Windows 7 and xp partitions that can dual boot?

i just built this pc a couple weeks ago and installed windows 7 ultimate on it. at the time of the first install i created two partitions figuring that i'd want to install linux on the second one, but wound up choosing to install xp professional on it instead.

since installing xp i can't get it to restart from the win 7 side.

it could be that the xp install blew out the win 7 boot capacity and so i will be reinstalling that via the bootrec.exe

yet this doesn't really cover my need to create a dual boot system from the looks of it.

there's another page that has great info on editing the boot.ini from the xp side, but i don't think that this will necessarily help me to get back onto the win boot, as it may have been blown away.

so: has anyone got a suggestion on how to:
1: keep my partitions
2: repair the windows 7 boot without creating the same issue with xp (destoying it's bootability.)
3: make windows 7 as the primary boot
4: allow me to access xp as a choice on start up

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  1. thanks for the link, it shows this issue when beginning with vista and i'm not sure that this will be the same as starting from windows 7.

    we tried the /FixMbr option from the windows 7 install disc showed both xp and win 7 from restart, however, win 7 didn't come up.

    we then tried /FixBoot which let us into win 7 on restart, but didn't show xp as an option.

    so: we are still fishing.
  2. I've used EasyBCD with Windows 7. It works just like it does in Vista. It will rebuild the MBR and you can tell it which operating systems you want to boot to and what order to boot to them.
  3. Just because I'm curious...since you have Win 7 Ultimate, is there something specific you need the machine to be XP for? Win 7 Ultimate does have the XP compatibility mode which does very well, I've heard.
  4. that's great to know, i didn't realize that 7 had xp mode.

    i've got an old program disc that won't install onto the win 7 machine, so the partition is to be able to get that program on.

    also: i'll take another look at easyBCD
  5. Best answer
    This is the marketing page, but it has some links to useful info on it. I highly recommend taking a look at it. Just having one OS to deal with and then starting up a virtual PC for that one program seems like it would simplify things for you.
  6. well, after much fiddling with the bootrec.exe... all of which was interesting and yielded strangely unexpected start up results... i followed coldsleep's advice on the virtual xp mode. yow! great! perfect! excellent!

    this was indeed the most painless path possible and yielded the best (only) functional result.

    initially i was wary of the xp mode because of some language on the windows download site that seemed to suggest that i'd have to let microsoft install some form of spyware onto the machine in order to use the update (am i just paranoid?)... but then found that the download didn't require that. so, i did it.

    other options (and various brains consulted) suggested things like reinstalling the entire system beginning with xp instead of beginning with 7.... etc., etc.
    all "pain in the butt" and time intensive solutions.

    the xp mode works great.

    the install from disc through the virtual xp window worked perfectly.

    many thanks for the guidance everybody, it was a great head banging opportunity.

  7. Best answer selected by seano_01.
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