General discussion

XP/Win7 dual boot problems

My computer is home built with two 160GB hard drives formatted as NTFS. I have XP on Disk 0 drive C and Wind 7 on Disk 1 drive I. I lose dual boot capability when I use win 7 software that's supposed to be compatible with XP, last was "Windows Easy Transfer" and win 7 disappeared from dual boot. I have tried several suggested fixes including repair option on Win 7 disk, none worked so far. I ended up with three different options for booting to XP on boot screen all of which worked. I edited boot.ini and removed two of the XP boot options successfully which leads me to question why can't I add
Win 7 to boot.ini for Win 7 boot up?

Thanks in advance, nellspond

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Reply to: XP/Win7 dual boot problems
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Reporting: XP/Win7 dual boot problems
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Because XP and Vista/7 use different bootloaders.

But sidestepping the issue a bit, is there some reason you can't just use XP Mode in Win 7 Pro?

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replying to "because"

During the boot process a screen comes up where you make a choice of what OS to bring up by using the up/down arrows. I believe this screen is created by the boot.ini.

I have Windows 7 Home premium and it does not offer backward compatibility to older versions of windows so I need dual boot capability in order to access XP.

Thankyou for your reply.

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Here I'm on 7 and

Have yet to encounter any real old runs on XP only items. Yes I had to eject a printer but that's it. It was not worth the price of ink and more so I move on.

If you want to dual boot then you can do so in some supported way. Let's check to see if you have the right CD and DVDs first. I've lost count how many times we don't have the right CDs.

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Here I'm on 7 and ....

Bob, I have Windows XP Home Edition version 2002 and Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade edition. When I installed Windows 7 I did a custom install so I could select my second hard drive and do a "clean" install.

Thanx for your interest...

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Then you can't do this.

To install a dual boot in a supported manner we install XP first on our first drive and leave unpartitioned space on this or another drive to install 7 later.

But I see you don't have 2 Windows licenses. Just the original and an upgrade so that could be a fine source of troubles.

Fixing this after it fails is too much trouble. I'd get the full license versions if you must keep running XP.

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Dual Boot

First, you do have XP compatibility with Windows 7 (and Vista) using the Compatibility Mode available in the properties tab of all icons. I have use the XP Compatibility Mode to install many older programs in Vista and Win 7. Have yet to fail getting a good installation. You need to do the installation in XP Mode, then set the launch icon also for XP Compatibility Mode (also set both to Run as Administrator at the bottom of the Compatibility Mode window).

For dual boot, you were able to do what you tried using Vista with XP. Check the web for Win 7 plus XP. You will find a lot of help.

When you install the Win 7 after XP, you should run the custom "clean-install" as you did, but DO NOT activate the installation. You then do an up-grade installation of Win 7 over Win 7, running from within Win 7. Then you activate. This worked OK with Vista, and assume it will do the same for Win 7. Again, check the web. I'm sure others have tried this.

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The problem with that

The problem with that, is that it's a violation of the license, thus you are in breach of contract, and a no longer legally allowed to use that copy of Windows.

If you buy an upgrade version of Windows, it's a supplemental license to your existing Windows license, not a new license unto itself. Sure there are technical ways of getting around it, but no legal ones. Your suggestion is illegal, plain and simple. I would strongly suggest you refrain from ever mentioning it again, lest you attract the wrong kind of attention to yourself, and find out just how expensive lawsuits can be.

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Then you can't do this

Bob, I do have two licenses, one for XP and another one for Win 7. My system is not an "off the shelf" system, it is home built.

I have two 160GB hard disk drives, Disk 0 and Disk 1.

Xp is on Disk 0, drive 1 (or partition C)

Win 7 is on Disk 1 drive 1 (or partition I)

Windows 7 was installed as a custom installation so I could assign the installation to Disk 1 to in order to preserve XP which is on Disk 0.

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The problem is...

You stated, "Bob, I have Windows XP Home Edition version 2002 and Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade edition." The upgrade edition requires that you use it to upgrade an existing, qualifying OS, not install it in a dual-boot setup alongside the previous OS. In essence, the Windows 7 upgrade license replaces your XP license, making your dual-boot proposal prohibited.


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"have Windows XP Home Edition version 2002 and Windows 7

"have Windows XP Home Edition version 2002 and Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade edition."

It's grinding it a bit finely but you have one Windows license to play with. If you had two full licenses I would say it should have worked but you have an upgrade so the old XP license is no more.

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Then you can't do this

Thanks for sharing this!

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Dual Boot

Yes, but Microsoft worded the Vista license, and arranged the installation so as to allow a dual boot with Vista. Lots of discussion on the Net about this, and nobody ever got into trouble. Microsoft never commented on the issue, leading most to believe it's not a problem. Remember, you are never using both XP and Vista/Win 7 at the same time! If you upgraded XP to Win 7 and then deleted Win 7, you could still re-install XP and use it. Dual boot is just a fast way to install/uninstall!

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Nope, sorry, that one's never going to hold up in court. Feel free to ask pretty much any lawyer you want, even if they don't specialize in contract law.

When you buy the upgrade version of Windows, you are NOT buying a full license. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this. What you are getting, is the ability to exchange your existing license for a new one. It's sort of like trading in your car. The analogy isn't perfect, but you can't trade your car in for some level of credit against a new car, and then still keep your old car.

Whether or not Microsoft ever chose to sue anyone over this does nothing to change the very simple fact that it's illegal. A cop may let you off with a warning for speeding. Doesn't make your speeding any less illegal. Your reasoning is faulty at best here.

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Well, I see a couple of things wrong here.

First, like I said, XP and Vista/7 have different bootloaders, so you're insisting on clinging to outdated information with regards to boot.ini. That only applies to NTLDR, which no longer exists in Vista/7. That's problem #1.

Problem #2, is like Bob said, you don't have the proper licenses to do this.

Problem #3, is that I'm seeing nothing that suggests you've even TRIED running some of these apps in 7, you just seem to assume they won't work. Probably 99% of apps that work in XP will work in 7 either without any special modifications or using the built-in compatibility modes MS introduced with XP SP2 and Win2K SP4.

Not so much a problem, maybe more informational, is that you can do the "Anytime Upgrade" to turn your 7 Home Premium into 7 Pro which offers XP Mode. It would be nice if MS offered an a la carte upgrade, so people could pick and choose which features they wanted to switch on. But you can at least pay the difference between Home Premium and Pro to get XP Mode. At the end of the day, it's probably going to be cheaper than going out and buying a non-upgrade license for 7. Maybe one of the Windows helper monkeys who frequent these forums can expand upon how it works with anytime updates if you should ever need to format. XP Mode is also likely far more convenient than rebooting. The performance hit from emulation is probably still going to work out to be less than the time you spend rebooting.

I think the whole XP Mode thing has backfired on MS. It seems to give people the mistaken idea that there is no backwards compatibility in 7 unless you have the XP Mode installed. When in reality, all XP Mode does is run a copy of XP in a virtual machine to give you compatibility with some apps that should have been phased out years ago, like Office97.

So, at the end of the day, you basically have three choices. You can try your apps with 7 to see if you even need anything more, you can buy a non-upgrade license for 7 and set up a dual boot, or do an anytime upgrade to 7 Pro and take advantage of XP Mode.

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About Windows 7 and Boot.Ini.

It's not used anymore. Let's find a primer about that?

Research this title and see if it will help get your multiple booting under control.

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It's not used anymore ...

Bob, bcdeasy fixed the problem.

Thanx for your input

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