Dual Boot XP and Win7

#1
I know I am smarter than this, but all the fiddling in the world has not worked and I humbly surrender to you for help. My main goal is to have Windows 7 and XP in dual boot. I also want both to load as C:. After much fiddling, and dozens of reloads and hours of reading, I give up.

I can load any OS in any order you wish. I also promise to follow orders too. What I have done that got me closest has also gotten me the farthest. I tried loading Win7 first, then running Vista Hide N Seek, then installing XP. That went well, until it was time to go back to Win7. Booting from the Win7 CD and selecting repair gave an error that it was not made with a compatible disk. I notice there are no longer all the options for boot repair like Vista had, bummer. I went into Paragon Partition Manager and unhid Win7, tried setting it as active, tried setting only Win7 as active and so on. I also figured out the Shift F10 trick and tried to run:
[FONT=&quot]bootrec.exe /fixmbr[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]x:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force[/FONT]

The second command did not work, instead it would show a help message about how to format the command. I am the point of giving up, but I just can’t.

Is there anywhere, a nice clean step by step, which OS and which order, and how to make them both C: when booted guide anywhere?
Thank You
Patrick!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
HnS hides Vista from XP when XP is booted.
If you run it when there's no XP installed, it has absolutely nothing to do.
I take it you want both OSs on one HDD ?
Separate HDDs is a piece of cake - just install the OSs with the other HDD disconnected.

Try
Define 2 partitions
set 2nd "active"
Install XP in it (1st system - bound to be C:\)
set 1st "active" - use Paragon to hide 2nd
Install W7 to 1st (if it can't see XP it should also be C:\)
Unhide 2nd
Install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build on W7
Add an entry for XP - let it auto-configure
Boot XP, run this registry hack
If after reboot, XP can't see the contents of the W7 partition in explorer - you're done.
If despite the hack, XP can still see W7 files, then install HnS on W7.
 
#3
Thank you for the help. So far, two steps forward, and one step back, one to the side. Everything went well, until I booted into XP. I then got a NTLDR missing error and it would prompt a reboot. So, I fiddled around and now lost Win 7. Guess I will start over, rinse and repete.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Did you use the latest build of EasyBCD 2.0 ?
There shouldn't be any NTLDR problems with the auto-configure.
There have been some reported problems when W7 is allowed to allocate its own unlettered "system" partition in addition to the OS C:\ partition. Latest build Easy2 should handle that too, but if you encounter problems, workaround by giving the secret boot partition a letter before you auto-configure.

Better still, don't let W7 create its own partitions. Define them yourself first and point the install at the one where you want W7, and all the boot files will stay with the rest of the OS.
 
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#5
Thanks for the help. My mistake was running 1.7 BCD. Everything is working now, I still need to do the registry hack but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For clarification, should the XP partition be set as active too, or only the Win7? I also want to throw a share partition for the two OS's to share files back and forth, I imagine that should be set as inactive and extended?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
Only one partition per hard drive can be "active". If you change the partition that is active you may break your boot again. Use Windows 7 disk management to shrink a partition for space to store your files if you don't have another disk/free space to use.
 
#7
Rats, I just bricked this thing. Instead of doing the registry trick in XP, I went into Win7 and ran Vista Hide N Seek. That was the last time the machine booted. I have tried various things including the:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
x:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
Then ask it (nicely!) to try and rebuild your BCD data from scratch:
del C:\boot\bcd
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
.......................
Steps but no luck, so I nuked the whole thing and started over. Luckily this is just a mock up, and I am only practicing for switching over my main PC.

You guys are great.
Patrick
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
HnS shouldn't break your system !
What did you tell it to do ?
You just mark any partition with an XP OS on it as "XP" and any partition with a Vista OS or Vista apps as "Vista" and leave everything else blank. (W7 counts as Vista for this purpose - think of it as Vista II)
Anything marked as "vista" then gets hidden from XP when you boot it.
You didn't mark something as vista that you need in XP did you ? (the whole point being that vista/W7 cannot share an environment) .
XP cannot be allowed to see a Vista restore point and Vista apps need to be on a partition with system restore active in case they cause problems and need to be uninstalled by the restore.
You don't need to use HnS anyway if the MS hack works. It's for people like me for whom the hack had no effect.
 
#9
And the problems continue. I finally got a chance to re-install everything. After unhiding XP, then running Easy BCD and enabling XP, I have the following problem. When selecting the XP option, my screen will go blank then the machine reboots. I have a hunch NTLDR or something is wonked. Any suggestions on repairing?
 
#11
And the problems continue. I finally got a chance to re-install everything. After unhiding XP, then running Easy BCD and enabling XP, I have the following problem. When selecting the XP option, my screen will go blank then the machine reboots. I have a hunch NTLDR or something is wonked. Any suggestions on repairing?
Did you change where EasybCD had pointed at for the XP entry under "Change Settings"?
If so, then that explains why XP didn't boot when you selected the entry in the boot menu...

You must not change where the BCD entry for XP entry is pointed at by default (EasyBCD knows what its doing). Its the boot.ini that points at XP (not the BCD). The BCD points at NTDLR, which in turn uses boot.ini to find XP, and load it.