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  1. #1
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    Want to dual boot W7 Pro 64 bit and XP on a hot new prospective build

    Greetings All

    I am extending a thread from the "Hardware" forum here, as the discussion there as evolved into perhaps a more appropriate position here now.

    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...-Windows-7-pro

    Where I am at right now, what I want to achieve, is I need to build this computer into an audio/video workstation. Now contemporary software is great for doing HD, 3D, Blueray, etc... whatever state of the art we are at. However, I still have quite a lot of analog capture and processing to do as well. Years ago, I acquired all kinds of valuable, costly, and appropriate software, with all kinds of plug-ins to boot, to perform such tasks. For example, Vegas, Acid, Sound Forge, Poser, DAZ, Paint Shop Pro, various audio, and on and on, and even a Canopus ADVC300 Advanced Digital Video Converter. And so hopefully you can see why XP is still very viable and important to me. Therefore, I need to implement the best solution for getting XP onto my system.

    I considered the possibility of going XP mode, but it appears the dual boot option, if such exists, is the preferred option. Perhaps I should link all the parts I will be putting into this build.
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...Proposed-Build

    Okay, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to matters such as these, so I am hoping to be led to a user friendly step-by-step process to effect this dual boot setup, if possible. I wonder about many things like which OS to install first, when to partition, the whole nine yards. And should I go with XP home 32 bit (which I have), or go Pro/ and or 64 bit (which I can get), even any "secrets" about which I should know. Thank you all so much!

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  3. #2
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    A dual boot option does exist and as this is a new build is rather easy to achieve.

    The general 'rule of thumb' when installing multiple operating systems is to install the oldest one first so in your case, install XP and partition your drive at that point. Then install W7 into one of the other partitions created earlier and that will create your desired dual boot scenario.

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  5. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I might also suggest the possibility of a 3rd partition for data. You can change the pointers in each OS to point to the data folders on the Data Partition by using the approved method. Move the data on one OS, then just change the pointers on the dual boot OS. Now each OS will point to the same data, and the data will be safe if something fails in the OSs.
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  7. #4
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    Ya, oldest OS first, then the newer one puts in the dual boot structure automatically.
    In your case Gerard, if you're going to partition the SSD for both OSes, for ease of setting up the dual boot, XP would go in first. XP's built in partition software is not partition boundary aware, so using boot disc partitioning that would properly partition an SSD is recomended (its a must at some point for proper function and longevity of the SSD). Personally I use the Partition Alignment Tool from Paragon after an install of XP, which was $30 when I purchased it. I have enough call and use it often enough to have it on hand. I even find that I can use it on my virtual installs but don't ask me what its actually doing there! Does seem to run faster afterwards though.

    If you decide not partition the SSD and install XP to the Velociraptor, no problem, Win 7 will format the SSD on the partition boundary; or if you install Win 7 first to the SSD and then XP to the SSD, then you'll need to add the Win 7 install back into the boot menu, maybe with EasyBCD.

    I've only used GParted (on a Parted Magic boot disc) in the past for some pre-installment partitioning but I don't remember if it was capable of setting up a partition on a boundary but I think I did use it for that once just by setting the space before the partition starts to 1 MB (which I then checked with PAT after the fact and it said it was optimized) but I'm slightly fuzzy on this thought.

    p.s. Also, when up and running you'll probably want to research and figure out how to hide the install partitions from one another (necessitating the independent data partition), because if they see each other they have a nasty habit of deleting each other's restore points! If you never use system restore or turn it off, no worries there. Ok, that's all that I can think of at the moment.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2012-12-10 at 15:58.

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  9. #5
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    Great info here, Thank you all so much! Talk about getting all my ducks lined up! I find myself reading these responses over and over to get it all more clear in my mind.

    First, if I were to partition the SSD, it's a 240 GB, so say would 80 for XP and 160 for 7 be a good way to go? See, my original thought was to keep all data on the VR drive, and of course I have that monster 4TB HDD for more storage and backup.

    Right now, it's tough deciding which disk to install the XP, given the options.

    F.U.N. downtown, sorry for my confusion, but if I were to install XP to the VR, I'm not clear on what is meant by W7 formatting the SSD on the partition boundary? What I mean is that I do not understand there is a partition boundary if using two separate disks?

    ***Oh, and Ted, I llike the idea of "each OS will point to the same data," but am a little confused. If I kept all my data on the other drive, wouldn't it be readily accessible to either OS? I feel like I am missing something here. Meanwhile I'm going to go and check into this Paragon thing and reread through that "approved method."
    Last edited by Gerard3; 2012-12-11 at 11:54.

  10. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Yes it would be accessible, but you have to tell the OS where to look for the various folders. That's why you would have to use the approved method in each OS to point ot the data drive. Otherwise the OSs will just set up their own folders and start placing new data in these folders on each OS. Pointing everything to the data drive allows an access to the data to actually access the separate data drive.

