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Thread: Dual boot??????

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    This is more of a comment than a question. I notice a lot of people doing the dual boot thing (XP with Win 7). I thought one of the big points of Win 7 was the virtual mode that allows XP to run without problems. Why are people doing the dual boot? What advantages does a dual boot with XP have over the XP virtual mode? Am I missing something? I kept my XP machine intact because I was afraid of losing what was until now the best OS out there. I have yet to restart my old XP machine. Comments are welcome.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    The XP mode in Windows 7 is not quite the same as XP, nor is it available in all flavors of Windows 7. I dual boot XP and 7, and I am slowly migrating the programs and apps that are compatible with Windows 7 over. However, I will never abandon my XP installation.

    Prior to the release of Windows 7, I dual booted XP. I have found that most powerful tool available for malware removal is a functioning Windows installation with appropriate anti-malware tools that has full access to an infected Windows installation. The malware infection is powerless when its infected host is not booted.

    There is the consequence of both Windows installations writing to the same system restore files, but I don't use system restore, so that isn't a problem for me. I use drive images for backup.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    The XP mode in Windows 7 is not quite the same as XP, nor is it available in all flavors of Windows 7. I dual boot XP and 7, and I am slowly migrating the programs and apps that are compatible with Windows 7 over. However, I will never abandon my XP installation.

    Prior to the release of Windows 7, I dual booted XP. I have found that most powerful tool available for malware removal is a functioning Windows installation with appropriate anti-malware tools that has full access to an infected Windows installation. The malware infection is powerless when its infected host is not booted.

    There is the consequence of both Windows installations writing to the same system restore files, but I don't use system restore, so that isn't a problem for me. I use drive images for backup.
    I didn't realize that all flavors of Win 7 do not have the XP mode. Yes, I agree that a virtual mode is not the same as a true install, but again I fail to see why anybody feel the need to dual boot (assuming you have virtual mode). I too have retained my original XP machine but I hardly use it. It's been re-assigned to the basement. Yes, there are a few things I don't like about Win 7, but it's mainly minor cosmetics. For instance, I don't like the large START button that is over size in the task bar (anybody know how to re-size it?) . Also, your point about the Restore having consequences is interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by norm201 View Post
    I didn't realize that all flavors of Win 7 do not have the XP mode.
    Only Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate, & Enterprise support XP mode. Even then there is an additional requirement that the PC support hardware virtualization.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Another reason some people like to dual boot XP and Windows 7 is so they can still play the games that run on XP but not on Windows 7. I have a three year old XP machine that checked out okay for Windows 7 compatibility and and installed Win 7 to dual boot. I use to play a lot of games, but in the last three years I have purchased a few that I have not yet finished, and have others I bought five years ago, so now I can boot into XP to play a game and then boot back in to Windows 7 for virtually everything else. XP Mode was not designed with games in mind other than Solitaire and others that come in the XP OS.
    Deadeye81

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    Not all systems are able to run XP Mode. Check it out.
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    I run 2 Win7 systems and find them acceptable and have no problem getting another Win7 system when the time comes, but there is nothing compelling an upgrade cycle where XP gets the boot on older systems for me. XP mode, is a little like "Classic" mode in Vista (or even Win 7) in that its really not classic at all, rather its "cripple" mode. Works fine as a spotter for that program or two that won't work otherwise but it is in no way a reasonable alternate to the real thing. Where Win 7 is clearly stronger (index search and security), I don't need it to be and the ability I have to customize the XP GUI and select among programs (many of them free) that are more capable than those which have been advanced within the Windows framework going from XP to Win 7 is something that has really matured in the last few years.

    Unlike when I went from Win 98 to XP and all of a sudden my systems weren't crashing 3 times a day--there's no clear differential between XP and Win 7 once I have XP customized to the modern tools that are available and I actually prefer XP a little bit more at the moment. Its a bit more granular for me and I like that. For instance when I right click on Network Places>Properties I get taken right where I want to be (Network Connections--I almost never want to go to the Network and Sharing Center (set it and forget it)), or the quick task locations in the Exploerer bar of a window--much more intuitive pathway display in XP for me than Win 7 (where I resort more and more to Recent locations to find stuff) and Libraries already has me searching around for my data because I end up saving it in two places now (My Docs and Public Docs) without even realizing it.

    If I had gotten Win 7 for free somewhere or I needed the room and had to remove one OS or the other, Win 7 would get the boot. Its a good alternative now for new systems so there's no worrying about finding XP drivers for some system I'm about to purchase but at the same time, it doesn't "wow" me nearly enough to upgrade to single OS status on older systems.

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    Thanks for all who made a comment. I've learned a few things. Although my situation did not warrant a dual boot I can understand that in some instances it can be beneficial.

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    To the best of my understanding, there is a performance hit associated with Windows Virtual Machine, and if I am wrong I'd be delighted to hear of it. How much of a hit will presumably depend on your precise configuration, or, as expression has it, YMMV. Many or most of us are accustomed to pushing the limit in terms of system resources and even those of us, myself included, who have Windows 7 Ultimate, are risk-averse in that department. This is a welcome question, and I'd love to hear more.

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