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Thread: Dual Boot 7 + XP on two hard drives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Dual Boot 7 + XP on two hard drives

    I'm going to do a dual boot of 7 and XP on two separate hard drives. I already use one hard drive with XP and the procedure seems really easy; I've read about it on this forum. Tell me if this is correct.

    1) unplug current XP hard drive
    2) plug in and format new hard drive
    3) install W7 on new hard drive
    4) plug XP hard drive back in
    5) boot to W7
    6) install BCD and add entry for XP in boot manager

    I just have two questions. Will I have to keep W7 as the main boot/main drive (drive0) and make XP the secondary drive (drive1)?

    Also, this is probably really obvious, but I'm assuming I'll have to install drivers for all my hardware on the new drive, right? In other words, W7 64-bit drivers for my graphics card, sound card, and CD/DVD drive?

    Oh, and just one more question. While in either operating system, will it "see" the other drive? And will I be able to access the files on it? For instance, let's say I boot to W7; will it be able to see the XP drive in My Computer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The Source


    Yes the steps you listed are the steps to follow.

    You can leave either drive as the boot/main drive. But you should know that if you set XP as the main drive you wont be booting into Win7 until after you install EasyBCD 2 and reinstall the BCD properly.

    Yes you will have to install all your drivers for your hardware and your software you plan on using as well. You shouldnt have to install drivers for your CD/DVD Drive. But you will need sound, video, chipset, modem, ethernet.

    Yes you will be able to see the other drive and access it. The only issue you might come across is permissions due to a password protected profile on the other install of Windows.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Wiltshire, England


    Yes, make W7 top of the BIOS boot sequence permanently
    When the dual boot is set up, boot XP and run this MS hack.
    This prevents XP from seeing W7 and destroying its restore points and backups.
    You will be able to see XP from W7, newer systems are backward compatible and won't harm older ones.
    In both systems, set system restore on for the OS and for apps installed on that OS. (if you have a separate apps partition), and turn it off for all other partitions.
    That way system restore will function properly on both systems, XP won't damage W7, and you can share data between the systems in a shared partition.
    (you cannot share apps, because of the need to have SR turned on)

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    I have attempted the dual boot with EasyBCD2.0 in Windows 7, and XP shows up in the boot manager, but my keyboard freezes on that screen so I can't select it. It just defaults to 7. Is there any way to correct this?

    EDIT: I solved it. Some stupid setting in my BIOS was preventing me from using USB keyboards in the boot manager mode. Fixed!
    Last edited by krattle; July 16th, 2010 at 01:29 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    Hey guys, been a long time since I've posted in here, although have lurked from time to time.

    Anyways, I have a question for Terry or anyone else who can answer this.

    I've just set up a dual boot with Win 7 and Vista on 2 separate HDDs. (using Easy BCD of course )

    My question is, since I don't want to loose my restore points in Win 7, do I need to run the same hack that Terry mentioned in post #3? Or is there a different hack for this, or do I even need to run a hack at all?

    I haven't lost my mind, I have it backed up on CD, somewhere!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Phoenix, AZ US


    Nope, the problem only exists when you have Windows XP or earlier in the mix.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    Thx Justin, thought that was the situation, but wasn't sure.

    I originally had Xp and Vista, and kept losing the Vista Restore points. So wanted to make sure about Win 7 and Vista.

    Much appreciated.
    I haven't lost my mind, I have it backed up on CD, somewhere!

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