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Dual Boot Partition Questions


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#1 Queen-Evie

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:31 PM

My operating system is Windows 7 Home.

 

What I would like to do is create a partition and install XP. I would like to do this so I can refer to XP every once in a while. Plus creating a dual boot partition is uncharted territory for me and I want to see if I can do it correctly and not wreck my laptop. (Just in case, everything will be backed up before I do anything)

 

I've researched and have found references to clicking on unallocated space and choosing New Simple Volume. I have no unallocated space.

 

I will assume that shrinking my drive will create unallocated space. My problem is that I have no clue how much I should shrink it.

 

What I need is guidance with this. I am also open to the idea of using 3rd party tools to accomplish the same thing.

 

XP will be used only for reference purposes. I will not have music, pictures, documents or a bunch of installed programs on it. I will set it up to use the Windows firewall and install an antivirus.

 

If it helps here are screenshots of what I see when I did some poking around. Can what I want to do be done based on what the following information?

 

volume-drive-c.png

 

shrink-volume.png

 



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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

Hi

 

Before trying to shrink and create a new partition for XP there is an important thing to check - How many partitions do you already have ?

 

As you probably know, MBR based partitioning scheme only allows 4 primary partitions in a HDD (which includes extended partition with logical drives). That is up to 3 primary partition and a extended partition.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

 

This are the typical scenarios :

 

1 ) A clean install with 1 or 2 partition

 

In a clean install, typically there will be at least 2 partitions. A 100 MB system partition and OS Partition or the C drive. If you created an additional volume  (D drive), there will be 3 partition in total. There is still room for one partition. So we can split the C drive in to 2 and  install XP in to the new partition. There will be additional steps to be performed to restore Win 7 boot loader and setup the sual boot.

 

If the disk is already filled with 4 partitions (a 100 MB system, C drive and 2 extra volumes for data storage)  we can install XP to the D drive. Move any data from D drive to E drive.

 

2 ) Laptop with preinstalled OS

 

This will be difficult as different OEM use different partitioning style. Some already came with 4 partitions, one of theme will be a hidden partition with recovery image. OEM like SONY and DELL usually use a 3 volume partition style. A System partition first followed by OS drive and thirdly a recovery partition. As there is still room for one partition, we can shrink C drive and create a new volume for XP.

 

 

So basically what you need to do is check how many partitions already int he disk. If there is only 3, proceed with shrinking C drive and create a new volume from the free space. After XP install finishe use EasyBCD to restore Win 7 boot loader. 

 

Shrinking with the disk management is safe as it won't cause any data loss. If you want to shrink beyond the size disk management offers, use Partition Wizard bootable CD.

 

http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html



#3 hamluis

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:27 PM

Hi, Evelyn :).

 

The easy way to add XP to a Win 7 system...is to use separate hard drives for each.  Since you have a laptop, that option is out :).

 

The harder way (IMO) would be to try to follow one of the guides that some have created, such as Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP - Windows 7 Forums - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/8057-dual-boot-installation-windows-7-xp.html , OPTION 2.

 

I've never used the above tutorial (I have plenty of hard drives and always install XP first because installing Win 7 will overwrite the XP boot file).  But the tutorial seems to make sense to me and I would follow the steps detailed for Option 2.

 

Each install will see the other as D: when either is booted into...(because whatever O/S is booted into will always be C:.  Some people get concerned over that but it's just the way that Windows works and doesn't affect the functioning or access to either install.

 

Partition size for Win 7 is user preference.  I use 50-60GB for Win 7, while I generally use 25-30GB for XP.  I have previously installed both XP and Win 7 together on a 60GB SSD and experienced no problems...so that's why I say that partition size is arbitrary.

 

I've never used the Win 7 utility to shrink the partition...I just use one of the various other utilities I have (e.g., Easeus Partition Master) to create the unallocated space that I desire.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 18 May 2013 - 01:27 PM.


#4 Queen-Evie

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 06:11 PM

To both of you, thank you for replying.

 

Anshad, this is the rest of what disk management shows.

 

disk-management.png

 

Louis, I don't have to use my laptop for it. I do have a desktop and I think maybe the best option would be to do it on the desktop. It is a custom built system and I may be better off putting it on the desktop. Adding another hard drive is an option. I suppose I should have thought of that-at one time I had 2 drives on a previous desktop with the OS on both of them. I do know how to add a drive and install the OS on it.

 

Right now I'm thinking doing it on the laptop  is to much trouble. I think this is one of those "stick with what you know" situations.


Edited by Queen-Evie, 18 May 2013 - 06:46 PM.


#5 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:40 PM

Hi

 

Yes, it is better to do in the desktop like what hamluis siad. Currently in your laptop there is already 4 partitions. If you shrink the C drive, you won't be able to create a new partition as all entries in the "Partition Table" is already filled. Then your only option is to convert "C" drive in to logical and then split it. I won't recommend it as it may cause data loss.  



#6 hamluis

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:52 AM

Thanks to Anshad for having a better perspective than I did...I tend to always give instructions/info as if OEM systems and laptops do not exist...even when I read that such is the case...my apologies, Evie.

 

Another complicating factor, IMO, that I see when looking at your graphic...you have an HP system with the HP boot and hidden partition structure.

 

The tutorial I posted...I don't think that it was meant to apply to nonstandard boot/OEM systems.

 

A standard boot structure reflects the bootfiles and the O/S on the same partition and typically is easy to modify.  It's straightforward.

 

But, your graphic indicates 4 OEM-created partitions where a self-built system such as mine...has only one partition.

 

I would be reluctant to change or fiddle with any of those partitions on a laptop...to include installing any additional O/S...because I would be unsure that my actions would not damage either the boot mechanism, the restore/recovery mechanism...or both.

 

If I was intent on dual-booting XP with Win 7 on that system...I believe the safest way to attempt such would be to

 

  a.  Get a larger hard drive and then clone your current hard drive to it.

 

  b.  Then try the procedures refflected in the sevenforums tutorial.

 

Nothing would be lost, since you would still have your original hard drive intact...and the result may well be what you desire.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 19 May 2013 - 10:00 AM.


#7 Queen-Evie

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:45 AM

After reading everything that has been said I have decided not to go any further with this on the laptop.

I will look into options for setting it up on my desktop. I do like the idea of adding another drive. Even if I don't set it up with XP, it would provide storage and is good for back up purposes, which is mainly what I used a secondary drive for on the computer I had years ago.

I did try a virtual machine on the desktop and while it did serve the purpose for referring to XP I did not like using it. A virtual machine is an option but one I'd rather not use.




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