Windows 7 forum


Can I partitition my drive in XP to allow installing Win7

by akuzdas / January 3, 2013 12:18 AM PST

I have an extra TB of disk space that is unused and would like to install Windows 7 on my computer without deleting the XP system I use. I want to do this as a test of how many programs will I have to re-install and do drivers exist for printers etc. Two questions: 1) how do I establish the new partition that I will need and 2) How will I boot the computer to either operating system?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Can I partitition my drive in XP to allow installing Win7
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Can I partitition my drive in XP to allow installing Win7
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Right now you can't.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 12:23 AM PST

To do this you would select some tools to shrink the existing XP partition then leave the open space for the Windows 7 install. At no time would I ever create the partition for 7 to install to. I leave unpartitioned space for 7 to use.

Before I do any shrink I have a backup of my system. The tools I would use are CLONEZILLA and GPARTED. I don't supply step by step instructions as there are web pages on these tools and their uses.

Collapse -
OK... then?
by akuzdas / January 3, 2013 6:59 AM PST
In reply to: Right now you can't.

Thanks Bob,
Now I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed on this stuff, but I do understand that you want me to shrink the existing partition down to allow my install to be on the open space. When I do the Win7 install, how do I direct it there?, and how do I boot to it rather than the XP OS? If I can load things cleanly and the drivers all seem to work fine, then I want to delete the XP OS and just use the Win7. Does that work??
If all this makes any sense, I'm still stuck on how to change the existing partition. Can this be done somewhere from Disc Management within the control panel? I haven't been able to find how to change it.
Again, thanks if you think you can help on this.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 7:05 AM PST
In reply to: OK... then?

But it's your machine and you choose how to tackle this. I will share how I do this but at no time will I tell others exactly how to accomplish this. I can't. There are far too many ways to skin a Windows cat.

If you want to delete XP later, then all my advice changes as it will blow up the moment you remove XP. That does not work.

And no. XP's disc management does not do this. That's why we need tools as I noted. These are free, pretty easy to use and work great.

I don't understand where you are stuck. If you are trying to change the XP partition size I have to assume you have a backup so if it fails you are ready to restore.

In GPARTED I only need to grab the mouse and drag the partition size or right edge down. Then it's some button (I won't tell which one as it's right there) to commit the changes.

Collapse -
Sharp (not!) tool
by akuzdas / January 3, 2013 7:35 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry

So, I can't have both OS's concurrently on the hard drive and boot off of either one? I thought I could. I'm concerned that if I commit to win7 that it will be a nightmare getting back to XP if I don't like it, or somehow I have trouble that I don't forsee. I know that I need to load my programs back for Win7, but I hoped I could load 7 and still access my personal files and then delete the XP portion later if all went OK. Apparently not!??? Are you saying that if it works OK, just use Win7 and leave the XP stuff there but not used? If so, how do I tell it to boot on 7 and not XP?
If all this smacks that I just don't have enough smarts to do this, then OK, but I don't give up easily. I know if I know enough, I won't have trouble doing it..... just need to know the pitfalls that I might expect and get enough direction to do it right.

Collapse -
I didn't write that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 7:41 AM PST
In reply to: Sharp (not!) tool

You asked about removing XP after you got your dual boot installed and working.

Dual boot is supported but removing an os is done in the order you installed them in reverse. You have xp so that would be the last to be removed. Sorry but it's not that big a problem really.

-> What is the big problem is you seem to be intent on not backing up your files. That is you seem to be asking me how to partition, install OSes and avoid backup.

That never ends well. The owners lose all their files and them burst into flames and get upset at anyone that helped them jump down the well.

Collapse -
Can I partitition my drive in XP to allow installing Win7
by tinamishra / January 3, 2013 2:07 PM PST

Nice conversation held here regarding partition of drive in XP to allow installing Win7. I would like to say that we install windows xp and windows 7 together in a PC. If you want to make it clear then normally you need a blank drive so that next version that means windows 7 can be installed in it for that you just do a thing that is you have to select the blank drive instead of C drive and you will get the both things installed in your PC without any software tool.

Collapse -
True, but let's say we have XP on the boot drive.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 2:16 PM PST

Then install 7 on the next drive. I've yet to find anyone yank the XP drive and get 7 working without a reinstall of 7.

Collapse -
by akuzdas / January 3, 2013 9:51 PM PST

Thanks everyone for your inputs. I will read and digest them all. To Bob... thanks also, but just because I didn't specifically respond to your back up comments doesn't imply that I don't agree, but was because it wasn't critical to my question I was asking. I have already backed up my drive and was probing beyond that point. I apologize that I didn't make that clear to you, but. .. like you I wouldn't proceed down this path without that. Rest assured that we agree on that basic point. Back to the point at hand. ..I have no interest in
Keeping XP assuming Win7 works, so if I need to remove the last OS first then it makes no sense to add Win7 to the same drive. If you agree with my interpretation of what I think you said then I won't waste my time going down that path.

Collapse -
If it's on one drive ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 3, 2013 10:18 PM PST
In reply to: thanks

there is no issue at all to delete XP once you're satisfied with Windows 7. In fact, that's easier than having it on 2 drives.


Collapse -
Yes you can if you ...
by Edward ODaniel / January 3, 2013 3:23 PM PST

can follow the steps listed in this link:

You will find that the steps follow Bob's advice about using third party tools although this page makes use of Windows 7 Recovery Environment on the installation DVD. I suggest reading the whole thing BEFORE you start the installation.

When Windows 7 is installed it automatically creates a boot menu that allows you to choose the OS you want to boot into.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?