My XP and Win 7 RC Dual boot issues

Hi all, ok so here is the scenario, 2 Seperate Hard Drives. Hard Drive 1 :XP Pro Installed and currently my main drive and OS.

Hard Drive 2: Win 7 RC.

Its two seperate SATA drives, not one partioned drive. Currently the only way for me to get into Windows 7 is, to set the Boot device priority in Bios to the drive that has it on. And I don't get a "Choose OS menu. " either.

Now to make XP your Default OS is a bit hectic even if possible since Win 7 uses a new Bootloader type so the best now would be to, Add XP as Boot Choice to Win 7 Bootloader. But im not to sure how to do that since they are on completely different Hard drives.

And now also what wil happen to my XP if i decide to Format the Win 7 drive ?

Sorry if this is a double post or something i didn't seem to find it on the forum so decided to open up a new thread.

Any help will greatly be appreciated, thanks :smile:


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Serena, welcome to NST.
Leave your XP drive exactly as it is and you'll always have the option of setting XP 1st in the BIOS and resuming your old single-boot, leaving you free to delete, change, reinstall or format whatever you like on the W7 disk.

To get your dual-boot working, if there is a single partition on the W7 disk containing the W7 OS and its boot files.

Put W7 1st in the BIOS and boot it.
Download EasyBCD 2.0 and run it
Go to the add/remove option and add an entry for XP, selecting the correct OS type from the dropdown.
Accept the offer to auto-configure your boot.ini and note the 2 filenames that it will prompt you to copy.
Make sure your folder options are set like this.
Drag copies of the 2 files you noted, from the XP partition root into the root of your W7 partition.

Next time you boot you should have the XP option available.

If you allowed W7 to install to a blank HDD without pre-formatting the partitions as you wanted them, W7 will probably have created a "secret" boot partition. Check in Disk Management whether the W7 partition is marked "system" or whether there's a second unlettered partition with the "system" flag.
In the latter case, give the partition a letter in Disk Management so that it is visible in Explorer, and follow the instructions above, with the exception that in the last step you must drag the XP boot files into the newly lettered drive. (the boot files must always be in the "system" partition)

Read the sticky thread for details and background if you want to know more
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