Dual Operating System

I have a 30GB hard drive that I will use as a system disc that will have Windows 7(64-bit) and XP(32-bit) on it. I'm well aware that 7 needs a minimum of 20GB for 64-bit, but according to wikipedia XP requires about 3 or 4GB with SP1, 2, &, 3. I was thinking about setting up the partitions so that 25GB goes to 7 and 5GB goes to XP, but I'm afraid that might still be not enough space for either system. Would it be a better idea to replace it with an 80GB hard drive and configure the partitions so that 50GB gos to 7 and 30GB goes to XP?
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  1. The short answer is yes ... it would be a better idea to replace with a larger drive. Maybe do a 60GB/20GB split using an 80GB drive though.
  2. Then I'll go that route. Thanks. I was just thinking about it, I mean I know 7 says 20GB and XP says about 3 or 4, but I took into consideration about the amount of space some of the updates might take up. lol. Thanks again for the affirmation. XD
  3. Oh also I will be doing a fresh installation of both OS's, will I have an option to set up partitions during the installation of either OS or am I gonna have to hook up the drive to another computer and format it?
  4. I don't know what your up to here. You can set up the partition using the windows XP or windows 7 installation disk but install windows 7 first then XP next or you can use a third party software to do this for you.
  5. Actually, it is highly recommend to install XP first, then 7.

    @NathanSuite ... both OSes have the ability to create and format partitions as part of the setup process.

    During the XP installation, make a partition on the drive for your XP install and leave the rest of the drive alone (unpartioned space)
    Fully install and update XP then boot up with the 7 DVD. At this point create the 7 partition using the remainder of the drive space available.

    Check out this site for excellent instructions ... http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/8057-dual-boot-installation-windows-7-xp.html

    Most of the tutorials I have seen assume that XP is already using the entire drive and therefore detail the shrinking of said partition to make room for 7, but you won't have to do that.
  6. @DEAne: I'm in the middle of building my first computer so there are a few things I want to work out and make decisions on before I purchase or do some things. But getting to the point, I want to have two OSs on this machine using the planned 80GB hard drive. Using some of it for XP and the other part for 7.
    So to put this into perspective I will have 4 hard drives: a program drive, game drive, media drive, and a system drive.

    @dsnooks: Thanks that link is definitely very useful. As far as virtual memory is concerned I can use each OS's partition for that correct? So like I can use some of the partition from 7 to use as part of the virtual memory for 7 and vise verse with XP, right?
  7. The virtual memory is one of the variables that favor moving to a larger drive. If you put XP on a 20GB partition and 7 on a 60GB partition you won't have to play with the settings for virtual memory at all. There will be ample room for Windows (both) to adapt the page file on the fly as needed. Microsoft HIGHLY recommends that typical users do NOT modify the virtual memory settings.

    In other words, you are correct :)
  8. Ok, good. The only reason I ask is because sometimes I like to allocate more hard drive space to memory so the I know there's plenty of available memory. Then again I may not even bother this time around knowing I'll be having 8GB. I think I'm just used to never having enough memory. My old Dell had only 256MB of RAM. and my lappy has 4GB. Even still I don't feel like 4GB is enough for some of the stuff I do, like video editing and games. :)
  9. Hello NathanSuite,
    Generally speaking, the more hard drive space the better. This will allow you to have more performance, install more programs and increased opportunities for "restore points". Just make sure that you install Windows XP first, and then install Windows 7. Windows 7 will create a "Multi-boot" menu for Windows XP and Windows 7. There is a defaulted selection to Windows 7 and it waits 30 seconds to select which OS you will boot up.
    It also depends on the version of Windows 7 that you have. As a good rule of thumb a minimum of 30GB is recommended for Windows 7 *(possibly more for Windows Ultimate).
    In Windows 7, the feature (100 MB partition to store WinRE files) is installed on all computers if the OS is installed on hard disk with single partition scheme, or unallocated space (space which not yet been partitioned) on the hard disk drive.
    Good luck with the install!

    John M.
    Microsoft Windows Client Team
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