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Dual boot

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February 7, 2011 3:36:29 AM

I have a new computer with an unformatted hard drive. I plan on using windows 7 64 bit. I also want to add an old drive with windows xp 32 bit to the computer. I am wondering how I can get it to dual boot?

More about : dual boot

a c 375 G Storage
February 7, 2011 11:11:42 AM

Just install win7 to the new drive. It should detect XP already installed and overwrite the boot loader with a new one.
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a c 297 G Storage
February 7, 2011 3:49:54 PM

Hawkeye22 is correct. If you have the XP drive in the system when you install 7 to a second drive, you will get a dual-boot menu.

However: The boot-loader and dual-boot menu will be on your XP drive. When the system boots, it will start from the XP drive and then, if you choose Win 7, transfer control to the other drive. You will not be able to boot from the Win7 drive at all if the XP drive is not present.

Many people are just fine with this situation.

The rest of us install Win7 with only the new disk in the machine and let the Win7 install format the partition for Win7. Then add the XP drive back to the machine.

Some of us stop here, picking which OS to boot in the BIOS. Choose which disk, choose which OS. The rest of us download EasyBCD and modify the Win7 boot process to offer the XP as an alternative, then boot off the new disk forever. If, Lord forbid, the Win7 drive fails, you can still boot the old XP disk.
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February 8, 2011 2:31:15 AM

WyomingKnott said:
Hawkeye22 is correct. If you have the XP drive in the system when you install 7 to a second drive, you will get a dual-boot menu.

However: The boot-loader and dual-boot menu will be on your XP drive. When the system boots, it will start from the XP drive and then, if you choose Win 7, transfer control to the other drive. You will not be able to boot from the Win7 drive at all if the XP drive is not present.

Many people are just fine with this situation.

The rest of us install Win7 with only the new disk in the machine and let the Win7 install format the partition for Win7. Then add the XP drive back to the machine.

Some of us stop here, picking which OS to boot in the BIOS. Choose which disk, choose which OS. The rest of us download EasyBCD and modify the Win7 boot process to offer the XP as an alternative, then boot off the new disk forever. If, Lord forbid, the Win7 drive fails, you can still boot the old XP disk.


Good answer. I put the xp hard drive into the new computer which did not have a hard drive. I immediately discovered I had a mess since the drivers were for different machine. How do I resolve that?
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a c 375 G Storage
February 8, 2011 10:29:23 AM

You didn't mention you were moving the drive to another machine. You'll need to do a repair install on XP and install all the proper drivers for that motherboard and any other devices you have changed.
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a c 297 G Storage
February 8, 2011 12:08:53 PM

nydoc said:
Good answer. I put the xp hard drive into the new computer which did not have a hard drive. I immediately discovered I had a mess since the drivers were for different machine. How do I resolve that?

Generally, the forum advises against that and recommends a clean install. I happen to agree.

However: There is something that you can try, and I would actually be grateful if you try this and post the results - I am pretty curious about it. First, back up the drive, just in case. Put the drive into the new machine and boot to the OS DVD (wait, did XP come on a CD?). Choose to Repair an existing installation. With luck, it should be able to put in the appropriate drivers to get you to boot in at least safe mode.

Boot in safe mode and install any chipset drivers that came on the CD with the new motherboard.

At this point, you will have either a working system or an example that we can use to educate future inquirers. Actually, we will have a useful example in either case. And I didn't have to do any work - you did it.

Have fun.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 8, 2011 12:22:03 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Generally, the forum advises against that and recommends a clean install. I happen to agree.


I prefer a clean install myself, but if the OP doesn't want to reinstall all of his software, then a repair install is his only option.
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February 8, 2011 3:42:12 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
You didn't mention you were moving the drive to another machine. You'll need to do a repair install on XP and install all the proper drivers for that motherboard and any other devices you have changed.


So boot up with the windows xp cd and pick repair disk when that window pops up? Will that remove the current drivers and install the microsoft basic drivers?
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a c 375 G Storage
February 8, 2011 3:48:05 PM

It will replace any necessary drivers. You should still install the approriate chipset drivers for your new motherboard afterwards. The disk should have been included with your motherboard or you can go to your motherboard manufacturer's web site and download the newest ones.

Here are instructions for a repair install.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport...
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February 8, 2011 10:16:32 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
It will replace any necessary drivers. You should still install the approriate chipset drivers for your new motherboard afterwards. The disk should have been included with your motherboard or you can go to your motherboard manufacturer's web site and download the newest ones.

Here are instructions for a repair install.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport...


