Win 7/XP Dual Boot Questions


New Member
Please excuse my ignorance. I am still learning and I've never formatted a hard drive, created a partition, or installed two OS's simultaneously. However, I'm in dire need of XP on two 7 machines.

We purchased two Win7 laptops and planned on installing Microsoft's "XP Mode" tool to run our database software until our database is upgraded in mid-January. However, now that I have the laptops in hand and have tried said tool, I see that the processor on these laptops is not capable of hardware virtualization, so I cannot run XP Mode. I tried to just run the database on 7, but the database uses MSDE 2000, which has known compatibility issues with 7, so that's not going to happen.

I believe my last hope now is to dual-boot both machines. However, seeing as I've never attempted this, I have no idea what I'm in for. I'm hoping someone can help me figure out exactly what to do and what order to do it in or point me to some sort of guide with screen shots or some such. Do I start by popping in the XP disc? Loading EasyBCD? Do I have to first create a partition? If so, how? I'm so lost!

Hi Lihai, welcome to NST.
Have a look at the sticky thread, and follow some of the early links.
You'll find some illustrated step-by-step guides to doing what you want for Vista / XP, (but W7 can really be regarded as "Vista SP3" in this context, so the technique is just the same.)
Read well and be clear before you start. It's not difficult, but doing something prematurely before you understand what or why, could cause you avoidable problems.
You can create another partition in Disk Management (Windows menu->Right click on "Computer"->Manage->Disk Management) by resizing a partition you have lots of free space of, and then creating a new partition out of the free space, formatting as NTFS.
Once the partition is created, boot from the XP CD (by putting your CD drive first in the boot sequence of the BIOS, and follow the on-screen instructions to install XP to the partition you already created for it.
Be advised installing XP will rewrite the bootloader with an XP version which is incapable of booting Win 7. To get the W7 MBR/PBR back, boot from the W7 DVD, select "Repair Your Computer", select "Startup Repair", and run it 3 times to fix it (stupid thing can only fix one thing at a time).
You should now be able to get into Win 7 again, but not into XP.
So now install EasyBCD 2.0 Beta.
Run it, go to Add/Remove Entries, select the Windows tab, select the "../NT/XP" option in the Type drop-down menu. Give the entry a name, click the Add Entry button, accept the offer to auto-configure, and don't change where it points (EasyBCD knows what its doing).
You'll now have a dual-boot.