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Can I make my fairly old XP computer "dual-boot" with Win 7 64-bit?

Posted on 2014-04-20
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Last Modified: 2014-04-20
I'd like to know if I can make my old 2.80 ghz Intel Celeron dual-bootable. It already has Windows XP SP3 32-bit, and I would like to have Windows 7 64-bit. It has 2 gigs of RAM and about 30 gigs of free HD space left.

Thanks
    Shawn
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Question by:shawn857
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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If you can get the drivers for it then it wil be a qualified yes, you need a separate partition to install windows 7 onto.  How well it will run is something only you can determine.  More ram would be nice and speed things up considerably.
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by:btdownloads7
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I wouldn't recommend it. First of all, 2Gb of RAM is really low for Win 7 64-bit. And 30Gb is a bit low on disk space, but you will technically be able to do it. So, you'll need to do the following:

1. Before you do anything, find all hardware drivers that you'll need, and make sure that they are actually available for Win 7 x64.

2. Use disk partitioning software to resize your current XP partition to make it smaller, and leave at least 20 Gb of space unpartitioned (and the more the better) for the new OS.

3. Install Win 7 on the new partition

4, I don't remember if the Win 7 bootloader allows dual-booting with XP, and if it doesn't, you'll need to find some guides on how to make that happen (installing Grub would be my suggestion)
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by:rindi
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2 GB RAM is fine for Windows 7 and it'll run better than XP. Personally though I wouldn't keep XP as the last updates have been published and it is no longer supported. Just go for Windows 7 and don't bother about a dual boot.

Windows 7 fits nicely on 30 GB (it requires about 15 GB for the OS), but you don't have much room left for further software if you want to install it on the same partition.

Whether you can install the 64 bit version of Windows 7 depends on your CPU. If it is an older Celeron it could only be a 32 bit CPU. So first make sure it is a 32 bit Celeron...
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by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 125 total points
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Download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if your PC is ready for Windows 7:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20

Your present OS is Windows XP SP3 32-bit , so it is likely not a 64-bit compatable CPU.
Click the Start button , click Control Panel, click System and Maintenance, click System.
Under System, you can view the processor type and speed.

Also go to the makers home page to see if Windows 7 Drivers are available.
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by:shawn857
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Hi Guys, well it's an old computer - probably about 7 or 8 years old so it's probably not 64-bit compatible, eh? In Control Panel|System it says:

eMachines
T3990
Intel(R)
Celeron(R) CPU 2.80GHZ
1.98 GB of RAM

I don't know if it's a 32-bit Celeron or not...


Guys, I don't really have too many hardware attachments on this computer - not even a printer. I used it mostly as a stock trading/analysis machine some years ago. I'm not sure what I'd need in the way of hardware drivers...

If I can just "barely" get Win 7 x64 on this, that'd be fine with me. I don't plan on running a large amount of apps on it. I simply want the Win 7 x64 to test the installation of an app I'm developing on 64 bit systems.

Michael-Best: I ran the upgrade advisor... attached is a screenshot of the result. I noticed it did not have a separate tab for "64-bit" as I saw in the sample on the download page.... maybe that is not a good sign  :-(.

Thanks All!
   Shawn
Win7-64.JPG
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by:btdownloads7
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Add I said earlier, it will run win 7 x64, but very slowly. Abd you'll still need to find all the drivers
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rindi earned 250 total points
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That PC uses a socket 478 CPU, and CPU's for that socket very rarely were 64 bit CPU's, if at all (I can't remember there being any 478 socket CPU with 64 bit. So you won't be able to install any 64 bit OS to that PC, not even if you upgrade the CPU. But SIW should verify that it is n't a 64 bit CPU:

http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/siw_portable

So basically you will have to install Windows 7 as 32 bit. But that should be no issue at all. You don't really need to run the upgrade advisor. The only problems you could run into is that some old software may not work, or old printers might not have any drivers, and sometimes soundcards might not work, but you can get cheap addon cards. But from the specs of your PC there should be no problems. I just don't recommend dual boot, as keeping XP makes no sense.
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by:shawn857
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Rindi: I ran SIW - what should I be looking for to check for 64-bit compatibility?

Thanks
   Shawn
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by:rindi
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In the hardware, CPU Info section under number of bits it would have to say 64 bits. It is also possible that the exact CPU model is shown.
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by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 125 total points
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Your system is just too old to support a 64 bit OS since your cpu is only a 32 bit CPU. You spend more money to upgrade the system to run as a 64 bit system than what this computer is worth. You can buy many second hand machines cheaper that have the hardware available to run a 64 bit os, than you would if you spend money to upgrade this system.
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
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Rindi, next to "Number of Bits", it says 32. Attached is a screenshot of the SIW output. Looks like I'm out of luck I guess, eh?

Thanks
   Shawn
SIW.JPG
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Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
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yes you are out of luck without upgrading the system
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by:rindi
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Correct. You can only run 32 bit OS's on that CPU. But as I said earlier, Windows 7 32 bit will run fine.
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Author Closing Comment

by:shawn857
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Thank you guys. Well so much for that idea then!

Cheers
    Shawn
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by:web_tracker
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you can buy a second hand system with more than double the cpu speed, double the ram, and a larger harddrive for less than a hundred bucks at least you can in Canada. Then you be happy with the performance of the system. In your old system your mobo probably will not support more ram, although you could probably upgrade the cpu, but then the harddrive is small. Your system will not be usable using a 64 bit operating system.
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by:web_tracker
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Thanks for awarding the points, glad to help.
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
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Thanks Web_tracker, yep I'm in Canada and I'm gonna look around for a 2nd hand system on Kijiji or something... Thanks!
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