I had read that it was not recommended to start with installing Windows 7 first. That's why I thought I needed to first install XP pro. But if that's not true than I can certainly install Win 7 and then shrink the partition and create a new partition.
However here's the issue now:
I came across "By default, Windows 7 creates a separate system partition when it's installed from scratch (as opposed to upgraded from a previous version of Windows) on an unpartitioned hard drive. This partition is 100 MB in size. Source http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/What-are-system-partitions-and-boot-partitions
The Sony Vaio Z720D came with Vista on the laptop (fresh install from factory), consequently I inserted the Windows 7 upgrade disks. I did not seem to have kept an image of Vista so I cannot start the upgrade from scratch to double check.
When I look within Ghost at the HDD I see Partition 1: "Primary" E: label "Recovery" 12235 (12 GB) and Partition 2: "Primary" C: label "no name" 293008 (293 GB).
I do not see a separate 100 MB or 200 MB system partition and I am not sure if I deleted it during the initial upgrade or if it just never was there in the first place (like they say above).
So..in my situation, will the E: or C: partition contain the necessary "System Files" or do I need to do something to check if they do?
I also came across "How to create a separate system partition for dual booting Windows XP or Windows 2000 with Windows 7" source http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee829686(WS.10).aspx - do I need to do anything with that as in do I need to create a "separate System partition " for the dual boot to work and for Gdisk32 to be able to create images/clones of it ?