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Windows 7: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

18 Aug 2011   #1470

Win7 Ultimate x64 & WinXP SP3 x86 Dual Boot

Hi TheoG & ShadowMario3,

Thanks for your quick responses, thats awesome!

ShadowMario3, I tried what you suggested, and let me tell you, just for the sake of sharing experiences what happened. The first time I tried it, was when I installed win XP after I already had my two Win7 OS's running for a few months (booting with an EBCD boot menu). After installation, I had the usual problem of only win XP booting and the win7 boot menu disappearing. I figured out on my own (Im very proud of this) how to fix it through the win7 install DVD and startup repair feature that you mentioned. That gave me back the windows generated boot menu (not the EBCD menu I had created and was using). So far so good, thats when I found this page, realized all I needed to do was use EBCD, and was almost ready to fix it all....

HOWEVER, that first attmept at installing winXP wasnt to my liking since it had installed into a D: drive, and I needed D: for another drive cause I got a million projects referencing D: as a default location for source files.

SO, I re-installed win XP, after unplugging my other physical drives, so that it installed itself onto a C: drive (on the only drive it could see at that moment).

And thats what changed everything. Now, running system restore, startup repair, or even manualy repairing the MBR and all that using bootrec at the command prompt (as suggested in the tutorial) has no result. Startup repair states that there are no startup related errors to fix. bootrec /RebuildBcd tells me no windows installations have been found.

For some reason, forcing win XP to install into a C: drive, even though the other OS's also see themselves as C: drives if you boot into them, has thrown off the available windows tools, the standard fixes have no effect.

TheoG, I have a childhood friend who goes by the same name, both online and offline, and since I know you're not him, Im going to have to ask you to cease and desist from using that handle! LOL

Seriously though, thanks for the assitance

You said to "Reset the HD boot order". Where or how would I do that? The boot orders you proposed both look fine, as long as I can get the 931.51 GB drive to be the first hard drive to boot. Right now it seems to be loading off the 298.09 GB Drive with win XP on it.

I first used bcdedit after reading about it here, can I reset the boot order using that with that command? In my BIOS I cant specify boot order to that degree of detail, it doesnt allow for choosing individual hard drives in the standard settings, it only allows that in another menu seperate form the usual BIOS settings, and thats a one time choice, the setting doesnt hold till next time.

Im ready to reset my boot order... just need a few more pointers!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #1471

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by greekhop View Post
TheoG, I have a childhood friend who goes by the same name, both online and offline, and since I know you're not him, Im going to have to ask you to cease and desist from using that handle! LOL

As I am over 60 years old, & I have been theog all my life. NO.

If you are happy with boot order, OK.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #1472
Microsoft MVP


The benefit of wisely installing OS's on separate HD's while the other is unplugged is that you can boot using the cleanest method: via the BIOS one-time Boot Menu key given on first boot screen.

This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please, whereas creating a Windows-managed Boot Menu interlocks them requiring surgery to remove one.

As you said this was clumsy in your OP, was waiting to see how it worked when you set BIOS boot order to Win7 as first HD to boot. You should then either get the menu, or it should boot Win7 so you can install EasyBCD to add XP if you want to use the Windows Boot Menu.

There is an additional problem evidenced by the screenshot: Win7 is apparently booting off of a System Reserved partition on Disk 2 which could create dysfunction. Since you said you unplugged the other HD's during XP install, we have to assume Win7 retained its boot via SysReserved which is marked System.

However, if Win7 fails to boot after setting it's HD as first to boot in BIOS setup, then I would mark Win7 partition Active in Disk Mgmt, power down to unplug all other HD's, then boot the Win7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots on its own. Then you can plug XP back in to boot via BIOS Boot Menu key as suggested, or add XP using EasyBCD from Win7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #1473

Win7 Ultimate x64 & WinXP SP3 x86 Dual Boot

Hi GregRocker, nice pic in your sig... thats the dream working on the beach, or even in the beach, your priorities are correct!
And thanks for the advice too, I think I have gotten myself into a mess by not fully understanding how windows7 installs and boots.

You mention the System Reserved partition on Disk 2, and after doing a bit of reading, Im starting to think this may have something to do with my problems. Thing is, I made a big mess by doing my own troubleshooting and installations before reading about it online.

