Home > Windows Vista Guides > Tutorial to Dual Booting XP and Windows 7 / Windows Vista With Windows 7 / Windows Vista Already Installed

Tutorial to Dual Booting Windows XP and Windows 7 / Windows Vista With Windows 7 / Windows Vista Already Installed
Version 0.52

This article shows how to install Windows XP with Windows 7 / Windows Vista already installed. No data will be lost, no extra software is needed and you can choose which operating system to boot everytime you power on your system.

DISCLAIMER: Proceed at your own risk! The information here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I will not be held responsible if this document causes your computer to explode or burst into flames. In real serious terms, if any corruption of data, hardware damage or any other kind of damage/losses/etc. arises from the use of this document, I will not be responsible for it. If you don't like this, please don't read any further. Do perform a complete BACKUP of your files to an external drive before performing such operations.

Is this document intended for you?

  1. You want to install Windows XP in a computer that has only Windows 7 / Windows Vista installed
  2. You have made a backup of your system in case something goes wrong

Quick Directs

  1. What is Needed
  2. Preparation of XP Installation Drive
  3. Installing Windows XP
  4. Reinstating Windows 7 / Windows Vista Back
  5. Putting Back XP in the Boot Menu

Assumptions

  1. This guide assumes you want to install Windows XP into Drive D. If you want to install to another drive, substitute the appropriate drive letter for D.
  2. This guide assumes Windows 7 / Windows Vista is installed in Drive C
  3. Windows 7 System Restore Points will be deleted when you boot to XP. This is normal, and can only be avoided if you hide the Windows Vista / Windows 7 drive from Windows XP.
  4. If your hard disk is SATA, it should either be running on Enhanced IDE mode and NOT in AHCI mode.

1) What is Needed

    1. Windows 7 / Windows Vista Original Installation DVD
    2. XP Installation Disc (preferably SP3)
    3. A drive with at least 5GB free space

2) Preparation of XP Installation Drive

This guide will assume that you will be installing XP to Drive D. If you have no such drive, this guide will show you how to create a 'Drive D'.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Computer
  3. Under Hard Drives, there should be one labeled "Local Disk C:"

    If you don't have a Drive D, you must create a new partition. There is no Drive D in this image, so we are going to create one
    If you don't have a Drive D, you must create a new partition. There is no Drive D in this image, so we are going to create one
  4. If you don't have a Drive D with at least 5GB free space, you need to create a partition as below.

Creating a Partition

Skip this part if you already have a Drive D with at least 5GB of free space when you would like to install Windows XP to.

  1. Click Start
  2. On the right column, right-click Computer on the left column
  3. Click Manage
  4. Vista should pop a User Account Control box, click Continue
  5. Computer Management window opens
  6. In the left column, expand Storage to reveal Disk Management.
  7. Click Disk Management

    Disk Management
    Disk Management
  8. Right-click the shaded area (or the area labeled C:)
  9. Click Shrink Volume...
  10. In "Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB", enter the amount of space in MegaBytes that you want to dedicate for Windows XP. We recommend at least 5GB (that's 5,000 MB (MegaBytes)).

    Shrink Volume

    If you are planning to use XP as your main operating system, you may want to dedicate more space for the drive as the process will be harder after installation of XP. Remember to ensure that Windows 7 / Window Vista's drive has sufficient space left for its own use (at least 15GB)
  11. Click Shrink
    A new 'Unallocated' partition is created beside C drive
  12. Right-click the Unallocated partition
  13. Click New Simple Volume...
  14. Click Next 2 times
  15. Note the drive letter assigned under "Assign the following drive letter". In our case, it is E as the letter D is already taken up by the CD-ROM drive. We will need to fix this later on. Click Next.
  16. Enter a name for the drive under "Volume Label". You may want to name it WINXP.
  17. Place a checkmark for "Perform a quick format"
  18. Click Next
  19. Click Finish
    The new drive will be formatted and made ready to be used

Changing Drive Letters

Note: Skip this part if your Drive D already points to a valid hard drive partition and not to a CD-ROM drive.

Our new partition is now Drive E. For cosmetics sake, we prefer the new drive to be Drive D. If you are fine (or require it to be such for some compatibility reason) Drive D to be the CD-ROM drive and E being the Windows XP drive, you can skip this part.

