How can I attach a hard drive with Windows XP installed to a Windows 7 computer and make it dual boot both operating systems?

phizz_99 September 7, 2011

I have a Windows 7 64-bit PC. I need to use Windows XP 32-bit and XP mode compatibility isn’t an option.

Can I install a second hard drive on that computer that already has Windows XP 32-bit on it and will it work properly? What will I need to do to make it work? Thanks!

  1. Redtechteck
    September 10, 2011 at 4:40 am

    before removing hdd from computer 1, go into device manager and select ide ata/atapi controllers. update driver for whichever controller the disk is on from Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controller to Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller. move hdd to new computer,  then, set hdd with win 7 to boot first in bios and click start orb, type msconfig in cmd bar, select boot tab and choose settings accordingly

  2. Jesse Niou
    September 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Method without any installations: Hit whatever key you need to enter the start menu, then change hard drive boot order.

  3. Bruce Epper
    September 8, 2011 at 7:53 am

    If the second disk that already has XP on it was previously running in the same machine, it will work with a little work on your part.  Just put the drive into the machine.  Now skip the next paragraph.

    If not, you should remove the existing Win7 drive, install the XP drive then boot your XP CD in repair mode to install the proper drivers first.  Then, run Windows Update until you don't get any more updates.  Now you can put your Win7 disk back in and make sure it is set as the default bood device.

    Download EasyBCD from and install it.  Now you can use EasyBCD to configure the XP disk as an alternate boot option that will appear in the boot menu.  They have instructions on their website on how to do this.

  4. Jamesgunn25
    September 8, 2011 at 7:33 am

    You could just partition your hard drive and install Win XP on that partition. You'll need a program like Paragon Partition manager in order to create a partition. If you have Win XP on disc, you'll need to change 'boot settings' to 'boot from disc' first in Bios. Then install Win XP on the partition you created. you'll then have a dual boot pc. You'll also need to format the partition you created before install. Hope this helps.