Boot option: Win 10 Pro or XP Pro x64 on separate HDDs

#1
Newbie wishes to learn what EasyBCD can do & what steps are needed to achieve a dual boot capability for my upgraded system:

Original System: Dell Precision Workstation 380 with two HDDs (XP Pro 32-bit on primary drive & XP Pro x64 on secondary drive) and the capability to select either OS at bootup.

Upgraded System: primary drive replaced by new 1 TB drive (with Win 10 Pro 32-bit OS) & original secondary drive retained (with XP Pro x64 OS). Note: Win 10 Pro was installed with secondary drive unplugged.
Status: Presently no dual boot capability exists; Win 10 appears as the only entry in the Windows bootloader
Note: Each drive has two partitions - one is the system partition; the other is for data only.

Question:
If the process to achieve the dual boot capability requires re-installation of either OS (Win 10 Pro or XP Pro x64), can a bootable iso file be generated from an image of the existing system partition (to avoid having to deal with the various updates required after an installation using an original disk)?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Is this "upgraded" system essentially the same as the one which originally ran XP ? i.e. just a new HDD with W10, or is the upgrade a new mobo/CPU with W10, and you've just ported XP across from an old PC ?

In the former case, you can just run EasyBCD and add an XP entry to the BCD letting EasyBCD auto-configure. It will make all the necessary copies and create all the appropriate links to boot XP from W10's BCD (don't change anything it sets up ! If you think it made a mistake, it didn't)

In the latter case, it's extremely unlikely that XP will boot on the new hardware without you needing to do a "repair install" of XP, to reconfigure its mapping and acquire the appropriate driver set.

Luckily XP has that "repair install" option (It disappeared with Vista and all subsequent Windows), but you will of course need the original installation CD.
If XP was an OEM copy which came pre-installed on the old hardware, it will not not be activated by MS on different hardware. That's a condition of the EULA for OEM sofware.
(the license doesn't belong to you, but to the hardware which contained the original installation)
 
#3
Is this "upgraded" system essentially the same as the one which originally ran XP ? i.e. just a new HDD with W10, or is the upgrade a new mobo/CPU with W10, and you've just ported XP across from an old PC ?

In the former case, you can just run EasyBCD and add an XP entry to the BCD letting EasyBCD auto-configure. It will make all the necessary copies and create all the appropriate links to boot XP from W10's BCD (don't change anything it sets up ! If you think it made a mistake, it didn't)

In the latter case, it's extremely unlikely that XP will boot on the new hardware without you needing to do a "repair install" of XP, to reconfigure its mapping and acquire the appropriate driver set.

Luckily XP has that "repair install" option (It disappeared with Vista and all subsequent Windows), but you will of course need the original installation CD.
If XP was an OEM copy which came pre-installed on the old hardware, it will not not be activated by MS on different hardware. That's a condition of the EULA for OEM sofware. (the license doesn't belong to you, but to the hardware which contained the original installation)
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My Dell Precision WS380 is the same system. I just swapped the primary drive (with XP Pro 32-bit OS on it) for a new HDD, unplugged the secondary drive (with XP Pro x64 OS on it), and installed W10 Pro on the new primary drive. After re-connecting the secondary drive, only W10 boots up. The secondary drive's content (System and Data partitions) just appear as two additional drives (E & F). The only way now to boot up the XP Pro x64 on the secondary drive is to reinsert the original primary drive. At startup, after the Dell Logo screen, a B&W screen appears presenting the following text:

Please select operating system to start:
- Windows XP Professional x64 <-- normally highlighted and auto selected unless the lower option is selected
- Windows XP Professional

Q1: Is something like this (except with W10 & XPx64 as the options) what a user would likely see at startup after following the "former case" steps with EasyBCD that you noted above?

In running EasyBCD (v2.3), this is all that appears after selecting the "View Settings" page:
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.
Default: Windows 10
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name Windows 10
BCD ID: (current)
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \WINDOWS\system32/winload.exe

Q2: If I select the "Add New Entry" page, is there anything to do besides choosing "Windows: NT/2k/XP/2k3" for the "Type" box, before clicking the "Add Entry" button? (I'm assuming this will let EasyBCD do it's auto-configure thing, so upon completion the "View Settings" page will then show an "Entry #2", etc.)

I'm sorry to be so verbose here, but the downloaded User Manual doesn't go past Windows 7? Has there been an update?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Just select the NT..XP dropdown, customize the "name" field to what you wish to appear in the boot menu (if you want), and click "add entry"
I can't remember offhand if there's an "auto" selection to make or whether it defaults (I can't see for myself because those options are "greyed out" on my PC being UEFI/GPT, so XP cannot be an option for me), but it should be obvious when you use it.
 
#5
Just select the NT..XP dropdown, customize the "name" field to what you wish to appear in the boot menu (if you want), and click "add entry"
I can't remember offhand if there's an "auto" selection to make or whether it defaults (I can't see for myself because those options are "greyed out" on my PC being UEFI/GPT, so XP cannot be an option for me), but it should be obvious when you use it.
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Auto-select worked like a charm. At startup after the Dell logo page=, a page with the option to select W10 or XPx64 appears. Both run fine. Thanks for the tips.