    In this way for example if you choose Pictures in XP it will point to the separate data drive and if you choose Pictures in Win 7 it will also go to the separate data drive, same folder as XP. Easy to keep your data synced this way as they both point to the same folders, physically located on a separate drive.

    I hope this makes sense. Plus this keeps your data safe from OS problems as you are already aware.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-12-11 at 12:15.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  11. #7
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    but if I were to install XP to the VR, I'm not clear on what is meant by W7 formatting the SSD on the partition boundary? What I mean is that I do not understand there is a partition boundary if using two separate disks?
    You don't have to be concerned in that case, since XP is not going onto the SSD it is not going to be formatting the SSD. W7 is boundary aware where SSDs are concerned so it will partition and format the SSD accordingly. The VR would be partitioned and formatted by XP so the partition would not begin on a boundary but the longevity of the drive would not be affected like an SSD is.

    Using PAT from Paragon, I have the option to optimize non-SSD drives so the partition begins on a boundary as well but I don't know if there is an advantage to do so.

    Here is an article about SSD partition alignment, shows GParted with a 1 MB front end free space, I think that's exactly what I did before I purchased the Paragon alignment tool.

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    First I want to thank you guys once again, as I really appreciate all your help. Man, I'd be so lost without you. Things are starting to become more clear to me as I keep rereading and absorbing all this.

    Curously though, just to look around for a walk through of the process, I quite accidentallly stumbled across this bit from a fellow named whs at the Windows Seven forums:

    "You absolutely do not want to have XP on an SSD. XP does not support Trim and you will lose a lot of the SSD performance advantage if you let XP manipulate the SSD. Put it on a spinning disk (disconnect the SSD during the installation) and switch between the 2 systems with the bootorder of the BIOS. But do not let XP near the SSD."
    (last post in the entry).
    http://www.sevenforums.com/installat...dual-boot.html

    Yet you guys sure know all about doing it. I guess that's another reason why Paragon is so desirable? Right now I'm still trying to discern to which drive I ought to install XP.

    Oh, and I like that article... so well written.
    Last edited by Gerard3; 2012-12-12 at 08:50.

  13. #9
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    Well, its correct that XP does not support TRIM and I think that was especially important in the early days of SSDs on the market, but I think within the last year or two, the firmware on the SSDs has been catching up to the special needs of an SSD and automatically performing many of the previously relied upon TRIM commands. Even with TRIM support, some sticklers will say its a good idea to periodically remove/delete the pagefile and any hibernation/sleep file, reboot, recreate those files and reboot again, to allow the drive that last bit of wear-leveling opportunity.

    An SSD is most probably still not being used optimally without an OS that supports TRIM; I haven't noticed a difference but there could be something I have have yet to encounter with further use. Bottom line is I'm not concerned about it at this time, and if something arises, then I'll be concerned.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    Well, its correct that XP does not support TRIM and I think that was especially important in the early days of SSDs on the market, but I think within the last year or two, the firmware on the SSDs has been catching up to the special needs of an SSD and automatically performing many of the previously relied upon TRIM commands.
    SSD firmware cannot perform TRIM actions unless the operating system (or a specialized user application, such as the ones that Intel provides for use with some of its SSDs on operating systems that don't themselves support TRIM) gives it information on which disk blocks the system is no longer using. What you're probably referring to above is improved garbage-collection mechanisms that the SSD firmware uses in the background to consolidate blocks which it thinks (whether correctly or not) are in use so that it can pre-erase the (usually 512 KB) erase segments such that it won't have to delay new write operations while it frees up such space.

    For example, when you over-write a disk block on an SSD, unlike a normal magnetic disk it can't update the block in place but instead has to write it to a new, freed-up location - and then it knows that the physical block in which that data used to reside is free, even though no external TRIM support exists. It can't reuse that location, however, until the entire 512-KB segment in which it resides is free and can be erased for reuse, so in the background it tries to find segments in which only a few physical sectors are still apparently in use, moves the content of those sectors to other segments where there are a few freed-up and now reusable sectors available, and then erases the entire original segment so that new arriving writes won't have to wait for such house-cleaning to be performed as part of the operation.

    An SSD is most probably still not being used optimally without an OS that supports TRIM
    Exactly. What TRIM does is let the operating system (or, as described above, a specialized user application usually provided by the SSD vendor for use in non-TRIM-aware operating systems) tell the SSD which SSD blocks it's no longer using (usually due to file-deletion activity, since defragmenters shouldn't be run on SSDs anyway). Thus TRIM and garbage-collection are complementary rather than overlapping facilities: TRIM gives the garbage-collector many more freed-up blocks to use, hence significantly increases the probability that new in-coming writes will never have to wait for garbage-collection to occur. Or, to put it another way, TRIM keeps the SSD from thinking that far more of its capacity is in active use than is truly the case and thus avoids the kind of 'churn' that thinking it has only a relatively small amount of free space to work with can create (it's somewhat analogous to defragmenting a magnetic disk to keep new bulk write operations from getting splattered over many discontiguous disk blocks rather than being speedily streamable to large, contiguous expanses of free space).

