Dual boot Windows 7/XP

Hello good buddies, I am running Windows 7 (RC1 for the time being - I understand it expires sometime in March of 2010) and love it. Easily the best Windows version yet.
However, for several reasons I would like to be able to boot into XP on occasion. I have created a D: partition the in the C: drive to 'house' the XP installation.
The way I figure it I will be able to boot with the XP installation disk in the drive and select the appropriate drive/partition on which to install XP.
But I suppose I will have to create a boot.ini file using, for example, EasyBCD 1.7.2 which will then give me the boot-screen where I select OS.
Or...does this happen by itself, so to speak. I.E. does Windows somehow sense the presence of multiple OS's upon boot and create the boot.ini automatically?
If not, what would the script/syntax look like if I have to create it?

I would greatly appreciate your input on this! :cool:


New Member
Install XP to the partition you have created.

You will then only be able to boot into XP.

Run startup repair from the 7 dvd - might take 3 runs.

You will then only boot into 7.

Add an entry for XP to the 7 bcd store like this:

Open an elevated command prompt and type ( press enter after each command):

Bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Description for earlier Windows version"

Bcdedit /set {ntldr} device boot

Bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr

Bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

Description for earlier Windows version can be any name you want. BTW - Vista/7 do not use boot.ini

After booting back into 7 - you can use Easybcd instead of the above bcdedit commands - it will run the commands for you. Do not point it at the XP partition - point it at the Active partition.

Hope it helps

Last edited:
Right SIW2, thanks for your reply. I think you assume too much expertise on my part but let's see...
Add an entry for XP to the 7 bcd store... you say. What do you mean store?
When I run BCD it shows the following text:
There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 0 seconds.
Default OS: Windows 7

Entry #1

Name: Earlier Version of Windows
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2

Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows
It is apparent from this script that I used to have dual-boot where XP was default but I scrapped it. Now I want to have that option again. Can I simply edit the text and if so, what would it look like? Also, how do I save the changes to this script and have them take effect next boot? The concept of 'store' is new to me, used as I am to 'save' and 'save as'.
Please bear with me on this one...


New Member
From your original post it appeared you only had 7100 installed.

If that XP installation is no longer there - use Easybcd to delete the old entry.

After you install XP to your new ( presumably non-active) partition - you won't be able to boot directly into 7 as XP will overwrite the 7 bootsector code and deposit new versions of it's boot files on the Active partition.

Follow my earlier post to enable dual booting.

The boot configuration data store contains boot parameters and controls how the o/s is booted for Vista/7.

Boot applications use the system BCD store on the system partition. You are making entries in the store for ntldr.

Right-o. Thank you for helping out!

I hear you, thanks Drew!:)


New Member

Ok, assuming there are 2 drives (partitions) available...

You install 1 OS to a drive.
You install 1 (2nd) OS to the other
When you boot there is a screen showing the 2 OSs
Select the 1 you want, @ that moment & carry on. So ye, as you say, just all by itself.

You can dual-boot XP/Win7 though, remember, you can, also, w/ Professional & Ultimate run XP Mode virtually on them. Or, you can install your own XP on Windows 7 Home Premium as a virtual machine.

Just some options...

ONLY happens like that if you install the older o/s first.

Otherwise - if you are doing what Commander Cool is planning - you need to follow the steps I outlined.

I didn't just post them for a bit of typing.

Thanks man...I really like the way you always get relevant, timely answers in this forum to questions that, to you 'old-timers', must seem bleeding obvious.

This is one thankful n00b;)

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