*Potential* conflict between 7 and XP - need your opinion

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by IronMaiden, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. IronMaiden

    IronMaiden MDL Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    #1 IronMaiden, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
    Hi folks! I'm not sure but I think this may be my first post here lol :rolleyes: but I recently had a pretty unique and probably rare situation which I resolved in the end, but it left me wondering about something that I haven't been able to find any info about. Lemme explain.

    I've used WinXP Pro w/ SP3 on my computer for years. Recently I decided to install Windows 7 and set up a dual-boot. I ended up having four primary partitions on my HD (only drive in the system):
    1. Windows XP
    2. Windows 7
    3. Temporary files
    4. Data
    Naturally, I used EasyBCD to restore the option to boot into XP after installing 7. Everything worked great.

    Then I decided that I wanted 7 to be the first partition on the drive - not the second. (Reason being that I'll eventually delete XP completely, but that's in the future.)

    So I backed up the XP partition, used EASEUS Partition Master to shift the other 3 partitions toward the beginning of the drive (took a while!!) and then restored the backup of XP at the end of the drive. Now my setup looks like this:
    1. Windows 7
    2. Temporary files
    3. Data
    4. Windows XP
    Again making sure the BCD store and boot.ini and everything were set up properly, I once again had the option of booting either 7 or XP. Except, while 7 still ran beautifully, XP would get as far as the blue 'welcome' screen and then freeze up without showing any users to log in with.
    After a lot of research, I finally found out that this was because XP now saw itself as being on drive F: (with the other 3 partitions of course being C:, D: and E: ). The way to fix this was to edit XP's registry offline (from within Windows 7) and set up the drives such that partition 4 would once again become C: as seen by XP.

    That's the story so far, and everything is working perfectly now. But one thing keeps nagging me...

    Until I fixed the XP boot issue, I booted and rebooted XP many times testing various solution approaches. Since XP was seeing itself as F: but was seeing the Windows 7 partition as C:, I can't help but wonder if XP could possibly have tried to write to the Windows 7 folder (mistakenly thinking it was its own Windows folder) or modify any files in there it shouldn't have.
    Like I said, everything is working perfectly and Windows 7 hasn't given me any strange issues or unexplained errors.

    Still, I wonder. I need to know for sure.

    What do you think? Has anyone ever run into the same situation at all - XP mistaking a Windows 7 partition for its own because of the drive letter confusion? I'd really be happy about any insight anyone can offer on this. TIA :)
  2. panda24

    panda24 MDL Novice

    Feb 12, 2011
    hey bro iam boootin w8 w7 and xp get a good pc lol:eek:
  3. stayboogy

    stayboogy MDL Addicted

    May 1, 2011
    the proper way to do this type of install--dual boot xp and 7 together--is to clean install both, installing XP first, and then installing 7, or you can have XP already installed and then install 7. either way, it is always better to have the earlier installed first before the newer--it minimizes the chances of several problems. (I had this same setup for a few months and had no problems doing it this way, only did I change to 7 alone this past weekend.)

    this way 7 creates the boot manager on the XP partition (no matter which partition it is). this helps avoid any of these problems you experienced. and if you should delete XP in the future, then you just delete it, and do a start up repair with your 7 disc and it will place the boot manager on the 7 system partition.

    as for whether or not XP messed with any files on the 7 partition as you had it set up I can not say with complete certainty, but I would say that it is highly unlikely. the ntldr does not go off of the drive letters but determines which partition it is loading based off of what number partition it is, whether 0, 1, 2, or 3 (if there are 4 of them).
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  4. CODYQX4

    CODYQX4 MDL Developer

    Sep 4, 2009
    Yeah but if he manipulated the structure of the disk those partition numbers could have changed.

    I think it's unlikely that it messed up win 7, as generally it's got to read stuff first and get going, but you said it failed. It may have dumped a log but its doubtful it broke anything.
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  5. IronMaiden

    IronMaiden MDL Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    #5 IronMaiden, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
    Well, that's good enough for me. Thanks guys :cool:
    BTW, I did wipe out XP and extended my E: partition into the remaining disk space. Quick touchup with bcdedit.exe and life is good :biggrin:

    (Also, while installing 7 initially placed the boot files on the XP partition, I moved them to the 7 partition in the process of reshuffling the partitions and made 7 the active one. The only tough issue was getting XP to boot past the user login screen, which was an XP-only issue and didn't even have anything to do with the boot manager.)