  1. In your task bar, close all programs except Computer Management
  2. At Computer Management, with Disk Management selected on the left, right-click the CD-ROM (D:) and click Change Drive Letter and Paths...
  3. Click Change...
  4. Under "Assign the following drive letter", select K (or any other letter besides D)
  5. Click OK
  6. Click OK for the warning that appears
  7. Right-click the newly created partition labeled E: and click Change Drive Letter and Paths...
  8. Click Change...
  9. Under "Assign the following drive letter", select D
  10. Click OK
  11. Click OK for the warning that appears
  12. Right-Click the CD-ROM (K:) and click Change Drive Letter and Paths...
  13. Click Change...
  14. Under "Assign the following drive letter", select E (or any other letter besides D)
  15. Click OK
  16. Click OK for the warning that appears

    The drives are now nicely assigned drive letters
    The drives now have nicely assigned drive letters
At this point Drive D is ready for installation of Windows XP.

3) Installing Windows XP

Now we proceed to install Windows XP.
  1. Insert the Windows XP Installation Disc into your PC
  2. Restart your PC and look for the "Press any key to boot from CD ..." prompt and quickly hit Enter. You only have a few seconds to do this before it proceeds to start Vista

    Press any key to boot from CD...

    After you hit Enter, it will take sometime for Windows XP Setup to start. If you don't see the prompt no matter how many times you restart, you need to configure your BIOS to boot from CD.
  3. At the welcome page, press Enter
  4. Accept the licence agreement by hitting F8
  5. At the installation drive selection page, select the newly created D drive by hitting the down arrow in your keyboard. Do NOT select the default entry, which is Drive C.

    Select Drive to Install to

    For Windows 7 systems: Drive C may be labeled as "System Rese". In this case, you should select Drive E. You can verify that it is the correct drive by checking whether the name in brackets for that row matches the name you gave just now in Step 2, which we suggested to give it as WinXP. In the image above, we gave it the name "New Volume" when we created the new drive.
  6. Press Enter
  7. In the file system selection page, highlight the option "Leave the current file system intact (no changes)". Do NOT highlight any of the Format options. This should be already selected by default.
  8. At this stage, you are still able to boot Vista as per normal and you can terminate this tutorial safely if you wish.

    Proceeding to the next step will install XP and make Windows 7 / Windows Vista unbootable unless you follow the entire guide.
  9. Press Enter
  10. Windows XP will begin installing to Drive D (or to the drive you selected). Follow prompts normally until you see the Windows Bliss (the trademark wallpaper) .

4) Reinstating Windows 7 / Windows Vista Back

At this stage, you should have completed installing Windows XP to Drive D (or to the drive you selected). You would have noticed that you can only boot into Windows XP now.

We need to fix Windows 7 / Windows Vista back together with XP and this is where the Windows 7 / Windows Vista installation disc comes in

  1. Insert the Windows 7 / Windows Vista DVD and restart your PC
  2. Restart your PC and look for the "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD . . ." prompt and quickly hit Enter. You only have a few seconds to do this before it proceeds to start XP

    Press any key to boot from CD or DVD . . .
    Press any key to boot from CD or DVD . . .
  3. Click Next at the "Install Windows" screen.
  4. Click Repair your computer at the bottom left of the window
    Windows 7 / Windows Vista Setup searches for Windows 7 / Windows Vista installations
  5. After the search is completed, click Next

    System Recovery
    System Recovery
  6. Click Startup Repair. For Windows 7 systems, just proceed to click Next.
    Vista Setup will attempt to repair the boot sector
  7. Click Finish

5) Putting Back XP in the Boot Menu

After the restart, you should be back in Windows 7 / Windows Vista now. Unfortunately, now you cannot access Windows XP. Here's how to put back XP into the boot menu.

Option 1: Run a Batch File (Automated)

  1. Right-click this link and Save Target As
  2. Save to your desktop
  3. Insert the Windows 7 / Windows Vista Setup disc to your E drive
    1. If your drive letters are different, you will need to EDIT the bat file and replace E: with the appropriate drive letter (thanks juliabird)
  4. Go to your Desktop.
  5. Right-Click the file, and click Run as administrator

Note: The third command may give an error which can be safely ignored.

