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Windows 7: Dual Boot - XP on First Drive (SATA) Win 7 Second (IDE)

05 Dec 2009   #1

XP / Windows 7 (DualBoot)
Dual Boot - XP on First Drive (SATA) Win 7 Second (IDE)

Greetings All,
I am running XP on a SATA HDD. I have installed Win 7 on a second partition with some problems. The main problem was random BSOD's. This I believe, I have traced back to the fact that the MoBo runs Nvidia chips. Have downloaded the updated Nvidia Win 7 chip drivers. So, I uninstalled Win 7 and removed boot loader via BCDEDIT.

What I would now like to try is to install Win 7 on a separate IDE HDD connected to the primary IDE controller. This is so I can sort out the Nvidia driver problem.

I can see problems with this. My questions are the following:
  • What will I set the IDE HDD to be, Master or Slave?
  • Then boot off DVD/ROM and then install Win 7 as normal onto IDE HDD.
  • If yes, I take it that the Win7 bootloader will not be installed on the XP SATA HDD.
  • If this is the case then I should be able to use EasyBCD to add the XP on the SATA HDD.
Most critical part of the whole deal will be to set the SATA HDD (with XP) to boot FIRST. I have been down this track before and the MoBo sets the IDE as Drive 0 (FIRST boot HDD).

I know that there is a simple answer to this. I just cannot see the forest for the trees at present.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Set IDE to either. This is only a drive location issue.

Plug ethernet if poss. Boot WIn7 DVD,

select "Keep connected to internet during install" to get latest updates/drivers.

select Custom install with Advanced drive tools so you can format first.

Windows 7 will configure the dual boot correctly, updating the MBR on XP and holding the boot files.

Not necessary to use BCEdit or EasyBCD since Win7 is installed last - Only if Xp was.

Give Win7 installer a shot to provide NVidia drivers first. It is driver-complete, updated during install, with newer arriving quickly via Windows Updates. THis is because MS funded the WHQL partnership with all manufacturers to develop Win7 drivers - MS paid, they have them first.

If blue screens, install your own Nvidia drivers in safe mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 x86/x64, Server 2008r2, Web Server 2008

Another solution I can offer is installing the two os's while the other HD is disconnected.
On you boot hard drive, Install a boot loader, I am quite fond of Chameleon 2.0( Im not sure if it works if you dont have OSX installed though.) Or Acronis disk director (It costs a lil-bit, and ensure its only on the xp drive cause it doesn't play nice with 7.)
They should both detect Both Windows 7 and XP,
(With Acronis you will have to Re-name 7, as windows 7 Since it will say something like "Unknown OS")
This Is a set-up I have not had to try yet since I run all my Os's off one 500gb hd and the rest for storage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Dec 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP


Windows 7 can configure the dual boot without problem nearly every time.

If you would rather not have to deal with extricating from a dual boot eventually, consider:

unplugging the XP drive during Win7 install to set the MBR on Win7.

Replug XP drive after install. This will allow you to choose which HD to boot by tapping the BIOS Boot Menu F-Key given on the first boot screen, then selecting which HD to boot.

You can set the default order you want them to boot in the BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #5

XP / Windows 7 (DualBoot)
Dual Boot - What Happened (or didn't :-( )

I installed on the IDE as per normal (Selected "Custom" and allowed Win 7 to format etc). And, yes you were right, everything went well TILL after the final re-boot. I had the "Previous version of windows" option with the "Setting-up Windows 7" (middle option) and the "Windows 7" menu.

The system started to "cycle" saying that setup files could not be found etc. I had left the DVD in and did not hit enter to boot from DVD. I have installed XP many, many times and I am aware of what happens.

So I went back to square one. Complete shut down (gave it 10 minutes rest to allow RAM bleed), then re-booted with Win 7 DVD. Same problem. Not a big issue really. I have dual boot on my laptop (Intel chipset) running fine. It was only the possible Nvidia chipset problem which stops me from loading Win 7 into the second partition on the SATA drive.

So I uninstalled and used the bootsect.exe cmd's to remove boot loader.

I would like to thank all that have given me your experienced advice. I must admit that I am a novice with regards to Win 7. I run XP on all my machines and did not go the Vista route at all. I have repaired and reinstalled that pup too many times.

I very much like Win 7. Except of course for my recent bumbling. Still it's how you learn.

Once again many thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP


If you'd like to know what kept it from working, I'll bet someone on here knows.

My bet is BIOS settings, since you had split the drives IDE/SATA.

You have a great attitude, knowledge and would be the kind of person to get this figured out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot - XP on First Drive (SATA) Win 7 Second (IDE)

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