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Dual booting with Windows 7

Samorlg

Active Member
I have windows XP on my computer which is in use everyday, so I don't want to loose data from it, so I've bought a new drive to install windows 7 on. Now my question is this; How do I configure the two hard drives together so I can boot into either of them without loosing my data from the existing (XP) drive? thank you for your kind help.:)
 

sunnysunnysunny

Well-known Member
You'll need to shrink your current XP partition, and then use the freed up space to create a new partition for Windows 7 to install on. Windows XP can't shrink partitions so your best bet is to download the Gparted live CD, which you boot from CD to manage your partitions :smashin:

EDIT: Sorry, I misread the question. I assumed you were trying to dual boot on 1 HDD.
 
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Samorlg

Active Member
I've read it's not a great idea to install windows 7 on the same drive, for one your mp3 files become slightly corrupted, apparently 15 seconds or so is missing and it just seems too complicated to do it that way. I believe a second, dedicated drive is the simpliest way so yet again I ask; How do I configure it to work with my XP drive without loosing or corrupting data? I did speak to some guy at pcmedic round my way and he says I can just simply install the drive leaving the old one in place and boot from the dvd for windows 7 and load it to the new drive, he also said that I'd have to let windows updates do it's job to correct the mp3 bug but even there I'm confused, I thought that was only if you were to upgrade your old OS or partition the old drive, confused.......:lease: alittle I am so more help would be much appreciated, thank you all.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
If your PC can see the new drive, then Windows 7 can install on it. It will all be very obvious during the install: Windows 7 will ask what disk and what partition you want to install to. You will get a boot menu come up after installation so you can choose which OS you want to boot into.

The only problem is removing Windows 7 later if you don't want it. The boot menu replaces the files on the first hard disk which are used by XP. However, this isn't impossible, and you follow the same removal process as for a system that dual boots XP and Vista.

As for the MP3 bug; you can easily find a link to download the update from Microsoft that fixes it before you play any of the files.
 
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Samorlg

Active Member
Stiggy says........."The only problem is removing Windows 7 later if you don't want it. The boot menu replaces the files on the first hard disk which are used by XP. However, this isn't impossible, and you follow the same removal process as for a system that dual boots XP and Vista.".........

Can you explain this further please as I am likely to use the new hard drive later on for other stuff after the expiry date for the beta has come and passed. Would I not just simply format the hard drive, would this work and what problems might there be if I do decide to remove it?, thanks again.
 

sunnysunnysunny

Well-known Member
As for the MP3 bug; you can easily find a link to download the update from Microsoft that fixes it before you play any of the files.

I believe it's now part of the Automatic updates in Windows 7 anyway, so nothing to worry about :thumbsup:

Can you explain this further please as I am likely to use the new hard drive later on for other stuff after the expiry date for the beta has come and passed. Would I not just simply format the hard drive, would this work and what problems might there be if I do decide to remove it?, thanks again.

If you dual-boot with XP, all you'll have to do is delete the Windows 7 partition from the extra HDD when it expires (but remember to backup any important data that's on that partition first). Then to get rid of the choice when you boot up so it goes straight into XP, you'll need to use a program like EasyBCD to edit the bootloader. Don't worry, it's really really easy to use :thumbsup:
 
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Samorlg

Active Member
.....and just to add, I added the new hard drive yet in XP I can't see it although it tells me that it's found it. Went into my computer and it's not there, is there something I should be doing or if I place the windows 7 install dvd in the drive, will it at some point locate that new drive and allow me to install windows 7 then? As you can see I'm quite the novice at this, just thought I'd try it and have a bit of fun, also to try and learn something...maybe:). Thanks again for your time.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
.....and just to add, I added the new hard drive yet in XP I can't see it although it tells me that it's found it. Went into my computer and it's not there, is there something I should be doing or if I place the windows 7 install dvd in the drive, will it at some point locate that new drive and allow me to install windows 7 then? As you can see I'm quite the novice at this, just thought I'd try it and have a bit of fun, also to try and learn something...maybe:). Thanks again for your time.
The only reason XP doesn't show it in Windows Explorer is that it hasn't been formatted and given a drive letter yet.

The easiest thing is to boot with the Windows 7 DVD, and choose 'Custom (advanced)' install, not 'upgrade'.
vista_clean_install7.png

You will probably see a list of places to install, including 'Disk 1 unallocated space' which will be the new unformatted drive.
original.aspx
 
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Samorlg

Active Member
Ok, as a final question regarding this; If it all goes bad for some reason(that might be me:D), can I use an XP windows install disc(not the original OEM and not a recovery disc), and use my licence key with it? The disc has been installed twice now on other computers so would it matter seen as I have my own licence key?, also, can I name the drive now?
 
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Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Ok, as a final question regarding this; If it all goes bad for some reason(that might be me:D), can I use an XP windows install disc(not the original OEM and not a recovery disc), and use my licence key with it?
I'm not quite sure what you mean. If you reinstall XP over the top it could get messy. Back up all your data before you do anything else.
The disc has been installed twice now on other computers so would it matter seen as I have my own licence key?
You can only have one install per key. A Windows 7 key won't work for XP, if that's what you mean.
also, can I name the drive now?
You are better letting Windows 7 do it after the install.
 

