General discussion

XP and Windows 7 on two different drives

I know how to dual boot, but I've never actually had a system that does it so two quick questions. If I boot from the Windows 7 drive will my XP drive also be recognized? Will I still be able to use programs and media and all my old files on that second operating system? And if I cant should I just install Windows 7 on the same on a different partition on the old drive?

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You can select which drive to boot from the BIOS

The data on either drive will be accessible from XP or Win 7 but programs will only run from the OS they were installed in. You could run into some permissions issues accessing data but these should not be difficult to resolve.

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And just to clarify

And just to clarify what Steven said... It doesn't matter if you install XP and 7 on the same drive or different drives, programs will only run on the OS they are installed in.

On that note, have you considered 7's XP Mode? Much safer than running XP these days. Not to mention more convenient. You can also achieve much the same thing with VirtalBox and a copy of XP if you don't mind giving up a little integration for reduced cost.

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Much safer?

Given the flaw in VirtualPC's Virtual Machine Monitor highlighted so nicely by the press last month, I'm a little less enthusiastic about touting XP Mode over a standard XP installation. Still safer than dual-booting, but something worth noting.

John

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Agree with Steven, and....

I am running both on separate drives. I assume you have XP all installed and running. If you haven't installed 7 yet, I sure recommend that you remove both cables from the old XP drive (with all power turned off) before you start your new install. That way there is no chance for your new install to mess with your old OS. Have fun ... Rod

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To add to the above...

1.) Steven and Rod spoke of using the BIOS to manage the dual-boot. Depending on the version, though, that may be a hassle or simply unsupported. However, if you install Windows 7 while the hard drive containing XP is connected, however, Windows will automatically create a software-based dual-boot for you.

2.) You can access files/media as usual, provided you 'take ownership' and grant yourself the proper permissions should you be denied access to a directory. As the others said, though, you must install software software under each OS you plan to run it.

3.) I too would recommend running XP in a VM as an alternative to dual-booting if you have enough RAM to support it, but would recommend VirtualBox or VMWare Player over VirtualPC.

Hope this helps,
John

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