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Partioning Hard Drive with different O/Ps

  BillMC 22:38 12 Feb 2018

I have been running my PC with Windows 7 for some while. I now want to re-format the drive (yes I know that re-formating might not be necessary for partioning, but I just want a clean up of drive) and to put Windows 7 on one partion and XP on the other one.

So is this possible? Does it need special software and can I get it via freeware? How do I actually go about doing it?

  beeuuem~2 00:23 13 Feb 2018

The instructions from here are quite clear.

It is preferable to install XP first. If you install W7 first XP overwrites the boot record and you'd have to fiddle about with boot managers.

You can created the partitions during the install of XP by telling it how big you want the partition to be during set-up. Alternatively you can install on the whole disk and create the W7 partition later with free partition manager software,

There are several good ones that are easy to use such as MiniTool Partition Wizard or EaseUS Partition Master

I'm sure this project will keep you happy for hours !

1]: [click here 2]: [click here 3]: [click here

  Jollyjohn 11:59 13 Feb 2018

An alternative would be VirtualBox. After you have done your re install of W7, download and install VirtulBox then follow the steps to add XP as a virtual PC within W7. It removes the need for rebooting to move between the operating systems.

Hardware can be routed to the Virtual PC and I use this set up to test older printers etc that won't install on W10.

  BillMC 02:21 18 Feb 2018

My version of Windows 7 wont allow me to install Windows XP. When I try to run setup from the disk the opion for installing Windows Xp is blanked off and I can't even boot it from the disk when I re-start. Even if I interupt the start up of windows 7 by pressing any of the funtion keys. I've tried all of the folowing but none of them will allow XP to boot an install from disk: DELETE F1 F2 F3, then F2 F10 CTRL+ALT+ESC CTRL+ALT+S ESC Any way I can get round this?

  beeuuem~2 02:37 18 Feb 2018

Originally you said you were going to format your hard drive and do a clean install. You can't run the XP install from within W7.

If you are going to install XP with W7 already installed you need to create a partition on which to install XP - you need to have some free space to install on to.

You also need a bootable XP disk and to have the BIOS set to boot from the CD/DVD Drive before the Hard drive.

  BillMC 02:49 18 Feb 2018

My version of windows wont even allow me to format the hard drive.

  beeuuem~2 04:28 18 Feb 2018

You can't format a hard drive that the OS - W7 - is installed on from within W7. It won't allow you to destroy itself.

If you wish to format the hard drive the simplest way is to boot from an operating system installation disk.

The instructions from click here detail the steps. Bear in mind if you want to do a clean install of XP and W7 at step 4 you will need to delete the existing partition - usually C: -that currently has W7 installed.

From the free space that is created you then need to create a new partition for XP that is big enough for the installation and programs. How big is up to you and how big your hard drive is. The partition size will also depend on whether you keep data such as My Documents, Pictures, Music and the page file on the same partition as the OS.

XP on its own will happily run on a 15 - 20Gb partition but only if the data is on other partitions.

You need to leave sufficient free space to create a partition for W7 when you come to install it. W7 alone will take around 22Gb so mine is on a 60Gb partition.

I have all my data on separate partitions for two reasons:-

1/ If the OS has a problem I only need to restore the Macrium Reflect OS image which takes a matter of minutes and all my data, pictures, videos, emails etc are still intact and up to date.

2/ Because I use some old programs I triple boot with XP. W7 and W10. As the data is on separate partitions it can be accessed and modified from whichever OS system I have booted into i.e. I only need one My Documents, one My Pictures etc. and they are the same in all OSs.

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