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windows xp and windows 7 dual boot issue: they won't

by mhguda / May 21, 2009 2:02 AM PDT

I read the complete step by step how to on setting up dual booting windows 7 and xp. I prepared all my partitions beforehand, and labeled them accordingly so there would be no confusion. I installed windows 7 on my new SATA drive. Everything went OK, except that I never got a boot menu presented - to 7, it was as if XP was not there.
I downloaded and installed, and ran, easybcd, and tried to add the xp menu entry manually. It asks for the drive, and the drive with xp on it is now, under windows 7, drive D (it is E when I boot xp). All necessary files (ntldr,, boot.ini) are all on this drive. But when I try that menu entry, all the computer does is reboot. It will still only boot windows 7, unless I go into the BIOS settings and change the boot order of the hard drives (in this list, if I make the one with the Win7 partition nr 1, I can boot windows 7 and only that; if I make the one with the XP partition nr 1, I get my regular old boot menu from boot.ini (which also gets me into my wubi install of ubuntu).
I would like to be able to boot into XP from the windows 7 boot menu, or, alternately, would like to boot windows 7 from the xp boot menu. (that would be even better). Does anyone have any pointers for me?

Thanks in advance.

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Using your Windows 7 DVD...
by John.Wilkinson / May 21, 2009 3:00 AM PDT

Insert your Vista DVD, restart your computer, and press any key to boot from CD/DVD when prompted. (You may have to edit your BIOS settings to set your optical drive as your primary boot device.) Once the Windows Vista installer launches proceed through the keyboard/language selection and, instead of clicking Install Now, choose "Repair my Computer" from the bottom left corner. Finally, choose the Startup Repair option and restart your computer once it completes. That should automatically detect both operating systems and reset the boot options.

Hope this helps,

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Startup cannot repair my system...
by mhguda / May 21, 2009 7:20 AM PDT

I did what you suggested. It did not help. After much searching of the system, the options to repair the boot menu are really only what's already there: to boot Windows 7. It does not see XP. I opened the command prompt to see if all my drives are seen, and yes, they are. Now C is the XP partition and D is the Windows 7 partition. But as to boot options, XP stays invisible.

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use OS manager it worked well for me...
by Chinookman / May 23, 2009 1:37 AM PDT

don't know if you are out of luck but I never use a boot manager. I have XP Pro, Vista Ultimate and W7RC32 and they are all managed by the OS. at boot up I have:"Previous edition of Windows", Vista (the default it goes to) and then the W7RC32".

So maybe the use of a boot manager hosed this up for you. Just my guess may have misread your post, maybe?

Also after my OS was loaded then I went in a renamed the partition so I could tell which is which.

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I've figured out what I was doing wrong
by mhguda / May 23, 2009 2:29 AM PDT

I was using easybcd to edit the boot record, and following all the howtos and manuals and whatnot. All of them somehow assuming that the boot disk is the same for all the OSes, even if you say they are not. For instance, none of those howtos mentioned that even when I had my older windows (XP) on drive E and the newer one on C, and I am pointing the BCD to the correct drive, what I actually had to do was copy the three crucial files - ntldr,, and boot.ini to the C drive anyway, then edit this new boot.ini to point at the E drive where XP lives (with the drive letter it would acquire when I would boot from Win 7 - yet another item to add to the confusion). What happens then, it seems, is that when I choose XP from the new BCD bootmenu, the copy of the xp bootloader that is now on C takes over, finds my OS from the (edited) boot.ini, and starts XP.
Here is another chapter to this story. I had previously installed wubi ubuntu under XP and was trying to boot into that from the BCD. All sorts of howtos, manuals, and items on easybcd that claim to make this possible - don't. I finally figured out how to do it: adding, with easybcd, a boot item for wubi, then using bcdedit, editing both its drive and its path. The path should be wubildr.mbr, in spite of all claims to the contrary. I can now boot the three OSes, 7, XP, and wubi ubuntu, from one boot prompt. I'm just wondering why it should still be so difficult.

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Another solution for Win7 - WinXP dual boot
by wladstoil / August 9, 2009 2:59 AM PDT

Your solution has some drawbacks. For example Windows XP won't be able to modify directly the copy of boot.ini which resides on the Win7 partition.

Another solution to the problem is to dump the boot sector from the WinXP partition in file and instruct the Win7 boot manager to load this file.

Step by step instructions to achive this:

1. Dump the boot sector from the WinXP partition in file bootsect.bin and place this file in the root directory of the WinXP partition.

2. bcdedit /create /d "Windows XP" /application bootsector
bcdedit will return an identifier, which I will refer to as {ID}.

3. bcdedit /set {ID} device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
\Device\HarddiskVolume1 refers to the first partition. You may need to change that.

4. bcdedit /set {ID} path \bootsect.bin

5. bcdedit /displayorder {ID} /addlast

That is.

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How do I get my old boot.ini file?
by allenshorter / September 1, 2009 7:07 AM PDT

I have a partitioned drive that was working with XP on the E: drive and Vista on the C: drive. My vista got so bad I just upgraded it to Windows 7. Problem is, my xp drive will no longer boot.

