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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Reformat the 2nd hard drive?

    A few weeks ago I tried to start my not all that old Dell Computer. The problem seemed to be in the hard drive. I got a replacement drive and was able to use a recovery disk to reinstall Windows XP.

    More than the hard drive was bad. Turns out I had to replace the whole computer with one running Win 7 Pro 64 bit. I now have the former replacement drive installed as a second non-boot disk in the new box.

    I am considering reformatting the second hard drive to get rid of the remnants of Win XP Any advice on this plan? Things to consider?

    I have some older programs that do not seem to work on Win 7. Could I maybe work it out to make the system dual boot to Win 7 and XP so I can keep using the older programs?

    Larry P

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Larry,

    Formatting the replacement disk in NTFS would be advisable. It will make a great data disk. If you have a large amount of data, you could consider relocating much of your data from your Windows 7 Pro system disk to your second disk. Lincoln Spector has an easy to follow tutorial on how to do this if you are interested. Your second hard disk would serve as the 'partition' to which you move your folders (unless you want to keep your data in a new partition on the Win7 system disk - but this would mean the loss of both the system partition and the data partition should the physical disk fail). I have not done the procedure as my data needs are somewhat minimal, but others in the Lounge have done so.

    As to dual booting to run some older programs, have you checked the Windows 7 Compatibility software listings to see if your programs are listed as compatible. Even if they are not listed, you might try running them in compatibility mode. SevenForums has a good tutorial on how to do this. If you still want to go with dual booting, check this How To Geek tutorial for dual booting XP on a Windows 7 PC. Where the tutorial assumes to create a new partition on the C:\ disk to install XP, you would ignore the repartitioning (unless you want to install XP on a second partition on your Win7 disk), and just use your second physical disk. By the way, it would be a good idea to rename both your physical disks to something that makes it easy to distinguish one from the other when using Disk Management or third party partitioning utilites.

    If the XP recovery disk just restores XP to the fresh factory state, you will not be able to use it to install XP on your disk in the new computer. If your XP CD is a full OEM version, it is tied to your old hardware, and cannot be transferred to your new computer. Only if your XP CD is a full retail version can it be legally installed on a new machine.

    As an alternative to dual booting, you could consider XP Mode. Microsoft, at no extra charge, provides a fresh XP license and key for you to install it as a virtual PC since you own a licensed copy of Windows 7 Pro. If your XP software is productivity software, XP Mode will be fine, but it was never intended to run heavy duty gaming.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-06-21 at 07:13. Reason: Added content

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    Larry P (2011-06-21)

  4. #3
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry P View Post

    I am considering reformatting the second hard drive to get rid of the remnants of Win XP Any advice on this plan? Things to consider?
    Larry P,
    Hello...I would like to give a slightly different perspective...I am a "fan" of multiple booting..(have 5 OS's that i play with) Dual booting is a good way to go ( 7 \ XP )It offers a great deal of both "Flexibility" and "Safety" (Fun Too for Geeks like me)this would be my plan.
    1. Do a full system image of your "7" OS. There are free programs Macrium Reflect Free as well as the "Windows Flavor" to do this

    2. Format (NTFS) and partition your 2nd Hard Drive. Set it up for two partitions one called "Data" and the other XP whatever you choose.

    3. Download and install this free program Easy BCD on your "7"

    4. Install XP on the "XP" whatever you called it partition... Re-boot and "7" will automatically come up (as it will still be "default" )

    5. Run EasyBCD and set up your Dual boot however you choose ( XP default or "7" )

    6. Re-boot and you will now have a choice as to which OS you want.. choose XP

    7. Install EasyBCD on the XP OS... ( gives more flexibility having it on both OS's)

    Post back with any questions that you might have ...this was just a "thumb nail" on how to do this Regards Fred
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2011-06-21 at 07:34.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

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    Larry P (2011-06-21)

  6. #4
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Make sure you still have all the Product Keys for software from the old hard disk. Otherwise use one or more of the Nir Soft utilities (ProduKey, at least), pointing them at the Registry on the now-remote hard disk.

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Larry P (2011-06-21)

  8. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    To further this discussion in my limited ways, XP Mode was originally designed to allow businesses to upgrade to Win 7 and still allow them to use older sofware that was not compatible with Win 7. This allows a somewhat less costly upgrade all at once. In my personal experience, I do not use my PC's for any business needs, strictly personal, I have not found a single time where I needed a virtual XP environment. For those few apps, I found replacements for free than probably worked better than what I was using. The only hardware I had a problem with was an HP printer, and this problem started with Vista, long before I switched to Win 7. Printers are notorious for not updating to new OS'es. They want to sell a new printer for this.

    Gerald's suggestion for the Win 7 Compatibility Center is right on. Check out this site.
    Have a Great Day! Ted

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    Larry P (2011-06-21)

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