Option 2: Run Commands Manually

  1. Insert the Windows 7 / Windows Vista Setup disc to your E drive
  2. Click Start
  3. Type CMD and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter (press and hold Ctrl, press and hold Shift, press and hold Enter, release all)
  4. Windows should pop a User Account Control box, click Continue
  5. You should see a command prompt.

    After typing each line below, press Enter on your keyboard. Do NOT copy and paste, you must type it out. Note that we are assuming Drive E to contain your Windows 7 / Windows Vista installation disc and Drive C to contain the Windows 7 / Windows Vista installation. Substitute the drive letters in the 2nd and 4th lines where needed.

    cd %windir%

    e:\boot\bootsect.exe -NT60 All

    %windir%\system32\Bcdedit -create {ntldr} -d "XP"

    %windir%\system32\Bcdedit –set {ntldr} device partition=c:

    %windir%\system32\Bcdedit –set {ntldr} path \ntldr

    %windir%\system32\Bcdedit –displayorder {ntldr} –addlast

    Note: The third command may give an error which can be safely ignored.

    Commands
    The DOS Commands and the responses

  6. For Windows 7 systems, you will need to additionally copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files from the Windows XP Disc to your C Drive.
    1. Go to Start > Computer
    2. Right-click your CD-ROM drive containing your Windows XP Disc and click Open
    3. On the top right of the window, type NTLDR in the search box
    4. Copy that file to your C Drive (Select the file > Organize > Copy > Go to C Drive > Organize > Paste)
    5. Search for NTDETECT and copy that file as well to C Drive
    [ thanks to distrakted ]

That's it. Restart your system, and a menu will appear to ask your choice of operating system to boot up.

If you get errors like "The boot configuration data store could not be opened" - you are not running the file / command prompt as a administrator.

Revisions

  1. July 26 2008 - v0.5
    • First Release to the public in Bootstrike.Com
  2. Sept 23 2010 - v0.52
    • Updated for Windows 7, which is similar to Vista

Last Updated 23rd September 2010

Errors? Omissions? Need Help? Know something? Post your queries in the comments below

This document is Copyright(©) 2001-2010 by G.Ganesh.

14 comments RSS of last 10 posts

new post [ expand all ]


Unregistered Anonymous i have installed win 7 on c: and win xp on h: drive
help me step 5
posted 20 May 2014 - Reply - Permanent Link
Robin (1 posts) Robin OOHH YEah only a master brain could thinks like this,,ThanX very very much for your help !!!!!
posted 24 Jun 2013 - Reply - Permanent Link
Unregistered Anonymous Could you tell me where i can find the NTDLR file on the xp disc? I can't seem to find it and it doesn't come up in searches. If you can't give the instructions, could you possibly post the file on the page for download please.
posted 22 Oct 2010 - show 1 replies - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin It is inside the i386 folder
posted 24 Oct 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Hunter (3 posts) Hunter Oh yeah. I can access the drive with the ntdlr and BCedit files in it, and they can be opened with the notepad in xp. can you manually edit them?
posted 27 Sep 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Hunter (3 posts) Hunter Is Native IDE the same as Enhanced IDE? My computer has 3 settings: Native IDE, AHCI, and RAID compatible (RAID is what it was originally set to)
posted 27 Sep 2010 - show 1 replies - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin If yours is RAID, it is out of scope of this guide sorry
posted 27 Sep 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Unregistered Anonymous What if its not RAID? its just one disc and set to RAID Compatible?
posted 29 Sep 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin Changing the mode can cause Windows 7 not to boot up. If it is already set to RAID, it is beyond the scope of this guide. You can try and see whether XP installs without changing the settings, but we do not guarantee that it will work as we did not test this with RAID drives.
posted 29 Sep 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Hunter (3 posts) Hunter Does this still work if you accidentally formatted your partition during xp setup? (and does it work with windows 7?)
posted 23 Sep 2010 - show 2 replies - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin if you accidently formatted your partition, you need to recover it. and no, this guide will not work with Windows 7
posted 23 Sep 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin Guide supports Windows 7 now.
posted 23 Sep 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Ken0618 (1 posts) Ken0618 HP Laptops do not have an installation disk, just an image disk of the original hard drive. Any suggestions? Thanks
posted 19 Jun 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
ravi Unregistered Anonymous working thing ., someone has a brain here
posted 22 Jan 2009 - Reply - Permanent Link


new post [ expand all ]



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