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Windows 7 xp separate hard drive dual boot

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January 28, 2012 3:57:58 PM

I've got a new Packard Bell with Windows 7. It has a bay for another disk drive. I put in the XP boot disk from my old Medion PC and it is readable. I'd like to be able to run XP sometimes to use some old hardware and software that's not Windows 7-compatible. How can I do this please?
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
January 28, 2012 4:29:11 PM

Well if you are thinking of adding a new drive... install the new drive... disconnect the Win 7 drive... boot from the win XP disk and in and install... reconnect the win 7 disk... you can switch OS from your BIOS............ is that a XP disk that you have a extra license for?
a b $ Windows 7
a c 289 G Storage
January 28, 2012 7:23:16 PM

Anonymous1 hit the nail on the head: you have to install them on separate drives, and have the existing Win7 drive offline when you install XP. Otherwise, what happens is that the XP install sees the existing Win7 boot manager, and overwrites it with the XP boot manager (even though you specified the other drive) and kills your Win7. The best arrangement is to install the older OS first.

Two possibilities for you. First, note that after doing the above you will need to go into the BIOS to select which OS to boot. You could use EasyBCD to modify the Win7 boot manager to offer you a Win7 / XP menu, and always start the boot from the Win7 disk.

Alternatively, there is an XP compatibility app that can be downloaded from Microsoft and installed into 7 to run XP apps in an XP environment.

Unfortunately, my Favorites are all broken so I can't find links to details about the various options.
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January 28, 2012 9:51:10 PM

Thanks, Anonymous 1 and WyomingKnott for your suggestions. The situation is that I have manufacturer-installed Windows 7 on my new PC and manufacturer-installed XP on the drive from my old PC. I don't have actual installation disks for either system. I was hoping that it would be possible to boot from one or the other using a simple menu at start up. If this is not possible, then I will try the XP compatibility app you mentioned, WK.

Many thanks to you both.
a b $ Windows 7
a c 289 G Storage
January 28, 2012 11:19:21 PM

Ahh, that is a different story. The installation of XP or 7 changes significantly depending on the hardware it's installed on. The XP install will almost certainly not boot in your machine without having the XP disc to do a "repair installation." The drivers that it will load for the motherboard, disk controllers, display and so forth will be wrong for your system. That XP drive is unlikely to run in the new system.

Plus, if the XP came installed with the system, it is technically tied to the original hardware and not licensed to run in the new machine.
January 29, 2012 9:20:30 AM

WyomingKnott said:
Ahh, that is a different story. The installation of XP or 7 changes significantly depending on the hardware it's installed on. The XP install will almost certainly not boot in your machine without having the XP disc to do a "repair installation." The drivers that it will load for the motherboard, disk controllers, display and so forth will be wrong for your system. That XP drive is unlikely to run in the new system.

Plus, if the XP came installed with the system, it is technically tied to the original hardware and not licensed to run in the new machine.



Thanks to your very clear explanation, I understand more than I did before. Fortunately, it's not vital to me to have XP. I'll investigate the XP-compatibility app you mentioned. I'd like to be able to run my scanner, which is incompatible with the 64-bit OS.

Many thanks for your help.
February 4, 2012 6:12:09 AM

Hughie,

WyomingKnott's recommendation to use a virtual environment of Windows XP within Windows 7. Windows XP Mode and Virtual PC, available on Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, allow you to run multiple Windows environments, such as Windows XP Mode, from your Windows 7 desktop. For those who do are not currently running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate, there is an easy upgrade path to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate through the Windows Anytime Upgrade program.

Depending on the type of physical connection the scanner requires (USB or Parallel) you may be able to install and configure the scanner within the virtual environment via a direct USB connection or through attaching a USB to Parallel adapter to Windows XP Mode as a method to bypass the lack of LPT redirection in Windows Virtual PC.

Microsoft has a TechNet article "Use a USB device in a virtual machine" available to offer you additional assistance with the attachment of USB devices within XP Mode.

Please note, Windows Virtual PC can emulate some hardware devices, but cannot access the physical hardware devices on the computer directly. In many cases, USB devices in Windows Virtual PC can be used. Windows Virtual PC uses the Redirection Policy Manager (RPM) of Windows to provide USB redirection to a Virtual Machine; HID and Hub Class Devices (LPT and COM ports) cannot be assigned to the VM. So presuming that the connection made from the scanner to the Windows 7 PC is via USB you just might be able to install and configure the scanner through Windows XP Mode.

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro
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