Samorlg

Active Member
Ok, let's go back to this back up thing. I have saved to disc all my photos and videos, do I need to back up XP in some way or is the risk minimal whatever the risk might be? ...and to answer your questions on what I meant, I have an XP licence on the side of my com and the use of an XP disc, not a restore disc and not the original restore disc that came with my pc (that's from 2001 so I suspect way too much updating if indeed it will work now) so all I was saying was; could I use that data of that XP disc with my licence key if I bugger things up, ie: over right my XP install? Must say though you are being very helpful so I thank you for that.
 

DougieB

Active Member
Hi Samorig

If you are successful in getting Win7 to dual boot with XP will you please post
on how you managed it. I D/loaded the ISO and wrote it to DVD and tried to install on a separate HDD and everything went OK until the final restart when the OS would not start. An error screen reported that it could not find the OS boot loader. I already dual boot on separate HDDs with XP Pro 32bit and XP Pro 64bit. When I d/l'd the ISO the Win7 site readme file categorically stated that installation required VISTA with SP1.

DougieB
 

Samorlg

Active Member
"Just want to clarify something here, are you installing this from inside XP or have you set it to install from the dvd when you first turn your computer on?, I'm not able to get into the bios to change where the computer boots from, obviously I'm after the dvd drive but I can't get to it. I've Tried f8, f12 and f2 yet my computer don't want to know."

This is from your post, I can boot from within XP for a custom install but it says I will loose my files, saves and, well everything, ....why is this like this, so annoying this time of night..lol:mad:, well, I'm going to try one final time to boot from the DVD and if it don't work well it's bed time for me, shall have to try again tomorrow.
 

DougieB

Active Member
Hi Samorig

I did my attempted install from DVD, I can select any of my drives by pressing function key F11.

DougieB
 

Samorlg

Active Member
Hi, ....but did you try installing it after your computer had finalised booting up into which ever XP version you used?, I have that as an option, just don't know if it's the correct one.
 

DougieB

Active Member
Hi, ....but did you try installing it after your computer had finalised booting up into which ever XP version you used?, I have that as an option, just don't know if it's the correct one.

Hi
No, I selected the DVD drive to boot from by pressing F11 when on post screen
before I got to the OS selection screen. I did not boot or select from either of my XP OSs. I booted the install disc from the DVD drive and the PC asks do you want to boot from CD or DVD, pressed enter and the setup screen for Win 7 starts loading the necessary files.

DougieB
 

Samorlg

Active Member
...right, just tried that and it through me into XP again, did choose my dvdrw drive to boot from but, as I say, XP loads up instead????????????:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
 

Samorlg

Active Member
This is just a big bloody joke. Pressed f11 again, selected my dvd drive and it still boots into XP, yes the disc is in the drive so what the hell is going wrong here, why aren't these things straight forward as described here. Has anyone booted from the disc whilst they had XP up and running, seems you can just I'm a novice here doing my best trying not to make a mistake so a little reluctant to make that decision till I have more infomation on how it has gone for others. Thank you once again kind people, you are helping but boy is it annoying.
 

DougieB

Active Member
Hi Samorig

From what you say your PC DVD drive is not reading the disc and continuing with the normal boot process. Check that the ISO file is actually on the disc.
If you burned it on your drive, what speed did you use?, sometimes these files need to be burned at the slowest speed available to your burner to ensure a stable burn and read.

Hope this is of some help.

DougieB
 

Samorlg

Active Member
It reads the disc while I'm in XP no problem, just haven't got past the initial screen yet:). I think I need to set the dvd drive as my primary boot drive and yes, it was burnt at the slowest speed I could do it at, 8x I think but I did choose the lowest.
 

Mr Lazy

Active Member
- try changing the BIOS to give the CDROM drive the boot priority
- are you watching the screen when the Windows 7 installer starts? right at the start there is an almost-blank screen asking for your confirmation to continue and you have to press enter within 10 seconds (or whatever it is) otherwise it will continue booting normally

Check that the ISO file is actually on the disc.

Remember that you won't see the ISO file as a file on the disc (or you shouldn't if you've burnt it properly) - instead you should see a bunch of files and folder at the root level (about 6 from memory).
 

sunnysunnysunny

Well-known Member
It reads the disc while I'm in XP no problem, just haven't got past the initial screen yet:). I think I need to set the dvd drive as my primary boot drive and yes, it was burnt at the slowest speed I could do it at, 8x I think but I did choose the lowest.

Also make sure you tell it to verify the disc when burnt :smashin:
 

Samorlg

Active Member
Well it's all properly done on the disc, I see about 6 files yes, and plenty of sub folders too. I believe my problem stems from my ignorance :thumbsup: and also that I need to set the DVD drive as my primary boot drive, said it here before but have been reading and seeking yet more advice elsewhere and that seems to be my problem so I shall try this later tonight. God forbid but I will let you guys know how it's gone :) or as the case maybe, not gone........ wish me luck.
 

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