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How can I set my Dell Optiplex 745 to dual boot up?

Posted on 2011-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Experts,
 So this is my problem: I have a Dell Optiplex 745 computer which has one HD with Windows XPSPK3, and a second HD with windows 7Ultimate.  Before I installed the second HD, the drive with XP was the primary one. After installing the second drive and installing Windows 7 in that one, the windows 7 became the primary drive and the one with XP became the D:  drive.
 I can access the files on the D (which is the one with XP) with no problems using My computer or windows explorer. If I go under Disk management I can see both drives, now my question is how can I set my computer to do a dual boot up? Do I need to reinstall XP again? (I hope not, because I have to reinstall a lot of programs).
BTW, under computer set up (F12) the Drive 0 is the one with Windows 7 and the drive 2 is the one with XP.
BTW, both drives are SATA drives.
Please help.
Thanks
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Question by:Colombia1
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Run5k earned 125 total points
ID: 36519408
You probably just need to make a few adjustments.  Here is a comprehensive tutorial that I always use as a reference for friends in similar situations:

Windows 7 - Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 36519472
Was the XP HD removed when Windows 7 was installed? Normally, when there is an older windows version already present on the system, and you install a newer one like Windows 7, it'll automatically recognize that and create a boot manager and add the older OS to that boot manager. When you then start the PC you get a selection which OS to boot.

If that boot menu wasn't created, maybe because the XP HD wasn't attached during the installation, use the tool below, it should help:

http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/EasyBCD+Documentation+Home

Another tool that may be worth looking at (but it isn't free after the trial period has expired), is BootitBM, it has a boot manager that can hide the partitions of one OS from the other. This is usually what you need as otherwise you could corrupt system files of the other OS without knowing:

http://terabyteunlimited.com/
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by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 125 total points
ID: 36519485
Boot into Windows 7 and install EasyBCD 2.1 and add xp to Boot Menu of Windows 7.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_27107054.html
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Author Comment

by:Colombia1
ID: 36519488
Run5K and  rindi,
thanks for replying. @ rindi, the Xp Hd was already present when I installed the newer one.
I will try both suggestions and I will let you now.
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Run5k
ID: 36519517
Essentially, they are the same suggestions.  Within the tutorial that I posted, you will find a step in the section titled When XP is Installed First that says the following:

Note:  If you are only booting into Windows 7 and do not have XP listed in the Windows Boot Manager, then you can install EasyBCD (step 8 Method Two below) to add XP (or Windows 7) while started in Windows 7 the same way to the boot list.

The cross-referenced section goes on to explain how to use EasyBCD to configure your system properly.
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by:bloodygonzo
bloodygonzo earned 125 total points
ID: 36523813
Dual booting is not needed in this scenario. I suggest creating a vm of your xp box using free tools from vmware and then running the vm using vmware player. This way you can access both machines at once and don't have to reinstall any programs.
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Author Comment

by:Colombia1
ID: 36557704
Sorry for my late response but the easybcd did not work for me. I mean, I have a boot up tree now but I can't access my second OS. My goal was to have the boot up choice and to have two working OS.

So, here is the history:  I installed the easybcd and when I restart my computer, yes I saw the boot up tree showing Windows 7 and Windows XP, I was able to log on into Windows 7 without any problems  but when I select XP I got an error saying that the file:\windows\system32\winload.exe was corrupted or did not exist and prompt me to insert the windows XP cd and do a repair. I did a repair and guess what, now the boot up tree is gone and my computer only boots up using XP.

 I ran again the easybcd following the product's instructions, still, I rebooted the computer and XP was the only OS  showing. At that point, I decided to reinstall Windows 7, I did that, I rebooted my  computer and now I have the boot up tree which shows Windows7 and Windows XP. I selected Windows 7 and  my computer logged on without any problems. I rebooted the computer again and this time I selected Windows XP, the same winload.exe error showed up again.

I really want to have the option to access XP without affecting windows 7. I might going to use the vmware solution.
Thanks for your help.
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