Dual Boot Windows 7 with XP/Vista in three easy steps

By Julio Franco · 44 replies
Oct 19, 2009
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  1. Windows 7 has proved to be quite the drastic improvement over Vista, enough that it even has XP stragglers crawling out of the woodwork to check it out. Your chance to test drive the release candidate is now running thin, in fact, if you haven’t tried the new OS until now you are better off postponing your plans for a week and installing the real thing. The final version of Windows 7 has already been sent to partners and is scheduled to debut publicly later this week on October 22.

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    Please leave your feedback here.
  2. guyver1

    guyver1 TS Booster Posts: 110

    How about a windows 7 & Linux dual boot feature?

    For example, I intend to run win7 x64 and Ubuntu 9.10 x64 in a dual boot scenario but i want to use the windows 7 boot laoder and not grub. How do i got about doing that?

    Do i simply install Ubuntu first and then Win7 so that Win7 takes over boot loading?
  3. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    Dual booting xp and win7 is really easy. I used gpart live cd to make a 25gig partition (btw, if you have a 500 gig hdd like I do, set this up to go, and go to bed. I didn't quite realize it would take about 5 hours to do. Should have thought of it, but I didn't).
    Burn Win7 RC to a dvd, and installed it. Was very simple. Win7 even installed drivers for just about everything on my computer. It was very nice to to have to scramble around on another machine trying to find my ethernet driver like i always seem to end up doing when i do a clean install of xp.

    As for your question guyver1, i have no idea, but i love your screen name! :D
  4. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,959   +217

    There is also the possibility to resize the disk inside the Win7 installation, on the second screen press **** + F10
    This brings up the command prompt, in it you have access to microsofts command link "diskpart" tool, maybe not the most user friendly but it gets the job done...
  5. Use EasyBCD, it's free... to make this possible set grub or lilo to load from the linux install partition or the Linux boot partition if you created one.
  6. I don't think that the Windows boot loader can recognize a non Windows OS.
    Grub should work fine. You can alter the grub boot sequence after you install Ubuntu if you want to boot Windows by default.
  7. >I don't think that the Windows boot loader can recognize a non Windows OS.
    Grub should work fine. You can alter the grub boot sequence after you install Ubuntu if you want to boot Windows by default.

    I currently have 2 Ubuntu installs that I launch from the windows boot menu ... I used EasyBCD to set it up... I set the Linux boot info to the Linux partition so the when i install another window os I don't have to edit the BCD again (Linux is still available)...
  8. That's great. I'll give it a try. Sounds like the best way to use a multiboot system.
    Is it possible to use easyBCD after both Windows and Linux are installed and Grub is the boot loader?
  9. I just found the answer to my question. There is a 5 min YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdjNfXZjRxs that gives a good introduction.
  10. Once I am comfortable with Windows 7 (after having setup a dual boot XP and Windows7) what is the process of removing XP? What problems would i run into that I should be thinking about?
  11. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,674   +990

  12. w3design

    w3design TS Rookie

    windows 7:haha:
  13. If you dual boot Vista and W7, do you need a full version of the latter or can you do it with an upgrade version?
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,674   +990

    As far as I understand, Microsoft stipulates that you would need a full retail version for a dual boot setup. The reason is that when you purchase an upgrade license for Windows 7, it will deactivate the license key from the OS you are upgrading from.
  15. Kadir

    Kadir TS Rookie

    Used this. Amazing. Worked.

    But I can't seem to create more than 30GB of space for the new partition, from my current Vista Partition.
  16. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    and that means what?
  17. Crossbow

    Crossbow TS Rookie

    How about no partition?
    I want to buy an ssd and load it with W7 and some games. Nothing else. Clean and fast. But I also need to work with information I already have on a hard drive (WD Raptor) with XP.
    I don't want to partition the ssd and clutter it with files/photos/etc that are on the XP drive.
    Can I make the XP disc my "D" drive on the W7? Would that keep the ssd and W7 clean and fast?
    If not, is there any way to get the two different drives attached to the same computer/motherboard but in a dual boot configuration?
    I own both the XP and the W7(pro) discs.
  18. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    You can install Windows 7 on the SSD as you would normally and boot off either drive independently. When you turn on your system, look to see if you can bring up a boot menu or select your boot device (it's generally just a button like F10 and then you're given a list of available drives).

    If you don't have that option, you can manually adjust the boot order in your BIOS (again, look for a message about entering setup or something when you first turn on your PC).

    You should be able to access the data on your XP drive from within Windows 7 without any configuration.
  19. Crossbow

    Crossbow TS Rookie

    Hi Matthew:
    Thanks for your prompt reply.
    I'll be buying my ssd this weekend and installing it next week.
    I will try your suggestions.
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Some of the images on page 1 do not appear, and I'm not seeing any of them on page 2 and 3. Tried in Opera 10.10 and IE 8.
  21. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,674   +990

    Should be fixed now, thanks for the note.
  22. I kept getting the BSOD when trying to get my laptop running windows 7 to dual boot with XP. I ended up installing Sun's VirtualBox and using that to run XP as a VM. Works fine and was a bit cheaper to buy a copy of XP than it would have been to have purchased the upgrade to Window's Professional so that I could have used Windows 7 XP mode.
  23. My Fujitsu notebook is currently set up as dual-boot, with Windows XP Home Edition (Korean) on the C-drive and Windows XP Professional (English) on the D-drive. I would like to install WIndows 7 (English) on the C-drive, and leave the English XP installation on D. (The C-drive is already the right size.) Do I need to format the C-drive, or will that happen automatically when I select that partition? Do I need the "upgrade" or "full" version of Windows 7?
  24. JessicaD

    JessicaD TS Rookie Posts: 17


    You can perform a clean install from a Windows 7 upgrade version however you will have to have a valid previous copy of Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Vista installed to validate the upgrade and activate the product key. Please note that when migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 you will not have an "in place upgrade" option. You will however have the option to select "custom" install when prompted. The Windows 7 install process will then copy all of your data in "My Documents" over to a Windows.old folder within Windows 7 itself. All applications and documents stored in other locations will have to be reinstalled / transferred manually.
    For more information on the Windows 7 Upgrade, please go here: http://bit.ly/3DvynK

    For additional assistance with the migration of Windows XP to Windows 7, please go here: http://tinyurl.com/mhbep4

    Microsoft Windows Client Team
  25. Ok, I understand you need a full upgrade version to install a dual boot. However, say I have Windows Vista and I create a new partition, load an old Version of Windows XP I have on that new partition, can I then load the upgrade version with that? I have the upgrade version already but don't want to lose everything I have as some of my programs seem to not be compatible.

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