Problems installing XP for dual boot

I was recently given a pc which, though a few years old, was an improvement on my own antiquated system, at least after a few tweaks. This newer machine is a Packard Bell iMedia H1509. It came with XP, but I removed it and installed Windows 7 (64 bit). I also improved the ram from 1GB to 3GB. It was working quite nicely for me, but after a couple of weeks of Windows 7 I began finding a few XP features were missing that I wanted. I wanted XP back, but I wanted to keep Windows 7 too. The CPU apparently can't handle a virtual machine, so I tried to create a dual boot.

I created a new partition in Disk Management, but my Windows XP cd wouldn't see the partitions properly, only a single partition of about 130GB. At the time I didn't understand this, and decided to try installing the (300GB IDE, ST3300622A) hard drive from my old pc as a second HD which already had XP (32bit) on it. Eventually I got this old HD working as a second drive under Windows 7, but could not get XP to run. I spent a lot of time messing around with EasyBCD trying to get a dual boot working - at one point I had "invalid boot.ini" message - and I probably messed up the XP install along the way, but it doesn't matter because I eventually reformatted this drive and tried to install XP on it from scratch. Again, XP setup wouldn't recognise more than 130GB.

After some research, I made a slipstreamed XP cd with SP2 to solve this. Setup went through copying files but every time it gets to the point of restarting, it reports "error loading operating system". (This is when I switch on with the Win 7 (SATA, ST3160023AS, 149GB) HD disconnected - when I reconnect this drive I can boot into Win 7 with no problem, and the other drive is accessible under Win 7 with its Windows XP files apparently intact but unbootable.) I tried to find out if I could update the bios but got nowhere. (The motherboard is Gigabyte GA-8I915PMD and the bios is Award ver: 10g, date: 11/25/05)

I realise you'll need more info than this, but I don't know exactly what, and this post is getting long already, and I don't know how much sense it makes (it's 4am here). I'd appreciate it if anyone could let me know what further information or clarification is needed, and if it sounds like it's possible to get XP running alongside Windows 7 in some way on this system, because after days of working on it, it's starting to look very doubtful to me.


Well now I've gone and done it. I tried to install XP on a new partition on the drive that had Windows 7 working on it. Now I can't get past "error loading operating system" - can't even get into Windows 7 now. Any suggestions???

further info: if I switch on with my Windows 7 cd in, it can't see the Win 7 installation either. Is there any way to get it back?

UPDATE: Panic over. I used "bootsect" in Recovery Console to get Windows 7 back. I'm more or less back where I was when I started this thread, before the two updates. I want to make a dual boot system with 7 and XP, and would appreciate any help.

UPDATE: If anybody's interested I have finally managed to install XP. I noticed that for some reason the system startup files like boot.ini were on one partition and the windows folder was on the other. As there was no data to lose I simply deleted the partitions and let the XP setup program create a new one taking up the whole disk and install onto that. Eventually I was also able to update XP and install kaspersky. So now I have Windows 7 on one hard drive and XP on my other drive. All I want now is a way of setting up dual boot without messing up what I already have.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about problems installing dual boot
  1. Best answer
    I couldn't figure out how to link this but if you navigate to this page on Tom's it will explain it all if you don't mind reinstalling windows 7. " How Do I Set Up My Computer With Dual Boot in Windows 8? "
  2. instyne said:
    I couldn't figure out how to link this but if you navigate to this page on Tom's it will explain it all if you don't mind reinstalling windows 7. " How Do I Set Up My Computer With Dual Boot in Windows 8? "

    Thank you very much for answering, but at the time (this was back in January) I was trying not to lose the Win 7 install I had. In the end, however, I "borrowed" the hd from my wife's old laptop and installed a dual boot system on that instead.
  3. I'm glad you were able to get that straightened out. Sorry I didn't catch your post date but it was not flagged as solved. You might want to close it to avoid future responses.
  4. Your windows 7 64bit changed your hard drive to NTFS which wasn't recognized by Windows XP. When you say, "Windows XP cd wouldn't see the partitions properly" it's because it was no longer FAT32.
  5. I don't think you're right about this, one of my WinXP computers has some partitions in NTFS and some FAT32. No problems that I've noticed. The reason I have NTFS is that it was the default in the WinXP installation and I missed that at the time.
Ask a new question

Read More

Windows 7 Dual Boot Packard Bell Windows XP