Win7 on XP Partition

By sussertown ยท 4 replies
Nov 18, 2010
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  1. I have an xp machine with two partitions. Docs on partition 2. 32 bit. What happens if I install win7 on partition one (64bit) as a clean install? Will the docs and 2nd partition work okay?
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Probably - depends on exactly what you mean by 'docs' on partition 2. If that is just word, excel, pictures, music etc, then no problem. If you actually use partition 2 to save emails and other things normally held at 'c:\documents and settings\all users' and various other subdirectories, you will surely know that you changed the 'save' location in outlook express or other email package.

    In that case, once Win7 is up and running, changing the 'save' location in the same way to point to that location should reveal the data undisturbed, but there is no guarantee that the email formats are the same, so take suitable backups first.

    Be extremely careful when you install Win7 to be sure you are over-writing the correct partition. You might be wise to take a full image of it in case you want to recover, and then delete the partition. Choose that empty space for the new install of Win 7
  3. sussertown

    sussertown TS Rookie Topic Starter


    This is good info. And it gave me something to think about. Are you saying that if I have the Outlook pst file (32bit) saved on another disc, I may not be able to import or read it on a 64 bit partition?

    Sounds like docs on my usb drive will work properly when imported to the 64bit win7.

    What happens to the 2nd partition that is now 32bit. Does it care? Do I need to import all docs then format partition 2 in 64bit? I'm new to this.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    To the best of my knowledge you will be able to read the data written by a 32-bit program. The converse may not always be true.

    Your third question is not really meaningful. 32-bit, 64-bit does not refer to the way data is stored, but to the computers central processor. So 'format partition 2 in 64 bit' does not make any sense.

    Partitions are written in NTFS in Windows, although they can be FAT32 on really old hardware. In neither case are they inaccessible by 64-bit Win 7. If they were, how could USB sticks possibly work, they don't care if they are read/written by XP,Vista,Win7 or come to that, Linux.
  5. sussertown

    sussertown TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's what I thought. Thanks for the confirmation. I got a win7 laptop and the docs on it are no issue. I'm going to work on my big desktop.

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