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Thread: Dual Boot 7/XP

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    Dual Boot 7/XP

    Hi,

    Got a new Sandybridge PC running Windows 7 with 60gb SSD. So far it's great...

    HOWEVER, I still occasionally need to run XP as certain programs (for music making) only work properly on XP.

    I have heard various horror stories on dual booting 7 and XP. Can someone provide a definitive tutorial (or thumbs down) on this possibility? Is it easy to accomplish?

    One possible fly in the ointment... If this is doable, I will need to get a 120GB SSD to boot from as the 60 just won't be large enough for both. I assume I can use Acronis Home to image the 60. I already have an XP image from my old PC.

    When I get a larger SSD, can I simply load the image from the 60 and then somehow load the old XP's image onto a second boot partition? Or will I need to reload the XP's programs/data from scratch. Or will I need to re-load programs/data for both the Win7 and XP boot partitions?

    TIA,

    ---JC

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi JC, and welcome to the Lounge!

    It is not difficult to dual boot Windows 7 and XP on the same machine. I have done it, and my motherboard is not even supported for Windows 7. However, you will need to do a clean install of XP on your Win7 computer. Your XP image will not function correctly on the new computer as the hardware is not the same as was on your old XP PC. Also, if the XP image is of an OEM XP installation, then even if it did work, you would run into licensing difficulties, because the OEM version is locked to the original PC.

    Another option is to use the Windows Anytime Upgrade to unlock the Professional edition of Windows 7 on your computer so you can download a free fully licensed copy of XP from Microsoft to run in XP Mode, which is only available in the Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7. This should allow you to run any XP only apps in Windows 7.

    If you decide to dual boot, the links Ted gave you are very thorough and very well done. Have fun!
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-04-07 at 07:49. Reason: Check link

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    If it is a retail version of XP, and if the old PC will still boot XP, there is a way to make an image that may very well boot on your new PC. There are temporary changes necessary in the BIOS settings, and driver issues, as well, as XP does not natively support SATA, and finding a SATA driver that will work for XP on your hardware may be very difficult, if not impossible.

    I did a total hardware upgrade some years ago using an XP image, but that was when Vista was new, and there were XP drivers for virtually every piece of current hardware, so I didn't have any problem getting a drivers CD prepared in advance of the hardware upgrade.

    Also, if you do some carving, XP can run in 10GB and Windows 7 can run in 20GB quite comfortably.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Hey... thanks for the useful info.

    Some follow-ups y'all don't mind.
    1. This implies that I really don't need a new SSD... I simply want to use the XP Boot -occasionally-. So does this mean I could load it on another (SATA) physical drive on the machine (which has an empty partition of 90GB right now)?

    2. If the answer is 'yes', do all the WARNINGS! about booting from SATA drives still apply to XP SP3? IOW: Do I still need to perform the additional steps as listed here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...dual-boot.html

    3. I actually have Windows 7 'Ultimate'. Does this include the ability to download a fresh copy of XP as you mention? If so, how does one do this?

    Thanks again!

    ---JC



    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye81 View Post
    Hi JC, and welcome to the Lounge!

    It is not difficult to dual boot Windows 7 and XP on the same machine. I have done it, and my motherboard is not even supported for Windows 7. However, you will need to do a clean install of XP on your Win7 computer. Your XP image will not function correctly on the new computer as the hardware is not the same as was on your old XP PC. Also, if the XP image is of an OEM XP installation, then even if it did work, you would run into licensing difficulties, because the OEM version is locked to the original PC.

    Another option is to use the Windows Anytime Upgrade to unlock the Professional edition of Windows 7 on your computer so you can download a free fully licensed copy of XP from Microsoft to run in XP Mode, which is only available in the Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7. This should allow you to run any XP only apps in Windows 7.

    If you decide to dual boot, the links Ted gave you are very thorough and very well done. Have fun!

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    3) Since you have Ultimate, you are entitle to run XP Mode. The link is: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/vir.../download.aspx If your music creation stuff works in XP Mode, then that is probably the best way to go.

    By the way, what "music creation software" do you have? I am running Adobe Audion 1.5 on Win 7 Pro 64-bit. It does not recognize the sound input device, so I have to use Audacity to record things, but Audition works just fine (though is does insist on turning off Aero!). I have tried using Audition 3 but it only works the first time I run it, after that it claims that there is no sound card.
    Last edited by cafed00d; 2011-04-07 at 20:55.

