Dual Booting windows XP x64 and windows 8.1


so I have been at this for a good week trying everything, and i finally decided to ask for help.

I have a 1TB SSD that I recently bought for my laptop, so i removed the old 700GB hard drive I previously had, and installed this one and then installed windows 8.1 smoothly without any problems.

now I want to use the old hard drive to install windows XP, so i slapped it in the upgrade bay and booted up a copy of windows XP x64.

i began the installation and hit the first rock, this hard drive does not contain a windows compatible partition.... erm ok, I eventually figured out that when Microsoft says windows XP x64 supports GPT... they meant just for storing data?

Anyway, I deleted all the old system reserved partitions that were left over on the old HD via command console since I couldn't figure out how to do it with diskmgmt.msc, and converted it to MBR. Now I am presented with this error:
To install Windows XP on the partition you selected, Setup must write some startup files to the following disk:

disk 0

However, this disk does not contain a Windows XP-compatible partition.​

To continue installing Windows XP, return to the partition selection screen and create a Windows XP-compatible partition on the disk above. If there is no free space on the disk, delete an existing partition, and then create a new one.

I guess windows XP has a problem with Windows 8.1 on the primary disk with GPT format.

I didn't feel like wiping my windows 8.1 install. So I turned off my laptop an pulled out the SSD with win8.1 on it and started setup again, and this time it worked fine, I installed XP (it labeled the drive as C) and it seemed fine.

Now I shut down and then reconnected my SSD with windows 8.1, it booted straight to windows 8, didn't ask my to choose my OS or not, but that's expected.

I ran EasyBCD 2.2 and tried to create a new entry for win XP,
It gave me an error saying it could not find a valid windows NT installation... whatever that is.

so I tried to use CMD to add the entry to boot manager manually.
The Windows XP entry was present in the bootmanager now, but it would not load because NTLDR is missing. I tried to copy the NTLDR files manually from the installation disk to the WinXP directory while in the win8.1 OS but it said the files were already there so, i didn't copy them.

so now I have the choice of extracting my SSD with windows 8.1 from my laptop every time I want to run windows XP (which actually works btw)


I could possibly try and make my WinXP HD the primary drive and then rebuild the Win8.1 BCD on that or something, is that possible?

I don't know how to mark a drive as primary tho.

any halp is really appreciated!

Last edited:


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Booting an MBR disk from a UEFI system needs some action in the BIOS first
I did adjust my bios boot setting from UEFI to the hybrid UEFI with CSM setting and windows xp was able to boot fine. Should I switch it to the third option which is legacy?

Additionally I discovered that the bios has it's own boot manager integrated and if I select boot from hard disk 2, it will boot into winXP perfectly, although it would be nicer if I get windows boot manager to list it, since the gui is a little nicer, and I don't have to rush to press esc when I first boot up.

Thanks for the reply.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Rather than guessing what your best course of action might be, I'll refer you to the MS TNL
UEFI Firmware
where you can start your research for the information you need.
I have a UEFI dual-boot, W7/W8.1 on a GPT SSD which is currently being booted through an MBR HDD containing W10, all of which sorted itself out, though I was only able to install 10 on MBR by concealing the other systems from it during setup, then used EasyBCD to triple boot the SSD systems.
Including an OS as old as XP (no BCD) is not my mix.
It remains, with Vista, on an older (BIOS) PC in a box in the garage so I have no experience of doing what you're trying to achieve.