Windows 7 Problems with Dual-booting 7 and XP


New Member
Mar 2, 2009
Hello all!
This is my first post here so stay with me.
My problem:I originally installed a fresh Windows 7 Build 7000. I found a couple programs incompatible with 7 ( namely Utorrent, Disk overloaded message, but I digress...) so I decided to try to duall boot XP on it as well. I partitioned a small amont of my HD to accomodate XP Pro(40 GB). I installed XP on said partition and everything booted up fine. But, when I went to restart and go back to windows 7 I had to choose which OS to start, and both options were for XP Pro. I tried fiddling around and could not get back to 7. I checked the HD in XP and all the info was still there, but I could not get 7 to boot. I got so frustrated that i just did another clean install of 7 and left the other partition empty.

My question is, did I do something wrong? Is there a way for me to dual-boot both and still go back to 7?
If anyone needs any other info i didnt post let me know.

AMD X2 2.6Ghz
500 GB HD
It is a simple problem, but new learning if you have not used Vista or 7 in a dual boot.
If you want a dual boot, without hassle, it is best to install XP first.
So, at your stage, as you are dealing with fresh installs. Prepare your partitions, which you seem to have done. I would suggest you label them (7 and XP?) so you know what and where you are dealing with.
Install XP. Dont waste too much time, at this stage, configuring it.

Boot up with you 7 DVD and install it on the other partition. It will automatically set up a dual boot for you.
You can, where you have arrived, now install XP again. This will ruin your dual boot, but it can be fixed with help, but it is bothersome.
Your problem occurred because Vista/7 has a new boot manager and MBR, which is totally incompatible with XP.
Last edited by a moderator:
What Dave said.

Basically whatever was the last OS installed will take over the MBR for that disc. XP won't recognize Win 7 so it won't give you an option to boot from it. You may be able to edit the boot.ini file in XP, but I haven't done that with XP/7 dual boot so I can't give you specifics. Since you're basically starting over at this point I'd recommend just installing XP first, then installing 7 and you'll be good.

Fortunately this probably doesn't occur with Vista/7 dual boots, as they basically use the same boot manager. I installed 7 on my desktop first, then Vista, and dual boot works fine (and gives the proper options at startup).

Good luck, and sorry that you have to do everything over.
Thanks for the tips. Also just to clarify, Although it is called "dual-boot" I am essentially using one OS at a time, not using system resources to power to OS's at once correct?
You said in the OP that uTorrent was incompatible.. I have to disagree as I've been using it since build 6801 and have not had any problems with it.. ;) What problems were you having with it?

As for the dual boot setup..davehc hit it right on the money.. just setup the partitions.. then install the OS's from old to new.. the boot manager will set itself up and then your good to go.. :)
The problem with utorrent is a "disk overloaded 100%" message that slows my downloads to a crawl(about 5/kbs)a few minutes after starting a new torrent. I dont use a router so it is not port forwarding or anything like that. I have a 500GB drive and I even set the disk cache to 1024MB and I still get! Any ideas?
Thanks for the tips. Also just to clarify, Although it is called "dual-boot" I am essentially using one OS at a time, not using system resources to power to OS's at once correct?
It's called dual boot simply because two operating systems are residing on the same hardware. In that configuration only one OS is using the hardware at any time, since you have to reboot to select which OS you're going to run. Once you start virtualizing you're running multiple operating systems on the same hardware at the same time. Then you have to worry about shared resources, which is why I have 8GB of RAM on my desktop now, as I'm running multiple VM's for testing.
Top Bottom