition visible and active and hid the XP partition. Soft reboot and all went well going back into Win7. Drive letters are still as they should be

So the misconfigured WinXP boot.ini file on the XP partition was one of the problems. How it ended up that way is lost to memory. For some reason even after finding/fixing that issue the WinXP partition/system was able to find/execute the WinXP system files but couldn't finish. Something got corrupted somewhere/somehow, but replacing it all with a backup copy of the XP partition [along with the boot.ini file 'fix'] got things going and I can 'switch' between the two operating systems as before using my partition table editor 'method'.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot WinXP-Win7 Fail

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