"Error loading operating system"

So I tried installing Windows XP Professional alongside my existing Windows 7 Home Premium as a dual boot, but when my PC restarted following XP's text-based installation phase, I got the annoying "Error loading operating system error. I've tried:

- Using the Windows 7 Startup Recovery feature from the Windows 7 DVD, but it didn't work.
- Deleting the incomplete XP partition. That hasn't worked either.
- Using the Windows XP CD to enter Recovery Console and run fixmbr. Unfortunately it asks me to log into my Windows 7 installation using the Administrator password, which is wrong every time I enter it. So I can't do that either.

Please help, as I really am stuck as to what to do, and annoyed that something so simple could go so wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Does your Windows 7 still boot up properly? Either your XP installer is corrupt, or something went wrong while it was copying the files. Try the process again, but make sure to not quick format the partition/drive you're installing on.
  2. Nope, nothing would boot properly. I figure my XP installer was corrupt. And yeah, I always make sure to do a full format of the partition/drive, so that's fine.

    However, I installed a second copy of Windows 7, which fixed the bootloader and allowed me to access my original partition. I then simply deleted anything I didn't want via disk management.

    Thank you for your input r_manic, much appreciated.
  3. You need to install XP first, because it does not contain the boot manager needed to install multiple OS's. Then install 7, it will allow you to resize the original partition, create a second partition on the drive, install 7 to the second partition, and then allow to choose which OS to use right after POST is accomplished.
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