I am trying to follow the steps you listed, but how do I "Dump the boot sector from the winXP partition WHILE USING Windows 7 (since that is the only thing that will boot up now).

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Windows Boot Manager
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {640c746f-10ee-11de-bc22-9e23c80aa7b3}
displayorder {current}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {640c7471-10ee-11de-bc22-9e23c80aa7b3}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {640c746f-10ee-11de-bc22-9e23c80aa7b3}
nx OptIn

Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {640c7476-10ee-11de-bc22-9e23c80aa7b3}
device partition=E:
path \NTLDR
description ERCfT Studio


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Booting windowss 7 and windows XP professional
by Antonino Matranga / April 17, 2010 9:27 AM PDT

Can You send me the file You have write for booting windows 7 and windows xp professional installed in diferent hard drive,because I have the same problem.

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WIN 7 & XP
by YeYe55 / May 26, 2009 12:38 AM PDT

Very simple. You don't need to partion the hard drive to install xp and won 7. All you need to do is just install win 7 and then once you have the system up and running, install xp and choose another folder. What will happen is,Xp will be installed in another pocket. After this you will be able to see both boot ups.

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Win7 and WinXP on the same partition is problematic
by wladstoil / August 9, 2009 2:06 AM PDT
In reply to: WIN 7 & XP

That way a directory collision may occur since Windows 7 and Windows XP use similar directory structure. For example both use the following directories:
%SystemDrive%\Program Files
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings (this actually is not a directory, but a junction in Windows 7)

Also they both will use the same pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys by default if they both are configured to use page file and hibernate file. If for example you want to run one of the Windows OSes in virtual machine from the other a problem may occur because of this.

There may be other problems. It is much more cleanly to separete the two OSes in different partitions.

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by tubaloth / August 14, 2009 12:38 AM PDT

That is strange that it didn't work.

I have had a dual boot of Vista and XP for the longest time, I add Windows 7 to mix and no problem at all.

The only thing I know is that Windows 7 (and or Vista) need to be the second OS you install. But it sounds like XP was already on your system (and Ubuntu?) And you installed W7 after that?

I did have Ubuntu installed before Windows 7 (same partition) but Ubuntu has a different boot loader and not really cause problems but wasn't as easy with Windows.

Have you started a fresh again, At least two different partitions. Install XP (Pro) then Windows 7?

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Hi windows XP and Windows & on dual hard drives
by goutham_sabala / September 13, 2009 6:15 PM PDT

1> I have 2 Hard drives, 1stHdd - 160 Gb and 2nd 500gb ( Blank _ NewHdd)
2> 1st hard drive has win xp and all the data
3> I would like to install win 7 RC on the second hard drive and when i boot my system I would like to have a option to choose from the operating system that I would like to boot from .

If you could please provide me the detailed instructions that would be of great help . Thanks in Advance

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The short version.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 13, 2009 9:39 PM PDT

I did this.

1. Installed XP to the first drive. Done and working.
2. Booted up my 7 RC DVD and let it install to the second drive. Done and now I get a boot menu.

What you need to know is that we can't remove XP or 7 without pain. I never offer good news on that.

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Dual Hard Drive - Windows 7 RC and XP - "can't remove 7 RC"
by liebermanrichard / October 16, 2009 11:05 PM PDT
In reply to: The short version.

It's distressing to learn that "we can't remove XP or 7 without pain."

I have the same setup (XP on one hard drive, Windows 7 RC on another). I know Windows 7 RC self-destructs my computer at some point, and I want to keep my XP.

What if I format my Windows 7 RC drive and erase all? Will I still be able to access XP?

Any other suggestions? Do you know if installing the full Windows 7 when it comes out will cure the Windows 7 RC self-destruct problem?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 17, 2009 2:41 AM PDT

That issue about removing one or the other Windows and what happens next is well worn ground. Nothing has changed here. There is your supported paths and then you find folk that take up learning and tinkering far more than I will.

TODAY I'm migrating from one machine to another and that backup and restore is how I deal with this issue.

You may find your our solution but there has yet to be a click here to remove that and make my other OS still work.

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Other way of dual booting XP and 7 (IDE and SATA Drives)
by reji_ice / April 27, 2010 12:50 AM PDT
In reply to: That.

Note: This only work if you are installing XP on an IDE HDD and installing 7 on SATA. And DO NOT, please do not use any partition software to format the HDD you're going to use for Windows 7. Make sure you label your XP drive before installing 7.

1. Make sure you install the XP on the IDE HDD first.
2. Select DVD/CD drive as your first boot device on the bios setup.
3. Make your IDE HDD (The HDD with XP on it) the second boot device.
4. Mount your 7 installer on your DVD/CD drive.
5. Choose your language and keyboard, proceed to installation.
6. Now sit for a while and have a coffee.
7. If you do see a selection between "Earlier Version of Windows" and "Windows 7" after the first restart, select "Windows 7" (or it will just simply start with "Windows 7" by itself) and proceed.
8. Finish the installation and enjoy!

Trust me! Making the XP Drive second device made it all. Maybe it's because the 7 should detect the XP Drive first so that it could create a Dual boot system. I'm not that good, but it worked on me. Just try it!

