how to add XP to existing Win7 and dualboot?

#1
Hi!

I bought a laptop with a pre-installed Win7 x64 Home Premium and I would like to add WinXP on the same hard drive and to be able to boot one of the two OS versions.

Please tell me if it's possible and safe to do with EasyBCD and there I can read instructions?

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Follow the links in the sticky thread for tutorials.
It's all quite simple
Create space
Install XP
Repair the W7 boot
add an XP entry to the W7 BCD
 
#3
Thank you!
I found this guide:
"How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first)
"

will it work the same way with Win7?

besides, as I said, I have a laptop so there is a reserved recovery partition for Win7, will EasyBCD take care of it?
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Yes you can regard W7 as Vista2. The boot process is identical.
Your recovery partition isn't a problem.
 
#5
Thanks, I've also got benefited from this very useful thread "How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first)".
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
#7
I followed the guide, everything works now, thank you very much!

I have a question about disks' letters:

when I load Win7, I have disk C (Win7), disk D (data) and G (XP)
when I load WinXP, I see C (Win7), D (data) and E (XP)

Is it possible to have system disks renamed automatically so that C: is always the current operating system?

If not, what to do with some programs which will automatically try to install or make changes to C:, while I'm using WinXP and my system drive is E:?
 
Last edited:
#8
Is it possible to have system disks renamed automatically so that C: is always the current operating system?
Not after install of your OSes. To make each one boot as C, you could install XP, then W7 with XP's partition hidden with a partition manager and W7's partition set to "active". Then all you would have to do is boot into W7, install [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0[/thread], and add an XP entry, letting it auto-configure.

Then each will boot as C:, with the other partitions as something else.
 
Last edited:
#9
So what can I do now?

You saying that I can not use XP now because it's on E: and some programs might write something on C: and corrupt Win7 files?
 
#10
Hi alikim,
if you understand a little bit the Win-Registry, you can edit (rename) the HDDs and here entrys manualy.
But with a Tool (Registry-Search & Rename), there are very much entrys to change.
I have this done with my XP and now are my OS all on HDD-C, my Datas on HDD-D and my Backups on HDD-E.
The HDD-C-Partitions are following F, G and H (the hidden first C-Partition are allways are hidden setting), then Virtual Rom-Device and so on.
Kubunto is an ather part and not so easy to handle.

Greetings from Germany,

STRUPPI
 
#11
So what can I do now?

You saying that I can not use XP now because it's on E: and some programs might write something on C: and corrupt Win7 files?
No, I'm not saying that. You can still use XP with your current setup. However, you should hide the C: partition from XP, so programs which try to write to C: wont be able to.

You can use this registry hack to hide the C: partition from XP.
 
Last edited:

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Cool, what's the worst that could happen if a program running under Windows on E: wrote to a different disk? It's nothing "bad," really, right?
 
#13
Cool, what's the worst that could happen if a program running under Windows on E: wrote to a different disk? It's nothing "bad," really, right?
No, not that bad, if you don't mind that some programs you install in XP will take up space on the W7 partition when they install their files to it instead of taking up space on your XP partition...
It might also make it kind of confusing, if you happened to look in the C:/Program Files folder when you were in W7, and noticed some programs in there that weren't actually installed in W7. They were just installed to the W7 partition. Not to mention, what if you have the same program installed in both OSes, each with their program files on C? Depending on the app, the program files might get shared, and cause all sorts of problems.
Anyway, I was only responding to his question about what to do about programs that install to the C:/ partition.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#14
What's bad is that the very programs that write to C: when it's not the booted OS, tend to be ubiquitous.
(Flash and Acrobat and just about anything Adobe).
That means that the common files are being shared and updated by both the OS not on C: and the OS on C:.
The results are unpredictable, but there's great scope for hangs and crashes, not to mention malfunction of the common app.
Alikim, you should run the hack Jake linked. It will prevent XP seeing a C: disk and getting confused, but even more important XP should never be allowed to see Vista or W7, no matter what letters are being used, for the reason given in the hack text. XP and Longhorn restore points are incompatible.
The later systems know about XP, so leave it unharmed, but XP just sees the newer format as "corrupt" and decides to "fix" them.
Every time you boot XP it will destroy all Vista/7 restore points and backups.
You must prevent it seeing any partition which contains the newer restore points.
Before hiding C:, uninstall any app on XP which put things on C:. After hiding it, reinstall them.
 
Last edited:
#15
Thanks for the link, I'll try to use the hack and see if it works.

For those who think it's not dangerous - I tried to install video drivers under XP, running the supplied EXE file, which didn't ask me anything about where to install them.

The drivers have been installed but I don't see them neither in XP nor in Win7, I don't know where they've been installed at all.

So far it all sums up like this:
I used this BCD program to make dualboot and as the result I can not use XP at all and probably already damaged Win7.

Nice.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#16
EasyBCD didn't cause any of your problems
You won't have damaged W7 with the drivers. It's not going to allow a non-suitable driver to replace the right one. You've just got some unwanted extra files which will sit unused.
You chose to install an old OS with a newer one.
Old OSs by definition don't know about newer ones, and are therefore not compatible with them.
You shouldn't let old see new for that reason.
It's nothing to do with the app you used to configure the BCD, it's a fundamental (but managable) clash of generations, and sloppy programming practices by some app writers.
Just follow the advice at the end of my last post and both systems will be fine.

When both systems are running as required, with XP unable to see any of the contents of C: in Explorer, make sure you set system restore on each OS to be on for itself, and off for the other OS and any shared partition. If you install apps (like I do) to separate partitions, you need system restore turned on for the apps of each OS. For that reason, the app partition cannot be shared, you'll need one on each OS, and XP mustn't see Vista's.

It doesn't matter that XP isn't C:. Mine has been D: for years.
 
Last edited: