Dual boot Win 7 64-bit and XP Pro 32-bit (win7 Installed first)

How do I set up: dual boot Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and Windows XP Pro 32-bit (Windows 7 installed first)? I have Win7 on a 2 terabyte HDD, with another 1 terabytle internal HDD and two 1 terabyte external HDDs. I have an Intel i7 960 @ 3.20GHz, 20 GB RAM. I want to keep Win7 on the 2TB drive and add WinXP on the other internal 1TB drivw in a dual boot setup. The other two external 1TB drives would be used for backups and data. I would like to be able to boot to XP because I have numerous Apps that run on XP wothout having compatibility issues.  Both Win 7 and XP are full versoins.Or would I be better of trying A virtual setup?

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Last updated September 14, 2019 Views 4,815 Applies to:

The first option I would recommend, if you really need to run Windows XP is to use Windows Virtual PC with Windows XP Mode, you will need to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate in order to gain access to Windows XP Mode.

Windows 7 - Anytime Upgrade - Frequently Asked Questions:


Windows 7 - Anytime Upgrade features:



or, if you have a full retail version of Windows XP Professional or XP Home, you can download the free Windows Virtual PC and use your own license;


The other option, if you already have a Windows XP license, is to dual boot with Windows 7:

The following instructions will show how to dual boot Windows 7 and XP on your machine instead of replacing one with the other.

It is important you have a reinstallation or repair disc in case you need to reinstall or repair your WIndows 7 installation.

The following article will show you how to create a repair disc:


Drivers for Windows XP:

You should first find out if your computer is compatible with Windows XP. A lot more modern computers are phasing out support for Windows XP.

Create Partition

In order to do that, use Easeus Partition Master Home Edition - http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Partition-Manager-Home-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html

Proceed to install Easeus:

Click Next, follow the easy on screen instructions.

When the installation is complete, click Finish

Click Go to main screen

Select the drive you want to resize in the partition window

Drag the knob until you have a desired amount of disk space to install Windows XP, then release it.

Click apply to apply the changes you just made.

Click Yes

Click Yes

Your computer will restart a few times and changes will be made to the partition layout, this process is hands free, so no interaction is required.


Install Windows XP

In order to install Windows XP on the partition you created, you will need to boot into your BIOS and set the hard disk mode to IDE.


After you have set the hard disk IDE mode, you can proceed to install Windows XP on the partition you created;

Insert your Windows XP CD, then restart your computer.

When prompted to boot from the CD, do so. This requires pressing any key on your keyboard.

Windows XP will go through its setup process.

Once you arrive at the Welcome Setup, press Enter on your keyboard to begin the setup process

Press F8 on your keyboard to accept the license agreement

Select the partition

Select Format the partition using the NTFS file system

Press F on your keyboard to begin the formatting.

Installation files will now be copied to your hard disk

Your system will be restarted, Windows XP setup will continue


After Windows XP installs successfully, you will not be able to boot into Windows 7. This is where the recovery disc for Windows 7 comes in.

1. Put the Windows 7 Recovery disc installation disc into the disc drive, and then start the computer.

2. Press a key when the message indicating "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD …". appears.

3. Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next.

4. Click Repair your computer.

5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.

6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.

7. Type sfc /scannow, and then press ENTER.


After you have repaired your Windows 7 installation and try to boot it, you will notice that Windows 7 does not boot.

Boot into the BIOS again and set the hard disk mode to SATA. You will now be able to boot into Windows 7 again.


After doing that, download EasyBCD and add a boot entry for Windows XP to the Windows 7 boot manager;

EasyBCD by NeoSmart Technologies would be your answer, it provides a graphical front end to the BCDEdit Command line that makes it easy for you to define start-up settings and edit boot entries on the new Windowsboot manager. http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1


The next step now is make it possible for Windows 7 to boot in IDE mode.

Here are the instructions for doing that:


Welcome all , so let me explain I installed Windows 7 With AHCI set from Bios , but after that i wanted to use ide (becose it boots faster) and when i set Ide from Bios , the windows 7 loading screan camed upp and BSOD (Blue screen of death) with an error code 0x0000005B , i tryed the regedit trick by setting in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesMsahci" and then in the right pan the START value from 0 i set it to 1 and it supposed to be working but it was a failiure , it still did the Bsod and i was so pissed of , i wanted to make it work ... AND I DID IT !

Here are the pases :
1) I assume u have installed Windows Vista or Windows 7 with AHCI set from BIOS !
2) Download my registry fix (to add the ide keys to regeditor) simply apply the key
3) Now the manually regedit part Go to :


And in thease three keys in the right pan u will find a key named "START" change at all three (Msahci,iaStor,iaStorV) values from 0 To 1
Now navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE_System_CurrentControlSet_Services_PciIde
,then change the start value to "0"

4) Now u are allmost done , restart your computer/laptop , and go to Bios and set from AHCI to IDE !!! , save settings in Bios and restart

5)Windows will be loading , and VOILA !!! NO BSOD !!! , windows Vista/Seven will install new Ide drivers and u will see in windows device manager that you dont have AHCI drivers anymore , u have Ide drivers !
6)It will prompt for another restart , just restart it and u will be happy

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 Are you aware that you can install the free XP mode on your Windows 7 system?  Once installed you can start it in 15 to 30 seconds as a task under Windows 7 and run your XP applications without having to reboot.  It works very well as long as you can live with the graphics.  The XP Mode graphics are fine for business applications.  This would be my first preference.

 You'll probably get posts suggesting a way to install XP and then download a program or two and patch a couple of places.  However to me it's much more straightforward to just create a small 30 GB partition and do a "quick and dirty" 30 minute install of a second totally minimal copy Windows 7 in it.  This will get everything bootable after you install XP, should you decide to go that route.  It's not as intelectually sophisticated as the more involved patchwork approach, but it's faster and simpler.  As my freshman chemistry professor used to say "anybody can make things complicated; it takes some thought to make things simple".  I think that professor was very smart!


 I hope this helps.  Good luck. 




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