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Dual-Boot on single drive

Last response: in Storage
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March 9, 2011 6:46:46 AM

guys i need help. i have windows 7 in my computer. and i created a partition to have a windows xp also. i installed the windows xp fine without problems. after the installation completes. my pc only boots on xp! what have i done wrong? i have no options to choose to boot on windows 7.

i only have a single 500GB and i did a shrunk to have a 100GB for the xp.

thanks guys.

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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
March 9, 2011 12:01:45 PM

The problem occurred because Win7 was installed before XP. In theory, the OSes should be installed in "increasing" order. But fear not, a solution is at hand.

If you boot off your Win7 DVD and select to Repair an existing installation, I'll give you 9-to-1 that you will end up booting with the Win7 boot manager and that it will give you a boot menu allowing you to choose Win7 or "an older OS."

If it boots to Win7 without offering the choice, download EasyBCD and use this boot-editing tool to add Windows XP to the boot menu.

Edit: Gory details, if you are interested

When you install a Windows OS, the process also installs the corresponding boot loader. The Win7 installation process will recognize existing installations of an older Windoze OS, overwrite the existing boot loader with its own, and add the existing OS to its start menu. But XP didn't know about Win7, so it couldn't see the Win7 installation and add it to its boot menu.

Technically, you might be able to modify the XP boot menu to boot to Win7, but I have some doubts that this would work. Anybody out there have a definitive answer to this? But it's common practice to use the most modern installation's boot loader (at least when only Windows OSes are involved; it's more complicated if you also use Linux).

The Win7 installation repair process will look at your disk and (not really) think to itself, "Gee, I see a valid installation of Windows 7, but its MBR and boot loader are missing. I'd better completely trash whatever MBR and boot loader are on this disk and install my own, because I'm so modern and important and the latest version of Windows. Oh, wait, here's an XP install. I'll add it to my boot menu."
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March 9, 2011 1:51:16 PM

hey thanks for the quick rep. do you suggest to install the XP first? if i install the windows xp first, then the windows 7. would i be able to boot them both? i already tried the EasyBCD but it didn't work. the problem is that i cant add entries. i think i screwed up the boot manager while messing with the configuration in disk management. i chose the "mark partition as active" in my windows 7 drive cause i thought that will fix the dual boot. but it didn't boot even the XP. so i have no choice to end up formatting them again.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
March 9, 2011 1:57:43 PM

WAIT: Try a Win7 repair installation before you scratch the drive. If nothing else, both of us will learn something.

But, if these are recent installations and you are willing to re-start the process, definitely install XP first, and the Win7 install will take care of dual-boot for you.
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March 9, 2011 2:42:37 PM

ok i'll install windows xp first. many thanks!
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March 11, 2011 8:54:09 AM

hi. i still have the dual boot problem. but this time i installed the xp first.
here's what i did:

*in windows 7, i created the partition there from my primary drive (C:,).
*i named the second partition to XP (E:,) drive for windows xp.
*restarted and booted from WinXp installation disc and installed XP in (E:,) drive.
*so now im in windows xp OS.
*i then restarted my computer again then booted from DVD Win7 installation disc
*on windows 7 installation, i see 3 partitions listed. (1) System Reserved, (2) Local Disk, (3) XP.
*i formatted the System Reserved first then the Local Disk (C:,) and chose Local Disk (C:,) to install the windows 7.

after that it only booted in windows 7 :( 

if im going to use the EasyBCD. can you teach me how to use it? cause i don't wanna screw things up again. thanks in advance!
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March 11, 2011 9:02:59 AM

btw if im going to use the EasyBCD, i am going to install it in windows 7. cause windows 7 is the only one that my computer boots to.

so if i installed the EasyBCD already. what should i do first? thanks..
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March 11, 2011 9:37:56 AM

also what version of EasyBCD should i download? the latest one or the 1.72?
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
March 11, 2011 9:51:21 AM

Chinoroy

To your post about re-installation: You have to scrup the whole disk first; don't know why I assumed that instead of making it explicit. The boot info is partially on a part of the drive that's not in any partition. So you have to, at a minumum, delete all partitions and start afresh.

When you installed XP "first," the Win7 installation was still there, so it's the same as installing XP second. That said, I'm totally surprised that the Win7 re-install didn't do it for you.

Community, does chinoroy have to do something else to scrub off the existing MBR? And am I missing something else?

As to EasyBCD, use the latest version, and follow the instructions on the site. I have only used it following those instructions; I have no deep understanding of it.
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March 11, 2011 1:02:37 PM

oh no. hehe. these things making me tired already. but im not gonna give up. maybe i'll just use and mess with EasyBCD instead.

now i have installed EasyBCD, i still can't figure it out why my windows xp's source is in C:\?

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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
March 11, 2011 7:34:00 PM

But with those two entries, can you dual-boot now?
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March 12, 2011 3:40:19 PM

finally it worked! i can't say how happy i am right now. thank you so much WyomingKnott!
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
March 13, 2011 4:45:53 PM

You are welcome. Have fun.
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June 25, 2011 10:19:47 AM

Best answer selected by chinoroy.
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