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Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

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Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:34 am

Please see: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

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Graham, are any of the Windows 7 boot files created in C: or are they all put into the hidden system partition ?

I hope that MS are not planning on having W7 RTM behave like this, as it will cause innumerable headaches in most multiboot scenarios (except Vista/2k8/W7 ones I suppose).

What one would want, in your own case, is for XP setup to create its own boot data in the system partition --- but it is unable to do so, as this is basically a hidden partition.

I *think*.

In any case, it's clearly a recipe for multiboot creation failure where Windows 7 is the first OS installed, and where the behaviour isn't already carefully accounted for (by an expert) during preparations for other Windows installation.

Which would bring us back to the usual recommendation -- "install the earlier version of Windows first, dummy !" :P -- (not much good advice for anyone with a factory-installed W7 Dell though, hahaha ... :pc )

It is quite possible that in some configurations, installing Vista *after* W7 would generate some of the typical multiboot errors and failure -- also, cases where the boot files of your computer were split into three separate locations (including one hidden one) could in future be not rare, but fairly commonplace in my opinion :(

Fun and games to be imagined in future factory built rigs, having a hidden system restore partition and the hidden W7 sytem partition, where someone might then install Vista and then XP (and in that order : W7 > Vista > XP)

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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby Grav!ty » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:44 pm

Moved from top of the thread.

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Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

This is preliminary testing work and I'm using Windows 7 Build 6519 and Build 6801 to base these results on. Both these pre-Beta builds create a small separate System partition on which to house the boot system files, bootmgr and the folder Boot. This behavior has only been noted when Windows 7 is the only operating system installed. See the screenshots below. I have not yet been able to verify that Windows 7 Build 7000 behaves in the same way.


Warning that System Partition may be created
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System Partition Created
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System Partition in Disk Management (no driver letter allocated)
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Windows Explorer (System Partition does not appear because no drive letter allocated)
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Windows Explorer Installation Drive (No boot system files)
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Without allocating a drive letter to the System partition in Windows 7, I used Disk Management to shrink the drive it was on and created a partition of 34 GB on which to install Windows XP Professional.

Windows XP Professional setup saw the small System partition and the first hint that all was not well was that it allocated a drive letter (C:\) to the System partition and changed the drive letter Windows 7 was installed on to D:\

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After XP setup completed the file copy process and rebooted, I got this error message:

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I then booted to the Windows 7 DVD and selected Repair my computer at the Install now setup screen. Startup Repair had no effect at all and I again got the same "error loading operating system" message on reboot. I rebooted to the Windows 7 DVD and this time selected System Restore from the menu. That was unsuccessful too and on reboot I again got the "error loading operating system" message.

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At this point I suspect the problem is caused by NOT allocating a drive letter to the System partition that Windows 7 creates, BEFORE running XP setup. I'll confirm that shortly and then continue with this thread.

====
Yeah Julian, so far it's a total nightmare trying to get Windows XP installed on the same drive on a system with only Windows 7 installed on it. I haven't even gotten around to trying to install Vista after Windows 7 yet.

I'm beginning to get an idea of the problem though - see the drive in question when I plug it in to my XP system. Note the odd little 1 MB partition at both the front and back of the drive. Windows XP setup also sees them. These two little critters are not visible from Windows 7. Partition Magic 8 identifies that there's a problem and attempts to fix the sectors at both the front and back of the drive but with no effect.


Weird little 1 MB unallocated space at front and back of Win 7 drive
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Partition Magic picks up that something is NOT kosher
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Anyway, back to the drawing board for me. I've got a trick or three up my sleeve yet :harley:
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:54 pm

ouch even worse than I imagined !! :shocked:
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby Grav!ty » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:30 pm

After another 2 attempts I gave up trying to install XP on the same drive as Windows 7 (where Windows 7 is pre-installed to a system). I attached another hard drive and installed Windows XP on that without any issues at all. Getting a dual boot going was a slightly different kettle of fish though.

I used VistaBootPRO in Windows XP and ran Diagnostics from the menu item, then reinstalled the Vista bootloader>All Drives and rebooted. That gave me a menu item for Windows 7 on reboot and I then installed VistaBootPRO on Windows 7, created a Legacy OS entry with the drive letter as seen from Windows 7, took ownership of the boot.ini file to open it, edited to conform with what Disk Management showed in Windows 7, copied boot.ini, ntldr and NTDETECT.COM to the Windows XP drive and got my dual boot sorted out. The BCD of Windows 7 seems to read things a bit differently but I'll get to more on that a bit later.

So for now my conclusions are (and this could change):

Windows XP or any legacy OS I guess, cannot be installed to the same drive albeit to a separate partition on a drive with Windows 7 pre-installed on it.

The alternative is to add a hard drive on which to install a legacy OS like Windows XP.
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby kd1966 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:00 pm

Wow......... that will cut out quite a bit of future crowds wanting to do just that - install XP on a pre-existing Win7 machine......... and since most retail machines come with a single hdd.................... :eek: I can just see the crashes and cries for help (Before the cries for MS's head on a platter....lol)
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby kanaloa » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:05 pm

Guess MS found a way to kill XP after all.

So do Vista and Win 7 use the same boot manager? I am interesting installing Windows 7 in a few weeks, but want to make sure I can easily revert back to Vista when I'm done testing (and preferably delete Win 7).
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby yeshuas » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:45 pm

Following this guide http://www.pronetworks.org/index.php/gu ... ows_vista/

I installed XP to the same harddrive as Windows 7, after having Windows 7 installed, XP installed, and the same thing happened that happens when installing XP after Vista.

I then used VPB and all the same steps as if it were Vista with XP etc. After reinstalling bootloader, and running diagnostics XP was not included in the OS choices, only Windows 7 and Windows Recovery Environment.

I rebooted to see what choices I had and the only ones shown were Windows 7, and a Ramdisk options, which ended up being a recovery environment.
Last edited by yeshuas on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby yeshuas » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:19 pm

Continued from above;

I used Windows 7 to shrink the drive that had XP on it and then booted to a Vista install disk and it installed like normal with it adding itself to the bootloader Windows 7 had created.

I then used VBP 3.3 from within Vista, to create a new legacy entry for XP and copied boot.ini, NTDETECT and ntldr to the XP partition I had originally installed XP to from the 200 MB partition that Window 7 had created during it's install, as this is where XP had put them during its install. (I am pretty sure I could have done this step from XP before installing Vista)

I now have a triple boot bootloader that I can boot to either XP, Vista or Windows 7
Last edited by yeshuas on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby kd1966 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:31 am

I see........... ^*^ a bit complicated for the normal user, but what else in new...?? :lol:
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Re: Install Windows XP in Dual Boot with Pre-Installed Windows 7

Postby yeshuas » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:33 am

kd1966 wrote:I see........... ^*^ a bit complicated for the normal user, but what else in new...?? :lol:


Are you agreeing with my wife then that I am not normal??????????? :lol:
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