Previously, I was running two win7 OS's happily with the EBCD created boot menu. Then, at some point my win7 (Office) on disk 2 wouldn't load, and I got it 'fixed' by setting its partition to active (dont know if it was already active before and something changed unbeknownst to me, or if it never was active to begin with) and then running startup repair from the installer because after that nothing would load. That gave me the default windows generated boot menu (both win7 OS's appearing with the same name). I dont know if I should have set the drive to active or not, I was just experimenting... I think startup repair alone to begin with would have done the trick, but I hadn't discovered it yet.

Anyways, I plodded along like that till I decided to install XP but WITHOUT unplugging the other drives first. That had the now well documented results. Still not having consulted online, I ran startup repair, got acces to win7, which now loaded by default (this is the state of affairs I want to restore!), then formated the WinXP partition and finally reinstalled XP now having unplugged the other drives.

So, Lord knows whats going on in my system reserved partition right now. Im also not sure which partitions should be marked active, and which not.

The only thing for sure is that I at least have access to all three OS's through the BIOS one off boot menu. But something is wrong for it to be booting into winXP as default and not seeing my EBCD created boot menu, all the while win7 installer startup repair does not find any problems.

I am going to now try what you suggest at the end, starting by carefully reading "Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times". Since this has to do with the sysreserved partition, it may be the solution. Will let you know if it works!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Aug 2011   #1474
Microsoft MVP


Remember to mark Win7 on Disk0 Active before running the repairs until it will start on its own, with all other HD's unplugged. Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

Then plug back in the other HD's, set preferred OS to boot first in BIOS setup, then try booting the others using one-time BIOS Boot Menu hotkey at boot.

If you still have the Windows Boot menu when booting into Disk2, install EasyBCD to delete extra listing(s) on Edit Boot Menu tab.

If you want a Windows Boot menu rather than booting via BIOS, set Win7 on Disk2 first to boot, from EasyBCD add the other Win7 first, then XP next. Then all will be booted via SysReserved partition, however interlocked requiring surgery to remove later. And one may balk due to the condition of it's bcd store after previous edits.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #1475

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit SP1

Good day,
I'm new in this forum and unfortunately I'm new in Windows 7 too :)
I'm having trouble installing XP on my new partition made through the Disk Management in Windows 7. Every time I go into the XP setup, it detects my system and logical partitions but not the new one I made. It's labeled as unallocated and when i try to install XP there,of course there's an error but even I try to make a new partition on that unallocated space, nothing happens. Hope anyone here can help me. Thanks :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #1476
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello javacookies, welcome to Seven Forums!

From your post it sounds as though you have reached the limit of the amount of partitions allowed with the MBR partition structure and only have unallocated space available, which cannot be used for installation, to be sure have a look through the information below and post a snip so we can be sure.

information   Information

Before we make any specific recommendations will you please post a snip/screen-shot of the entire Windows disk management drive map with a full description as to which drive/partition is which, so we can see what you have going on as there may be a fairly simple way to resolve the situation.

In the Windows start menu right click computer and click manage, in the left pane of the "Computer Management" window that opens click disk management and post a maximized snip of that.
How to Upload and Post a Screenshot and File in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #1477

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit SP1

Thanks for the welcome and quick response :)
Here's the snip
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP-disk.jpg
As you can see I've managed to shrink the existing partition and make a new partition out of it.
But the problem comes when I'm in the XP setup. It detects the new partition as unallocated space and if I try to make a new partition...nothing happens. I hope there's a simple and quick solution for this because I did a little research and some said it could be the XP installer that cause the problem. They said it should be at least have SP1...I'm not sure if mine has it. thanks again

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #1478
Microsoft MVP


It's strange it would see the partitions at all if it needs SATA controller drivers. What happens when you try to use the XP CD to Create a New partition there as you should anyway to apply XP full formatting? Delete the XP partition you created to try it now.

Can you try this with a XP SP3 installer for your version (e.g retail or OEM, Pro or Home, etc). If forced to download one from internet be sure to check comments and scan with AV.

If not I'd try inserting or slipstreaming SATA Drivers - Load in Windows XP Setup on Dual Boot
SATA Drivers - Slipstream into Windows XP CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #1479

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit SP1

I tried to delete the XP partition and make the partition in XP setup but this time it will only detect the 2 partitions and no unallocated space. Well I got an XP with SP3 now, I'll try it and I hope it work 'coz if the problem's the SATA driver...I don't know where to get it Anyway, I'll be back after I try it. Thanks :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

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