Dual boot - from 2 harddisks?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Installation' started by xdzgor, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. xdzgor

    xdzgor New Member

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    Hi

    I have an old computer with Windows XP. I also have a new computer with Windows 7.
    Is it at all possible to take the harddisk from my old XP computer, and install it in the new Windows 7 computer to create a "dual boot" machine?

    It seems it is possible to create dual-boot systems, but my research so far seems to indicate that both operating systems must reside on the same harddisk (in different partitions), not on 2 physically different harddisks.

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Using two independent installs (separate hard drives) is the way I prefer to do dual boots.

    There are many tutorials here you might check, be we can get it set up for you.

    Are you going to move an XP hard drive to the new system? If so you might do that without the Win 7 drive connected so you can get the changeover done without interference.
     
  3. xdzgor

    xdzgor New Member

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    Thanks - yes, I want to physically remove the harddisk from my old (Windows XP) computer, and put it in my new (Windows 7) computer.

    What I would like is to have a "dual boot" machine. So that when I boot up I can decide whether or not I want Windows 7 or XP.

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  4. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    Hello peter,

    That's total false.

    Leave you XP install alone, the install Windows 7 and you'll now have the Windows 7 Boot screen for your choice of operating systems.

    If you don't get that screen, you'll need to get into the BIOS and switch the hard drive with Windows 7 on it to the top position.
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    When you get ready to proceed and need help, let us know.

    For now, there are several tutuorial about how to move XP to another computer. You basically have to use the install option, but when the original install is found, you select repair and not install. This is not the first repair option you are shown, but the one after you go to the install page.

    There is a utility called EasyBCD 2.0 you might want to download to your Win 7 install and have it ready. You will need to join their forum to be able to download it. It isn't completely necessary, but makes it easier.

    Once you get both the Win 7 and XP drives ready to go, hook them both up with the Win 7 drive being the primary drive, or first in the drive order in the bios. You can also do this by booting with just the Win 7 drive connected and then adding the XP drive later.

    As you go through the tutorials, you will basically need to copy 3 XP files (ntldr, ntdetect.com and boot.ini) onto the System partition. This might be the System Reserved, or the actual Win 7 partition. Then the boot.ini file has to be modified. EasyBCD will do this for you, but problems can arise if you have the 100mb System Reserve partition and will have to assign it a letter.

    But let us know if you run into problems.
     
  6. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    Remember, taking your old XP drive out off an older computer, you're going to have different hardware which may be a problem.
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Reghakr is right about possible problems. It would be best to have a backup.

    Also, I must mention you need an install CD for the version you currently have. If you are running XP SP3, you need to make slipstream CD to include SP3, unless you bought it that way. If you use an SP2 CD to repair, the final install will be SP2. If you would rather just reload SP3, that will probably work, but I do not know what effect it might have on currently installed programs.
     
    #7 Saltgrass, Jan 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010

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