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Advice on dual boot


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#1
tjmcs

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Hi,

Tinkering with a computer. It has Win 7 installed. The mobo on another computer died. It has Win XP installed. I want to install the XP drive into the Win 7 computer and set it for dual booting. Have heard stories from it can not be done to I need to remove the 7 drive, boot XP, turn it off, boot 7, turn it off, run a boot program. Local shop says no go. Can it be done and how?

Thanks in advance.

joe
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#2
Kemasa

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It might be able to be done using Linux and grub as the boot loader. There could be some issues with Win7, as I have heard some comments, but I am not sure of the outcome. The problem with this method is that you would need some free space on the disk to create a new partition. Also, the XP OS might not work properly since the hardware is different. The disks also have to be the same. The XP disk might be a EIDE drive and the Win7 could be a SATA drive.

On some systems, you can swap the disks around through the System setup menu (BIOS/CMOS).

Perhaps a question to as is what is your goal in doing this? Why do you want to boot the XP disk? You might be able to attach the disk and copy the files, either by directly attaching the disk or installing the disk in an external case. If you need XP for some reason and you have the correct type of CD, you could install VirtualBox or another such program and run XP as a virtual machine.
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#3
tjmcs

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Thanks for the input.

I am trying to dual boot since the XP OS and drive are fine. Was thinking that since all is good, I could just boot up XP and not have to worry about copying or anything; just continue to use it and its files and programs.

joe
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#4
Kemasa

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You could try booting the disk, but you do have Win7, which I assume also works. Personally I have found that dual booting the machine is a pain because what you want/need is always the other OS, so you have to keep going back and forth.

There might be some other boot managers which would also allow you to select which disk to boot. Perhaps others who are aware of them could respond.

The method that I am familiar with is using Linux & Grub. You would need to create a partition to boot from. It is possible to resize an existing partition, but before you do that you really need to do a complete backup. The boot partition only needs to be 100M, but you could also load Linux on it to make it easier to modify, which would increase the space a bit, perhaps 1Gb or so. It would be a bit of work to get it all done, but I think it could be done.

Have you checked to see if the disks are the same type (EIDE, SATA, etc.)?
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#5
Digerati

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The disks also have to be the same.

Ummm, I don't see why. The drives can be completely different, or just separate partitions.

The bigger problem in my mind is the legality of this. It is most likely your copy of XP is an OEM license - that is, the Windows license came with, or was bought for the old computer and in that case, you can NOT legally transfer it to a different computer.

If no original disks came with the XP machine, it is an OEM license. If you have the original Windows XP installation disk and it is “branded” with a computer maker’s brand name, or is labeled with “OEM/System Builder”, “Upgrade”, “Academic Edition”, or "For Distribution with a new PC only", it is not transferable to a new PC (or upgraded motherboard) under any circumstances. These OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "original equipment".
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#6
Kemasa

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My comment with regards to the disks being the same were in reference to the interface type, SATA or EIDE. If the system has both interfaces, then you should be able to boot either, but if the old machine was EIDE and the new one was SATA, then it would be hard to install the old drive in the new system.

The OS license is a bigger issue, thanks for mentioning that.
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#7
Digerati

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My comment with regards to the disks being the same were in reference to the interface type, SATA or EIDE.

What I am saying is you can have one OS installed on an EIDE drive and another installed on a SATA drive. The drives do not have to use the same type interface. Having different types may add a few more installation steps with older an older OS like XP, but there is no technical reason you cannot use different type drives. You could, in theory, have a 3rd OS on an SSD. But yes, the motherboard would need to support both type drive interfaces.
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#8
Kemasa

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I think we are saying the same thing, the system has to be able to support both, if the drives are different, which is not always the case. You could install another interface board so that both drives could be attached if the system did not support it on the motherboard.
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#9
Digerati

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Maybe so. I was just going on your initial comment of, "The disks also have to be the same." They don't.
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