Dual Boot Advice Please

  Eargasm 11:21 20 Dec 2009

I have just built a new PC with Windows 7 64 bit running on a 500GB Hard Drive. I am looking to add another 500Gb Hard Drive and install XP Pro 32 bit and create a dual boot system.

Can anyone confirm that a 64 bit/ 32 bit would work OK, and perhaps post a link on how to do it ? Most of the online guides relate to partitioning 1 hard drive and creating a dual boot that way.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:25 20 Dec 2009

Windows 7 creates a small "hidden" System partition on which it places the boot system files, bootmgr and the folder Boot. Windows XP needs to have access to that partition so that it too can place it's boot system files there. They are ntldr, boot.ini and NTDETECT.COM.

As you have a second hard drive on which to install Windows XP, you will need to create a partition on it to install XP. Do not actually create a partition or format it from within Windows 7 as Windows XP uses an earlier version of the file system NTFS.

Insert your Windows XP setup disc, restart your system and boot to your XP CD to install Windows XP. When you get to the set-up screen where the drives/partitions are listed, select the unpartitioned space on the new drive and create a partition by pressing C on the keyboard. Once the partition is created, press Enter to install XP on that partition and then format the partition.
If the drive is already set as one partition and formated then delete the partiton and recreate and format it with the XP CD at the setup screen.

Create a Dual Boot Menu using DualBootPRO

Once you have completed the installation of Windows XP you will have temporarily lost your ability to boot into Windows 7. You will now need to restore a dual boot to both Windows 7 and Windows XP.

It is recommended that you install all device drivers in Windows XP or at the very least, the Chipset drivers for your motherboard. After that is done, download and install DualBootPRO click here and be sure to follow the prompts to install the applications Prerequisites, .Net Framework 2.00 or higher, as DualBootPRO will not run without it.

Open DualBootPRO, ignore the prompt to backup your BCD. Go to the System Bootloader tab, select "Windows Vista or Windows 7 Bootloader" in the first section and "All Drives" in the second section and then click Install Bootloader . Next, go to the Diagnostics item on the menu bar and select "Run Diagnostics". DualBootPRO will default back to the Manage OS Entries page and you will see that you now have entries there for "Windows 7" as well as "Earlier version of Windows". Change the name of the Windows XP entry using DualBootPRO if you wish. Restart your system and select the operating system you would like to boot to.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:26 20 Dec 2009

Alternative Method to Create a Dual Boot Menu

After installing Windows XP you will have temporarily have lost the ability to boot to Windows 7. Here's an alternative method to restore your dual boot.

1. From Windows XP, open My Computer and go to Tools>Folder Options>View. Check the check box for "Show hidden files and folders", and un-check "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)".

2. From My Computer, open the System partition. It should be drive C:\

3. Select and copy the Windows XP boot system files ntldr, boot.ini and NTDETECT.COM

4. Open the XP installation partition and paste those three files to the root of the partition.

5. Install and open DualBootPRO and go to the Manage OS Entries page. Check Add New OS Entry, give your Windows XP entry a name such as Windows XP, select Windows Legacy from the drop down menu and allocate the drive letter as seen from My Computer. Click on Apply Updates

6. Now go to the System Bootloader page of DualBootPRO and select to install the Windows 7 Bootloader>All Drives>Install Bootloader.

7. Reboot and test each of the boot menu items to make sure they are good.

  Eargasm 18:07 20 Dec 2009

Many Many Thanks Fruit Bat /\0/\ For a superb and very detailed explanation.
Due to the bad weather, it will be a week or so before i can hold of another Hard Drive to try it, i will leave the thread open so i can post my results.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:21 20 Dec 2009

good luck, perhaps Santa will bring you a new drive :0)

  Eargasm 15:05 26 Dec 2009

Well i have managed it, although a different way, i decided to start from scratch.
I installed XP first on one hard drive then Windows 7 on the other.
When i boot now i have 2 options
1 Earlier version of Windows ( which i have renamed to XP Pro using Easybcd) and
2 Windows 7
Both work fine so i will tick as resolved Thanks

  delric 15:50 11 Jan 2010

May I add one further aspect to the request - I have an identical situation except Windows 7 is installed on a SATA drive and I am intending to put Win XP on an old IDE drive. Does this make any difference to the excellent response Fruit Bat /\0/\. Thanks

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