Triple-Boot (Win7/Linux/Windows XP) possible?


Hello guys,

hopefully you could help me to a problem I'm trying to solve...

Three different operating systems on a single hard disk with following operating systems:
1. Windows 7
2. Linux (Xubuntu)
3. Windows XP

That is what I want to achieve. Currently I have Windows 7 as the main operating system and Xubuntu as the second operating system installed which work like a charm, thanks to the tutorials found on the EasyBCD/NeoSmart Documentation sites. (In other words: Win7 was installed first, then Linux).

Now I'm trying to install XP as the third operating system, but unfortunately unsuccessful. Here are my current stats of my hard disk which is located in a Thinkpad X61...

1) sda1 -- 100 MB -- Boot (for Win7) -- NTFS
2) sda2 -- 40 GB -- C: (Win7) -- NTFS
3) sda5 -- 40 GB -- D: (Win7) -- NTFS
4) sda6 -- 20 GB -- Linux -- ext4
5) sda7 -- 20 GB -- Linux -- ext4
6) sda8 -- 2 GB -- Linux -- swap
7) unpartitioned about 30 GB

My plan was to install XP on the unpartitioned 30 GB at the end of the hard disk. The XP installation setup in the first phase went without any problems. But after the reboot to continue the XP installation process, it went black without error messages. Thus I can't finish the XP installation. Did I miss something?

Thanks in advance,
Do you have your BIOS set to boot CD before HDD ?
A temporary boot device override isn't enough. At first reboot during setup the install will fail unless it can go directly back to the CD.
Yes, it's set to boot the CD before anything and also permanent.
But until now, I always thought that at the first reboot during the installation process the CD is not needed as the content from the CD has been copied to the newly created XP partition and also the MBR has been "fixed".

Anyway, I will try it again by using the "any key" method which I've never thought before.
I will report again if anything happens.

Thanks for the hint.
Don't hit "any key" on the reboot(s), just the first. (though you should be seeing the message, otherwise the BIOS isn't correct).
"any key" will start the whole setup from the beginning again.
(it's a misleading message, the CD has already booted when you see it (it's the CD that's producing it), and it should really say something like "do you want to go to the installation setup screen, or let me decide what to do next ?" )
Hi, I'm back after several tries to no avail.

It leads to the same situation: After copying the content from the CD to the appointed XP partition by the setup process, I will always get a blank black screen with a blinking text cursor after the first reboot (of course with the aforementioned message "Press any key to enter Windows Setup..." if CD is still inside). And that's it.

And by the way: Terry's hint sounds very confusing to me, to be honest.
Why should I enter the key at the first reboot, when in the EasyBCD tutorial states that it isn't needed
("Let Windows XP setup finish. It will reboot several times - do not interrupt it.").

Is it possible, that the second operating system (in my case: Xubuntu) is in the way?
If so, should I try to install XP as the second operating system before installing any Linux flavors?
Sorry, that sentence is slightly ambiguous.
I meant don't hit enter on any reboot, just on the first boot of the CD.
It's implied in ' "any key" will start ... from the beginning again.'
Ok, I understand.
But either way, I still can't finish the XP installation process... any ideas?

What about hiding the partitions before installing XP?
If this is worth a try, then what should I do to hide the partitions?
Is that space being formatted as a 3rd primary, or as another logical drive inside the extended partition.
If the latter, then the boot files for XP will have to go in the "system" partition, so you couldn't possibly hide it.
I don't think you can hide the other partitions from setup (though I've not tried it), because the MS boot managers (for XP and Vista/7/8) ignore the status of the hide bit. (The OS, once booted, honours the bit, but the boot managers don't. That's why I use grub4dos to boot my 4 OSs so that I can use grub's ability to use the hide bit)
Does your BIOS have an MBR anti-virus protection turned on, which would prevent XP from updating the MBR ?
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