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    I guess I'm wondering if I need to worry about installing XP on a SATA drive.

    I installed XP on an Intel Q8400 machine with only 2 SATA drives last year and didn't even -think- about it. I wonder if it will even be an issue?

    My real question is: do I even -need- to get a larger SSD to dual boot. Can I not install XP on -any- other drive on the system? I really just need this as a 'back stop' for the occasional times I need to use the old software.

    Thoughts?

    ---JC

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The 60 GB may be enough for 2 partitions to hold both OS's. My Win 7 Ultimate with full install Office 2010 and many other apps is about 25 GB. XP with just your music app should be smaller than that. The big question I guess would be how much data do you need to save? I think you might be be looking at too small if you have even a medium amount of data. I do not think you need another SSD drive to store your data. A norml SATA drive will do nicely. You do not need the speed of an SSD just to store and access data.

    Here is what I would consider doing:
    1) Leave your main OS (Win 7) on the SSD as this is what you use most
    2) Get an SATA HD (any size will do, 1 TB are very reasonably priced) and partiton it as, oh say 30 to 50 GB for XP, and the remainder for data storage. I would even consider a third partition in the SATA HD for storage of Images to store your Acronis Images on.

    That's just my 2 cents for what it's worth. . . . exactly 2 cents. Cheers, Ted
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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntower View Post
    I guess I'm wondering if I need to worry about installing XP on a SATA drive.
    If you have any trouble installing XP on a SATA drive, you should be able to go into the BIOS to change the disk from 'AHCI' mode (a.k.a normal mode) to 'compatibility' mode (a.k.a. IDE mode). On paper, you lose some performance benefits, but I installed XP SP3 on a Toshiba laptop that came with Vista installed, and had to change from AHCI to IDE, and could discern no performance loss. But then, you have to factor in that XP runs faster than did Vista regardless of the disk mode.

    I concur with Ted on the matters he addressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntower View Post
    I guess I'm wondering if I need to worry about installing XP on a SATA drive.
    If you install XP in XP Mode then you will not have to worry about this. The virtual machine vurtualizes the hardware so that XP doesn't even know about the actual hardware. XP won't even know that you have a SATA drive.

    By the way, I've installed XP on SATA drives just fine. Usually if you have a problem it is with the driver controller, not the drive itself. But as I indicated, with XP Mode that will not be an issue.
    Last edited by cafed00d; 2011-04-08 at 20:44.

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    A slightly different approach to consider: Use virtualisation technology rather than dual boot.

    If you use XP mode, I think you will notice a severe performance drop. I think XP mode only presents a single core (but I may be wrong!), so for image processing it would be sluggish.

    Instead, try VirtualBox. Convert your existing XP image into a virtual machine and run it side-by-side with Win 7. No dual boot necessary and you can work more productively by having both systems running at the same time, with all CPU cores available to both XP and Win7.

    If you go down this route, you may wish to consider adding an extra HD and dropping the VHD file onto that otherwise your SSD which may get quite full fairly quickly.

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poltor View Post
    I am under the impression that an extra drive with XP Pro SP3 on will run on a Windows 7 machine!?
    My home-brew XP SP3 machine just fried its Pentium 4 processor, and I need to purchase a new machine (I don't have the time to rebuild it as the M/B and processor are no longer available, and all my stuff (a large amount of web-page material and is XP on a 250GB HD, backed up by 'Ghost' to a 500GB HD).
    Question - if I purchase a laptop Windows 7 machine (not HP) could I run XP from an external drive? (I can salvage the drives from the original machine), or if I purchase a desk-top, could I just substitute the drive (and then chat-up Microsoft registration)?
    MODERATOR NOTE: This post should have been the beginning post in a new thread. First, it is considered hijacking a thread to introduce a new issue, and second, it is potentially confusing for posters and readers alike to distinguish which issue is being replied to. This post will be moved to begin a new thread in Windows 7 Forum, titled Best way to run XP Pro on new Windows 7 PC?

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    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-05-29 at 07:45.

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    Kind of you to explain - but it seemed vaguely similar to me.
    Apologies.

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