Windows 10 & XP dual boot. Best way?

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  1.    #1

    Windows 10 & XP dual boot. Best way?


    I have a PC running Windows 7 only at the moment. I want to end up with it running Windows XP (as default) and Windows 10 as a dual boot. What's the best way?

    I have an unused XPx64 installation disc and I have used "Windows 10 CreationToolx64.exe" (from MS):

    Windows 10

    to create an iso file for Windows 10. I want to end up with a clean Windows 10 installation, not an upgrade (which I read is possible, at least after installing).

    Normally, I would install XP over the top of the current Windows 7 installation (removing the latter in the process) then install Windows 10, but I suppose I need Windows 7 there to be able to install Windows 10 from the iso file (burned onto a DVD of course). The Windows 10 disc I create will look for Windows 7 in order to install, no? No Win7, no Win10? Or not??

    Both O/Ss will go onto a single SSD (suitably partitioned!). Will I get a boot menu automatically or will I have to use a tool such as EasyBCD?

    Don't want to mess this up, so any advice as to procedure and the exact order in which to do this would be very welcome!


    Last edited by martinlest; 31 Aug 2015 at 23:35.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 2,366
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

    Upgrade 7 to 10, confirm activation.

    Install XP on a separate partition on the same drive or, another drive (my personal recomendation) while 10 is unplugged to keep them separate, using the boot key to pick your OS.

    Use EasyBCD to add any non showing OS`s.

    Or....... Install XP, and make sure that XP and 7 are dual booting fine, you may have to run startup repair to get 7 booting again. If you had XP already installed then added 7, this wouldn`t be a problem.

    Then upgrade 7 to 10, XP most likely won`t boot after that, but once again you just use EasyBCD to scan for and add XP back to the boot screen, someone just did it here.

    Unable to start Windows XP after Windows 10 upgrade - Windows 10 Forums

    Anyway you do it, the best advice I can give you is to keep the installs on separate drives using the boot menu key to pick the OS you want to use, this keeps them totally independent of each other in case a drive should die someday.

    Of course you set the drive you want to boot to most often as #1 in the bios, only using the boot menu to choose the other OS when needed :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Thanks. I wanted to install both onto the same SSD (I only have one), divided into two (unequal - XP will take a lot less space of course) partitions. I'll have image backups of both O/Ss on an external HDD.

    Sounds like I should do this then:

    "Upgrade 7 to 10, confirm activation... Install XP on a separate partition on the same drive... using the boot key to pick your OS. Use EasyBCD to add any non showing OS`s."

    Sorry, what do you mean by "using the boot key to pick your OS" exactly? Will I get a dual boot menu automatically (is there actually a boot.ini file??) after using EasyBCD (never used it before, but have it downloaded ready). WinXP will be my default O/S... so ideally a boot screen with a short timeout before the PC boots into XP.. but is that possible? It was SO easy to edit the boot.ini file and get what you wanted in 'the old days'!

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by martinlest; 01 Sep 2015 at 01:31.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Be sure that XP drivers are available for your computer. 64 bit XP was never very popular and driver availability was spotty, even for contemporary hardware. 32 bit drivers will not work. The XP install media obviously cannot include drivers for hardware that did not exist when it was created.

    Running XP in a virtual machine would be much easier.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    Thanks for the heads up but I ran XPx64 on a laptop for ten years before it finally gave up the ghost last month. I have all the drivers I need archived.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    Hope it's for the exact same make and model laptop! Those won't simply work everywhere. 10 will automatically look for drivers and see the ones it can make work go on. As far as using EasyBCD on XP you would need to read over the Wiki docs over at Neosmart for seeing a Vista or 7 dual boot with XP since XP lacks a BCD store the newer versions see! Even 10 can use the latest version.

    On the same drive? Better off with an XP VM while a separate hard drive using the F12 boot device menu option to boot into XP would work as long as you can get past the driver issues on a totally different system! How old is the present laptop you are planning to seeing this go on? The make and model information will be needed to look up what driver support was seen for XP since anything other then the exact same make and model will render the drivers you have useless for different hardwares!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    Yes, you're right of course. I was thinking of video drivers and so on, but that's not the whole story by a long chalk. I'd better start browsing the internet to see what I can find before I do the deed... Once I'm sure I have the ones I need, I'll look again at the dual boot issue..

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    One thing you can look at as long as the model laptop you have isn't too new but originally saw XP support would be Server 2003 x64 drivers which some have reported would work on 64bit XP Pro installs. Typically by now expect those to be tucked away nice and neat in archives at this late date however since all XP support ended early on in 2014!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    The 'new' PC is a five-year old desktop (the one detailed in 'My System Specs', here on the forum). I am out of the UK at the moment (where the PC is located!), but will be back there at the weekend and will be better placed to investigate. I'll get Windows 10 running first, then add XP.

    I am pretty sure I have an XP x86 installation disc somewhere - I might be better using that, certainly if the search for x64 drivers doesn't go so well...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    You're not going to believe this! But having been accustomed to going to Asus in years past mostly in the XP to Vista time frame before dumping Asus entirely I was easily able to look up the some 40 odd drivers and utilities for that model board seen at P6X58D-E | Motherboards | ASUS Global

    The 64bit XP is supported there still so you shouldn't run into any issues hardware wise! If you were dual booting across drives I would say first unplug the 7 to 10 drive since you will want 7 to still load or use the upgrade option when booted live from either the 10 dvd burned by the MC tool or from the flash drive made up as the installation key. The dual boot on same drive however presents the problem of not seeing 7 load once the XP mbr is written over 7's while the upgrade to 10 should pick up the XP installation in it's own BCD store during the upgrade.

    SO! Where the potential problem? The upgrade from 7 to 10 has been found to be often more buggy then from 8 or especially 8.1 to 10 due to being three versions prior to 10! The subsequent and likely immediate clean install of 10 should follow close behind the upgrade over 7 once that has seen activation take place so the MS servers then have a profile id of your system there. Then the clean install begins!

    Out of the three upgrades over 7 seen here the first went on buggy from initial failed attempts from having two storage drives plugged in! Once unplugged suddenly the 10 upgrade sprung to life but ended up "Buggy as all..."! The Upgrade to Repair type install made it run well for the first week however until... Time for Clean Install when simply wanting to get that seen to! That was over a fresh clean install of 7 seeing SP1 go on!

    On the second build remote tower sees a clean install prior to upgrade when splitting the drive up into two parts for a 7/10 dual boot only to see activation once the 7 Pro install there was upgraded over which then in turn saw the temp clean install activate as well. Upon dumping the 7 to 10 original primary to grow the new clean 10 install the second clean install was needed to see 10 boot up!

    And the 3rd 10 upgrade over 7 was on a laptop where I ended up nuking the drive period for the last clean install once the upgrade proved to be missing things like the Start button and seeing a blank screen where Settings should be as well as no access to the Start>Apps! Fortunately the 32bit 7 OEM Home Premium was being replaced anyways by the 64bit 10 Home edition! Following the first 32bit clean install to be followed by the second 64bit clean install all of which activated the OS primary couldn't be resized any once the factory ... small parts were removed!

    A subsequent nuke and a second fresh copy of the 64bit 10 Home was then seen on a brand new primary with a second smaller one created for back ups. The owner doesn't actually put much on but has to be shown how to do things. since that was a gift for someone.

    You may want to consider some of those factors when backing things up first to plan to nuke the destination drive once the upgrade has been tended to! Get both XP x64 and 10 to see a fresh start of everything to insure the more stable results. Just remember there's no active support besides those Asus drivers for the board itself you will be running into as far as who has what for anything newer like video and sound cards!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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