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Just forgot something
by reji_ice / April 27, 2010 12:54 AM PDT

You should install the 7 on the other drive w/c is the SATA HDD

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Some quick notes...
by John.Wilkinson / April 27, 2010 1:12 AM PDT

1.) You need not install XP on the IDE and 7 on the SATA drive, though you may need to supply the proper drivers from the manufacturer during XP's installation on a SATA drive if you choose to do it that way.

2.) There is no problem with using a third-party partition application to setup the Windows 7 partition.

3.) Labeling the XP drive is for future convenience; it is not a required step.

4.) You should actually set your CD/DVD drive as the primary boot device before attempting to install XP, so that the XP installer will launch successfully.


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Hi John
by reji_ice / April 27, 2010 10:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Some quick notes...

"1.) You need not install XP on the IDE and 7 on the SATA drive, though you may need to supply the proper drivers from the manufacturer during XP's installation on a SATA drive if you choose to do it that way."

I'm not forcing them to use IDE along with SATA Drive. It's for the person who both have IDE and SATA drives.

"3.) Labeling the XP drive is for future convenience; it is not a required step."

Not part of the step. That was just a note.

"4.) You should actually set your CD/DVD drive as the primary boot device before attempting to install XP, so that the XP installer will launch successfully."

Yes. Like I said, I'm not that good. Just wanna share what I found out. But thanks anyway for correcting my post. Really appreciate it.

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Dual Boot Installation Windows xp and Windows 7

I want to install both Windows xp and Windows 7.
I have two hard drives, one is 20gb usb hard drive and other is 250 gb inside my laptop dell inspiron 1545.
First I have installed windows 7 on 250 gb hard disk. Two partitions C: 100 MB "System Reserved" and another D: 70 GB for Windows 7. Windows 7 was running fine. Then I installed Windows XP SP 3 on 20 gb external usb hard drive. After installing Windows XP now Windows 7 is not booting. Its giving error Bootmgr is missing.

Kindly help me I want to have both Operating system in dual boot mode.

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We covered that above.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2010 11:17 PM PDT

The supported way is to install the OLDER OS first leaving unpartitioned space for the next install.

Any other method seems to meet with troubles.

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Dual Triple Boot
by gummyd / April 8, 2010 12:55 PM PDT

Use EASYBCD 2.0. This will make it easy.

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Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows XP
by ahsanyousaf201 / April 8, 2010 4:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Dual Triple Boot

Thanks for reply
I have used EASYBCD 1.7.2 in Windows XP and copied "ntldr" file along with the "boot" folder in Windows XP Drive. Now both Operating Systems are running. But Windows 7 startup screen changed to VISTA Startup screen and my registered windows 7 becomes non genuine Windows 7.
Can there be any way to recover Startup Screen for Windwos 7
kindly help

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Please clarify "Startup screen"...
by John.Wilkinson / April 10, 2010 5:15 AM PDT

There are a few things you could be referring to:
1.) Boot Menu - Lets you choose from installed OSes, including Windows XP and Windows 7.
2.) Boot Screen - States Windows is loading.
3.) Welcome Screen - Lets you log into Windows.

As to the non-genuine issue, you should be prompted to activate Windows and/or re-enter your product key. Doing so should resolve the issue, though we'd need to know more about your copy of Windows 7 (was it preinstalled or a retail copy? was it an upgrade or a full edition?) to fully troubleshoot the source of the issue.

Let us know.

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Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows XP
by ahsanyousaf201 / April 10, 2010 6:42 PM PDT

In EASYBCD,I have mistakenly select type of Operating system as VISTA
because windows 7 option was not there. Therefore the boot Screen changes to VISTA "Yellow bars moving".
Welcome Screen is Windows 7.
I have reactivated the Windows again. issue resolved.
"New Problem"
I have 3 partitions c:70GB d:80gb e:82gb and 100mb system reserved as primary partitions
I have shirnk c: to 50 gb to have 20 gb
(logical partition)for Windows xp.
After installing windows xp my e: partition become unallocated partition. why its so?
Is it nessary to have 100 mb system reserved partition for installing windows 7, or I can install windows 7 without it?

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About the mistake.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 10, 2010 8:46 PM PDT

Such mistakes can be costly. You might have to start over. But let me write a little about "Is it nessary to have 100 mb system reserved partition for installing windows 7, or I can install windows 7 without it?"

Much changed from XP to 7. You are asking about a new system by Microsoft and are tinkering with partitions where it can be dangerous, resulting in trouble and failed boots.

The direct answer is this is part of Windows 7. There are online articles detailing all this so all I'll note here is to start over and try to follow the supported methods. When you go outside the supported known setups you find trouble.

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Sata / Ide
by Racmusic / November 17, 2010 8:33 PM PST

Something no one has mentioned,,,
I have an asus P5LD3-vm mobo
3 sata & 1 ide.
I have Win7 on the IDE & Xp on the Pri Sata.
If the "IDE" drive is connected, it will take priorty over the sata drives.
If I disconnect the IDE drive, the sata "XP" auto loads....
This may be part of your issue with 2 seperate drives being used..
Just my little input..

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