Originally Posted by Improvizor
I was thinking about dual boot but I've never done it before. I've got 2 partitions on my HDD. "C" where Win7 is installed and "D" where I install my games and save my other media like music, TV shows etc. Is it possible to make another partition and install Xp on the new one without formatting the entire HDD first? I've never been involved in those things. I'm more of a hardware guy.
Hi, before I begin I would like to talk to you about your setup, Im quite upset to see yet another guy set up multiple partitions, one for games, videos and music, etc. WHY? well first of all, its pointless, again from experience and a very advanced user, you have to realise having you hard drive this way is decreasing performance not making it better, quite a few people do this thinking its benefiting them, when in fact its making things much worse, you have to understand all a partition is another part of the SAME hard drive (of course it is) you knew that, its not another hard drive, which means every time you want to play your games and listen to music, the platter of the hard drive as to work twice as hard, and still access the primary part of the hard drive, its confusing, and even though easier, totally pointless and decreasing performance due to 2 different pagefiles which your HD platter is having to access 2, not one, and more confusion is also created, you might not realise this, but having all your games, music and videos on 1 partition will work much faster than 2, for the simple reason that your data is consilodated neatly when you defragment. all this multiple partition scenerio all started in the 90s with XP, and from old out of date tweak guides which speak about multiple pagefiles and no pagefiles etc, times and OS have changed since XP and so have hard drives and pagefiles, its totally pointless having your hard disk set up in this way, secondly there is the 2 different drive letters which cause platter, memory and HD confusion, install everything on C: simple as. all your music in my music folder all your games in program files etc, trust me Ive been there done that, and from extensive very in-depth research into how hard drives work and how data is accessed and how pagefiles are used etc, its so much simpler to have everything on 1 OS and all data on 1 partition C:
Now partitions are HELPFUL, if you use them for 2 OS, so like your original question can I install XP without affecting the main one yes you can, however, as you have installed windows 7 first and you also have a pointless D: partition drive with all your games etc on,
its going to make life complicated especially if you are not very advanced. The reason being is that yes you can do it with complication and patience, but if you just install XP and a 3rd partition and expect you can still boot into 7 forget it, you cannot.
What will happen is this, you insert your XP disk, boot from bios and goto setup, it will show 2 invalid unknown partitions, you will be able to create a third one, possibly, but XP as do all OSs want you to install them on C: so you create a 3rd partition and setup XP, when its finished it will boot successfully, but you will NO longer be able to boot into Windows 7 at all, because XP as corrupt the boot script (not intentionally) but it will be corrupt. you can fix it by going to the recovery console of windows 7 and you will then be able to boot back into 7, but now XP as become corrupt. Sound Complicated it is.
The best advice I can give you, is since you have 2 partitions anyway, with data here, there and god knows everywhere reformat, back everything up, and reformat and start a fresh. delete all your partitions and existing data.
Then install XP x32 (by any means do not think of trying XP x64 unless you want to start pulling all your hair out due to 80% lack of hardware support) put all your games or certainly your old games on XP and any old programs older than 2008, such as office 2003 or anything like that, ideally put all your old programs that are older than 2008 on XP.
Then once this as done, install windows 7 x64 (if you have the power to support x64 and over 3GB of Ram) and install all your new software 2009 and all your newer games onto 7 and use the internet on windows 7.
This is the ideal scenerio, but you still need to modify the bootscript after you have put windows 7 on as at first launch you will have lost XP but once you have modified the bootscript, once you boot up it will ask if you wish to boot into XP or Windows 7. JOB DONE.
There are plenty of guides and how to modify the bootscript on the net, just google words such as:
dual boot windows 7 and XP
Install Windows 7 on XP Partition.
Install XP after Windows 7
Install Windows 7 after XP.
The REAL SOLUTION to all this bootscript complication is to simply buy a second hard disk, 1 with Windows 7 and 1 with Windows XP. and then each time you boot configure the bios to which hard drive you wish to boot first. this is what I have done in the past and it worked perfectly and the good news about doing it this way, every time you boot into either 7 or XP your hard drive will be C: Letter - The Letter which WINDOWS JUST LOVES, ever since the days of Windows 98, Windows is addicted to the letter C: and will at times give you crashes if it cant find that letter it loves so much. LOL...
of course you can do the bootscript thingy works well, but it will change the drive letter and keep the change permanent. if you do the bootscript thingy make sure windows 7 is on C: Letter VERY VERY IMPORTANT. if 7 is not C: well you are going to have some problems, maybe not now but later, especially when it comes to updates, some people will say it is just a drive letter and its not important whether it is D: F: G: X: Z: but it does matter, it matters a lot.
Anyway good luck and I hope I have been able to help.