XP & 7 Dual Boot - on same HD or separate HDs?

By glen ·
I'm running XP SP3 on a 160GB HD. My box also has a 40GB empty HD. The 160GB has about 40 GB used with the rest free. I don't mind re-installing windows - in fact I seem to get to do it often! Would I be better off installing 7 on the 40GB drive to keep it separate from all of the XP files; then back up and wipe the 160GB once I give up on XP or partition the 160GB and install 7 on the partition? Where do I find "Boot Manager"?

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Well in answer to your question No you would not be better off

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to XP & 7 Dual Boot - on sam ...

Installing 7 on the second HDD and then wiping the original HDD.

The reason for this is because when you wipe the Boot Drive the Initial Boot Files used to load whatever will disappear and you will not have any working OS to load.

You could wipe the Boot Drive with XP on it and then install XP again and depending on what you chose to do when you formatted the Boot Drive you could either create a Second Partition on the 160 GIG HDD and load 7 to the Second Partition or you could just as easily load it to the 40 GIG HDD.

It doesn't really make much difference how you do this because only using 1 OS at a Time will not make the different ways of Installing both OS's perform any faster weather they are on 1 or 2 drives. Though they do have to be on Different Partitions.

If you attempt to install XP and then 7 to the same partition the 7 Install will overwrite the XP install and you'll only have the 1 working OS installed on the computer which would be 7 or whatever is the last installed.

You could just as easily move all your Data to the Second Drive wipe the first one and then format it to two different partitions and install XP to the Primary Partition and 7 to the Second or Extended Partition and keep all your Data on the Second Drive where it doesn't get messed with. Really depends what you find easier to do.


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This is how I would do it

by Jacky Howe In reply to XP & 7 Dual Boot - on sam ...

Backup and wipe the drives, install XP to the 40GB drive by only having that drive connected. When you are up and running don't activate until you are sure that everything is working properly. Then connect the second drive that you previously prepared and install W7. W7 will then load a Boot Manager to allow you to choose which Operating System you want to use.

You can use Darick's Boot and Nuke to wipe the drives for a fresh install.


Autonuke should do it by running it at least 3 times.

You can then prepare the drives for your XP and W7 install.

Boot from the Windows 7 DVD and on the first screen click Next, click Repair your computer, click Next and select Command Prompt. At the command prompt type in these commands pressing the Enter key after each one if you want to use the whole drive or use this as an example if you want to create more Partitions: create partition primary size=32768.

select disk 0
create partition primary

and exit again and boot from your XP CD. Repeat the process for W7.

Later on when you want to remove the XP drive all you have to do is a startup repair with the W7 DVD.

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Install Windows 7,add XP mode or Virtual XP and use 160GB

by 1bn0 In reply to XP & 7 Dual Boot - on sam ...

The 40 GB is on borrowed time. You currently have 120GB free on the 160.

Dump the 40 GB and look at buying an external HDD to back up the 160 before it fails

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I have a Vista XP dual boot

by JamesRL In reply to XP & 7 Dual Boot - on sam ...

I started with a Vista partition and added XP, so the process is slightly different.

Here are instructions from the same site I used:

I would install both OS on the same 160 drive, so that you when you are "done" you can delete the XP partition and recover the space, without reinstalling 7.


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