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Windows 7: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

08 May 2015   #2180

Win 7 Home and Win XP 32bit

I feel so lucky that I found this page. Your explanations were very clear and I've been working on this dual boot problem for a week. I wish I'd found you earlier. I already had Win 7 and Win XP on my pc, but could only boot into one of them. I had to use a repair disk to boot into the other. I knew there was a better way and I found it with you. That Easy BCD program solved my boot issues and it was free. I can't thank you enough.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2015   #2181

Windows 7 Ultimate

Thanks for the information. I was able to change the active partition and change the setting in BIOS and then remove the old XP drive. System runs much faster now. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2015   #2182

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Pro SP3, 32bit

There are a great bunch of experienced people on here who are willing to help and I thank them all for their previous help. This thread has been invaluable to me for assistance in setting up dual boot PC's.
A big thankyou to you all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2015   #2183

Windows Professional 64 Bit
Difficulties loading XP

Thank you for you excellent guide to creating a dual boot system.

Unfortunately I am experiencing difficulties in loading XP. I have Windows 7 Professional 64 bit and have successfully followed your instructions (Option 2 - Windows 7 already loaded) and started to load up Windows XP on the partition created through W7. What is happening is that I go through the setup routine, pressing F6 to lad the SATA files through floppy disk, all goes well so far, select the correct partition to install XP to and quick format that partition. Setup then copies files and after this is done restarts. It is at this point that problems start in that after rebooting a message displays "a disk read error occurred. Press ctrl + alt + delete to restart" and that is as far as it goes. Unable to get back into the setup for XP to complete.

I have tried rebuilding MBR through Windows 7 disk, which says the three steps are done ok, but upon reboot the same error message appears.

Both systems will load perfectly on their own however. so I'm certain that it is not my setup cd's or PC.

Have I missed something in the instructions or is there something you are able to suggest?

Thank you for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 May 2015   #2184
Microsoft MVP


First post back a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image.
Tell us what's on each partition so far.

Next look at your XP disk closely to see that it is clean and unscratched, wash it if necessary. Will it boot and load in an XP PC if you have one. You need to know the disk is good as it may be the CD that's failing to be read.

Otherwise if so test the hard drive using the maker's HD Diagnostic followed by a full Disk Check on all partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2015   #2185


I have a Dell OptiPlex 170L. I know it is and older computer but it works great. I came with XP and I have installed Windows 7 32bit. I have two HD's and have tried to install W7 on C, and XP on F. I followed the instructions on how to edit the registry so that I would have a choice of W7 or XP on boot.

When I boot the computer I get the choice. W7 boots fine. But when I select XP and it tries to boot I get the following message.

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.
Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

W7 was already installed on C drive. I disconnected the ide cable, set the HD I was going to install XP on the master, installed XP. Then I reinstall the W7 HD as master and set the XP HD to slave. Edited the registry but can't get the XP HD to boot. What did I do wrong. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2015   #2186
Microsoft MVP


Where did you get the idea to edit the registry? Since you installed with the other drive unplugged, all you needed to do once you plugged it back in and set it first to boot is choose the XP drive on the F12 boot menu.

If necessary I would try to System Restore before you messed with the registry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2015   #2187

W7 and XP dual boot

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Where did you get the idea to edit the registry? Since you installed with the other drive unplugged, all you needed to do once you plugged it back in and set it first to boot is choose the XP drive on the F12 boot menu.

If necessary I would try to System Restore before you messed with the registry.

I found the instructions in option 2, 8-10 of the article that started this thread. It worked fine but I can't get the XP drive to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2015   #2188
Microsoft MVP


Those steps refer to using EasyBCD which edits the BCD on the hard drive. Did you add XP from Windows 7 using EasyBCD?

What I would do is unplug the Win7 hard drive, boot into the XP disk Repair console to run the bootrec commands shown in How to Fix MBR in Windows XP and Vista

If these fail you may need to run an XP Repair Install: Repair Windows XP by Performing a Repair Install

Once XP starts, power down to plug back in the WIn7 hard drive and set it first to boot in BIOS setup. TO choose the XP drive to boot, use Dell's F12 one-time BIOS Boot menu key. If this isn't to your liking, add XP again from Win7 using EasyBCD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2015   #2189

Windows 7 Professional
Newbie Question -- Dual Boot Win7 64bit / XP Pro 32bit?

Hi; sorry if anyone's asked something like this before.

I had a desktop with vendor-installed XP Pro (32-bit) -- until the motherboard's capacitors died. Naively, I hoped to just plug the hard drive into a new box, and continue using the installed OS (thinking that once the old machine died, it was reasonable to use the same license on the replacement machine).

I wound up getting a refurbished 64-bit PC (with a 3-year warranty!) that runs Win 7 Pro. The hard drive from the old machine has been added, so that I can access all my old data. At first, I thought I'd just continue with that set-up, but after a few months' experience with Win 7, I miss XP Pro more than I'd expected.

Is there any way I can set up a dual boot, or will the obstacles prevent that?

Thanks for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

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