Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Duel booting win 7 win 8 and win XP + Tips

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1

    Duel booting win 7 win 8 and win XP + Tips


    Rules for Duel booting in windows 8 and windows 7 and other Tips

    The following is derived from watching the behavior of windows 8 and 7 installs.
    When you install windows 8 or windows 7 to a new HDD it wants to create more than one partition...

    On a 2 TB hdd W8 will create a 350 MB system partition and windows 7 will create a 100 MB system partition.
    When you install windows 8 or windows 7 before it creates these partitions it will check all drives for a system partition.

    If installing windows 7 x64 on a newly installed HDD and there is a drive with windows 7 x86 already Installed the install will find the x86 system partition and claim Incompatibility and the install will terminate.

    If installing windows 8 x64 and there is a drive with windows 7 x64 or x86 installed the install will find the w7 system partition and claim incompatibility and the install will terminate.

    If installing windows 8 x64 and there is a drive with windows 8 x86 installed the install will find the w8 x86 system partition and claim incompatibility and the install will terminate.

    If installing windows 8 x64 and there is a another drive with windows 8 x64 it will find the other system partition and will not create a new system partition on the new install.

    If installing windows 7 x64 and there is a another drive with windows 7 x64 it will find the other system partition and will not create a new system partition on the new install.

    To solve this dilemma the following suggested rules apply. (Install each os you want to install on (sata port 0 master) each on separate HDD's .
    1. Make sure ONLY the install drive is attached to the computer (one and only one HDD drive attached to computer)
    2. Install the higher operating system first.
    3. Remove / disconnect the higher operating system hdd from the computer.
    4. Attachť a new drive and install the lower operating system.
    5. Move the lower os to port sata 0 slave.
    6. Reinstall the higher os to port sata 0 master.
    7. Set in the bios to boot from port sata 0 master.
    8. When windows 8 has booted install a BCD editor.
    I use dual boot pro. Itís not free but itís cheap about $10...
    9. With the BCD editor add the lower os to the BCD registry.
    10. When you reboot you will be given a choice. Duel booting setup is complete.
    11. with the BCD editor save your BCD registry to several locations on each drive multiple times...


    Tip...Have you ever tried to use the system repair disc to repair your computer only to have it tell you that the drive is locked ( *@#$%%*&^**@ )and to unlock the drive before you can repair the windows installation...? Well here is how you do it...

    Boot your computer to another os w7 or w8. (It donít matter)
    If the offending drive is in a computer with a single os move it to another computer or get another hdd and install w7 or w8 on it... Please Do not format or install an OS on the offending drive...It is not necessary.
    Once the drive is in a windows environment go to the control panel click on admin. Tools...click on computer management...click on disk management... Right click on the offending drive and select "mark as active" and confirm. Then put the drive back where it belongs and run system repair disk.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summary:
    1. ONLY ONE hdd can be present during a windows install.
    2. Always boot the highest os first.
    3. Next add the other os's to the BCD registry with a BCDeditor.
    4. Try to follow the sata 0 sata 1 master /slave order with the highest os on sata 0 master...
    5. Always Boot from sata 0 master...
    6. Do not add windows XP to the BCD registry, it wonít work. Instead change the boot drive in the bios to run XP and when you want to run the higher OSís, change the bios back to boot sata o master
    7. A locked drive means it is not set to active and needs to be set to active. and only drives with windows installed can be set to active.
    P.S. do this any other way and you will have problems. (This is the easiest way to do it)
    P.S. P.S. if the higher os drive fudges you cant duel boot any more till you replace the hdd and
    reinstall the higher os and rule number 1. still and always applies ..but till then you can boot
    from another os by changing boot order in the bios.

    To re-emphasize it does not matter what the target drive is...if there is another os on the machine. The install always looks for a system partition first and if it finds one it will not create a system partition on the target drive and that will cause you problems...or the install will terminate. There needs to be a system partition on each OS install.

    Last edited by Nightflyer; 09 Feb 2014 at 11:40.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    very interesting ,I have 3 drive ,2 of them partitioned , [3 os's 9win8.1 pro ,win8.1E and win7 , Ent installed first ,then 7 then 8pro],on those 2,and I see only one recovery partition ,so if I remove that drive ,the other on will not boot to window's I assume ,will try this later .thanks it will be a challenge trying to fix it ,,nothing important on any of the drives ,so I don't have to worry about fudging them ,thanks again for this info
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1


    yes there are other ways to duel boot including a drive with
    multiple partitions and os's installed on each but that
    brings up numerous headaches that come when one of
    the os's fudges or even one of the partitions fudges...
    I did this cause I believe its the easiest way to duel
    boot with the fewest headaches...plus I just figured
    out how to fix a locked drive cause my w8 drive
    the os started missing startup files and I experienced
    the "locked drive " message from the repair disk...I was
    able to boot to w7 and I went to admin tools and looked
    at the drive and it said it was not set to active..so I set it
    to active and rebooted to the repair disk and the "locked drive "
    message was gone the repair ran and it fixed my problem...
    gee I was happy about that, And I learned something.....

