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Windows 7: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

08 Jan 2010   #460

windows 7
i have a problem

i am using windows 7 since three months ago, however my wireless device does not support windows seven and the manufratructres don't care about upgrading it's drivers so i needed either vista or xp to run the device. i decided to duel boot win 7 with xp for i might need to sometimes use that device. i checked on the web for various methods nd i installed XP on a seperate new drive.
after the installation was complete i restarted the system and i had two option to boot with the same name. how ever i choosed frist one and xp booted.
i installed basic drivers and softwares and everything was fine and i was redy to boot to win 7
but wen in the next re start i choosed second option it says some files missing so can't boot.
then i inserted win 7 dvd and re paired it
now when i start my system i won't get any option for booting xp or win 7 but i directly boot into win 7.
Please help me how can i get that option to choose boot between xp and win 7.
thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2010   #461

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Hi vivekr,

Install EasyBCD 2.0 Beta on 7.

Click Add/Remove entries - select Windows 2K/NT/XP/2K3 in the drop down ( drive letter is auto determined).

Click Add entry - let Easy autoconfigure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2010   #462

Win7 Ultimate 64

Hello, new member here...apologies if anything here is a repeat...

So, I was attempting to set up the dual win7/xp environment using method 2. I got Win7 installed without issue, did a shrink on the volume, leaving me about 50Gb or so for XP, then began follwing steps per the tutorial to install XP.

Here's where things go sideways: Step 6 says "finish the XP install." The problem here is that in order for my XP install to finish, it has to reboot the machine. The machine reboots, but of course now there's no way for it to boot into XP after the restart! On top of that, once I successfully installed XP and it went to reboot, I now get a "disk read error occurred" on that drive.

The drive is still totally functional, as I was able to boot from the XP disc again and re-run the installation after reformatting the second partition that I'd set up for XP. But again, I run into the same problem. Since I can't get back into XP, I can't follow the remaining steps to set up the dual boot. And, of course, now I can't seem to boot into Win7 anymore, either.

FWIW, this is being installed on a brand new Samsung SSD (256Gb). Any chance that's affecting anything? I can't think of how that would make a difference, but I suppose it could.

One thing I'm considering now is to just make the SSD my Win7 disc, and use a second 1Tb HDD that was going to be for pure storage as the bootable XP device. That way, I know that once I install XP, I can get back to it by changing the drive priority in BIOS so that I can finish the steps for doing the dual boot.

Any advice on how to solve the first part of this or opinions on my potential "plan B" are appreciated. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #463


Absolutely brilliant guide, worked first time with no hitches at all.
Many many thanks.....

edit...meant to say, i had installed win7 first on 5 laptops so was really worried about the process...didn't need to be ... TOP MAN ;0)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jan 2010   #464

Win7 Ultimate 64

Well, the drama continues. I gave up on completing the procedure on a partitioned drive, and decided to just install XP on the 2nd drive intended for storage, a 1TB WD Black drive. XP installs without any error, but upon reboot, the drive causes the machine to continuously reboot. I tried the XP recovery console, did a fixmbr and fixboot...and now, instead of resetting, I just get the infamous "disk read error press ctrl alt del to reboot" message.

BTW...board is a new one (so no ancient BIOS)...Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P. There was one newer BIOS revision (nothing major in it), so I went ahead and flashed the BIOS as well. No change. What's interesting is that I get the same disk read error on the SSD after doing the XP install as well...weird, since it shouldn't have touched it. But, if I use the OS repair from the Win7 install disk on the SSD, all is well with the world again and it boots right up.

Any further ideas? (Or even any initial ones, since I haven't gotten any love here yet ;-P )? Thanks...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #465

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Do you have a 100mb system partition on the 7 drive?

Try giving it a letter before you attempt the XP install on the other HD.

Alternatively - make sure the 1TB drive is first in bios HD boot order before installing XP . If that goes well, then put the SSD first in HD order, and add XP to the 7 boot menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #466

Win7 Ultimate 64

Ok, so significant progress has been made:

My boot issues with the 1Tb HDD came down to what I believe is my new fancy-schmancy mobo's inability to boot to a single partition that large. I made a 50Gb partition on the drive, installed XP, put it first in the boot order and POOF! It fired right up, alongside an interesting mixture of celebrating and swearing. ;-)

I then partitioned the rest of the drive as a storage area that can be used by both OSs.

I cleaned up my Win7 install on the SSD, and now I can boot into either OS by switching the drive order in BIOS.

However, I'd like to do real dual boot via the bootloader, and I'm running into a problem there.

For description, I have the SSD as the boot device in BIOS currently. In my Win7 config, I have the SSD as C, and then the WinXP system partition on the 1Tb HDD as D. The storage partition on that drive is defined as H for clarity.

Now, I've installed EasyBCD in Win7. I've added a second entry for WinXP. However, it does not let me choose another drive in the drop-down box when I add this entry. It forces it to be C. I could change it in the Change Settings dialog, though. I tried setting it to D (and checked that this took effect by looking at the BCDedit info at the command prompt), but when I select WinXP as my OS at boot, I get an error that a file is missing from the system folder (I assume this just happens to be the first file it's looking for after selection). I changed the setting back to C for giggles, and it gives me the same result. What am I missing? It's obviously something small and stupid, but it's 1:30 in the morning, and for the life of me, I'm becoming tired and oblivious.