Once again thanx. New hard drive has been ordered from newegg. I will install that one first with windows 7 and then do a repair install on the old drive with windows xp.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 9, 2011 10:38:11 AM

When dual booting, the oldest OS must be installed first, so get XP up and running first.
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February 9, 2011 10:38:14 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
When dual booting, the oldest OS must be installed first, so get XP up and running first.


Interesting. If I do a repair install of the old HDD with windows xp and then add a new drive which is loaded with windows 7 won't the boot loader be on the old drive? The disadvantage of that is if I choose to remove that hard drive I will be removing the bootloader.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 10, 2011 10:53:42 AM

When installing the OS, it will look for a boot loader and overwrite it. XP's loader doesn't know how to load Vista or Win7. You must always install the oldest OS first, and yes this does mean that the loader might be on a different drive. I don't think there is any way around this when using individual drives. If you had one drive with two partitions with an OS installed on each partition then the loader would be on the same drive as the OS.
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February 10, 2011 4:29:32 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
When installing the OS, it will look for a boot loader and overwrite it. XP's loader doesn't know how to load Vista or Win7. You must always install the oldest OS first, and yes this does mean that the loader might be on a different drive. I don't think there is any way around this when using individual drives. If you had one drive with two partitions with an OS installed on each partition then the loader would be on the same drive as the OS.


Right. I did some research last night. On Dan Goodells website he explained the lame way MS does dual booting. Windows 7 will be on the new drive which will be labeled D. The boot loader for windows 7 and xp will be on C:. I have double booted before on a single hard drive without a problem but never on 2 separate hard drives. Grub would probable do a better job but I don't have the time to mess with it. I spoke with someone who works for MS(recent Calpoly grad) and he told me that there would be a boot loader on both hard drives. Maybe windows 7 has been changed. Anyway, I will first do a repair install on the older hard drive and install drivers for the new board and then add the new drive and install windows 7. I will let you know and yes MS advises installing the older driver first.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 10, 2011 4:37:46 PM

As an option...

If your BIOS startup has an F12 (or some other key) option to boot from device when booting your computer then you can try this.

1. Do a repair of XP, then disconnect the drive.
2. Install new drive and install win7.
3. Reconnect the XP drive.

You will now have two independent OS's with no windows boot loader menu, but you can hit F12 and choose the boot device from the bios menu.

I prefer this option because if you do it the other way and one of your drives dies you will most likely end up with the dreaded NTLDR missing when you try to boot with just one drive. If yo do it the way mentioned above, each OS has it's own loader.
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February 10, 2011 5:57:08 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
As an option...

If your BIOS startup has an F12 (or some other key) option to boot from device when booting your computer then you can try this.

1. Do a repair of XP, then disconnect the drive.
2. Install new drive and install win7.
3. Reconnect the XP drive.

You will now have two independent OS's with no windows boot loader menu, but you can hit F12 and choose the boot device from the bios menu.

I prefer this option because if you do it the other way and one of your drives dies you will most likely end up with the dreaded NTLDR missing when you try to boot with just one drive. If yo do it the way mentioned above, each OS has it's own loader.


I will check the bios. That is exactly the problem I am afraid of. The old HDD is an IDE drive and pretty old. I would actually rather get rid of it but I have some pretty old programs on it that probably won't work with windows 7. Eventually I would like to completely convert over to just using windows 7 but that will take time and money. My MS contact says the NTLDR will be on both hard drives but I cannot confirm that and then again I have no experience with windows 7.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 10, 2011 6:50:54 PM

You should see the option when you first boot your computer.

I have a gigabyte mobo so mine looks like this. notice the <F12>Boot menu at the bottom of the screen. Once i hit F12 it will bring up a list of devices I can boot from.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m267/CraigNeilson/Gi...
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February 10, 2011 8:17:45 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
You should see the option when you first boot your computer.

I have a gigabyte mobo so mine looks like this. notice the <F12>Boot menu at the bottom of the screen. Once i hit F12 it will bring up a list of devices I can boot from.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m267/CraigNeilson/Gi...


Interesting. The board is an Asus A8N sli-deluxe. Do the files on the unbooted drive remain hidden? I suppose both drives will be labeled C:. Transferring files would probably require downloading onto a cd. Does windows detect the other drive and try to access it? I don't think my wife would be really happy with having to deal with these interfaces but eventually I would be able to pull the IDE out of the computer.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 11, 2011 10:46:24 AM

Both drives will be accessable from both OS's. The boot drive will always be C in this case. The drive letters don't get stored on the drive but in the OS. You can transfer files between the two just as you normally would with a multi drive system.
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