    I have a w8 and 2 w7 hp and an xp each on separate drives
    if I had installed w7 on one drive then the other w7 on an other
    drive without removing the first one then the second install would
    have used the system partition on the first install instead of setting
    up a system partition on the second install and if the first drive fudged
    the second drive would be unbootable period. at least till you replace the first
    hdd then used a BCD editor to add the os.( w8 would not install cause
    its system partition is incompatible with w7) ..not sure if that would work though.
    not being the original system partition...at least my way you would still boot
    to some os by changing the boot order in the bios...till you can buy another
    hdd or get it replaced if its under warranty...
    Last edited by Nightflyer; 09 Feb 2014 at 11:25.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    No problems with Win XP, Windows 7, & Windows 8 on one HDD in Legacy mode.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1


    yes you can do that but the system I see is a w8 system partition.
    that's why you can do that by making and installing the other OS's
    on different partitions,,, if you loose that system partition, you loose all os's.
    if the w8 install fudges and you have to reinstall I am not sure if you will be able
    to keep the other os's it depend if It does a re do on the system partition.
    if you system partition was w7 or xp then w8 would not install. duel booting
    with multiple drives is best and cost more money and with laptops you may be restricted
    to a single hdd. and yes if w8 and w7 are installed on a single drive w8 must be first.
    I say w8 wont install cause the install see's the new partition as a new hdd and it will
    still search for a system partition find the lower os system partition and claim
    incompatibility and terminate.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    to a single hdd. and yes if Windows 8 and w7 are installed on a single drive Windows 8 must be first.
    I say Windows 8 wont install cause the install see's the new partition as a new hdd and it will
    still search for a system partition find the lower os system partition and claim
    incompatibility and terminate.
    NO!

    The above install is, in order

    1) Win XP install

    2) Windows 7 install

    3) Windows 8 install
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1


    there may be different rules for single drive installs
    I just looked at my xp drive and xp does not create a system partition
    your windows 7 should have created a 100 mb system partition
    and w8 must have resized it...my article is about mutli - drive installs...
    if you loose the system partition you may not loose xp but you might loose w8 and w7
    I don't know I have no experience with single drive multi partition installs
    so the rules may be different ...I might try what you did on my xp install to see what happens..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1


    did you manually create the partitions ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1


    yea right ...I wasn't getting any where cause w7 and w8 wanted to delete the xp
    install when I boot from dvd and run as normal...I will do that later and I see how you did it
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Duel booting win 7 win 8 and win XP + Tips
Related Threads
Weird Question, Duel GPU's in Graphic Cards
Just a weird question that just popped into my head.. Is it possible to run two GPU's that are not even remotely the same on one system? Like, be able to choose which one you want to use for what..? I'd say it would be a power thing, have the lower one in use while on general personal use, like...
duel boot win 7 win 8 in Installation & Setup
i have win7 hp 64bit and i want to install win 8/8.1 on a seperate partition(duel boot). how do i do this? i do not want to upgrade i want to keep seperate systems.
Duel Core Help in Drivers & Hardware
Quick Question: Say I have a 2GHz processor that is a duel core, is the 2GHz the overall performance or that of each processor? then what about quad cores?
Hey all, I am having a right mere with this problem here and I hope that someone can help me, basically I am trying to set up my windows 7 laptop so that it duel boots between 7 and 8 which sounds great. My existing W7 partition has been shrunk and a new partition has been created ready for...
i have my duel screen set up and everything used to work perfectly but i used the refresh you pc without effecting files feature of 8 and now when i put a video on one screen and a full screen on the other the video starts laging and runs about 2 fps. although the audio is fine. can anyone help
Was Wondering because When I used to do it on windows 7 I would Choose Install along side windows but it seems after installing windows 8 Grub Boot Loader is getting bypassed.
Hello, This is my first post. I have Win7 installed, in one partition. I did a new install of Win8 on another HDD, in one partition, using this machine. I removed the Win7 HDD and hooked up the new HDD before I installed Win8. I was going to use one of my HDD internal enclosures so I could use...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook