Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Dual boot Win 7 & XP from separate HDDs

Last response: in Windows 7
August 4, 2012 8:11:43 PM

Hey folks,

I want to combine my 2 desktops into one, since I never use both together and the older one is very dated by now (think Time/tiny computers old). My current machine is an Asus P5Q-E with a C2D and has one HDD on a SATA connection running windows 7 64bit. The old computer is a single core Athlon 2700+ thing with a pair of hard drives on a single IDE ribbon.

What I want to do is put the hard drives from the old machine into the newer and be able to choose between Windows XP already installed on the old master IDE hard drive and Windows 7 on the newer SATA drive (I've only kept the old computer to run XP for compatibility), all the while keeping the old slave IDE drive as a slave.

How would I go about doing this?

Thanks in advance,
a b $ Windows 7
August 4, 2012 9:13:24 PM

Well I would recomend a fresh install of XP when only 1 HDD is connected.
I would be thinking of moving all DATA to the slave.
How big are these drives?

Most likely when moving a hard drive with a OS (xp) to a different computer you will end up with a blue screen of death. Some people say you can do a repair but I say a fresh install.

If you install XP when there is only one drive hooked up, and thenhook up the other drives you can choose the OS by entering the BIOS. I dual boot XP and 7 I have the computer set to automaticly boot 7 and when I want XP i just hit the f12 key at bootup.
August 4, 2012 9:32:30 PM

I've already put the IDE drive with XP in this computer on it's own and updated all the drivers etc without any issues to make sure it will run.

The SATA drive with windows 7 is 320Gb, the primary IDE drive with XP is 250Gb and the slave IDE with no OS is 60Gb. Can I literally just plug the 2 IDE drives into my motherboard with one set as the Primary and the other as a slave? Will this not cause a conflict with the other SATA drive being the primary drive?
Related resources
August 4, 2012 9:50:57 PM

It shouldn't if you set your BIOS for the correct hard drive BOOT sequence.

I have done this on all of my machines, what I did was install Windows 7 on one drive, and windows XP on the other, I made the Windows 7 disk the default OS.

Not to spam software here, but I used a program called Yamicsoft Windows Seven Manager, which you can download for free and use for 15 days. After you get Windows 7 and XP both installed, set the PC to use the Win 7 HD as the main HD.

Then install Windows Manager on the Windows Seven drive.

There is a tool called "Boot Configuration" which finds all of your hard drives and OSs and identifies them. You can set up the BOOT SCREEN to show the CHOICE.

On this machine, I have two Windows Seven installs, and I can choose between them using the Boot loader for Windows 7, it is one of the good things they got right when they designed this OS.

Hope that helps.

You can of course, simply use "MSCONFIG" to set up the boot options. Under the "Boot" tab you can see both OS partitions, set the default partition, and set your time to make the choice. If you have both XP and 7 installed, they should both show up. But to make it easier, install Windows XP FIRST, Then Seven, while you have the XP drive attached.
August 4, 2012 10:02:42 PM

I did something like this not too long ago. I have xp on a 500 gb hdd and 2 smaller unused hdds. I installed win 7 pro on the larger of the 2 hdds.

I then used EasyBCD to dual boot. You can use this url to guide you

Go to option 2 step 7 to get to the dual booting of the 2 systems.

If your cpu is a single core, then you can open your xp side as a virtual system following the information in these urls

Unfortunately, my cpu is dual core, so I can't virtualize my original xp side.

You will need the following downloadable software


the following pdfs have valuable info

WinXPMode_Brochure.pdf and
August 4, 2012 11:51:02 PM

Yah I've done it that way too, but with Windows 7, desgined for multiple boots, it's easy to set up manually. The helper apps help, but sometimes, they get corrupted and you lose access to an OS.

Once I started doing it through MSCONFIG, I've never lost a configuration. I dont want to run any virtual OS's, I just want a choice, When I get a PC with 8 GB of ram, I'll set that up through Vanderpool
August 5, 2012 12:56:18 AM

Ok I've got all 3 hard drives plugged in now and for some reason it doesn't seem to be seeing the install of XP on one drive as being bootable. MSConfig only shows the windows 7 drive, as does Windows 7 Manager. In the latter I tried manually adding the extra boot option and it seemed to automatically detect XP was on the E drive (when booted into win7, 7 is on drive C and XP is on drive E). Then I restarted and tried booting into XP when the option was there but instead it just rebooted the machine and it went through POST again as if I'd just turned it on.

Disk management looks like this (I've labelled each drive as to what should be one it). Also I completely messed up the drive volumes. They're smaller than I thought. [:pdxalex] Not that it should matter.

August 5, 2012 1:35:22 AM

I've just been back into the BIOS and I can boot into XP perfectly fine if I change the #1 drive to the one XP is installed on. However I can only have one of the hard drives in the "boot order" menu at a time, and that is always the #1 drive. Any thoughts?

[EDIT] After a google search on dual booting specifically with this motherboard the solution is to just pick one hard drive as the main one, then on startup press F8 and choose the other drive as and when I want to boot into it. So with that set I've got the Win 7 drive as the automatic choice and using F8 I can boot into XP whenever I want to. Problem solved!

Now that I know how to do it, and it's fairly straightforward, I mgiht even install a copy of Windows 95 I have lying around on the slave hard drive, just for a laugh. :D 
December 29, 2013 4:52:06 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
This is for late SATA only MOBOs.

1. Set SATA mode in bios to IDE or compatibility mode, not AHCI.

Yah, that is pretty much the main thing you have to do, XP does not like ACHI.

New Windows 8 machines, all require to boot from the UEFI entry in the BIOS, but I don't know how well that will work with XP in there, as long as there is a boot entry for it on the main system's Boot Manager, and you can set it in Windows 8's BCDedit, if you change it to Legacy Mode, Then it will show you all of the OS's like before.