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Can I use windows 7 on solid state drive and windows xp back up

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August 22, 2011 1:59:12 AM

Hey I'm looking to build a new machine in the coming months. I was wondering if its doable to have windows 7 on a ssd as a boot and windows XP on a mechanical HDD. Would these be compatible?

Thanks
a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
August 22, 2011 2:41:07 AM

Yes, it doable.
If your MB has a hot key to select Boot disk thhen ir's really simple. On my Gigabye MB selecting F12 during post (and on Asrock Z68 it is F11) brings up a menu on which device to boot from. This does not change boot priority in Bios.

Procedure is easy. Disconnect XP HDD and connect SSD. all windows 7 to SSD. when done set boot pririty to the SSD. Reconnect the HDD. The SSD will come up as "C" and windows 7 will load. XP will be drive D. If you partitioned the HDD you also will have a drive E that you can use from eathier Win 7 or XP. Whant to run XP, just restart (or turn On) the computer, during pust select Boot menu (Check Motherboard manual for Hot key) and select the drive that has XP on it. XP will now be drive C, Win 7 will be either drive D or E.

JUST noticed - NEW BUILD.
Install win 7 On SSD, then disconnect SSD, connect HDD and re-install XP on HDD. when done reconnect SSD and follow above.
Note It is advisable when moving a HDD to a new mother Board to re-install the operaqting system
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 124 G Storage
August 22, 2011 3:09:48 AM

Doable , certainly, possible with an existing XP CD .... maybe.

If the XP is a OEM copy which you have activated before, a problem is likely when you try and activate. If it's a retail version no problem.

I always do the install to the HD 1st. After building I'll disconnect the data cable to the SSD and install XP to the HD. Once complete, drivers installed and WU done, I'll then yank the data cable on th HD, connect the SSD and do that install.

Once done, connect the other data cable and use the BIOS boot order selector to decide which one to boot from. You can do this with 1 copy of Win 7 and , yes, when so installled on both the HD and SSD there will be no activation issues.
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a c 233 $ Windows 7
a c 386 G Storage
August 29, 2011 11:58:22 AM

If you don't want to use a bios boot menu every time you start up, you can just install XP first, then Win7 (keeping both drives attached and running) and windows will create a boot menu that asks which OS you want to boot into. This is the normal way to dual boot windows.

The only downside to this is that it is more difficult to remove one of the OS's later and you will need a utility like bcedit to remove the boot menu.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
August 29, 2011 1:16:47 PM

Hawkeye22. Not true - You do NOT have to use the Boot menue every time you start up.
If you have the boot priority set to say Windows 7. The computer will always boot straigth to Windows 7. Only if you hit the Hot key (F12 on Gigabyte MB) will the bootmenu appear so if you hit the Hot key and select the HDD with XP on it it will boot to XP. To go back to Windows 7, you only need to reboot and the computer will boot straight into windows 7, UNLESS you hit Hot key during Post.

Added: If you change the Boot priority in Bios to the HDD with XP on it it will always boot straight into XP, again Unless you hit the Hot key to bring up the boot menu. NOT: Hiting the Hot key for Boot menue does NOT change Boot priority.
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a c 233 $ Windows 7
a c 386 G Storage
August 29, 2011 1:48:28 PM

RetiredChief said:
Hawkeye22. Not true - You do NOT have to use the Boot menue every time you start up.
If you have the boot priority set to say Windows 7. The computer will always boot straigth to Windows 7. Only if you hit the Hot key (F12 on Gigabyte MB) will the bootmenu appear so if you hit the Hot key and select the HDD with XP on it it will boot to XP. To go back to Windows 7, you only need to reboot and the computer will boot straight into windows 7, UNLESS you hit Hot key during Post.

Added: If you change the Boot priority in Bios to the HDD with XP on it it will always boot straight into XP, again Unless you hit the Hot key to bring up the boot menu. NOT: Hiting the Hot key for Boot menue does NOT change Boot priority.


Yes, I know this. I thought you all were strictly talking about a bios hot key such as gigabyte's F12. If your motherboard doesn't have one of these then it's necessary to go into the bios setup and change the boot order as you stated. I prefer the bios method better than having windows create a boot menu for the reasons I listed previously.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
August 29, 2011 1:53:55 PM

I would assume (Def - to make an A double S of you and me - LOL) that since he/she was doing a NEW build the ptobably a 95% chance the MB will provide for a Hot key selection). But you are correct some of the MB 3 yrs or older may not have hot key avai;lable.
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