Windows 7 best install procedure to dual boot w/XP


New Member
Working on an older Dell desktop for a friend of my son. It was her Mom's and she had it passed on to her. She usually uses a Mac but has been using this Dell because it has Office and Quickbooks on it for her businesses (she does home cleaning and also photography).

Anyway she brought it to me to take a look at cause it's been slow booting and just running slow. It's an Optiplex GX270, P4-3Ghz, 512mb ram, 80Gb IDE HD, an IDE DVD-ROM and a IDE CD RW, and has a MX 440 128mb AGP video card. The caps on this motherboard look great so it was a good one from the start or it got replaced under warranty when her Mom had it.

I have a ton of spare parts around so I bumped the memory up to 4Gb. I replaced to two IDE DVD&CD drives with a DVDRW SATA as the DVD-ROM was not working and that was causing the BIOS not to see either optical drive so it took a minute or 2 to get to loading XP (though Win XP does see the CDRW after it loads). Also have a HD4350 512Mb AGP vid card I plan to pop in as well.

I have a 500Gb SATA HD I'd like to put in to replace the 80Gb IDE HD. I'd like to partition it into two 200+ Gb partitions and install Win7 on one and then clone the existing XP install over to the other (she doesn't have the install or program discs and needs the XP install to keep using QuickBooks for her businesses).

So do I do the Win7 install first then clone XP over to the other partition? Or clone XP the do the Win7 install? And what and how to install a boot loader (used EASY BCD in the past) or will Windows do one?

Thanks for any info.

I'd create the partitions, clone the XP then install Win 7. The Win 7 install will see the XP and set up the boot options for you.