    Only the fact that most TRIM-unaware operating systems are typically biased to reuse space from deleted files if it's convenitent rather than just keep allocating free space round-robin in a partition keeps SSDs from thinking that they have almost no free space to work with on such systems: when a deleted file's space is reused the SSD sees it as being 'updated', places the new data somewhere else, and knows that its original location is now free (something it would have known much earlier had the OS given it TRIM information) - whereas if the OS used up all the originally free space in a partition before starting to reclaim space from deleted files (which would, incidentally, vastly improve the odds of being able to 'undelete' files) the SSD would think it was almost completely full and almost ALL writes would have to wait while it shuffled data around until a 512 KB segment could be 'cleaned'.

    The bottom line is that TRIM can noticeably improve write performance after an SSD has been in use for a while and also significantly reduces the amount of data-shuffling required to create reusable space (shuffling which will ultimately affect the usable life of the SSD). XP can probably run pretty well without it as long as you don't churn data excessively and leave a fair amount of free space in the partition, but if I were running XP on an SSD I'd still like to find a TRIM application that I could run occasionally.
    Last edited by - bill; 2012-12-13 at 04:46.

  15. #11
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    Thanks, guys. I have a feeling that given my current level of technical sophistication, perhaps it would behoove me to install XP to the VelociRaptor?

    I'm in the process of getting prepped still, trying to get things in order. As that nLite seems like such a fabulous idea, I went to download it at the nLite site. My AVG antivirus gave me a serious warning about the zip installer that comes along with that, and so it quarantined it. However, I was able to download it without issue at Softpedia. Strange.

  16. #12
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    It's possible that all your payware programs will run fine in Windows 7, in which case you wouldn't need XP at all, but you wouldn't know for sure until you'd fully tested each program in Win7, which could take a very long time, so multibooting to XP is a good 'safest' option.

    Presumably you already have have installation disks and new or transferrable licenses for both new XP and Windows 7, as neither can now be bought new (only Windows 8 can).

    I seriously recommend you install Windows 7 Pro, so you have the option of running any programs which only run on XP in XP Mode. XP Mode provides the required license for the emulated XP (unlike third party emulators). Programs you install to XP mode can be run directly from the Windows 7 start menu. If some of your payware only runs in XP, this could save you a lot of rebooting alternately to XP and Win7, which could otherwise cause in total many, many annoying delays, especially if you're a power user who typically has a lot of programs running simultaneously. If an 'XP only' program refuses to run in XP Mode, you can install it to the XP multiboot partition instead.

    One other possible annoyance is that if any of your payware programs 'phone home' to the vendor, they might refuse to be registered on multiple OS's. If that turns out to be the case, you could check the vendors' sites for any good deals on upgrades from your old versions, and also look for freeware replacements, as there could well be suitable powerful freeware available now that hadn't yet been written at the time you bought the apps.
    Last edited by bigbadsteve; 2012-12-13 at 06:42.

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    It's possible that all your payware programs will run fine in Windows 7, in which case you wouldn't need XP at all
    I think this might be more of a hardware issue; not having W7 drivers and software for capture devices.

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    Is this a change since 2 weeks ago when I bought a full copy of Win 7 pro 64bit in preparation for my next upgrade? I currently run a dual boot setup with XP Pro 32bit and Apple iOS Snow Leopard (aka Hackintosh) on separate drives. As my next upgrade will be to hardware with more ram than my current 4gb I knew I need a 64bit os, therefore Win7 Pro 64bit. I am considering installing as a 3rd boot option rather than waiting for hardware upgrade. And I already keep data on a 3rd drive.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadsteve View Post

    Presumably you already have have installation disks and new or transferrable licenses for both new XP and Windows 7, as neither can now be bought new (only Windows 8 can).

  19. #15
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    Thanks guys for your inputs. As F.U.N. downtown mentioned, I have some legacy hardware that is still very much viable and valuable. Moreover, my W7 Pro is 64 bit, and I believe the softwares and drivers are intended for 32 bit. I would consider XP Mode in 7, but if I understand correctly, I could risk taking a performance hit on my system and maybe even risk losing USB functionality in that mode.

    Oh, I too am mystified by this comment: "Presumably you already have have installation disks and new or transferrable licenses for both new XP and Windows 7, as neither can now be bought new (only Windows 8 can)".
    Last edited by Gerard3; 2012-12-13 at 17:55.

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