Installing XP on a second physical drive with Windows 7 already on the physical primary boot drive

Hi guys

I've recently assembled a new PC and installed W7 on it, only to then find that some of my cherished software won't run on W7 whereas it did on my old pc running XP (which has now been dismantled and cannibalised). So I've decided to make my new machine a dual boot. Having looked at countless forums, I'm reading conflicting information about what to do and what not to do, so I thought I'd register here for sound advice as it looks like you guys know what you're talking about.

Here is my setup, I'd really appreciate some guidance on a step by step basis on how to successfully install.

My setup - Motherboard ASUS M4A87TD with SATA 2TB boot drive "C" running W7. Second slave drive "G" (its a salvaged IDE drive from my old PC and connected to Motherboard through an IDE - PCI controller card as the onboard IDE socket is already being used by 2 DVD drives) is empty, have just reformatted it.

I would like to install XP on the second drive (I'd like to avoid putting it on my primary drive).

I've read horror stories on forums when XP has been incorrectly installed after W7 and then you can't boot into W7.

Also have read about problems with W7 system restore points being wiped every time XP is booted.

Please can you advise on a step by step basis the correct procedure for installing XP on that 2nd drive and still get the option to boot into W7 and also not lose my restore points on W7 when I choose to boot into XP?

Many thanks for your help on this.

Joe S

Excellent Member
I think you are going to need something for the boot process. I really don't know much about this part. Have you considered installing XP on a virtual PC like VMware Player it's free VMware Player 3.0 I don't know what type of software you need to run. You could try and not activate the XP right away you have 30 days for that. I think you may have problems with restore points dual booting. I did with the beta installed on a partitioned HD.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I know that it is recommended that you have Widows XP installed first.
I've done it this way several times with no problems.

But since you are computer aware...

The other option might be to disconnect the drive with Windows 7 on it.
Install Widows XP on the other drive, and then use EasyBCD to set the boot setup to dual boot.

EasyBCD - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET

I'm guessing that when you plug the Windows 7 drive back in it will boot to it, because it will be first in line, in the bios.

Then allow you to use EasyBCD to add XP to the boot menu.

Disclaimer: I have never done this myself, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.


Ps. I have found almost nothing that would't run in Windows 7, even my old Tomb Raider games from the 90s.

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