Windows 7 and XP dual boot?
January 15, 2009 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to dual boot windows XP and Windows 7 beta? I understand it only upgrades from Vista. Does the file downloaded from MS include the full version for a clean install, or is it only an upgrade? thanks
posted by Diachronic to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Within Windows 7 setup you can choose to do an update (from Vista only) or a full, clean install on a new partition or drive. Inspector.Gadget's link above covers the dual booting aspect. Have fun!
posted by karizma at 12:19 PM on January 15, 2009

It is definitely a full install. I created a new VM with it just fine.
posted by sbutler at 12:25 PM on January 15, 2009

It upgrades or does a clean install. As far as dual booting, I got it working, but only after spending some time with bcdedit.exe. Windows 7 killed ntldr and boot.ini.

I created a {ntldr} loader. From administrator command prompt:
bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "My Windows XP"
bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=c:
bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
bcdedit /displayorder addlast {ntldr}

copy ntldt, to the root of c and create a boot.ini

it was a pain, but it does work. (double check those commands, i think they're right, but i'm doing from memory)
posted by distrakted at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2009

I'm dual booting XP and 7 without any problems or having to screw around with bcedit at all.
I just booted from the dvd (burnt from the downloaded iso) and installed to a separate hdd. I get a boot menu to choose win7 or "earlier version of windows" (XP).
One odd thing...I can access the Win7 drive from XP, while the XP drive is not shown available at all from Win7.

BTW...Windows Seven Rocks... so far.
posted by Duke999R at 4:06 PM on January 15, 2009

The Lifehacker guide is great -- that's how I did it.

Duke -- if you want to be able to see the XP partition from Win 7, go to the disk manager (the Lifehacker link above gives directions on how to get there -- it's the same in Win7 and Vista) and change the drive letter of the xp partition. I don't know how this will affect XP when you want to use it, though...haven't had the need to go back.
posted by puritycontrol at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2009

Getting rid of Win 7 after you've had a look at it is a major hassle if you don't want to format the drive/partition you've installed it to, so I'd be sure to install it to a drive/partition you'll be happy with just wiping after you're done.

Otherwise, it's easy-peasy, pretty much.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:36 PM on January 15, 2009

Seconding that I just booted to the DVD and installed to separate partition and off it went. Dual Boot screen appears with no configuration or anything of the sort. I'm using 7 right now, actually. Definitely installed it to spare partition I can wipe easily, though.
posted by disillusioned at 6:06 PM on January 15, 2009

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