How to get a dual boot with XP starting with windows 7

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by airmouse, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. airmouse

    airmouse MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2013

    I've got a PC I need to sort out. Currently it has win 7 64 bit installed and I believe it also is
    using the daz loader.

    My mission is to get windows XP on it so it can be dual booted to either XP or 7.

    Only has one hard drive at the moment but could fit another if that makes things easier.

    I'm looking for the safest solution as I can't afford to end up with a non-bootable PC :-(

    Any advice much appreciated,
  2. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
    Staff Member

    Nov 30, 2009
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  3. ImDWreck

    ImDWreck MDL Novice

    Oct 13, 2013
    If you really don't want to use a Virtual Machine then you could use EasyBCD. One of it's main uses is for having a dual boot system with XP and 7. If you decide to do so, you can find many tutorials on the site for accomplishing this.
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    HALIKUS MDL Addicted

    Jul 29, 2009
    #5 HALIKUS, Oct 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    I use this in autoit in my Firstlogon.exe to find an XP install and add it to the bcd. I look for ntldr in the root of a drive, and then use that drive letter with the commands.

    $XP = _FindFilexp("\ntldr")
    If $XP Then
    RunWait(@ComSpec & ' /c ' & @WindowsDir & '\system32\bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "XP"', "", @SW_HIDE)
    RunWait(@ComSpec & ' /c ' & @WindowsDir & "\system32\bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=" & $XP)
    RunWait(@ComSpec & ' /c ' & @WindowsDir & "\system32\bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr", "", @SW_HIDE)
    RunWait(@ComSpec & ' /c ' & @WindowsDir & '\system32\bcdedit /set {ntldr} description "XP"', "", @SW_HIDE)
    RunWait(@ComSpec & ' /c ' & @WindowsDir & "\system32\bcdedit /timeout 10", "", @SW_HIDE)
    RunWait(@ComSpec & ' /c ' & @WindowsDir & "\system32\bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast", "", @SW_HIDE)
    So if you do ...

    bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "XP"' - adds ntldr as a boot option. There can be only 1 {ntldr} entry
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=d: - sets the drive
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr" - sets the bootloader
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} description "XP"' - sets the description
    bcdedit /timeout 10" - sets the timeout. The default is 0, so the boot options won't be displayed unless set
    bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast" - you must use this command or the entry won't work properly

    it should work.
  5. tnx

    tnx MDL Expert

    Sep 2, 2008
    I have a few different OS's on my machine, from Win 7,Win 8 MAC OSx and every now and then Linux.

    What I would do is install separate OS's onto different hard drives all together. I would install one OS at a time with only that hard drive plugged in, NO OTHERS. Then using the BIOS I would set up my default OS, lets say Windows 7 then by just switching the machine on Win 7 starts. As and when I fancy booting into owt else I have to boot up and press F8 in my case and manually select which drive to boot from, say MAC OSX.

    This is not the quickest method to set up but I find it easy once the job is done.

    My case makes things a whole lot easier too, I can just slide my drives out from the front and slide any drive in.

    That's my preferred method of multi booting..
  6. Atari800XL

    Atari800XL MDL Addicted

    Apr 3, 2011
    #7 Atari800XL, Oct 15, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    Another possibility: Create extra primary partitions (I usually have 3). Install Grub4Dos, boot 1 primary partition at a time (hiding the others if you like, I always do). Use WinNTSetup (by JFX) to install your (extra) Windows versions in the other partitions. Boot from USB, if you like (eg. Win8PESE) to the install the OS's without affecting the existing ones.
    This way, all 3 OS's are completely separate from eachother, I use this setup on 3 of my testPCs, working great! Any combination possible between XP, W7, W8, W8.1.
    Oh, and create a nice graphical bootmenu with GFX-Boot Customizer. And don't forget to backup the HD before doing any of this.

    HALIKUS MDL Addicted

    Jul 29, 2009
    I used to do methods like that, and found using VHDs alot easier. Just make a 30 gig vhd, install windows to it, and add a bcd entry. That way you don't have to mess with partitions, your test drives are portable, and you can even shrink them. I can also use "VHD_Compact" and make a full 2 gig vhd of a windows and run it from a usb. In my case i modded Easy2boot to also list and boot wims and vhds.
  8. airmouse

    airmouse MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2013
    Wow so many interesting replies, thanks guys :)

    I like the above solution as it seems the safest. Can't go the virtual route as the XP machine
    is going to be used as a music DAW ie optimised for audio and running low latency ASIO drivers.

    Would that also rule out vhd? never thought of that as an option as don't know much about vhd's.
    I have used oracle's virtualbox a bit.

    No one has mentioned the daz loader. Could that cause an issue e.g. when using EasyBCD / similar
    methods ?
  9. jassi

    jassi MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2011
    I used the same method(except used easy bcd to permanently add xp to boot menu) and windows 7 will remain activated.
    Only problem faced was that during very first booting after attaching both drives, it used to hang during booting(maybe c drive letter assigning problem or some problem with my hard disks).On second boot(hard reset) it worked perfectly and after that it works without problem.

    Recommended method is to install oldest OS first i.e Xp>vista>windows7
  10. MakeMeBad

    MakeMeBad MDL Novice

    Oct 19, 2012
    Doesn't really matter which is installed first, i installed XP last.. just had to do win7 boot repair, then all good, still using Xp now. :biggrin:
  11. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
  12. airmouse

    airmouse MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2013
    Ok, so I get everything ready, dig out my trusty old XP disc, dust it off, and what do you know. No dice. On further
    investigation I find my motherboard has no XP drivers available. Never saw that one coming ;)

    I might try a dual boot with win 7 32 bit instead (needed XP as old software won't run on win 7 64 but slim chance in may work on win 7 32).

    Guess above comments for booting XP will apply for win 7 32 also ?
  13. tnx

    tnx MDL Expert

    Sep 2, 2008
    #14 tnx, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
    I have a fairly new rig, just under a year old on LGA 1155. I don't bother messing about with XP on this machine but I have a older machine I use to test out cracks, keygens and the like. If I feel the need to run XP I use that machine. Maybe having a cheaper older machine to run XP is an idea for you too ?????