Soooo, if anyone can help me overcome this final obstacle, I'll be cooking with gas.

Edit: Ok, I now realize that I never should've changed the drive setting for XP in EasyBCD to D has to be "C" since that is where ntldr resides. So my brain fixed that little fact for me this morning after some sleep. However, the same problem still exists.

Now, when ntldr brings up the boot options (for just a second), it is listing three XP installs (I think because there are three drives...yes, there is a third hard drive in there, which is just a leftover storage drive from a previous build with no OS on it). I think that the one that it's defaulting to is incorrect -- at least I'd like to make changes to find out. Problem is that Win7 won't let me change the boot.ini file...oh, I've changed the settings from read only to being writable, and checked the security settings so that the administrators group (which my id is certainly in) has full control over the file. However, when I go to make a change, I still get the infamous access is denied error. MSConfig in Win7 doesn't edit this file, and doing msconfig in XP is going to look at the boot.ini stuff on the second drive, which is not the one I want to edit. And, since EasyBCD created this file with a timeout setting of 1, I don't have time enough to hit a button and select another profile for XP to even see if making the change would work. Aaarrgh! Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #467


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post

Glad you got it working.
It's all good gear like !

And it looks like i'll be removing XP pro,as all i've used since my last post is windows 7.Gave it a few tweaks here (UAC being the first port of call)and there, pressing ctrl-shift-esc instead of the old ctrl-alt-delete is now second nature.All in all, the improvements over XP really show!

There is one more thing i'll add ,about my motherboard and it's sata connectors.

It is a biostar a740g m2+,and it just doesn't like sata devices connected to the sata connectors in any random order,this was the reason why i used to every so often get a white screen and a completely frozen computer when i only used XP pro,this fault was narrowed down when i had to use Bartpe to repartition my disks for the windows XP and 7 duall boot because of the boot errors ,removing around the hard disks gave me the same frozen screen and lock ups.

So i just found which sata ports the motherboard was strangely "happy" with.So it seems, that other motherboards also have this "akward" nature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2010   #468
Bert Coules

Windows 7

Hi. I've read this thread with great interest as I'm about to try this, so thanks very much for the detailed and beautifully clear instructions. I'm going to be installing XP Pro onto a second hard drive in a new HP desktop PC which came preloaded with Windows 7.

My question is about drivers. The HP PC is brand new: can I assume that the XP installation will recognise the various components with no problems?

The DVD drive is described as a LightScribe DVD +/- R/RW. Belarc reports it as GH40L ATA.

The existing HDD is a Western Digital Caviar SATA partitioned as C: (284GB) and D: ("Factory image" 13.5GB). It would be handy if the XP installation recognised the other disk in order to copy data files across

Are there any other aspects of the PC which XP Pro might have difficulties with? The motherboard is a "Pegatron Corporation Evans 1.02" (curious name!) and the BIOS AMI 5.02.

The new PC also has a 15-in-1 card reader and a "Bay mini Pocket Media Drive": I don't anticipate ever needing to use either of them, but is their presence likely to cause any problems in XP Pro?

And one final query: this business of the XP install deleting Windows 7's restore points when it boots up: does that apply only if both systems are on the same HDD, or is it still the case if they're on separate disks?

Sorry about all the questions, but I've not done this before and it is just a little daunting to be fiddling around with a brand new machine, so I'll be grateful for any help and suggestions. Many thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2010   #469

win XP

Thanks for a very comprehensive guide.
I do have a problem / question.
I have 2 disk a SATA where I have my win XP (that's my boot drive) and a PATA
split into 3 partitions, one of which I used for backup (a copy of the docs in the winxp drive) which is FAT32. This drive / partition is known to WinXP as S:

I started clean - i.e. shrunk (Using GPARTED) the WinXP partition to free up enough to install WIn7. I left the remaining space as unallocated space.

Put the WIN7 in the DVD drive and proceed to install it

1. Click "Install Now"
2. Click "Unallocated space on Disk 1 (SATA)
3. Click "Custom" (new install)

Go through the process normally, when it finish installing, and it reboots, I am not offered a boot menu as you described in your guide, but boots directly into win7.
Puzzled by that I looked in "My Computer" in win7 and see that

a) My SHARED drive (no longer shows)
b) My WinXP shows as D:
c) My Win7 is C:

It looks to me that win7 is assuming that the SHARED (first drive) is where my other "earlier version of windows is supposed to be".

Follow some articles I try to "edit" the BCD and add the WinXP using the D: letter.
Result even more puzzling:

a) With the Win7 NOT in the DVD drive - computer boots into Win XP
b) With Win7 IN the DVD drive - menu choice is offered, but the WinXP entry does not work.
c) No matter what I do, if I want to boot into win7, I NEED TO HAVE the Win 7 dvd in the drive, EVEN if I do not boot from the DVD.

Using Startup Repair from Win7 DVD, always return "No Problems found"

I am totally puzzled and at a loss and would appreciate theories, suggestions, explanations and what-not to see if I could get the dual boot working.

Much obliged
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

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