I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit. For certain uses I need to be able to also run Windows XP Pro using dual booting. I have found the "how to" from Vista to XP but have been unable to find out how to accomplish this going from Windows 7 to dual boot with XP.
Any help appreciated.
Do you have to dual boot? Setting up XP as a second option in a dual boot system is a major pain, often requiring the system to be wiped out first (when setting up a dual boot system, the older OS should be installed first). Can you get away with running XP in a virtual machine instead?
Not really sure. A medical records sytem requires XP for compatability/security reasons. Would the virtual process accomplish this? I'm really not familiar with exactly what that is to be honest. I have been researching the dual boot method and it seemed pretty straightforward for what I could find, Vista/XP.
Is 7/XP that much more involved? Have found nothing on how to do this.
If you're looking to use XP for a medical records system, I would not run this out of a virtual environment. Better yet, I wouldn't run 7 on the machine at all if the computer is supposed to be a dedicated records system.
It is not dedicated for that purpose and is in reality a personal use machine that will be used "some" for performing medical records. I was hoping to have the best of both worlds and use the dual boot procedure to allow the medical records functions to be available.
I certainly appreciate your input on this and will follow your advice. If you really feel XP should be the only OS I can uninstall 7 and reinstall XP as the only OS but would sure like to have 7 for the more routine use which will be 80% of what it is used for.
If that does not help you out follow this easy procedure:
1) Make an image backup of your HD on an external HD.
2) Get all the necessary drivers for your laptop for WinXP
3) Create a seperate partition for the second OS
4) Install Windows XP, obviously deleting all your previous stuff
5) Recover your W7 imaged partition into the other partition now
6) Use the W7 installation disc (boot from it) and do a "repair". W7 installation disc will find the W7 partition along with the XP partition and will create a boot menu where you can choose which OS you want to load at boot.
Of course the usual disclaimers apply, try this at your own risk. It did work for me and still works whenever i do it, but if it (or you) screw up something, then you cannot blame anyone.
PS: I used the above method and still dual boot with XP and W7. Whenever you lose a partition for whatever reason (corruption, etc) use the above method with the W7 DVD-ROM. It detects all the OSes and shows them up on bootup!
Since this is a brand new system and I will wipe all the "free" trial software anyway, how important is the image backup. If you feel it is still important even though in reality I will be working with an empty hard drive, will Norton Ghost do the same thing. I already have this software.
1) Since it is a laptop, i would like to keep access to references to hidden partitions for recovery
2) You want to keep all the drivers and software already installed. If you do a clean installation, you might find yourself looking for a driver for a device that is not even on your manufacturer's website!
So yes, better do an image and later uninstall all the crap that you do not need.
Norton Ghost can do the same yes.
And since you have it already, a piece of advice:
Try and make an automated image backup every now and then (i have a scheduled weekly image). In case ANYTHING goes wrong... no need to panic! 10 minutes away you are back to your system working like before! No frustrations, no loss of time! If you have the space, go with the backups!