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Dual booting from different drives using previously installed XP and Win 7

By frog1999
Jul 24, 2010
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  1. Hi

    I recently installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit on a clean hard drive and subsequently installed all my software and the set up is working "adequately." However, I've found that some of my audio editing software has difficulty functioning within the 64-bit environment and also seems to not function well in compatibility mode.

    I still have my intact Win XP SP3 installation on a separate drive (Drive I in this case) and was thinking that maybe it might be better to simply use the XP set up for my audio editing needs, as there was no complications with that set up, and remove all the other unnecessary/unrelated software from my XP environment and keep it basically only for audio work.

    My question: Since XP and Win 7 are installed on separate drives and were installed independently and so have no record of each other, how would I go about creating some form of dual boot instructions. Relatively easy to do in XP, but Win 7 is my main boot drive (C drive). Is this possible without having to reinstall XP?

    Suggestions, tricks, tips, adive most welcome.

    Thanks.
  2. superty12

    superty12 TS Enthusiast Posts: 432

  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    Well, using bcd editor it is possible, as you have found, just not easy at all. Why on earth MS felt the need to have yet another boot method is beyond imagining - the one in XP was fine.

    In the normal way, Win7 is installed after XP on a second partition, and during the install you are offered a dual-boot setting as an option. That you did not see that must be down to removing your original drive and installing Win 7 on a new, clean drive.

    You will know the trick next time.
  4. superty12

    superty12 TS Enthusiast Posts: 432

    Agreed.
  5. frog1999

    frog1999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It was easier than expected

    I had some success.

    All I did was use the Easy BCD program, set the boot and copied the boot.ini file as instructed in the link provided by superty12, not really knowing what I was doing, and rebooted on a wing and a prayer.

    Then, doing something that wasn't in the instructions, I went into the BIOS and changed the boot order of the drives so that the XP drive was the first boot and lo and behold, when the machine booted up there was a dual boot option at startup.

    So I selected the XP option and, apart from needing a few new drivers installed as I'd added some hardware since the XP system was last used, it worked first time.

    Both OS versions now happily co-existing with nary a flutter...

    So far so good...

    Thanks heaps for the guidance.


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